Assistant Secretary General

Inauguration of Assistant Secretary General

Washington, D.C., July 17, 2015

In the opening ceremony, the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Mendez reiterated his commitment to work closely with Secretary General Almagro in the process of modernization of the institution. “We must find ways to overcome our challenges and create the enabling environment for economic and social prosperity by identifying new areas of cooperation, creative financing mechanisms, and maximizing the catalytic potential of the OAS.”

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Nestor Mendez

Nestor Mendez

Assistant Secretary General

Ambassador Nestor Mendez, the ninth Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) assumed office on July 13, 2015 and on March 20, 2020 was unanimously re-elected by the General Assembly to serve a second five-year term. 

As Secretary to the Permanent Council and its subsidiary bodies, Ambassador Mendez is central to its deliberations and to the core work of the General Secretariat.  In working to address the issues confronting the hemisphere, he has given priority attention to climate change and natural disasters, advocated for women’s rights and gender equality, and has brought renewed focus to the plight of marginalized and vulnerable groups.  He has also been at the forefront of promoting innovation, competitiveness, and entrepreneurship as avenues for unearthing leadership and talent, and for empowering the youth of the Americas.

Assistant Secretary General Mendez has worked closely with the Secretary General and Member States towards the revitalization and modernization of the institution, in advancing its role and relevance in the hemisphere, in fostering partnerships for development, and strengthening regional inter-connectivity.   

He remains driven to build upon the work which he has started, and fully committed to expanding on the progress achieved “in positioning the OAS to deliver enduring security, lasting peace, progress and development for the Hemisphere.”

His professional experience spans a trajectory of over twenty years as a public servant and career diplomat, including high level representation in international and regional forums, having served as the Ambassador of Belize to the United States of America, Permanent Representative to the OAS, and non-resident High Commissioner to Canada.  He also held diplomatic posts at the High Commission of Belize in the United Kingdom, and at the Embassy of Belize in Guatemala.  His tenure as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the OAS was marked by his chairmanship of important institutional Councils and Committees, including the Permanent Council, the Committee on Hemispheric Security, the Special Committee for Migration Issues, and the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI).

Assistant Secretary General Mendez holds a Master’s Degree in International Policy and Practice from George Washington University, a Graduate Level Certificate in Diplomatic Studies from Oxford University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University College of Belize.

Assistant Secretary General Mendez is fluent in English and Spanish.  He is married with two adult children.