Associate Vice President
Juan S. Gonzalez leads the Latin America practice at The Cohen Group.
Prior to joining The Cohen Group, Mr. Gonzalez spent 16 years of government service focused on Latin America and the Caribbean with the State Department, the National Security Council, and the Office of the Vice President.
As Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, he led U.S. diplomatic engagement in Central America and the Caribbean, during which he oversaw nearly one billion dollars in U.S. aid toward Central America. As Special Advisor to Vice President Biden from 2013-2015, he was the principal architect of Vice President Biden’s regional engagement during the second term of the Obama-Biden Administration, including rebalancing U.S. economic policy toward Mexico, active diplomatic economic and political cooperation with Brazil, and the launch of the White House-led Caribbean Energy Security Initiative.
From 2011 to 2013, Mr. Gonzalez served as National Security Council Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs from 2011 to 2013.
Prior to the White House, Mr. Gonzalez served in a variety of positions in the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, including Chief of Staff to Assistant Secretary of State Arturo Valenzuela. He also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala from 2001-2004.
In 2017, Mr. Gonzalez was appointed by Senator Chuck Schumer to serve on the Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Penn Biden Center for Global Diplomacy and Global Engagement, a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a board member of the Washington Office on Latin America, and a member of the Advisory Board of Foreign Policy for America.
Mr. Gonzalez has an M.A. from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he is currently adjunct faculty in the Center for Latin American Studies. He is a native of Cartagena, Colombia and is married to Sarah Ashley Platts.