Ambassador Vicki Huddleston
Ambassador Vicki Huddleston presents a talk, “Our Woman in Havana”, 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 7 at Mesa Public Library.
Huddleston’s talk is based on her years as one of America’s top Cuba hands. She has been an eyewitness to key moments of history as well as to backroom policy debate, in her roles as a principal policy maker on Cuba at the State Department and as the chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana.
Huddleston will provide a behind-the-curtain view of such controversial episodes as the Elián González custody saga and the post-9/11 decision to use Guantanamo as a prison for terror suspects. Huddleston’s anecdotes of her life in Havana—everything from spy stories to an argument with Fidel Castro she had at a cocktail party—are sometimes poignant, at other times hilarious, and always delightfully candid. She will wind up her talk with some thoughts on whether President Trump will continue the historic diplomatic shift engineered by Presidents Obama and Raul Castro.
Huddleston managed American policy toward Cuba as the coordinator of Cuban Affairs under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton from 1989 to 1993 at the State Department in Washington, D.C. Six years later from 1999 to 2002, she led the diplomatic mission to Havana, under Clinton and George W. Bush.
Her diplomatic career has spanned two continents and two government agencies. She was ambassador to Mali and to Madagascar and acting ambassador to Ethiopia. During the Obama administration, she served as deputy assistant Secretary of Defense, where she was responsible for policy guidance to the Secretary of Defense and the African Command.
Now living in Santa Fe, Huddleston provides media commentary on both Cuba and Africa, with her opinion pieces appearing in The New York Times, Miami Herald and Washington Post.
AAUW Los Alamos is sponsoring Huddleston’s talk.