American people of Argentine descent
Argentine diplomats Forum
Alejandro Orfila was an Argentine career diplomat.
Born to Catalan immigrants who had become moderately successful Mendoza Province vintners, Alejandro Orfila received a Law Degree at the University of Buenos Aires in 1945. The following year, following political science studies at Stanford University, he was assigned to the Argentine Embassy in Moscow; in 1948, however, he was expelled from the Soviet Union on the grounds of espionage. Transferred to the United States, he was appointed Argentine Consul General to San Francisco and later New York, where he remained until his father's death in 1952 compelled him to return to the family business in Mendoza.
Offered the prestigious post of Director of Information at the recently established Organization of American States (OAS), Orfila left for Washington, D.C. in 1953. There, he forged close contacts in the U.S. capital and, after becoming Argentine Ambassador to the U.S. in 1958 and to Japan in 1960, he formed an influential K Street lobbying firm in 1962, specializing in the interests of U.S. firms investing in or trading with Latin America. Close to President Juan Peron since his days in the Soviet Union, Orfila was appointed Ambassador to the United States by the populist Argentine leader, back in power in 1973 after an 18-year-long exile.
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