Ambassador James Nealon served as the Civilian Deputy to the Commander of U.S. Southern Command from September 2013 to August 2014. As Civilian Deputy, he was the Commander’s Foreign Policy Advisor, and had responsibility for overseeing Southcom’s regional strategy, and its strategic communications, public affairs and human rights activities. He also played a key role in interagency coordination and business engagement.
Previously, Ambassador Nealon was Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada from 2010 to 2013; Deputy Chief of Mission in Lima, Peru from 2007 to 2010; and Charge d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission in Montevideo, Uruguay from 2005 to 2007.
Previous Foreign Service assignments included Counselor for Public Affairs at the Embassies in Madrid, Spain and Budapest, Hungary; Press Attache at the Embassies in Manila, Philippines and Budapest; Cultural Attache in Montevideo, Uruguay; and Assistant Press Attache in Santiago, Chile. Mr. Nealon also served at the United States Information Agency’s Bureau of Human Resources in Washington, DC.
Nealon is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor. He has been awarded the State Department’s Superior Honor Award as well as numerous senior performance awards.
A native of Virginia, Ambassador Nealon holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Brown University and completed additional graduate work in history at Boston College. Prior to joining the Foreign Service in 1984, he was a high school history teacher. He speaks Hungarian and Spanish.