Congressional Hispanic Caucus Statement on Dr. Cynthia Telles Swearing-in as First Latina U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica

Feb 16, 2022
Press Release

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, February 15, 2022


Stephanie Palencia


WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chair Dr. Raul Ruiz partook in the historic swearing-in of Dr. Cynthia A. Telles as the first Latina U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica. The CHC released the following statement celebrating Dr. Telles:

“The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) celebrates the historic swearing-in of Dr. Cynthia A. Telles, Ph.D., who as a young girl lived in Costa Rica while her father Raymond Telles served as the first U.S. Hispanic Ambassador. Today, Dr. Telles is making history of her own as the first Latina U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica. It is an honor to our nation to have such a qualified and accomplished leader fill this important role and represent the U.S. on the international stage,” said Chair Dr. Ruiz. “The CHC is committed to building strong diplomatic relations with Latin American countries to strengthen democracies, foster economic development, and end the pandemic. Dr. Telles has worked consistently to create international diplomatic bridges. We congratulate you, Dr. Telles, and stand ready to work with you as you take on this new role.”

“History has been made today with the swearing-in of U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica, Dr. Cynthia A. Telles,” said Congressman Tony Cárdenas. “She became the twelfth American Latina to serve as a U.S. Ambassador, and the most amazing accomplishment is she is the first to hold the same position as her father, Raymond L. Telles Jr., the first-ever Latino U.S. Ambassador. I am so proud to see the Biden Administration empower highly qualified and accomplished Latina trailblazers to represent our nation’s values abroad. It brings me joy that Ambassador Telles, a Mexican-American woman, will be an example of perseverance and commitment for future generations. Congratulations to Ambassador Telles! I know that she will succeed in her new role.”

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard shared:

“As the first Mexican American woman elected to Congress, representing California’s 40th Congressional District, for 29 years, and as a long-time friend, I am both thrilled and extraordinarily proud that President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. has selected Dr. Cynthia Ann Telles to represent the United States of America to be the next Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Costa Rica. 

Dr. Telles spent much of her childhood in Costa Rica and is multi-lingual. I believe her hands-on experiences serving both nations will bring the United States and Costa Rica closer together. For decades, Dr. Telles has devoted her expertise to the City of Los Angeles and has served as a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Our state and our community are indebted to her for the time she has devoted to improving the lives of vulnerable communities.

I am thankful to Dr. Telles for her commitment to ensuring equal access to health care through her work as Chair of the Board of The California Endowment, the largest health foundation in the state. This Women’s History Month, we are grateful for Dr. Telles’ commitment towards justice and health equity and her historic, well-deserved, and hard-earned Presidential Appointment as the next United States Ambassador to Costa Rica.

While Dr. Telles’ qualifications are well known, it is also a time to celebrate the historic nature of her appointment. She is one of only 12 Latinas ever appointed to an Ambassadorship. I look forward to her confirmation and for more Latina women to be appointed to serve our nation in the State Department. I am thankful President Biden has shown and demonstrated his commitment to diversifying our nation and ensuring his administration and cabinet look like America.”


The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.