Nathalie Rayes was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia on January 10, 2024 by Vice President Kamala Harris.
Ambassador Rayes has led a distinguished career in public service and served previously as the president and CEO of Latino Victory. Prior to joining Latino Victory, Rayes was vice president of public affairs for Grupo Salinas in the United States and executive director of Fundación Azteca America. Earlier in her career, she managed the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Relations, International Trade, and Protocol, and established the city’s first Office of Immigrant Affairs.
Ambassador Rayes has served as a prominent member of multiple boards, to include as President Biden’s appointee to the United States Institute of Peace, President Obama’s appointee to the board of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and chair of the board of directors of the Hispanic Federation and the advisory group for Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) Binational Fellowship.
She has been recognized for her many contributions to public service, including the AL DÍA Archetype Ambassador Manuel Torres Award. She was named among the 25 most powerful Latinas in the United States by People en Español Magazine, and was among the Top 10 Líderes by Hispanic Executive Magazine in 2021. Rayes was recognized in the Huffington Post’s “40 Under 40 Latinos in Foreign Policy” in 2015.
Ambassador Rayes has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Master’s in Public Policy from UCLA. She is fluent in Spanish and conversational in Arabic. Ambassador Rayes is married to Dr. Tarek Samad, an accomplished neuroscientist, and they have two sons, Julian and Alexander.