Spanish Ambassador Ramon Gil-Casares to Give Convocation Address at Florida Southern College
LAKELAND (Feb. 28, 2013) – In recognition of a major historical anniversary for the State, Florida Southern College is pleased to welcome as its next Honorary Chancellor the Ambassador of Spain to the United States.
Ambassador Ramón Gil-Casares will be honored at the College’s Founders Day Convocation at 11 a.m. on March 8 in Branscomb Auditorium. He has been invited to give the Convocation address in commemoration of Viva Florida, the 500th anniversary celebration of the landing of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon.
Ambassador Gil-Casares will be the 79th Honorary Chancellor at Florida Southern, continuing a tradition that has included such luminaries as former President Gerald Ford, actor Andy Griffith, and financier and philanthropist Sir John Templeton.
“We are deeply honored to have Ambassador Gil-Casares as our Honorary Chancellor,” said FSC President Anne Kerr. “He represents the finest tradition of selfless public service and has demonstrated integrity and dedication throughout his career. His visit renews the bonds between Florida and Spain that now span 500 years.”
The Convocation will also include the presentation of Distinguished Alumni awards to two FSC graduates who have made outstanding contributions in the fields of business. Mr. Joseph Sefcik, founder and President of Employment Technologies Corporation in Winter Park, and citrus executive H. Jennings Rou II of Eustis are this year’s honorees.
More about Ambassador Ramón Gil-Casares…
Ambassador Ramón Gil-Casares has enjoyed a distinguished career in diplomatic service to his country. He has served on four continents, in some of the most troubled nations in the world.
A native of Madrid, Ambassador Gil-Casares joined the Spanish Foreign Service in 1982. He has been assigned to the Spanish Embassies of Equatorial Guinea and Uruguay and worked in the Spanish Consulate in Manila. He also has served as Deputy Director General at the Spanish Institute for International Cooperation and as Deputy Consul General in New York.
Following the 1996 general elections, the President of the Government, José Maria Aznar, appointed him Director and Special Advisor to the President for International Affairs and Security and later Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, a Cabinet position.
Ambassador Gil-Casares has worked in the private sector as well. He was affiliated with the German Marshall Fund in Washington, D.C., an institution dedicated to promoting better understanding and cooperation between North America and Europe.
In 2005, the Spanish government recalled him to service and appointed him Ambassador to South Africa with concurrent accreditations to Lesotho, Mauritius, and Madagascar. Ambassador Gil-Casares also has served as Ambassador at Large at Spain’s Directorate of Foreign Policy for Africa and as Ambassador to Sudan and South Sudan. In addition to his diplomatic service, Ambassador Gil-Casares is a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry of the Spanish Army.
In April 2012, he was appointed Ambassador to the United States, and he has been a frequent speaker and interpreter of the culture and politics of Spain to audiences here.