Ricardo Zuniga is a career Foreign Service officer who as special assistant to President Obama and senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs played a key role in brokering the normalization of relations with Cuba.

Zuniga joined the Foreign Service in 1993. With extensive experience in Cuba, he has also worked in Brazil, Mexico, Portugal, and Spain and on the East Africa desk. He has served as acting director of the Office of Cuban Affairs in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, as political counselor at the US Mission to the Organization of American States (OAS), and as political counselor in Madrid, where he worked on counter terrorism efforts.

Zuniga holds a BA in Foreign Affairs and Latin American Studies from the University of Virginia.