Diplomat in Residence for 2009-2010

Hilarion "Lari" Martinez, Diplomat in Residence, Florida International University, Miami, Florida

Lari Martinez is Cuban-American and a Miamian. He came to the U.S. at the age of seven with his then eight year old brother on one of the Peter Pan flights that were organized to bring to the U.S. unaccompanied Cuban children. Both of Lari’s parents were teachers in Havana.

Lari was educated in Miami in public schools. He earned a bachelor’s degree (with honors) in pure mathematics at Duke University, a law degree from the University of Florida, an Masters in Law degree (in International and Comparative Law, with honors) from the University of Brussels, and an Master of Science degree in National Security Strategy degree from the National War College at the National Defense University. Lari was also awarded an honorary MBA in Bilbao, Spain for having expanded U.S.- Basque commercial ties. During his overseas assignments, he lectured at many of the U.S. university study-abroad programs and mentored American students interested in careers in diplomacy. He has also received numerous Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor Awards from the State Department.

While at the University of Florida Law School, he was Managing Editor of the prestigious Law Review. This is also where he participated in his first study-abroad program at the Escuela Libre de Derecho in Mexico City where he worked with a major law firm.

As a Rotary Foundation Scholar in Europe, Lari completed programs at the International Faculty of Comparative Law in Strasburg, France and at The Hague Academy in Holland in Private International Law.

Lari returned to Miami after his European studies and worked as an attorney with a major law firm specializing in commercial law. He joined the Department of State in 1986 and has served at U.S. embassies and consulates in Peru, Northern Ireland, London, Bilbao, Madrid, Bosnia, Florence, and Greece. His Washington assignments include Senior Desk Officer for El Salvador, Senior Advisor in the Office of Foreign Missions responsible for foreign diplomats in the U.S., and the creator and chief of a new Regulatory Compliance Unit responsible for the massive international visitor exchange program. Although his career has included work in all specialty areas of the Foreign Service, including management, political affairs, commercial matters, public diplomacy, and economics, Lari is a consular officer.

At FIU, Lari is also a visiting professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations teaching the popular Diplomacy course. This year, Lari was awarded the Partnership for Excellent Award which is the highest award given by FIU Career Services to an employer.

In addition to native Spanish, Lari speaks French, Italian, Greek, and English.