About the Expert
Paul J. Angelo is a fellow for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). His work focuses on U.S.-Latin American relations, transnational crime, violent actors, military and police reform, and immigration. A former active-duty naval officer, Angelo has extensive experience in military and government service.
Angelo was formerly an International Affairs Fellow at CFR, and in this capacity, he represented the U.S. Department of State as a political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where he managed the ambassador’s security and justice portfolio. In the Political Section, he provided technical assistance to the Honduran police reform commission; supported strategy development and agenda-setting for Afro-descendent, indigenous, and LGBTQ networks to improve civic engagement; and led policy and legal analysis on violence, crime, and migration trends. His previous service in the Navy included tours in a United Kingdom-based NATO position, on board a destroyer deployed to the Asia-Pacific region, and as an instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he taught Spanish and Latin American politics courses.
During his naval career, Angelo deployed to Colombia on three occasions over the course of more than a decade. During his longest mission in Colombia, he served as the U.S. Embassy’s principal liaison to the Colombian military and police in the highly conflictive Pacific coast. He was directly responsible for the planning of inter-agency missions focused on improving local governance, rule of law, and security in support of Plan Colombia, and he spearheaded the coordination and implementation of the Embassy’s largest bilateral humanitarian mission in 2011.
Angelo holds a B.S. in political science (with honors) from the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, an M.Phil. in Latin American studies (with distinction) from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar, and a PhD in politics from University College London. Angelo’s written commentary has appeared in Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, The Hill, and The Miami Herald.
- American Civil Liberties Union of DC, board member
- Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, expert
- U.S. Naval Reserve, foreign area officer