Capricia Marshall joins Atlantic Council’s Arsht Latin America Center

October 2, 2013
Ambassador Capricia Penavic Marshall, greets all the Diplomats and Ambassadors attending the Global Chiefs of Protocol Conference at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. on July 04, 2012. (Photo by: Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)
Capricia Marshall at the Global Chiefs of Protocol Conference at the State Department in 2012. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

Capricia Marshall has been working on her Spanish. It’s pretty good: Her Mexican mother used English at home, but her grandmother spoke a hybrid Spanglish.

“I’m not technically fluent, but I have a pretty good grasp,” she told us. “And I’m working on it — me and Rosetta Stone.”

Good timing, because the former chief of protocol and longtime Hillaryland insider just landed a job as ambassador-in-residence at the Atlantic Council’s new Arsht Latin American Center. The first-generation American (half Mexican, half Croatian) will focus on Hispanic Americans and U.S. policy in Central and South America.

After years of constant travel and state visits, Marshall, 49, left the Obama administration in August for some much-needed down time — and a chance to spend more time with her teenage son. The Atlantic Council announcement went out Wednesday morning. (We reached Marshall at a football game, where she was cheering on her kid.)

“It’s a way for me to stay engaged in international affairs” she said of the gig.


Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan  and Marshall arriving at the West Wing in May. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

The Latin American Center is the latest initiative by the international think tank, thanks to a $5 million gift this spring from businesswoman Adrienne Arsht. Arsht joined the Atlantic Council board to diversify the clubby, male-dominated ambience, and she established the center because of her close ties to the Hispanic community. “She wanted this to grow and to bring more women in,” said Marshall.

The new job is largely undefined (lots of writing, studies, speaking — classic think tank stuff) and will draw on Marshall’s political and diplomatic expertise as a former White House social secretary, longtime Clinton insider and ambassador for President Obama; she coordinated state visits here and abroad.

The new job, officially a fellowship, allows Marshall to stay in the policy game and still be a sideline mom if/until Team Hillary reboots for 2016.

Until then, there’s time to hang out in the stands: “Sidwell is winning. Yay!”

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