Gaddi H. Vasquez is the descendant of migrant farm workers who instilled in him a strong work ethic and the value of serving others. He was the first member of his family to earn a college degree and has been a lifelong advocate against world hunger, disease and poverty.
Before retiring, he was senior vice president of government affairs for Edison International and Southern California Edison, one of the nation's largest investor-owned utilities. He was responsible for government relations activities at the federal and state level, as well as local public affairs.
From 2006 to 2009, Gaddi H. Vasquez served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Organizations in Rome, Italy, including the World Food Program and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. He led major reform efforts resulting in the adoption of some of the most sweeping changes in the organization's history. From 2002-2006, Ambassador Vasquez served as director of the United States Peace Corps where he led the international volunteer service organization with volunteers and staff serving in 78 countries.
Early in his career, he served as an Orange County supervisor, as chief deputy appointments secretary to Governor George Deukmejian, and as a police officer for the City of Orange. He has served on the President's Commission on White House Fellowships, the California Criminal Justice Council, the California Film Commission, and the board of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund. He serves on the boards of directors of the Public Policy Institute of California, the Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts, the national advisory boards of the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program and of the Salvation Army, the board of trustees of Chapman University, and the board of governors of the Orange County Community Foundation.
Ambassador Vasquez has been named one of Hispanic Business Magazine's top 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States. Ambassador Vasquez is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the recipient of six honorary doctorate degrees.