Emory University graduate and native of Augusta Larry Palmer is the recently appointed U.S. ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.
Previously, Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez, refused Mr. Palmer’s appointment as ambassador to his country, which prompted the U.S. to revoke the visa of Venezuela’s ambassador Bernardo Alvarez Herrera on Dec 28, 2010.
According to the U.S. State Department, Mr. Chavez accused Mr. Palmer of making negative comments about Venezuela to a U.S. senator that morale in the Venezuelan army was low and that members of Mr. Chavez’s government had ties to leftist Colombia rebels.
Mr. Palmer served as U.S. ambassador to Honduras from 2002-05 and as president and CEO of the Washington-based Inter-American Foundation from 2005-10. His overseas posts include the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay, Korea and Sierra Leone.
In his new post, Mr. Palmer serves as ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Prior to joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 1982, Mr. Palmer served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia; as assistant director of financial aid at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.; as a professor of history at Cuttington College in Suakoko, Liberia, and at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, N.C.
In 1989 Mr. Palmer was awarded a Pearson Fellowship, a State Department program for Foreign Service officers who spend a year gaining legislative experience. Under this program he served as assistant to the president of the University of Texas at El Paso advancing the North American Free Trade Agreement and creating faculty and student exchange opportunities in universities throughout Mexico.
He later served as a personnel officer in Seoul, South Korea and then as counselor for administration in the Dominican Republic.
In 1999, he arrived in Quito, Ecuador, to begin his tour as deputy chief of mission and finished his tour there as charge d’affaires.
Mr. Palmer received a bachelor’s degree from Emory University, and a master’s of education from Texas Southern University in Houston and a doctorate in higher education administration and African studies from Indiana University in Bloomington.