“Where trade crosses borders, armies do not.”
-Cordell Hull, Secretary of State under President Franklin D. Roosevelt
The Consular Corps of Arizona is the premier Diplomatic organization in the State of Arizona, comprised of 35 Diplomats appointed by their respective Head of State and duly accredited by the United States Department of State. In addition, it includes 11 Emeritus Consuls who have completed a minimum of five years of active service in Arizona. They have been extended honorary life membership by a majority vote of the members of the Consular Corps of Arizona. The membership of the Consular Corps of Arizona includes a diverse group of highly accomplished men and women, often strong pillars in the community where they reside. Equally important, they all share an unwavering passion and commitment to the state of Arizona and the country they represent.
In addition, the Consular Corps of Arizona is supported by a prominent Board of Advisors. Despite the depth and expertise within the Consular Corps, we acknowledge and honor the credibility and prominence of other community members who can lend their talent and expertise to advance our mission. We believe that true synergy occurs when we combine our skills, abilities and passion and at the end the benefits are greater for both, Arizona and for our respective countries.
To advance the Mission and Vision of the Consular Corps of Arizona, the incoming Executive Board for the 2019-2020 period has selected the following initiatives:
• Economic Diplomacy
• The Ambassador Ball benefiting the Scholarship Fund
• Political Protocol
• Educational Cultural Programs
The Consular Corps of Arizona shall become the state’s leading international organization for its service to and engagement in the community, in conjunction with the goal of the nations represented by its members.
The mission of the Consular Corps of Arizona is to provide a forum for the accredited Consuls in Arizona by supporting fellow Consuls and Consulates in their respective diplomatic outreach, by building relationships with governments and community, and fostering business, educational and cultural endeavors.
History of the Arizona Consular Corps
Honorary Consuls are appointed by their respective countries and approved by the U.S. Department of State. The first Honorary Consul appointed in Arizona was Joseph E. Refsnes. He was appointed in 1949, representing Norway. This happened at a time when NATO was training cadets from other countries at Williams and Luke Fields. Paul Coze was appointed Honorary Vice Consul of France in 1951, Rudy Zepada was appointed the first Honorary Consul of Belgium in 1952, Foster Mori was appointed Honorary Consular Agent of Italy in 1957, and Robert C. Kelso was appointed Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1961. The preceding five consuls formed the Consular Corps of Arizona in 1961, electing Rudy Zepada as Chairman, Foster Mori as Vice-Chairman, and Robert Kelso as Secretary-Treasurer. Robert P. LeMarr., representing Ecuador, joined the Consular Corps in 1963, while Dr. Ingel Anderson, representing Sweden, joined the Corps in 1967. Both Consul Anderson and Consul LeMarr subsequently served as Chairman. The main social event of the year is the Ambassadors' Ball, with net proceeds benefiting the Consular Corps of Arizona Scholarship Fund, which is currently designated for students of Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University. The majority of Honorary Consuls serve without pay, and indeed pay their own expenses. At the same time, many of the Honorary Consuls have the same duties as career diplomats. Most important, the Consular Corps members work together in an enviable manner to support each other in this increasingly integrated world.
To learn more about the Arizona Consular Corps visit our main website.