One of the top U.S. diplomats and Nearshore Nexus 2015 keynote speaker Francisco Palmieri was recently promoted. Better known as Paco, the LatAm expert and State Department rising star is now the second-ranking official in the Western Hemisphere bureau as he becomes principal deputy assistant secretary. At Nexus last May, he highlighted U.S. initiatives to encourage tech innovation and entrepreneurship in Latin America, including State’s startup competition and education exchange that aims to have 100,000 Latin Americans studying in the U.S. each year by 2020. There are few who know the concerns of Central America and the Caribbean like he does. Palmieri has served in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, and Venezuela, and he previously oversaw $800 million in programs and 1,500 employees in 19 narcotics affairs offices in the hemisphere. With Paco even higher up, the State Department will now be better equipped to make good decisions as it interacts with Latin America.