Member Spotlight – Jaime Areizaga-Soto

Jaime-Areizaga-SotoJaime Areizaga-Soto serves as the Deputy Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs of Virginia. Mr. Areizaga-Soto works with Secretary John Harvey (retired Navy Admiral) in advising Governor McAuliffe on all matters related to the around 800,000 Virginia veterans and in ensuring that a productive relationship is maintained between the Commonwealth and all Department of Defense (DoD) assets in Virginia. The Secretariat leads Governor’s McAuliffe’s initiatives to ensure Virginia remains DoD’s base and installation location of choice and is the most “military-friendly” state in the Nation.

Mr. Areizaga-Soto has served as an Army National Guard JAG for almost 20 years, holds the rank of Colonel and is the commander of a Judge Advocate Detachment. In 2013 he was called to active duty to attend the war college course in Fort McNair, where his fellow senior officers from the various U.S. services and 15 other nations elected him Class President.

Mr. Areizaga-Soto holds a Masters of Science in Security and Defense from the Inter-American Defense College, a Mágister from the Academia Nacional de Estudios Políticos y Estratégicos (ANEPE) of Chile, and a juris doctor and Masters of Arts in Latin American Studies from Stanford University. He is a 2009 graduate of the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Political Leaders Program. He serves as Vice President of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), is a lifetime member of the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS), and is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and French.

He is admitted to the practice of law in New York and Washington, DC. He served as a Board Member of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia (HBA-DC) during 2010. In December 2011 he was elected President-Elect of the HBA-DC.

For over 12 years and until 2007, Areizaga-Soto worked as an international lawyer concentrating in the areas of transportation, electricity, and renewable energy. He worked as an attorney for over eight years in the Global Project Finance Group of Clifford Chance out of the São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, New York and Washington offices. His work entailed structuring and negotiating infrastructure projects resulting in the creation of thousands of jobs and social, economic and sustainable development. Before Clifford Chance, he worked with White & Case LLP, Hogan & Hartson LLP, and Paul, Weiss LLP in Washington, DC.

Areizaga-Soto served as the Deputy Director for Hispanic Affairs at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during President Obama's 2012 reelection campaign. His tasks included gaining the support of Latino voters for President Obama in the battleground states. Exit polls indicate that 72-75% of Latinos supported President Obama in the 2012 election. From January 2012 to July 2013, he served as the President of the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia (DLOV), the Hispanic Caucus of the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA). In 2011, he was a candidate for the Virginia State Senate. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in the newly created 31st Senate District, which included parts of Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun County.

From 2010 to 2011, he was appointed by the Obama Administration to serve as a Senior Attorney Advisor in the Office of the General Counsel of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington, DC. During the 2011 Virginia General Assembly session and during the 2010 session, he served as the Advisor to the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus. In 2009, he served as the Principal Advisor for Latino Affairs to the 2009 Democratic candidate for Governor of Virginia.

The Hispanic Bar Association of Virginia congratulates Jaime on his outstanding accomplishments in this Member Spotlight!