H.E. Mr. Jorge Skinner-Klée Arenales is the newly appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Guatemala to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. He presented his credentials to His Majesty King Willem-Alexander on October 9th, 2019.
Mr. Skinner-Klée Arenales initially pursued a profession in law. After studying at Columbia College in New York, he practiced law at various places in Guatemala City throughout the 1970s and 1980s. These include the Skinner-Klée and Ruiz Law Firm; Licorera Centroamericana; Melazas De Escuintla; Rafael Landivar University; and the country’s judicial institutions. He was an Officer at the 11th Court of Peace, a Secretary at the 1st Traffic Court, and a Bailiff at the Supreme Court of Justice.
In the later years of the 1980s, Mr. Skinner-Klée Arenales continued his education; he earned a degree in Juridical and Social Sciences at Rafael Landivar University in 1984. The following year, he completed his Master’s at Columbia University’s law school in New York. He stayed in the United States (US) for a few more years as he was assigned missions abroad. Mr. Skinner-Klée Arenales was appointed Deputy Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the OAS and then Deputy Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the UN. While holding the latter position, he was also a Legal Counsellor at the Embassy of Guatemala to the US. From this point onward, he would become more involved in diplomatic affairs. After completing his terms in 1987, he pursued a Joint Diploma at Johns Hopkins University before returning home.
Upon his return to Guatemala in 1988, he taught at his alma mater, Rafael Landivar University. He was a professor of Private International Law and Assistant Professor of Public International Law. During these four years, he also took up several positions elsewhere. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), he was briefly an Adviser at the Legal Affairs and Treaties General Directorate. Here he was also promoted to the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in 1989. Afterward, he was an Alternate Delegate to the International Coffee Organization at the National Coffee Association of Guatemala for three years.
During these earlier stages of his career, Mr. Skinner-Klée Arenales released several publications. These include Peaceful Settlement of Disputes and the Contadora Process (1984) and Dichotomy between Human Rights and Economic Development: A Case Study in Guatemala (1985). Additionally, he was the editor of Guatemala’s Consular Service Regulations (1990).
In 1993, Mr. Skinner-Klée Arenales embarked on his first mission abroad as Ambassador. He was the Ambassador of Guatemala to Germany. Following this term, he continued to represent Guatemala in multiple countries over the years. He was the Ambassador to Canada, Belize, and Honduras. In 2003, he finally returned to Guatemala City. During this one year at home, he briefly taught International Relations at Francisco Marroquin University and was Vice Minister at the MOFA. The following year, he was assigned to be in the US again. This time, he took up the position of Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the UN for four years; negotiating the agreement for the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) is one of the many things he completed during this time. In 2008, he transitioned to becoming the Permanent Representative to the OAS and had various undertakings. These include being the President of the Permanent Council, Chair of the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs (CAJP), and the Chair of the Committee on Hemispheric Security (CSH), to name a few.
He left for Brussels in 2012 to become Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg and Chief of Mission to the European Union. Four years later, he returned to his familiar place, New York, to once again be the Permanent Representative to the UN. While holding this position, he was the Regional Vice-President of the UNICEF Executive Board and Chair of the Second Committee (on economic and financial matters), among other things.
Throughout his career, Mr. Skinner-Klée Arenales has received awards for his contribution and efforts. He was bestowed with the Order of Merit by Chile and the Great Merit Cross, Band, and Plaque by Germany.
In addition to English, Mr. Skinner-Klée Arenales is fluent in German and has some proficiency in French and Portuguese.
The diplomat community in The Hague sends a warm welcome to Ambassador Skinner-Klée Arenales and wishes him all the best in his new term.