It’s been a whirlwind career for Carlos Dos Santos, who has represented his native Mozambique in such locations as the United Kingdom, Germany, Zimbabwe, Washington, D.C., and New York City.
“All of my postings have been of great importance to my country,” says Mr. Dos Santos, a career diplomat who currently serves as Mozambique’s ambassador to the U.S. and high commissioner to Canada. “I must be doing a good job,” he laughs, “since they keep sending me to all of these wonderful places!”
Life as a diplomat came about unexpectedly for Dos Santos. When he was 19, his parents informed him that they could no longer afford to send him to his technical school. To stay on track, he found an opportunity in Mozambique’s foreign affairs office, which allowed him to simultaneously work and finish his education in six years.
“It’s funny how things work out,” he muses. “I started out at a technical school but ended up becoming a diplomat by chance. Fortunately, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
Dos Santos continued working in the foreign affairs office and, while serving as Mozambique’s ambassador to the UN in the 1990s, saw an advertisement for Baruch in the New York Times. He had been looking to enhance his management skills, and the Zicklin School’s Executive MBA program appealed to him because “it was both a rigorous education and flexible for professionals,” he notes.
Today, he exercises those management skills as U.S. ambassador—a post he has held since January 2016 and a role in which he has come to learn that there’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ day. “Sometimes I may be meeting with congressmen,” he says. “Other days I’m attending energy conferences. I may meet with NGOs, business leaders, colleagues. Each day is different.”
—Gregory M. Leporati