|United States Ambassador to Argentina|
September 18, 2009 – July 4, 2013
|Preceded by||Earl Wayne|
|Succeeded by||Noah Mamet|
|Born||October 17, 1943|
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
|Education||University of Texas, Austin (BA)|
Columbia University (JD)
Vilma Socorro Martínez (born October 17, 1943) is an American lawyer, civil rights activist and diplomat who formerly served as the U.S. Ambassador to Argentina (2009-2013).
Vilma Socorro Martínez was born to Marina and Salvador Martínez, a Mexican American couple living in San Antonio, Texas. She studied at the University of Texas at Austin. After receiving her bachelor's degree, Martínez went on to Columbia Law School and graduated in 1967.
Vilma Socorro Martínez then joined the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF). At LDF, she defended a number of poor and minority clients. She also served as the attorney for the petitioner in the case of Griggs v. Duke Power Company, a landmark action that ultimately went before the U.S. Supreme Court and helped establish the doctrine of affirmative action. In 1970, Martínez became an equal opportunity counselor for the New York State Division of Human Rights, where, she created new rules and procedures governing the rights of employees.
In 1971 she joined the firm of Cahill, Gordon & Reindel in New York City, where she worked as a labor lawyer. She was among the first women to join the board of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). Soon afterward, in 1973, Martínez was hired as the advocacy organization's general counsel and president. She directed a program to help secure an extension of the Voting Rights Act to include Mexican Americans among the groups it protected. In 1975, Congress agreed to extend the existing provisions of the Voting Rights Act to include Mexican Americans. Martínez also helped obtain a 1974 ruling guaranteeing that non-English-speaking children in public schools could obtain bilingual education and participated in a number of other activities on behalf of Mexican Americans.
From 1977 to 1981, Vilma Socorro Martínez joined an advisory board that reviewed appointments to ambassadorial positions around the world. In 1982, Vilma Socorro Martínez became a partner at the law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson, specializing in resolving labor disputes. Since the 1990s, she was a consultant to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and a lawyer delegate to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference.
US ambassador to Argentina
In 2009, Vilma Socorro Martínez was named United States Ambassador to Argentina, the first woman to represent the United States in Buenos Aires as ambassador. She had never been to Argentina before accepting the position. Her role included the diplomatic management of the NASA-CONAE project that launched the SAC-D satellite into space, She ended her tenure in Argentina on July 4, 2013.
In a cable leaked by WikiLeaks, she described Mauricio Macri, who intended to run for the 2011 elections, as "uneducated". Il also appeared that he asked Vilma Socorro Martínez to be stiffer with then-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
- 1976-1990: Board of Regents of the University of California (and Chairman from 1984 to 1986)
- 1983-2007: Director of the board of Anheuser-Busch (first corporate donor to MALDEF)
- 1993: Director of the board of Fluor
- 1998: Director of the board Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad
- 1998: Director of the board of Shell Oil
- Director of the board of Sanwa Bank California
- Director of the board of Bank of the West
- Member of Washington D.C. based think tank the Inter-American Dialogue
- Member of Walmart's Employment Advisory Panel
- 1976: Samuel S. Beard Award for Greatest Public Service by an Individual 35 Years or Under, by the Jefferson Awards for Public Service.
- 1988: Distinguished Alumnus Award by the University of Texas
- American Bar Association's Margaret Brent Award
- Columbia University Medal for Excellence
- 2013: Grand Cross of the Order of May
Vilma Socorro Martínez is married to an attorney, Stuart Singer, and has two sons, Carlos and Ricardo.
- "Ambassador to Argentina: Who is Vilma Martínez?". Allgov.com. 9 August 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
- Buenos Aires Herald: US Committee to approve Vilma Martínez as new ambassador to Argentina
- U.S. Embassy: Credentials presentation
- Juliet Eilperin (14 February 2014). "Obama ambassador nominees prompt an uproar with bungled answers, lack of ties". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
- "US ambassador says bilateral relationship 'has been strengthened'". Buenos Aires Herald.
- "Ambassador Martinez Farewell ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs". Embassy of the United States in Argentina. Archived from the original on 2013-08-22. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- Martin Dinatale (5 July 2013). "La embajadora de EE.UU. se despidió con una crítica". Lanacion.com.ar. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
- "El día que Assange reveló la conexión Macri-Embajada de USA". Eldestapeweb.com. 11 April 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
- Santiago O’Donnell (21 February 2011). "Un socorro pedido a Vilma Socorro Martínez". Pagina12.com.ar. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
- "Inter-American Dialogue | Vilma Martínez". www.thedialogue.org. Retrieved 2017-04-12.
- "National - Jefferson Awards Foundation". Jefferson Awards Foundation. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
- InfoLeg Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine official Legislative information website of the government of Argentina (in spanish)
| U.S. Ambassador to Argentina