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UCLA professor nominated to serve as U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica

By Anushka Chakrabarti and Christine Tran

June 15, 2021 3:04 p.m.

UCLA professor Cynthia Ann Telles was nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica on Tuesday. 

Telles is a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine. She was appointed by former President Barack Obama to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars in 2010 and served on the National Advisory Council of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services during the Clinton administration.

Telles is the current director of the UCLA Hispanic Neuropsychiatric Center of Excellence, as well as the director of the UCLA Spanish-Speaking Psychosocial Clinic. She is also a board member of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. 

Her philanthropic contributions include service as the chair of the California Community Foundation and chair of the Board of The California Endowment, the largest health foundation in the state. 

Throughout her academic career, Telles won awards such as the First Annual Achievement Award for Mental Health Public Service, American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program and the Leadership Award from the National Hispanic Medical Association/National Hispanic Health Foundation.

Telles has also served on the Los Angeles World Airports Commission since 2013, after being nominated by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Biden also nominated Julie Chung, Sharon L. Cromer, Troy Damian Fitrell, Thomas R. Nides, Marc Ostfield, Ken Salazar, Julianne Smith and C.B. Sullenberger III for the remaining U.S. ambassador positions.

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Anushka Chakrabarti | News editor
Chakrabarti is currently the 2021-2022 News editor. She was previously the 2020-2021 assistant News editor for the science and health beat, and she was a former contributor for online. She is also a third-year mathematics and economics student at UCLA.
Chakrabarti is currently the 2021-2022 News editor. She was previously the 2020-2021 assistant News editor for the science and health beat, and she was a former contributor for online. She is also a third-year mathematics and economics student at UCLA.
Christine Tran | National news and higher education editor
Tran is the 2021-2022 national news and higher education editor in addition to being a contributor for Enterprise. She is also a fourth-year political science student at UCLA.
Tran is the 2021-2022 national news and higher education editor in addition to being a contributor for Enterprise. She is also a fourth-year political science student at UCLA.
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