Panama native, former PanCanal pilot rises
through the US Coast Guard officer corps
Wilbur A. Velarde was born in Panama, got some of his formal education at the Colegio Episcopal de Panama, worked as a Panama Canal pilot, lived in Gamboa (where his first child was born) and has immediate family members in Panama City and Las Uvas de San Carlos. He’s one of those Panagringos who has achieved distinction serving the United States and continues to do so. A diplomat in his “regular job” and an officer in the US Coast Guard Reserve, effective April 1 Velarde will be a Captain (O-6) when he wears the uniform.
After Colegio Episcopal, Velarde studied at the Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific, where he got his international baccalaureate. In his higher education he got his bachelor’s of science degree in marine engineering at the US Coast Guard Academy and got master’s degrees from Eastern Connecticut State University (organizational management) and the Naval War College (national security and strategic studies).
With the Coast Guard Reserve Velarde works at the Office of International Affairs and Foreign Policy Advisor. In his civilian job at the US State Department he is a foreign service officer assigned to the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.
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