A graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, Robert Paiva spent nearly all his professional career directly involved in migration. During his 10-year stint in the United States Foreign Service, his assignments in Tegucigalpa, Abidjan and Geneva covered a broad and varied range of immigration and refugee issues. Mr. Paiva also volunteered for temporary duty in the United States' 1979-80 emergency resettlement effort for Indochinese boat people, serving in Malaysia and Hong Kong. After joining the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in 1985, he held senior positions in Geneva, New York and San Jose which involved him directly in some of the most significant policy and operational challenges that international migration has seen in recent decades. Prior to his retirement in October 2014, Mr. Paiva was the Director of IOM's Regional Office for Central and North America and the Caribbean in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Having contributed to the creation of USAIM in the 1980s, Mr. Paiva's involvement came full circle when he became a member of the USAIM Board in December 2014.
Mr. Paiva and his wife Nouanenith (nee Luangpraseuth), another Georgetown graduate, divide their time between their Florida base and New York. They have two daughters who live in New York.