Mr. Grijalva has been a student of U.S.-Latin American legal and political interactions for over 30 years. A UCSD graduate with a bachelor of Arts in Political Science and with a Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law, his entire professional career has been focused on U.S.-Latin America business interactions.
The Law Offices of J. Ernesto Grijalva served clients with U.S.-Mexico cross-border business transactions and litigation. In the early 1990’s he became the Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce’s principal spokesperson on NAFTA and International trade issues. In the mid-1990’s he joined the Chamber as VP Legal/International Trade.
In 1998, Ernie was invited to join PriceSmart, Inc., a progeny of Price-Costco. As Sr. VP Legal Affairs Latin America/Caribbean and Chief FCPA Compliance Officer, he was charged with shepherding the legal aspects of PriceSmart’s expansion throughout Central America and then supervising legal matters throughout the Latin America/Caribbean region. In his 20 years with PriceSmart, it grew from operations in 1 country to 13, about 300 employees to 9,000 and about $60 million in annual revenues to over $3 billion. He personally trained thousands of employees on a variety of legal compliance related matters. He served as the Legal Representative of over 30 corporations, serving as President of over 20 PriceSmart subsidiaries and as Secretary or General Manager of a dozen more. He was regularly responsible for subsidiaries corporate/government relations.
His work led to being recognized as a GC Powerlist – The Legal 500 – Most Influential Corporate Counsel in Central America. He is also rated Pre-eminent attorney by Martindale-Hubbell and a certified a Corporate Ethics and Compliance Professional – International.