Yolanda Macias-Cottrell was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. She worked at the U.S. Consulate General in Guadalajara for 13 years in the American Citizen Services section. She has been married to a Foreign Service Officer for 15 years.
As a Foreign Service Spouse she has accompanied her husband to Venezuela, the Philippines, Canada, Russia and South Africa. In St. Petersburg, Russia she worked as the Office Manager in the Regional Security Office.
During her time overseas, she has always been involved in volunteer activities, including the Link Literacy project in Johannesburg, South Africa, a project to help improve the reading of children in low income communities for whom English is a second or third language.
Yolanda has a Certificate in Management of Tourism Enterprises.