Ambassador Claro Suarez Cristobal is a career diplomat with the rank of Chief of Mission I. He was designated Director-General of the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) by President Benigno S. Aquino III on 2 July 2015.

Before serving as the Head of the Institute, he was the Philippine Ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt from December 2011 to June 2015. He was also Consul General of the Philippines in Hong Kong from April 2009 to December 2011. He also served as Minister and Consul General at the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo from September 2002 to January 2007. His other foreign assignments include the following: Minister, Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York from 2000 to 2002; Consul, Philippine Consulate General in New York from 1993 to 1997; and Third Secretary then Second Secretary, Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York from 1990 to 1993.

In the Home Office, Ambassador Cristobal served as the Spokesperson of the Department of Foreign Affairs from February 2007 to April 2009, Special Assistant at the Office of the Secretary from 1998 to 2000, Special Assistant at the Office of the Undersecretary for Policy in the latter half of 1997, and Assistant Director at the Office of Asia and Pacific Affairs from 1988 to 1990.

Before joining the Philippine foreign service, Ambassador Cristobal was Professorial Lecturer in Economics at the De la Salle University Manila, Finance Manager at Cocomark, and Instructor in Social Sciences at the University of the Philippines.

Ambassador Cristobal was a Presidential Citation Awardee in 2009 and 2010 and a Gawad Mabini Awardee in 2007 and 2012.

He graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (cum laude) in 1974 and a Master of Arts in Economics in 1979.

Ambassador Cristobal is married and has three sons.