David MacNaughton became ambassador of Canada to the United States on March 2, 2016. In the 1980s, Ambassador MacNaughton, a seasoned entrepreneur and political strategist, transformed the public affairs industry by building an organization that comprised of government relations, public opinion research and public relations. After selling his business in 1989, he became president of Canada’s largest government and public relations firm and subsequently North American president of the world’s largest public relations firm. From 1995 to 2003, Ambassador MacNaughton was president of Strathshore Financial and was an advisor to one of Canada’s leading investment banks. His public sector experience includes work at both the federal and provincial levels, including as advisor to the minister at the Departments of Transport, Industry and Foreign Affairs. He was principal secretary to the premier of Ontario from 2003 to 2005 and chairman of StrategyCorp from 2005 until his current appointment. Active in community affairs, Ambassador MacNaughton has served on the boards of the North York General Hospital, the Stratford Festival, the National Ski Academy, TV Ontario, the Toronto French School and the Toronto International Film Festival. He is married and has four daughters.
Mohamed Siad Douale became ambassador of Djibouti to the United States on Jan. 28, 2016, having previously served as ambassador to the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and Switzerland. Prior to that, Ambassador Douale served as a special envoy to the Somali peace process as a member of the Facilitation Committee of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) countries. He also worked on behalf of the African Group as vice chairman of the Council of Human Rights and as vice president of the Council of Trade and Development (UNCTAD) at the 54th session. Upon his arrival in Switzerland in 2006, Ambassador Douale was involved in negotiations on institutional building of the Council of Human Rights. He also served as president of the Francophone Ambassadors Group (2009) and was elected chairman of the working group for the effective implementation of the Declaration and the Plan of Action of Durban for four consecutive years (2009-12). In this capacity, he participated in the high-level panel held in New York in September 2011 to re-mobilize the political will of states to combat racism, leading the group’s work that that resulted in the program of action for people of African descent. Ambassador Douale was elected president of the Development and Intellectual Property Committee (PIAC) in 2012 and re-elected in 2013. He was also elected chairman of the advisory committee of the group for election of mandate holders for the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the 7th cycle, during three sessions of the Council of Human Rights (2013).
Armando Varricchio became ambassador of Italy to the United States on March 2, 2016. He previously served as diplomatic advisor and G7/G20 sherpa for the Italian prime minister (2013); deputy secretary-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2012-13); ambassador to Serbia (2009-12); and minister plenipotentiary-deputy diplomatic advisor to the Italian president (2006-09). He also previously worked in Washington, D.C., at the Italian Embassy as first counselor and head of the Economic, Trade and Scientific Affairs Section (2002-06). Other posts include diplomatic advisor to the president of the European Commission and personal representative at the G7/G8 summits in Okinawa, Genoa and Kananaskis (1999-2002); chief of staff to the minister for European affairs (1998-99); and counselor at the Prime Minister’s Office and head of the Europe and Asia Desk (1996-98). Ambassador Varricchio, who joined the civil service in 1986, also served as first secretary at the Italian Mission to the European Commission (1992-96) and second secretary at the Italian Embassy in Hungary (1986-92). Born in Venice on June 13, 1961, Ambassador Varricchio holds a master’s degree (summa cum laude) in international relations from the University of Padua. He is married to Micaela Barbagallo and has two sons, Federico and Umberto.
Pierre Clive Agius became ambassador of Malta to the United States on March 2, 2016. A career diplomat, he previously served as Malta’s ambassador to Poland (2013-16), France and Monaco (2012-13). In 2008, he was appointed ambassador to Belgium and to Luxembourg in 2009, during which time he also served as ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In December 2007, he was appointed special envoy of Malta to the Slovenian presidency of the European Union in Ljubljana. Ambassador Agius joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1993 as a first secretary and two years later served his first posting at the Maltese Embassy in Paris. In 1999, he was posted to Geneva at the Permanent Mission of Malta to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations. During this term, he served also as consul general of Malta with jurisdiction over the Swiss cantons of Bern, Fribourg, Vaud and Jura; in 2000, he became counselor. On his return to Valletta in 2002, Ambassador Agius became diplomatic counselor to the president of Malta until 2004, when he moved to the Embassy of Malta in Austria. There, he served as deputy head of mission at the Permanent Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the United Nations Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency and other international organizations. Born in Malta on Oct. 21, 1965, Ambassador Agius holds a master’s in diplomatic studies from the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta. He also obtained a post-graduate diploma in environmental management and graduated from the University of Malta with honors after completing his bachelor’s in education. Ambassador Agius is fluent in Maltese, English, Italian and French and proficient in Slovene and Arabic. He is married with two daughters.