Leonidas Pantelides became ambassador of Cyprus to the United States on June 27, 2016. Ambassador Pantelides previously served as first deputy permanent secretary/director of the Middle East and North Africa Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2013-16); ambassador/permanent representative of Cyprus to the United Nations in Geneva (2011-13); and head of the Diplomatic Office of the President of the Republic (2008-11). In addition, he was the Cypriot ambassador to Russia, with parallel accreditation to Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus (2004-08); ambassador to Greece, with accreditation to Albania, Bulgaria and Romania (2001-04); and ambassador to Sweden with accreditation to Iceland, Norway, Latvia and Denmark (1998-2001). Other postings include director of the Office of the Foreign Minister (1997-98); director of the Office of the Permanent Secretary (1996-97); member of the presidential working team during the U.N.-sponsored intercommunal negotiations (1993-98); and first secretary at the Cypriot Embassy in Washington, D.C. (1989-93). Ambassador Pantelides studied philosophy and holds a Ph.D. from the Interdisciplinary Studies Department of the University of Kent in England (1983). The subject of his doctoral dissertation was the concept of time. He has taught international affairs as a part-time professor and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Diplomatic Academy at the University of Nicosia. The author of a book on philosophy, Ambassador Pantelides was born in Nicosia on Jan. 11, 1953, and is the father of four grown children.
Theoharis (Haris) Lalakos became ambassador of Greece to the United States on June 27, 2016, having previously served as ambassador and head of the Liaison Office of the Hellenic Republic in Macedonia since January 2013. Ambassador Lalakos also previously served as minister-counselor, deputy head of mission and later chargé d’affaires of the Greek Embassy in Turkey (2010-13); head of the CFSP / ESDP Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2009-10); and deputy head of the diplomatic cabinet of the minister of foreign affairs (2007-09). Other postings include consul general of Greece in Alexandria, Egypt (2004-07), and political affairs counselor at the Embassy of Greece in Washington, D.C., where his main duties included EU-U.S. relations, Cyprus, Turkey, NATO and the Balkans (2000-04). From 1998 to 2000, he directed the cabinet of Dr. P. Roumeliotis, the European Union coordinator for the Royaumont Process for Stability and Good Neighborliness in South East Europe and, subsequently, was chairman of the Working Table on Democratization and Human Rights of the Stability Pact for South East Europe. In addition, he served as first secretary and later counselor for political and economic affairs at the Greek Embassy in Turkey (1994-98), as well as consul at the Greek Consulate General in Sydney, Australia (1990-94). Ambassador Lalakos was also a conscript in the Hellenic Navy from 1983 to 1985, after which he the joined the Hellenic Foreign Service. Born in Athens on May 2, 1957, he earned a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in history from Amherst College in Massachusetts and a master’s in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Besides Greek, he speaks English and French and is conversant in Spanish and Italian. Ambassador Lalakos is married to Anna Michalopoulou and they have two children, Errikos and Myrto.
Marithza Ruiz Sanchez de Vielman became ambassador of Guatemala to the United States on June 27, 2016. Ambassador Ruiz de Vielman has acted as special adviser to the minister of foreign affairs since 1996 on a number of issues. As member of the Belize Commission, she is involved in the preparatory work to file Guatemala’s complaint before the International Court of Justice, when all requirements have been met. In 2003, Ambassador Ruiz de Vielman participated in the drafting and negotiations between Guatemala and the Organization of the United Nations to establish an International Commission to investigate violations of Human Rights as provided in Guatemala ́s Peace Accords. She ran as the vice presidential candidate in the political campaign of Eduardo Suger in 2003. From 2000 to 2003, she served as ambassador of Guatemala to the United Kingdom. She was also permanent representative to the International Coffee Organization, the International Sugar Organization and the International Maritime Organization. In 1994 and 1995, Ambassador Ruiz de Vielman served as minister of foreign affairs of Guatemala, before which she participated as Guatemala ‘s negotiator in the Uruguay Round to establish the World Trade Organization. Before joining the public sector, Ambassador Ruiz de Vielman practiced law as an independent litigator in civil, constitutional and trade law cases. For over 10 years, she worked as a civil law professor at Universidad Rafael Landivar. In 2002, she taught one semester at the London School of Economics on foreign trade issues to be advanced by developing countries, in addition to teaching several seminars to Latin American and Caribbean negotiators on the dispute settlement system of the WTO. She also presented the banana dispute to a special session of the D.C. American Bar Association. Ambassador Ruiz de Vielman earned her degree as a law attorney and public notary and a bachelor’s in social and legal sciences from the University Rafael Landivar of Guatemala.
Dina Kawar became ambassador of Jordan to the United States on June 27, 1016, having previously served as permanent representative to the United Nations since 2014. She led the Jordanian delegation during Jordan’s nonpermanent membership of the U.N. Security Council from 2014 to 2015 and became the first Arab woman to ever preside over the council. In February 2016, she was appointed by the president of the General Assembly as a co-facilitator for the high-level meeting of the plenary of the General Assembly on the large movement of refugees and migrants to take place in September 2016. Prior to her position in New York, Ambassador Kawar served as Jordan’s ambassador to France from 2001 to 2013, with concurrent accreditation to the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and to the Holy See since 2002. She also served as nonresident ambassador to Portugal from 2005 to 2013. Ambassador Kawar holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Mills College, both in the United States. She attended Harvard’s Center for International Affairs from 1986 to 1987. She speaks Arabic, French and English.
Carlos Manuel Sada Solana became ambassador of Mexico to the United States on June 27, 2016, having previously served as consul general of Mexico in Los Angeles since 2013. Ambassador Sada Solana also previously served as Mexico’s consul general in New York (2011-13); minister at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C. (2007-11); consul general in Chicago (2000-07); consul general in San Antonio (1995-2000); and consul general in Toronto (1989-92). In addition, he was advisor to the undersecretary of education and technological research at the Secretariat of Public Education (1980-81); executive member-at-large of the Public Investment Planning and Control Commission of the government of the state of Oaxaca (1982-83); secretary of state programs for the government of Oaxaca (1983-86); secretary of economic and social development of Oaxaca (1986-89); and municipal president of Oaxaca de Juárez (1993-95). Born in Oaxaca on Aug. 15, 1952, Ambassador Sada Solana is an industrial engineer with a degree from the Ibero-American University. He also did postgraduate studies in production systems development at the University of Newcastle in England; in economic development at the University of Delft in the Netherlands; and in industrial development at the Institute of Public Administration in The Hague. Ambassador Sada Solana is fluent in English and proficient in French.
Panupat Chavananikul became first secretary at the Embassy of Thailand on June 17, 2016.
Banarasi Koananthkul departed the post of first secretary on June 30, 2016.
Suchada Maktara departed the post of counselor on June 30, 2016.
Patreya Wattanasin became first secretary at the Embassy of Thailand on June 17, 2016.