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November 2019

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Angola

Joaquim do Espirito Santo became ambassador of Angola to the United States on Sept. 16, 2019, having most recently served as director for Africa, Middle East and Regional Organizations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2011-18). In addition, he was minister-counselor at the Angolan Embassy in France (2004-09) and minister-counselor and chargé d'affaires at the Angolan Embassy in Mexico (2002-04).

Prior to that, Ambassador Espirito Santo was director for Africa and the Middle East (1999-2002) and director for Europe (1997-99) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Other postings include director of the Directorate of International Organizations of the Secretariat of State for Cooperation (1993-95); assistant at the Office of Analysis and Economic Studies (GAEE) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1992-93); general director of the National Cooperative Support Company, LOGITÉCNICA-UEE (1984-91); assistant of the National Economy Planning Chair at the Faculty of Economics (1983-84); and senior technician in the Department of Priority Companies of the Ministry of Planning (1982-84). He was also an instructor at the National Police School "Martyrs of the Kapolo" from 1977 to 1980.

Ambassador Espirito Santo holds a degree in economics from Agostinho Neto University and a master's in political science from the School of Advanced Political Studies in Paris. He speaks fluent Portuguese and French, and is proficient in English, Spanish and some African languages. Ambassador Espirito Santo was born on July 12, 1959, and is married with two children.

France

Philippe Etienne became ambassador of France to the United States on July 8, 2019. He previously held numerous posts within the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, notably as ambassador of France to Romania (2002-05); director of the cabinet of the minister of foreign and European affairs (2007-09); permanent representative of France to the European Union (2009-14); ambassador of France to Germany (2014-17); and, most recently, diplomatic adviser to President Emmanuel Macron (2017-19).

Ambassador Etienne is an expert on the European Union and continental Europe. He has held posts in Moscow, Belgrade, Bucharest, Bonn, Berlin and Brussels. He has also served as an adviser in the cabinet of the minister of foreign affairs on several occasions.

A graduate of the École Normale Supérieure and the Ecole Nationale d'Administration ("Voltaire" Class, 1980), Ambassador Etienne also holds the agrégation (teaching diploma) in mathematics, has a degree in economics and is a graduate of the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations (Serbo-Croatian).

He speaks English, German, Spanish, Russian and Romanian. He is also an Officer of the Legion of Honor and a Commander of the National Order of Merit.

Iceland

Bergdís Ellertsdóttir became ambassador of Iceland to the United States on Sept. 16, 2019, having most recently served as Iceland's permanent representative to the United Nations since 2018. In addition, she was head of the Icelandic Mission to the European Union from 2014 to 2018, during which time she also served as ambassador to Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland and San Marino.

Ambassador Ellertsdóttir also worked in the Directorate for Trade and Economic Affairs as director of international trade negotiations and chief negotiator for the Iceland-China Free Trade Agreement (2012); deputy secretary-general with the European Free Trade Association in Brussels (2007-12); director general for international security and development cooperation affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2007); and foreign affairs advisor the prime minister of Iceland (2005-06).

She also served as head of European affairs and deputy director general of the Trade Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2003-04) and deputy director of the Political Department dealing with security issues, NATO and bilateral relations with the U.S., Canada and Russia (2000-03).

Other postings include political officer at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels (1998-2000); deputy head of mission at the Icelandic Embassy in Bonn with accreditation to Switzerland, Austria and the OSCE (1995-98); and first secretary in the Trade Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1991-95).

Ambassador Ellertsdóttir holds a bachelor's degree in political science and English from the University of Iceland and a master's in European studies from the University of Essex in Britain. She is married with four children.

Jordan

Ali Arabiyat became deputy chief of mission of the Embassy of Jordan in August, having previously served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and postings in Germany, South Korea and Egypt.

Latvia

Māris Selga became ambassador of Latvia to the United States on Sept. 16, 2019, having most recently served as Latvia's ambassador to China, with nonresident accreditation to Mongolia, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates (2016-19). From 2012 to 2016, Ambassador Selga was ambassador and head of the Consular and Diplomatic Facilities Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was also permanent representative to the African Union (2012-13), ambassador to Egypt (2008-12), and ambassador to the League of Arab States, with concurrent accreditation to Jordan (2008-13). From 2004 to 2008, he was counselor and deputy chief of mission at the Latvian Embassy in the U.S., and from 1997 to 2000, he was first secretary at the Latvian Embassy in Denmark.

Ambassador Selga has also held various posts at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including director of the Second Political Department (2002-04); counselor and European correspondent at the Third Political Directorate (2000-02); counselor at the Policy Planning Group (1997); head of the Americas and Australia Division (1995-97); and advisor at the Policy Planning Group (1994-95). From 1988 to 1993, he was a teacher and laboratory assistant at Riga Secondary School No. 39.

Ambassador Selga graduated from the Faculty of History and Philosophy at the University of Latvia, where he obtained his Ph.D. from the Department of Political Sciences. He has also studied at the Geneva Centre for Security Studies, the Department of War Studies at King's College London and at Aarhus University in Denmark.

Born Oct. 31, 1966, in Latvia, Ambassador Selga speaks English, Russian and Danish.

Luxembourg

Gaston Stronck became ambassador of Luxembourg to the United States on Sept. 16, 2019. He previously served as the secretary-general of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (2017-19) and director for European affairs and international economic relations at the ministry (2014-17). In addition, he was Luxembourg's ambassador to India (2011-14); ambassador to Russia, with nonresident accreditation to Kazakhstan and Belarus (2007-11); and ambassador to Denmark, with nonresident accreditation to Finland, Norway and Sweden (2003-07).

Ambassador Stronck also served as permanent representative of Luxembourg to the Political and Security Committee (PSC) of the European Union (2000-03); permanent representative (2000-03) and deputy permanent representative (1995-2000) to the Western European Union (WEU); and deputy director for development cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1993-95). From 1986 to 1989, he was a lecturer at the European Institute of Public Administration in Maastricht and from 1983 to 1986, he was an officer in the Luxembourg Army.

Ambassador Stronck holds a master's degree in social and military sciences from the Royal Military Academy in Brussels and a Ph.D. in history and defense studies from the Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier III. He is fluent in Luxembourgish, French, German and English, and has a working knowledge of Russian, Dutch and Danish. Ambassador Stronck is married to Monika Langer and has two adult children, Catherine and Pierre.

Panama

Juan Ricardo De Dianous became ambassador of Panama to the United States on Sept. 16, 2019, after a long career in business and banking. Ambassador De Dianous most recently served as the CEO and executive vice president of Banvivienda Bank in Panama. In 2004, he was nominated by former President Martin Torrijos to serve as general manager of the National Bank of Panama for a tenure of five years. Prior to that, Ambassador De Dianous was an integral part of the international expansion of the Elektra Group in Mexico, where he held the position of vice president, advisor and financial consultant. In 2001, he served as general manager for Banco Santander. He has also held various prominent roles with Citibank, including vice president of corporate banking in Guadalajara, Mexico; vice president of corporate banking and the public sector in Mexico City; as well as leadership positions in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

Throughout his career, Ambassador De Dianous actively participated in various nongovernmental and trade organizations, including the Mexican Institute of Finance Executives, the Dominican Association of Foreign Investment Companies, the Dominican-Panamanian Chamber of Commerce, the Directory of Commercial Banks in the Dominican Republic, the Venezuelan-American Chamber of Commerce in Caracas, the 20-30 Club of Panama and the Panamanian Banking Association.

Ambassador De Dianous was born in the city of David, Chiriqui, in Panama. He completed his high school education in the U.S. at St. Stanislaus College in Mississippi and finished his bachelor's degree in business administration with minors in finance and aarketing at the University of Southwestern in Louisiana.

Ambassador De Dianous has been married for 45 years to his wife Maria Eugenia Rodriguez and together they have two children.

Switzerland

Jacques Pitteloud because ambassador of Switzerland to the United States on Sept. 16, 2019, having most recently served as director general of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs since 2015. There, he oversaw a budget of $3 billion and was responsible for human resources, running IT and communications for the whole ministry and heading legal and translation services.

Ambassador Pitteloud joined the Swiss Foreign Service in 1987 and first assigned as an advisor to the foreign minister. From 1988 to 1989, he served as a trade attaché at the Swiss Embassy in Saudi Arabia, and from 1990 to 1995, he served in the Swiss Strategic Intelligence Service. Following his service there, he acted as a personal advisor (general staff matters and intelligence) to two successive defense ministers until 1999, after which time he served as the head of a study group tasked with developing the future structures of the Swiss Armed Forces.

After having witnessed the Rwanda Genocide in 1994, Ambassador Pitteloud created an organization dedicated to hunting down and bringing to justice perpetrators of the genocide, several of whom were prosecuted by international and domestic courts.

Ambassador Pitteloud then served as the first Intelligence coordinator for the Swiss government from 2000 to 2005 and then as director of arms control, disarmament, security policy and intelligence at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bern, where he also headed the Swiss Delegation to the Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

From 2010 to 2015, he was the Swiss ambassador to Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia and the Seychelles.

Last Edited on October 31, 2019