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November 2011

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Angola

Alberto do Carmo Bento Ribeiro became ambassador of Angola to the United States on Sept. 9, 2011 becoming Angola's fourth ambassador here since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1993.

From 1990 to 2011, he served as Angola's ambassador to Namibia, Zimbabwe and Germany. After his country's independence, Ribeiro served in various government posts; first as state secretary and minister of industry and energy covering the areas of manufacturing, geology, mining and oil until 1984. He was also a member of the Angolan National Assembly from 1980 to 1986 and a lecturer with the engineering faculty at Agostinho Neto University in Luanda, Angola.

Ribeiro attended the University in Lisbon in Portugal and Aachen, Germany. He is married to Maria Odete Bento Ribeiro.

Estonia

Marina Kaljurand became ambassador of Estonia to the United States on Sept. 6, 2011.

She previously served undersecretary for foreign economic relations and development aid (2008-11), nonresident ambassador to Kazakhstan (2007-11), ambassador to Russia (2005-08), and Estonia's nonresident ambassador to Israel (2004-06). Kaljurand also held the positions of undersecretary for legal and consular affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2002-05), director general of the Legal Department (1999-2001), director of the International Treaties Division (1991-96), third secretary of the Press and Information Department (1991), as well as counselor at the Estonian Embassy in Helsinki (1996-99). In addition, from 1986 to 1991 she was a law lecturer at the Tallinn Economic Technical School. Her professional activities also include serving on government delegations concerning troop withdrawal between Estonian and Russia, as well as negotiations on land and maritime boundary agreements between the two countries. In addition she was the chief negotiator on the accession of Estonia to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and was head of the legal working group dealing with Estonia's accession to the European Union.

Kaljurand earned a Fulbright scholarship and master's degree in international law and diplomacy from the Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy; a professional diploma in international relations from the Estonian School of Diplomacy (1992); and an bachelor's of law cum laude degree from Tartu University (1986). Kaljurand is fluent in Estonian, English and Russian.

Her hobbies include Nordic walking, reading, dogs and badminton. She is a member of the Estonian Scottish Terrier Association and was a national champion in badminton from 1980 to 1991.

She was born in Tallinn, Estonia, in 1962 and is married to Kalle Kaljurand and has a daughter Kaisa, a son Kristjan and a Scottish terrier named Cassandra.

Iceland

Gudmundur Arni Stefansson became ambassador of Iceland to the United States on Oct. 1, 2011, having previously served as ambassador to Sweden since 2005.

The ambassador held a number of political, civic and media positions before joining the Icelandic Foreign Service in September 2005. From 1986 to 1993, he was the mayor of the town of Hafnarfjördur and was vice chairman of the Social Democratic Party (1994-96; 1999), as well as a longtime member of the Central Committee of the Social Democratic Party (1976-99). He was also minister of social affairs in 1994 and minister of health and social security from 1993 to 1994. In addition, Stefansson was chairman of the Icelandic Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (2005), a member of that delegation (1997-2005), and its vice chairman since 1999, as well as a member of the Icelandic Delegation to the Nordic Council (1995-99). He was a member of the Althingi (Iceland's national parliament) for the Reykjanes Constituency (1993-2003) and the Southwest Constituency (2003-05), and he was fourth vice president of the Althingi (1995-99) and the body's first vice president (1999-2005). In addition, he's been a member of a number of committees, including the Committee on Agriculture (1999-2001); Transport and Communications (1995-99); Foreign Affairs (1994-95 and 2003); Industry (1995-96); and the Committee on Economy and Trade (1994-95). A journalist during the 1970s and 1980s, Stefansson worked as a radio producer at the Icelandic State Broadcasting Service; editor, deputy editor and reporter for the daily newspaper Althýdubladid; reporter for the weekly newspaper Helgarpósturinn; and as a media advisor. He was also police officer in Reykjavik in the late 1970s and chairman of the FH-Hafnarfjördur football club since 1999.

Stefansson graduated from the University of Iceland with a degree in political science in 1980.

He is married to Jóna Dóra Karlsdóttir.

Peru

Harold Winston Forsyth became Ambassador of Peru to the United States on Aug. 29, 2011 having most recently served as Peru's ambassador to China since 2009.

He has also served as ambassador of Peru to San Marino and Turkey (2005-06), to Italy (2004-06) and to Colombia (2001-04). In addition, Forsyth was advisor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2006-09), vice minister secretary-general of foreign affairs (2006), and permanent representative of Peru to various international organizations with headquarters in Rome (2004-06), including the Food and Agriculture Organization, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Food Program. Forsyth was also an elected congressman in Peru from 1995 to 2000, during which time he served on the Committee of Defense, Internal Control and Intelligence as well as the Committee of Foreign Affairs. He was founding member of the Democratic Forum and of the Civil Association of Electoral Verification "Transparency," serving as an international observer of elections in Colombia (1994; 1998), Mexico (1994), Guatemala (1995) and Nicaragua (1996). Other positions Forsyth has held include: minister-counselor at the Peruvian Embassy in Germany (1990-92); counselor at the Peruvian Embassy in Canada (1987-89); under-director of Latin-American Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru (1986); first secretary, chief of evaluation and control of the Diplomatic Academy of Peru (1984-85); chief of cabinet of the permanent secretary of the Latin-American Economic System (1982-84); and postings at the Peruvian Embassies in Venezuela (1980-82), Bulgaria (1978-79) and Chile (1977–78). Forsyth studied journalism at Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and international relations and diplomacy at the Diplomatic Academy of Peru, and went on to author the 2001 book "Conversation with Javier Pérez de Cuéllar." He has also directed a radio program, two television shows and the Peruvian edition of Le Monde Diplomatique.

Forsyth was born in Lima, Peru, in 1951 is married to María Verónica Sommer Mayer, and has three children, Desirée, Harold and George.

Last Edited on November 2, 2011