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March 2012

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Gabon

Ouneida Bongo is assuming the position of first counselor (date to be determined), having previously served in the Permanent Mission of Gabon to the United Nations in New York.

Huguette M. Noussodou is departing the post of communication and protocol counselor, having served in Washington since 2001.

Louise Honorine Nathalie Ba Oumar is departing the post of second counselor, having served in Washington since 2008.

Italy

Claudio Bisogniero became ambassador of Italy to the United States on Jan. 18, 2012 after his predecessor, Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata, became Rome's foreign minister last November.

Ambassador Bisogniero returns to Washington after having served as first counselor for economic and commercial affairs at the Italian Embassy from 1992 to 1996, with a special focus on financial issues and relations with the World Bank/IMF, think tanks and defense industry. More recently, he served as deputy secretary-general of NATO (2007-11) and director general for the Americas at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2005-07), responsible for Italy's relations with the United States and Canada, as well as the countries of Latin America. In February 2002, Ambassador Bisogniero was appointed deputy director general for political multilateral affairs, responsible for NATO, the United Nations, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, G8, disarmament, anti-terrorism and human rights. He also served in the Division of Personnel and later with the Office of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1999 to 2002, as well as at the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations in New York, with primary responsibility for political affairs and U.N. reform. Other previous postings include the Office of the Diplomatic Adviser to the President of the Republic, Francesco Cossiga (1989-92); counselor at the Permanent Mission of Italy to NATO in Brussels (1984-89); and first secretary for economic and commercial affairs at the Italian Embassy in Beijing (1981-84).

Ambassador Bisogniero, who was born in Rome on July 2, 1954, entered the Italian Foreign Service in 1978. After graduating with a degree in political science from the University of Rome with a dissertation in international economics, he completed his military service as an officer in the Italian Army from 1976 to 1977.

He is married to Laura Denise Noce Benigni Olivieri; they have a daughter and a son. Hobbies and personal interests include classical music, reading, sailing and flying.

New Zealand

Rowena Hume assumed the position of trade and economic counselor on Feb. 10, replacing Ben King, who left the post Dec. 23.

Last Edited on March 1, 2012