Eklil Hakimi became ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States on Feb. 23. Ambassador Hakimi previously served as the deputy foreign minister for political affairs in 2010, as well as Afghan ambassador to Japan and to the People’s Republic of China. While in Washington, he will also serve as nonresident ambassador to Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Argentine. During his tenure as the deputy foreign minister of Afghanistan, Ambassador Hakimi worked on strengthening ties between donor countries and the various ministries of Afghanistan, as well as regional cooperation through economic projects such as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.
Yasser Al Haddad assumed the position of third secretary in December.
Peter Boateng assumed the position of counselor (economics) in September. Before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Boateng previously served with Ghana’s Ministry of Regional Cooperation and Nepad.
Theodora Duncan Ocquaye assumed the position of first secretary (administration) in September, replacing Constance Baadu, who departed the post Sept. 30. Ocquaye previously served at the Embassy of Ghana in Spain (2004-08) and the embassy in Russia (1998-2002).
Martha Pobee departed the post of minister/head of chancery on Nov. 29.
Girma Birru Geda presented his letter of appointment to U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg on Jan. 6, assuming his duties as ambassador of Ethiopia to the United States. Ambassador Birru previously served as minister of trade and industry of Ethiopia (2001-10) and minister of economic development and cooperation of Ethiopia (1995-2001). Additional postings include minister heading the Ethiopian Revenue Administration Board, deputy minister of finance, administration and logistics at the Ministry of National Defense, as well as chief advisor to the minister of defense on economic issues. Ambassador Birru started his professional public service as an economist in the Office of the Council of Ministers in 1982. He has since served as an alternate governor of the World Bank and of the African Development Bank, and as a board member of COMESA Bank-PTA Bank, representing Ethiopia from 1995 to 2001. Since 1992, he has also been a chairman and member of the board of directors for various institutions, including the Ethiopian Electric Power Corp., Development Bank of Ethiopia, Ethiopian Investment Agency, Ethiopian Road Authority, and World Bank-funded Ethiopian Social Rehabilitation Development Fund. Ambassador Birru has written two publications: “The Possible Effect of the Adjustment Role of Devaluation in Ethiopia” (1986) and “The Importance of Coffee in the Ethiopian Economy” (1982). He holds a master’s degree in economic policy and planning from the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) at The Hague, and a bachelor’s degree in economics with distinction from the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. Ambassador Birru is married with two children.
Temuri Yakobashvili became ambassador of Georgia to the United States on Feb. 23. Ambassador Yakobashvili previously served as deputy prime minister and state minister for reintegration in the Georgian government. In that capacity, he was the architect of Georgia’s “engagement strategy” for improving relations between Georgia and the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He has also held various senior positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which he joined in 1991, including director of the Department for the USA, Canada and Latin America. In addition, Ambassador Yakobashvili is co-founder and executive vice president of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS), a leading think tank in the Caucasus region; co-founder of the Atlantic Council of Georgia and the Council of Foreign Relations of Georgia; a member of the Governing Board of the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA); and he was a visiting researcher at the Silk Road Study Center of Uppsala University in Sweden in 2006. He also regularly contributes to local and international media on issues of domestic and regional security and transformation. Ambassador Yakobashvili holds a degree in physics from Tbilisi State University. While at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he also completed mid-career diplomatic courses at the Center of Political and Diplomatic Studies at Oxford University (1998), and he participated in the Yale World Fellows Program (2002) and the Executive Security Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government (2004). Ambassador Yakobashvili is married to Yana Fremer, a senior television journalist, and they have two children.
Faisal Al-Enezi assumed the position of second secretary in July.
Mohammad Al-Hajrey departed the post of second secretary in July.
Abdulazeez Al-Qadfan assumed the position of second secretary in July.
Zeyad Al-Mashain departed the post of first secretary in July.
Elizabeth M.S. Foray assumed the position of information attaché in July, having previously served as information attaché at the Sierra Leone Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.
Alan C.E. Logan assumed the position of first secretary in September, having previously served as first secretary at the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Guinea.