Abdulla Bin Mohamed Rashid Al-Khalifa became ambassador of Bahrain to the United States on Dec. 3. Ambassador Al-Khalifa previously served as defense, military, naval and air attaché to United States (2005-13) and Canada (nonresidential), during which time he was head of the government delegation at the final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in New York in March 2013. Ambassador Al-Khalifa was also a fighter pilot in the Royal Bahraini Air Force since 1988, rising in the ranks from lieutenant to colonel in 2013; he flew the F5 and F-16. He received the best fighter pilot award in 1990 from the RAF College Cranwell in United Kingdom. He also participated in the Gulf War and Iraq War as a mission commander flying over Kuwait. In addition, he participated in 25 military and leadership courses in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Kuwait, the United States and the United Kingdom. He has received various awards, including two Freedom of Kuwait Medals, Long Services Medal, Hawar Medal and Freedom of Iraq Medal.
Johan Verbeke was appointed ambassador of Belgium to the United States in January 2014, having previously served as Belgium’s ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2010 to 2013. Ambassador Verbeke also previously served as special representative of the U.N. secretary-general in Georgia and head of the U.N. Observer Mission in Georgia (2008-09), special coordinator of the U.N. secretary-general in Lebanon (2008), and permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, including as a member of the Security Council (2004-08). In addition, he was chef de cabinet to the minister of foreign affairs (2002-04); chef de cabinet to the minister of European affairs (2000-02); director-general for European affairs (1999-2000); deputy director-general for political affairs (1998-99); and chief spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1990-92). Ambassador Verbeke served in Washington, D.C., on a prior occasion, as deputy chief of mission from 1994 to 1998. He has also been posted to Beirut (1983-85), Amman (chargé d’affaires, 1985), Bujumbura (1985-88) and Santiago de Chile (chargé d’affaires, 1988-90). Before joining the diplomatic service in 1981, Ambassador Verbeke was a junior associate in the law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in New York and Brussels (1978-81) as well as assistant professor of European law at Ghent University (1975-77). Ambassador Verbeke holds degrees in law and philosophy from Belgium (J.D., master’s, Ghent University), France (D.E.S., Université de Nancy) and the United States (LL.M., Yale Law School). He is married with three children.
John Amankwah departed the post of first secretary of the consular section on Oct. 31.
Henrietta Entsie assumed the position of third secretary on Oct. 16, having previously worked as a stenographer secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana.
David Singer assumed the position of cultural attaché on Jan. 29, replacing Gyorgy Rethazi, who departed the post on Nov. 1.
S. Jaishankar was appointed ambassador of India to the United States in December 2013, having most recently served as India’s ambassador to China from 2009 to 2013. Ambassador Jaishankar, who joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1977, also previously served as high commissioner to Singapore (2007-09), head of the Americas Division in the Ministry of External Affairs (2004-07), ambassador to the Czech Republic (2000-04), and deputy chief of mission to the Indian Embassy in Japan (1996-2000). In 1990, Ambassador Jaishankar became commercial counselor in Budapest. After three years in that position, he returned to India where he served first as director of East Europe Division of the Ministry of External Affairs and then as press secretary for the president of India. He also served in the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on a prior occasion, from 1985 to 1988 as first secretary handling political affairs, followed by two years as first secretary and political advisor to the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka. In addition, he was undersecretary of the Americas and policy planning in the Ministry of External Affairs (1981-85) as well as third and secretary (political) at the Indian Embassy in Moscow (1979-81). Ambassador Jaishankar holds a Ph.D. and master’s of philosophy degree in international relations and a master’s of arts in political science. He is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. Ambassador Jaishankar is married to Kyoko Jaishankar and has two sons and a daughter.
Mohammed Jaham Al Kuwari was appointed ambassador of Qatar to the United States in December 2013, having previously served as Qatar’s ambassador to France with accreditation to Switzerland and the Holy See for the past decade. In 2007, he also became nonresident ambassador to Monaco and Portugal. Ambassador Al Kuwari joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1981 as third secretary. He was first posted to Washington, D.C., from 1981 to 1986, and to Madrid from 1986 to 1990. He later became chief of the Information Department of the Cooperation Council to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1990 to 1991. Following a post in Tehran (1991-92), Ambassador Al Kuwari served as deputy head of cabinet (1993-95), director of European and American affairs (1995-97; 2001-02), member of the Diplomatic Consular Services (1997-2001), and head of delegation of the Qatari political and strategic dialogue with France (2001-02). Ambassador Al Kuwari received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Portland and his master’s degree in international relations from the University of Madrid. He is married with five children and speaks English, Spanish, French and Arabic.