On Sept. 17, 2013 the following nine ambassadors presented their credentials to President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony:
• Her Excellency Marisa Maria Louise Micallef, ambassador of Malta
• His Excellency Kaare Reidar Aas, ambassador of Norway
• Her Excellency Anne Anderson, ambassador of Ireland
• His Excellency Ethelstan Angus Friday, ambassador of Grenada
• His Excellency Jose Julio Alejandro Ligorria Carballido, ambassador of Guatemala
• His Excellency Bozo Cerar, ambassador of Slovenia
• His Excellency Ruben Maye Nsue Mangue, ambassador of Equatorial Guinea
• His Excellency Mahe Uliuli Sandhurst Tupouniua, ambassador of Tonga
• His Excellency Bjoern Olof Lyrvall, ambassador of Sweden
Anne Anderson because ambassador of Ireland to the United States on Sept. 17, 2013 having previously served as Ireland’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York since 2009.
She also served in Washington, D.C., on a prior occasion, as economic attaché (1983-85) and press attaché (1985-87) at the Irish Embassy. In addition, she was Ireland’s ambassador to France, with concurrent nonresident accreditation to Monaco (2005-09); permanent representative to the European Union in Brussels (2001-05); and permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva (1995-2001), where she was first secretary in the late 1970s. Ambassador Anderson has also served various postings in the Department of Foreign Affairs, including counselor in the Anglo-Irish Division (1987-91), first secretary in the Political Division (1980-83), as well as third secretary and later first secretary in the Economic Division (1972-76). Highlights of her multilateral work include chairing the U.N. Commission on Human Rights (1999) and heading the Irish team in Brussels during Ireland’s European Union presidency in 2004 (she was awarded European Voice’s “Diplomat of the Year” in recognition of her presidency role). During her New York assignment, she oversaw a review of the U.N. peace-building machinery and was tasked by the General Assembly president with facilitating preparations for this year’s U.N. Special Event on the Millennium Development Goals.
Ambassador Anderson, who was born in Ireland in 1952, received a bachelor’s of arts degree in history and politics from University College in Dublin and was awarded a doctor of laws (honorary) by the National University of Ireland in 2011.
Marisa Micallef became ambassador of Malta to the United States on Sept. 17, 2013.
Most recently, Ambassador Micallef served as director of political support and adviser to the leader of the Labour Party and now prime minister of Malta, Dr. Joseph Muscat, for four years. After graduating with distinction from the University of Malta in French and English, Ambassador Micallef went to the United Kingdom, where she volunteered in the east end of London with new immigrants from the Asian sub continent, pursuing a career in affordable housing and residential care. She graduated with a master’s in public policy and planning with a thesis on the privatization of state-owned entities by the charitable sector. In the United Kingdom, she specialized in affordable housing and the elderly and had her research project published by Kings College London. On returning to Malta, Ambassador Micallef served as chairman of the Housing Authority for 10 years, during which time she was awarded the Green Politician of the Year Award from Nature Trust, Malta. She was concurrently a director with HSBC (home loans), as well as the Disability Commission, the Building Industry Consultative Council and other boards. In 2007, the project Ambassador Micallef created and initiated while chairing the Housing Authority received the EU Best Project Award under the EQUAL Community Initiative. In 2007, she also became a fellow of the Institute of Housing UK for her affordable housing work.
The ambassador’s family has settled all over the world, including the United States, Australia, Switzerland and Britain, and she has one daughter. Her personal interests include photography, screenplay writing, climate change and film.
Kåre Aas became ambassador of Norway to the United States on Sept. 17, 2013 having most recently served as political director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oslo.
He was also Norway’s ambassador to Afghanistan from 2008 to 2010. From 2003 to 2008, Ambassador Aas served as director general in the Department for Security Policy and the High North, where his portfolio included the bilateral relationships between Norway and the United States, as well as Russia and the Central Asian republics. He also chaired and was a member of several international groups working on nuclear disarmament and international peacekeeping operations. In addition, from 2005 to 2007, he served as Norwegian governor to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors.
Ambassador Aas, who was born on May 25, 1955, in Oslo, has three daughters and one son.
Božo Cerar became ambassador of Slovenia to the United States on Sept. 17, 2013 having previously served as state secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ljubljana from 2012 to 2013 and from 2005 to 2006.
In addition, he was Slovenia’s permanent representative to NATO (2007-11); ambassador to Poland (2004); ambassador to Canada (1997-2007); and minister plenipotentiary at the Slovenian Embassy in London (1991-92). Ambassador Cerar has also served various positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including head of the NATO Department (2002-03); head of the Minister’s Office (1996-97); head of the Department for Europe and North America (1991-92); and head coordinator of the activities of the European Union observers in Slovenia (1991).
Ambassador Cerar, who was born Oct. 16, 1949, holds a bachelor’s degree in law, a master’s in diplomatic studies, and a Ph.D. in international law. He speaks English, French, Russian, Serbian and basic Greek.
Björn Lyrvall became ambassador of Sweden to the United States on Sept. 17, 2013 having previously served as political director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stockholm for the last six years.
Ambassador Lyrvall, who joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1985, has also been posted at Sweden’s missions in Moscow, Leningrad, London and its European Union representation in Brussels. In addition, he has served as special advisor to Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt in the Western Balkans.
Born in 1960, Ambassador Lyrvall holds a degree in political science and Russian from Stockholm University. He is married and has three children.