Lars Gert Lose became ambassador of Denmark to the United States on Sept. 17, 2015, having most recently served as ambassador, permanent undersecretary of state and chief advisor of foreign affairs to the prime minister since 2013. In addition, he served as ambassador, political director and undersecretary for global politics and security (2012-13); ambassador and undersecretary for global security (2011-12); ambassador and head of the Foreign Minister’s Office, including chief of public relations (2010-11); as well as head of department and head of the Foreign Minister’s Office, including chief of public relations (2008-10). Ambassador Lose was also private secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister Per Stig Møller (2004-08) and first secretary of economic and political affairs at the Danish Embassy in Paris (2001-04). Other postings include head of section for the European Policy Office (2000-01); head of section for the Southern Africa Office (1998-2000); and head of section for the EU Coordination Office (1997-98). Ambassador Lose holds a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Warwick in England and a candidate’s degree in political science from Aarhus University in Denmark. He is married to Ulla Kølvraa Rønberg and they have three children.
Kirsti Helena Kauppi became ambassador of Finland to the United States on Sept. 17, 2015, having previously served as director general of the Political Department at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs since 2012. Ambassador Kauppi, who has over 30 years of experience in foreign policy, also served as director general for Africa and the Middle East in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (2009-12). In 2005, she was appointed Finnish ambassador to Austria and permanent representative to the U.N.-related international organizations in Vienna, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). During her term in Vienna (2005-09), Ambassador Kauppi also served for three years as the Finnish governor in the IAEA Board of Governors, including vice chair of the board. In addition to Vienna, Ambassador Kauppi has served as deputy chief of mission (minister) in the Finnish Embassy in Berlin (2003-05); in Washington, D.C. (1997-2000); and in Bangkok (1989-92). Ambassador Kauppi’s solid knowledge on European Union affairs builds on her four-year service in Brussels at the Finnish Permanent Mission to the EU (1993-97), as well as her time as head of the unit responsible for the EU’s common foreign and security policy coordination in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki (2001-03) and as advisor to the state secretary (2000-01). In the beginning of her career, Ambassador Kauppi worked primarily on development cooperation issues, including in the Finnish Embassy in Bangkok (1989-92) and the International Labour Organization in Geneva (1985-86). Ambassador Kauppi was born in 1957 in northern Finland in the town of Oulu, and she received her master’s degree in economics from the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration. She speaks Finnish, English, Swedish, German and French. Ambassador Kauppi is also an avid reader of history and enjoys walking and bicycle riding in her free time.
Ralph Thomas became ambassador of Jamaica to the United States on Sept. 17, 2015, with concurrent accreditation as Jamaica’s permanent representative to the Organization of American States. He most recently served as Jamaica’s ambassador to China from 2013 to 2015. Prior to his diplomatic duties, Ambassador Thomas was a senior teaching fellow at the University of the West Indies – Mona School of Business and Management, and he served as director of several state agencies in Jamaica and in New York, including: the Urban Development Corp.; the National Insurance Fund Board; Jamaica Financial Services Authority; and the Mental Health Association of Westchester. He was also board chairman of the Micro Investment Development Agency. Ambassador Thomas has vast experience in international banking and trade finance, serving as vice president and regional manager at the Bank of New York during his 22 years with that financial institution. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of the West Indies and a master’s in business administration from Columbia University. Ambassador Thomas is married to Sandra Dixon Thomas and is the father of four children.
Rolandas Kriščiūnas became ambassador of Lithuania to the United States on Sept. 17, 2015, having previously served as Lithuania’s vice minister of foreign affairs since 2012. In addition, Ambassador Kriščiūnas was Lithuania’s vice minister of finance (2009-12) and undersecretary at the Ministry of Finance (2004-09), where he was also director of the EU Programme Management Department (2001-04). He served in Washington, D.C., on a prior occasion as first secretary at the Lithuanian Embassy (1998-2001). Other postings include first secretary (1996-98) and third secretary (1993-94) at the Economic Analysis Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Kriščiūnas holds a bachelor’s degree in business informatics from Vytautas Didysis University in Lithuania and a master’s degree in economic sciences from Ohio University in the United States. He also completed the European Union Studies program at the Clingendael Institute of International Relations in The Hague and the Management Studies Programme at the Swedish Institute in Stockholm. Born Oct. 16, 1970, Ambassador Kriščiūnas speaks Lithuanian, English, Russian and French, and is married.
Miguel Basáñez Ebergenyi became ambassador of Mexico to the United States on Sept. 17, 2015. He previously served as professor of values, culture and development at the Fletcher School of Tufts University and director of special research and educational projects. In Mexico, he worked to expand democracy by introducing public opinion polls in the 1988 elections. Ambassador Basáñez’s career has been a combination of public service (1968-88), opinion polling (1988-2008) and academia (1970-2015). In the public sector, Ambassador Basáñez worked as director general of opinion polling for the Office of the President; chief of staff for the governor of the State of Mexico; attorney general of the State of Mexico; and chief of staff for the secretary of energy. He was president of the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR); CEO of Market and Opinion Research (MORI) Mexico; vice president of MORI International; and president of the Global Quality Research Corp. In the academic arena, Ambassador Basáñez was a Fulbright visiting professor at the University of Michigan. He is the author or editor of 14 books, including: “The Struggle for Hegemony in Mexico, 1968-1980”; “The Pulse of the Presidential Terms: 20 Years of Crisis in Mexico”; and “North American Trajectory: Trade, Politics and Values” (with R. Inglehart). Ambassador Basáñez holds a Ph.D. in political sociology from the London School of Economics.
Hendrik Jan Jurriaan Schuwer became ambassador of the Netherlands to the United States on Sept. 17, 2015, having most recently served as the Dutch ambassador to Belgium since 2010. In addition, Ambassador Schuwer served as director of the North Africa and Middle East Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague (2009-10); director of the Private Office of the Secretary-General of NATO in Brussels (2007-09); and deputy permanent representative of the Dutch Permanent Representation to the European Union (2002-06). A 36-year Foreign Service veteran, Ambassador Schuwer served in Washington, D.C., on a prior occasion as deputy chief of mission of the Royal Netherlands Embassy from 1997 to 2002. Other postings include deputy director of the Political Department/European Correspondent at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1995-97); deputy director of the European Integration Department (1991-95); and consul at the Dutch Consulate General in Los Angeles (1988-91). He also served at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in New Delhi, India, and Hanoi, Vietnam. Ambassador Schuwer attended secondary school in Bilthoven, the Netherlands, and holds a master’s of law degree from the University of Leiden. Born May 3, 1953, in The Hague into a family of five, Ambassador Schuwer is married to Lena Boman of Sweden and they have four adult children. His two daughters are psychologists and his two sons are engineers. In his free time, Ambassador Schuwer plays tennis and golf, and reads about the history of the 20th century. But most of all, he enjoys spending time with his family.