Ara Margarian became deputy chief of mission of the Armenian Embassy in Sept. 3, 2018, superseding Hrachia Tashchian, who departed the post July 15, 2018.
Chum Sounry became ambassador of Cambodia to the United States on Sept. 17, 2018, having most recently served as undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation since May 2015. He also previously served as ambassador of Cambodia to Australia and New Zealand (2008-15); ambassador of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with residence in Moscow (2004-06); and ambassador to Russia (2003-06). From 1995 to 1998, he was first secretary at the Cambodian Embassy in Washington, D.C., and from 1989 to 1993, he was first secretary at the Cambodian Embassy in Bulgaria. Additional postings within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation include director of the Personnel Department (2006-08); director of the Information Department (1999-2003); deputy director of the Americas Department (1998-99); and assistant to the undersecretary of state (1993-95). Ambassador Chum holds a bachelor’s degree in public laws and speaks English and French. Born July 6, 1956, in Phnom Penh, he is married with two sons.
Solomon E. Tatah became minister counselor at the Cameroonian Embassy in May 2018. He previously served as director of the Commonwealth Department at the Ministry of External Relations (2015-17) and former deputy director of the United Nations Department at the Ministry of External Relations (2010-15).
Francisco Santos Calderón became ambassador of Colombia to the United States on Sept. 17, 2018, having previously served as vice president of Colombia from 2002 to 2010 under the administration of President Álvaro Uribe Vélez. Prior to being named ambassador, in 2017, he was appointed head of national debate by the Democratic Center Party, a position from which he worked toward consolidating the national party at a regional level. In 2015, Ambassador Santos ran for mayor of Bogota on the Democratic Center Party ticket. He created the Fundación Confianza Colombia, promoting democracy and citizen participation in public affairs, as well as developing ideas in the political, economic and social spheres. As Colombia’s vice president, his policy priorities were the fight against corruption, extortion and kidnapping and ridding the country of anti-personnel mines. He also led Colombia’s international promotion of trade, investment and tourism. In March 2000, while working as assistant director of the newspaper El País, he went into exile in Madrid, Spain, because of threats from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Prior to that, Ambassador Santos served as night editor-in-chief (1987-88) and then deputy editor (1988-89) of the newspaper El Tiempo. In the late 1980s, he also taught journalism and international relations at several Colombian universities, among them, Universidad Central, Universidad Javeriana and Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano. On Sept. 19, 1990, Ambassador Santos was kidnapped on orders from drug trafficker Pablo Escobar, remaining in captivity for eight months. He was released on May 20, 1991. In 1993, Ambassador Santos promoted the Anti-Kidnapping Statute, a pioneering tool for the Colombian justice system with regard to the thousands of victims of kidnapping in the country. He also founded the first nongovernmental organization against kidnapping in the world, Fundación País Libre. Ambassador Santos was awarded the Neiman Fellowship at Harvard University and the Paul Harris Medal in 1993, the highest distinction given by Rotary International. He completed his studies at the University of Kansas and the University of Texas, earning degrees in journalism and Latin American studies, respectively. Born on Oct. 14, 1961, in Bogota, he is married to Maria Victoria García and has four children: Benjamin, Gabriel, Carmen and Pedro.
Marios Lysiotis became ambassador of Cyprus to the United States on Sept. 17, 2018, having most recently served as diplomatic advisor to the minister of defense since 2016. In addition, he was ambassador of Cyprus to France and permanent delegate to UNESCO (2011-16), as well as ambassador to Austria, permanent representative to the United Nations Organization in Vienna and permanent representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (2008-11). Other postings include deputy director of the Diplomatic Office of the President of the Republic, focusing on European affairs (2006-08); permanent representative of Cyprus to the Council of Europe (2004-06); the Cyprus Question Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2001-03); the Permanent Delegation of Cyprus to Brussels (1997-2001); the Cypriot Embassy in Sweden (1994-97); the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs (1993); and diplomatic advisor to the President of the Republic (1991-93). Prior to joining the Foreign Service in 1991, Ambassador Lysiotis worked in the International Relations Service of the House of Representatives (1988-90) and taught at Cypriot Higher Education Institutions Research (1985-88). He studied philosophy and political science at the at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Grenoble, France, and holds a licence de philosophie, maitrise sciences politiques and D.E.A. etudes politiques. Born Nov. 25, 1958, he is married to Eleni Michaelidou-Lyssioti and has a daughter, Sophia. He speaks Greek, English and French.
Jonatan Vseviov became ambassador of Estonia to the United States on Sept. 17, 2018, having previously spent 10 years working at the Estonian Ministry of Defense, including on the preparation and implementation of decisions enhancing Estonia’s defense both independently and collectively as part of NATO. He is one of the authors of the National Defense Development Plan, adopted in 2013, and from 2013 to 2014, he was defense policy advisor in Washington, D.C., during Russia’s annexation of Crimea. In addition, Ambassador Vseviov was involved in the development of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence (CCDOE) in Tallinn and worked in the aftermath of the 2007 cyber attacks on Estonia in securing the support of the White House. From 2005 to 2008, he was also a policy ambassador to the U.S. involved in rolling out visa-free travel for Estonian citizens. In 2005, Ambassador Vseviov completed his military service as an officer in the reserve forces of the Estonian Defense Forces. He is a graduate of the Department of Political Science at the University of Tartu and earned a master’s degree with honors in security studies from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Born in 1981, Ambassador Vseviov is married with two children; his father is historian David Vseviov.
Emily Margarethe Haber became ambassador of Germany to the United States in June 2018. A career foreign service officer, she was previously deployed to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, serving as state secretary overseeing security and migration at the height of the refugee crisis in Europe. In this capacity, she worked closely with the U.S. administration on topics ranging from the fight against international terrorism to global cyberattacks and cybersecurity. In 2009, she was appointed political director and, in 2011, state secretary at the Foreign Office, the first woman to hold either post. Earlier in her career, Ambassador Haber served at the German Embassy in Ankara. In Berlin, she has served as deputy head of the Cabinet and Parliamentary Liaison Division, as director of the OSCE Division, and as deputy director-general for the Western Balkans. Ambassador Haber has extensive knowledge of the Soviet Union and Russia, having worked both in the Soviet Union Division at the German Foreign Office and, on various occasions, at the German Embassy in Moscow, where she served as head of the Economic Affairs Section and head of the Political Affairs Department. Ambassador Haber attended schools in New Delhi, Bonn, Paris, Brussels, Washington and Athens. From 1975 to 1980, she studied history and ethnology in Cologne, earning her Ph.D. with a dissertation on German foreign policy during the Morocco crisis on the eve of World War I. Ambassador Haber is married to Hansjörg Haber and they have two sons.
Keith Azzopardi became ambassador of Malta to the United States on Sept. 17, 2018, having previously served as ambassador to Austria and the permanent representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the U.N. agencies in Vienna. He also worked as a political advisor in the European Parliament in Brussels, mainly in the Committee of Foreign Affairs and the Subcommittee on Security and Defense. His tasks also included work related to the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership, and he participated in various Parliamentary Cooperation Committees, assemblies and other delegations and missions to this region. In addition, he formed parts of various election observation missions as well as other inter-parliamentary delegations. In the past, he also held various positions in different youth organizations and committees. Born in Rabat, Malta, Ambassador Azzopardi received his education at Savio College. He holds an honors degree in international relations from the University of Malta and a master’s degree in diplomatic studies from the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies. He is married to Daoruang Pimpila and they have a daughter named Kimberly.
Ivan Korčok became ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the United States on Sept. 17, 2018, having previously served as state secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs since 2015. Prior to that, Ambassador Korčok was minister délégué (2016-17) and plenipotentiary (2015-17) for the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union. He was also ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the EU in Brussels (2009-15) and ambassador to Germany (2005-09). In addition, he was head of the Slovak Delegation on the accession talks to NATO (2003); a member of the European Convention in Brussels (2002-03); state secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2002-05); director-general of the Division of International Organizations and Security Policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2001-02); and deputy head of mission of the Slovak Republic to NATO in Brussels (1999-2001). Other postings include counselor and chargé d’affaires of the Slovak Embassy in Switzerland (1998-99); acting head of the Department for Policy Planning and Analysis at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1997-98); spokesman at the ministry (1996-97); and second secretary of political affairs at the Slovak Embassy in Germany (1993-96). Ambassador Korčok studied at the Economic University and Comenius University, both in Bratislava. Born April 4, 1964, in Banská Bystrica, he is married with two sons.
Santa M. Laker Kinyera became deputy chief of mission of the Ugandan Embassy on July 15, 2018, superceding Alfred Nnam, who departed the post Jan. 31, 2017. A career diplomat, he has previously served in Copenhagen, Ankara, New York and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kampala.
Ha Kim Ngoc became ambassador of Vietnam to the United States on Sept. 17, 2018. Born in 1963, Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc has served in the diplomatic service since 1988. From 2013 to 2018, he was deputy minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in charge of relations with countries in the Americas, especially the United States, as well as with the United Nations and other international organizations. In addition, he has held various positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including assistant minister of foreign affairs and director-general of Department of Americas (2011-13); director-general and executive assistant to the deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister (2008-11); deputy director-general of the Department of Americas (2007-08); and head of the North America Division at the Department of Americas (2001-02). From 2004 to 2007, Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc was economic counselor at the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan, and from 1997 to 2000, he was vice consul and head of the Economic Section at the Vietnamese Consulate General in San Francisco. Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc graduated from the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in 1985. He studied Russian at Kiev University in Ukraine from 1986 to 1987 and earned a master’s degree in international relations from the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in 2010. Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc is married to Nguyen Thi Phuong Lien and has two children.