Chum Bun Rong became ambassador of Cambodia to the United States on Aug. 3, 2015, with concurrent accreditation to Mexico. From 2008 to 2014, he was appointed advisor to the prime minister as well as secretary-general (with rank of senior minister) of the Cambodia Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) and member of the Permanent Central Committee of the Cambodia Red Cross. From October 2014 to February 2015, he retained his appointment of advisor to the government of Cambodia (with rank of senior minister). In addition, Ambassador Chum Bun Rong served as deputy secretary-general of the National Land Authority, helping to mitigate mounting land issues (2006-08), and as director-general of the Social Fund of the Kingdom of Cambodia, a government institution created to manage aid money contributed by World Bank for social matters primarily in rural development projects (1994-2006). From 1991 to 1993, when the country changed its name to the State of Cambodia (SOC), Ambassador Chum Bun Rong served as a member of the Supreme National Council representing the Phnom Penh regime and was the main coordinator for the SOC dealing with the CGDK factions. From 1979 to 1991, he served as director of the press for the Africa and Middle East Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Ambassador Chum Bun Rong earned a bachelor’s degree in law and human sciences and associate degrees in international law, political science and diplomacy from Potsdam Academy in Germany. Upon returning to Cambodia in 1972 to 1975, he served as an officer of the military police in Cambodia and received military police training in Forth Gordon, Georgia, in the United States. Ambassador Chum Bun Rong, a devout Buddhist whose hobbies include table tennis, speaks English, French and Khmer. Born April 3, 1950, he is married with four children.
Juan Carlos Pinzon became ambassador of Colombia to the United States on Aug. 3, 2015, having most recently served as Colombia’s minister of defense for nearly four years. In addition, Ambassador Pinzon served as vice minister of defense and chief of staff for President Juan Manuel Santos. Before that, he held positions as senior advisor to the executive director of the World Bank; vice president of the Colombian Banking Association; assistant vice president of Investment Banking at Citibank; private secretary for the Ministry of Finance; and economist for Colombia at Citigroup. Ambassador Pinzon taught economics at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and the Universidad de Los Andes, and in 2011, the World Economic Forum selected him as a Young Global Leader. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Pinzon received honorable mention for his outstanding academic performance as a bachelor’s of science candidate in economics. He holds a master’s of science in economics from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, and he was awarded a scholarship to receive his master’s in public policy from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He also completed advanced courses in international relations and strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University and in science and technology at Harvard University. Ambassador Pinzon, who was born Dec. 22, 1971, is married to Pilar Lozano and has two children, Natalia and Juan Pablo.
Sheikh Omar Faye became ambassador of the Gambia to the United States on Aug. 3, 2015, having previously served as the chargé d’affaires since March 2014. Ambassador Faye also held posts as deputy head of mission of the Gambian Embassy in Mauritania (2007-14); Gambia’s minister of youth, sports and religious affairs (2006-07); and director of public relations in the Office of the President (2006-07). In addition, he was a locate technician with Byers Engineering (UtiliQuest) and field supervisor for STS Locate Co. (1996-2005) and supervisor for American Protection Services, a private security company (1995-2000). A retired major in the Gambia National Army, Ambassador Faye held various military postings in the 1980s and early ’90s in the Gambia, Britain, Pakistan, Nigeria and the United States. He also represented the Gambia in various international athletic competitions, including the University Games in Mexico City and Commonwealth Games in Australia, and he was a team captain-flag bearer at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Fayçal Gouia became ambassador of Tunisia to the United States on May 18, 2015, having previously served as Tunisia’s secretary of state of foreign affairs from January 2014 to February 2015. Prior to that, he worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as director-general for the Americas and Asia (2011-14); director-general for Africa and the African Union (2010-11); and director for the Americas (2001-05). In addition, he was ambassador to Indonesia and Malaysia (2007-10), as well as ambassador to the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, with residence in Jakarta (2006-10). Ambassador Gouia served on a prior occasion at the Tunisian Embassy in Washington, D.C., as cultural and press counselor (1995-97); economic and commercial counselor (1997-99); and deputy chief of mission (1999-2001). He also held postings as deputy director for South Asia at the Directorate General of the Americas and Asia at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1993-95); head of the Budget Management Division at the Ministry of Finance (1989-93); and head of the International Relations Division at the Ministry of Family and Women Affairs (1984-86). Ambassador Gouia holds a master’s degree in public administration as well as a master’s in public policy from the National Administration Institute of Tunis; a master’s in finance management from the Finance School of Paris; an English studies diploma from the Institute of Foreign Languages in Tunis; and a certificate from the National Defense University in D.C. He speaks Arabic, French and English, and is married with two daughters.
Valeriy Chaly became ambassador of Ukraine to the United States on Aug. 3, 2015. In June 2014, Ambassador Chaly was appointed deputy head of the administration of President Petro Poroshenko following his foreign policy advisory during Poroshenko’s presidential campaign. Ambassador Chaly also supervised the foreign policy, international law and security programs at a leading Ukrainian think tank, the Razumkov Centre, while serving as its deputy director-general (2006-09 and 2010-14). In November 2009, he was appointed deputy minister for foreign affairs of Ukraine but resigned in April 2010 to protest the foreign and security policy of then-President Viktor Yanukovych. Following his resignation, Ambassador Chaly resumed his work at the Razumkov Centre and advised the Foreign Relations Committee of Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine. Ambassador Chaly’s earlier public sector career also included postings as assistant to the deputy secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council (1997-99) and senior consultant at the Assistants’ Group to the President of Ukraine (1995). In 1995, Ambassador Chaly, 45, graduated with a degree in postgraduate international law studies from the Institute of International Relations at the National Taras Shevchenko University in Kyiv and in 1992 from the Faculty of History at the Vinnytsia State Institute of Pedagogy.