Ambassador of Afghanistan
As an activist-turned-elected member of parliament, Ambassador Karokhail has fought for the causes of Afghan women for the past 26 years.
She was first elected to parliament in 2005, where she served as co-founder of the Women’s Parliamentary Network and the women’s caucus.
She also served as director of the Afghan Women’s Education Centre (AWEC) for four years. Prior to that, she was a teacher and social worker.
She successfully lobbied for endorsing the national action plan for the Women of Afghanistan as well as gender-based reform in Shiite personal law.
Karokhail studied political science and international relations and also attended medical college at Kabul University. She speaks Dari, Pashto, Urdu and English.
Edgar Fermán Palacios Bermúdez
Ambassador of El Salvador
Ambassador Palacios Bermúdez has spent his career doing ministerial and ecumenical work. He has a master’s in social science from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences in Mexico.
He became a minister of Emmanuel Baptist Church in 1969 and continued to work there, intermittently, until 1986. He served as minister at other churches in San Salvador for 12 years before becoming a missionary and associate minister at the Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.
Over his years in the ministry, he represented his country at various international conferences and in front of committees, including the Inter-ecclesiastical Conference of Germany, the foreign affairs subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere at the U.S. House of Representatives, and the European Conference for Peace in El Salvador at The Hague.
Palacios Bermúdez, a widower, speaks Spanish and English.
Vesa Ilmari Lehtonen
Ambassador of Finland
Ambassador Lehtonen received a master’s degree in history from the University of Turku in 1991.
Before beginning his diplomatic career by joining the foreign ministry in 1995, he worked as a journalist and a history and civics teacher, among other positions.
His first posting came one year after he joined the foreign ministry. He was posted to Sweden between 1996-2001, and was sent to Italy, where he served as deputy head of mission between 2004 and 2007.
At the foreign ministry in Helsinki, Lehtonen has mainly served in the European department and in human resources management. Before his posting in Canada — his first as head of mission — he was deputy director general for personnel between 2012 and 2016.
Ambassador Lehtonen and his wife, Pirjetta Manninen, have four children. The two youngest are here in Canada with them.
Carlos Humberto Jiménez Licona
Ambassador of Guatemala
Ambassador Jiménez Licona began his career working as a consultant and professor of economics. He has also already served one seven-year stint as Guatemala’s ambassador to Canada.
He joined the foreign ministry as an economic counsellor at the embassy in Brussels in 1987 and two years later, he became ambassador to Belgium, with concurrent accreditation to Netherlands and Luxembourg.
He returned to the foreign ministry in 1992, and became deputy minister of foreign affairs before becoming ambassador to Sweden with concurrent accreditation to Finland. He returned to his deputy minister position for 16 months before becoming an adviser to the foreign minister. From 2000 to 2007, he was ambassador to Canada before being sent to Brazil for four years. Prior to this appointment, he was ambassador to Germany.
Jiménez Licona is married and has degrees in economics and industrial development.
Ambassador of Kosovo
Ambassador Hiseni has been in Canada, as chargé d’affaires at the newly opened embassy of Kosovo, since late 2015. Approval from the Canadian government to represent his country here came in 2016.
After completing two master’s degrees, he became a professional translator and worked in France in numerous capacities — including as a researcher and a legal officer — before joining Kosovo’s foreign ministry in 2010.
His first posting was as first secretary at the embassy in Belgium from 2010 to 2011 when he became first secretary at the mission in France. He was soon appointed as minister-counsellor at the same mission and stayed for four more years. In September 2015, he was sent to Ottawa to set up the country’s first embassy here and in October 2016, he presented his credentials as ambassador.
Hisemi speaks Albanian, French, English, Croatian and Serbian.
Ambassador of Mali
Ambassador Diarra’s career has been marked by his promotion and defence of democracy. He studied law before becoming a consultant working with ministries, international organizations and NGOs.
Diarra also taught at the National School of Administration, at a local gendarmerie and in the faculty of law at the University of Mali from 1994 to 1996. Between 1994 and 2002, he created and directed an organization that promoted and defended democracy, the rule of law and human rights.
From 2002 to 2005, he was a political analyst and, from 2006 to 2013, he consulted on governance and justice, both for the government of Mali. In 2013, he became minister of housing and urban development and minister of justice and attorney general.
Diarra’s appointment to Canada includes concurrent accreditation to the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Kyaw Myo Htut
Ambassador of Myanmar
Ambassador Htut spent most of his career in the military of Myanmar, serving from 1981 until 2008 and reaching the rank of colonel. He has a bachelor of science degree and a master’s in military studies and, during his service in the military, was part of delegations that visited Japan, India, China, Turkey and the Netherlands.
Htut transferred to the foreign ministry as a director in 2008. He was soon appointed as minister-counsellor at the permanent mission to the United Nations in Geneva, where he served from 2008 to 2010. He was promoted to the rank of ambassador at the same posting, where he continued to serve until 2011.
Htut was then appointed ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2011 to 2013, after which he served as ambassador to the United States.
The ambassador is married and has two daughters and a son.
Henk van der Zwan
Ambassador of the Netherlands
Ambassador van der Zwan joined the Netherlands’ foreign ministry in 1985 after completing a bachelor’s degree at the
European School in Luxembourg and a master’s in law at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.
His first posting was to Tunisia and then Belgium at the Secretariat of the Council of Ministers of the European Union. At headquarters, he worked in several sections, including at the department of consular affairs, asylum and migration, the political affairs department, the directorate for personnel and management and the private office of the permanent undersecretary.
Between 2002 and 2006, he was the principal secretary to the queen. He became ambassador to Estonia from 2006 to 2010, returning to headquarters as national co-ordinator for international positions. Until this appointment to Canada, he was chief inspector in the foreign service.
Van der Zwan is married to Jolijn Eikeboom. They have one daughter.
Jamal Abdullah Al-Sallal
Ambassador of Yemen
Ambassador Al-Sallal has a master’s in international public policy from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
This appointment brings him full circle as, in his first posting in 1986, he was responsible for Yemeni-Canadian affairs in Washington.
From 1994 to 1998, he was deputy to the ambassador at the Arab League, based in Cairo. He then spent a few years in Sanaa as a member of the Arabic department, director for North American and Canadian Affairs and vice-chairman of the department of North and South America.
In 2004, he became consul-general to Mumbai and a year later, consul-general to UAE. He was ambassador to Iran from 2006 to 2011 and non-resident ambassador to Azerbaijan. Prior to a short stint as foreign minister in 2014, he was ambassador at the United Nations in New York.
Al-Sallal speaks English and Arabic and is married with three children.
Non-heads of mission
Brittany Emerald Noakes
Constanza Figueroa Sepulveda
Counsellor & deputy head of mission
German Delgado Correa
Defence, military, naval & air attaché
Luis Moises Castaneda Gonzalez
Victor Daniel Alvarez Garcia
Alejandro Fajardo Estrada
Mansour A J Ismaeel
Jose Fernando Castillo Tapia
Yin Myo Khine
Moses Ogbonnaya Okoro
Nadeem Haider Kiani
Raed Saoud M. Almakhlfi
Aisha Mussa Mandia
Marwa Jabou Bessadok
Janet Elizabeth Huntington
Kevin Frank Vorndran
Jissette Carolina Abreu Lopez
Rafat Hassan M Abdullah