New Arrivals – Summer 2013

| July 5, 2013 | 0 Comments

Julio Antonio Garmendía
Ambassador of Cuba
Mr. Garmendia has a degree in Russian literature and translation and a degree in political science.
He joined the foreign service in 1975 and soon became head of the department of state’s committee on economic cooperation. His first posting came in 1982 as deputy economic counsellor in the Soviet Union. On returning to the foreign ministry, he became deputy chief of the bureau for co-operation with the USSR. From 1994 to 1999, he was minister-counsellor and deputy head of mission in Russia.
In 1999, he was head of section at the central committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and then, in 2004, became ambassador to Ukraine. In 2008, he returned to his previous job with the Communist Party.
He is married and has two daughters.

Norihiro Okuda
Ambassador of Japan
Mr. Okuda completed a law degree at Tokyo University before joining the foreign service in 1975.
In 1979, he was posted to Egypt. He returned to the ministry’s Middle East and African Affairs divisions before becoming deputy director of energy affairs and later serving in a similar position at the ministry of transport, management and co-ordination agency.
In 1987, he went to the UN in New York as first secretary and three years later was sent to Saudi Arabia. He then became legal co-ordinator at the foreign ministry before becoming director of a Middle East division and then of the grant aid division. In 1997, he became counsellor in Washington and then head of chancery. In 2004, he became ambassador to Afghanistan and then to the UN. He was ambassador to Egypt before being posted to Canada.
Gian Lorenzo Cornado
Ambassador of Italy
Mr. Cornado was born in Belgium but studied political science in Rome and joined the Italian foreign service in 1985.
His posting as ambassador to Canada is nostalgic — Ottawa was his first posting, as first secretary between 1987 and 1992. From there, he became consul in Toulouse, before returning to Rome. He then went to Italy’s mission at the UN in New York.
From 2000 to 2004, he returned to Canada as consul general and permanent representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal. He then spent a couple of years at headquarters before becoming ambassador to the UN for 10 months and then deputy chief of mission in Washington. Before returning to Ottawa, he was chef de cabinet to the minister of foreign affairs.

Micheline Abi-Samra
Ambassador of Lebanon
Ms. Abi-Samra studied Lebanese law and French law at Saint Joseph University in Beirut and completed a degree in ancient and modern philosophy from the Ecole Supérieure des Lettres in Beirut.
Her varied career has included postings as ambassador to Bulgaria, co-ordinator of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, director of the centre for legal affairs at the foreign ministry, counsellor and deputy chief of mission at the UN in Geneva and counsellor and deputy chief of mission in London. As well, she has been consul-general in Los Angeles, press counsellor at the presidential palace and foreign ministry, political counsellor for congressional affairs, and second secretary for consular affairs in Washington and attaché at the embassy in Vienna.
Ms. Abi-Samra speaks Arabic, English and French.
Francisco Suárez
Ambassador of Mexico
Francisco Suárez has a law degree from Mexico and a master’s from the University of Cambridge, King’s College.
Until recently, he served as secretary-general of the Colosio Foundation — the think-tank of Institutional Revolutionary Party. He also served as vice-president of the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (2008-2011).
He began his career at the Bank of Mexico, where he served as general manager of international economic affairs (1976-1980). He was financial director at Nacional Financiera (1980-1982); undersecretary of finance and public credit (1982-1988) and director-general of Banco Mexicano Somex, now Banco Santander (1988-1992).
Twice he was a federal congressman (deputy), and chaired the finance committee (1994-1997). Later, he was ambassador to the OECD (1997-2000), where he headed the budget committee.
He has taught economic policy and international relations at three universities and has published works and co-authored several books.

Simon Tucker
High Commissioner for New Zealand
Prior to coming to Ottawa, Mr. Tucker spent 10 years working in leadership roles within New Zealand’s dairy industry, including one with Fonterra Cooperative Group, New Zealand’s largest company and the world’s leading exporter of dairy products. While with Fonterra, he spent several years based in Washington D.C.
Mr. Tucker has also worked in governance and advisory capacities, including as a board director of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, the company that oversees economic growth for New Zealand’s largest city.
Before he joined the dairy industry, he spent 12 years at New Zealand’s foreign ministry, with postings to Tehran and Washington. He also advised New Zealand’s trade minister.
He is married to Penny and they have three school-age daughters.

Maria Ligor
Ambassador of Romania
Maria Ligor joined Romania’s foreign service in 1996. Before coming to Canada, she served as ambassador-at-large and special representative for the promotion of democracy.

Between 2006 and 2011, she was ambassador to Spain and permanent representative to the World Tourism Organization. From 2003 to 2006, she was director-general for European affairs in Bucharest.
Prior to that, she worked at Romania’s delegation to the EU in Brussels (1998-2002), in Luxembourg (1997), and, at headquarters at the political planning directorate, the directorate for the EU, and the directorate for Western Europe.
She has a master’s from the College of Europe in Bruges and a diploma of advanced studies in political sciences from the Université Libre de Brussels. She is fluent in English, French and Spanish, and has basic knowledge of Italian. She is married and has one daughter.
José Fernando Moreira da Cunha
Ambassador of Portugal

Mr. Moreira da Cunha studied political science at the University of Belgrano in Argentina and history at the University of Porto.
He became attaché to the secretary of state after joining the foreign service in 1980. Shortly thereafter, he was posted to Argentina and then served as chargé d’affaires at the mission in Peru for a year. He was posted to the Congo in 1989 and returned to headquarters in 1991. There, he became division chief for the Middle East and Maghreb section and was then appointed as consul-general in Caracas in 1994. He became permanent representative to the EU in 1998 and secretary of state in 2002.
In 2005, he was sent to Iran as ambassador and four years later to Algeria as ambassador. He has decorations from several countries, including Tunisia, Morocco, Argentina and Zaire (now Congo).
Howard Ronald Drake
High Commissioner for the United Kingdom

Prior to this post Mr. Drake was currently British high commissioner to Jamaica and was previously ambassador to Chile.
His foreign-service career has focused on political and commercial work, including heading the U.K.’s inward-investment operation in the U.S. and earlier assignments in Singapore and Chile. In Singapore, he was first secretary and head of chancery between 1992 and 1995. In Chile the first time, he had a position as second secretary. He was posted to Los Angeles between 1981 and 1983, as vice-consul.
At headquarters in London, Mr. Drake worked on European Union affairs, strategic exports, counter-proliferation, and was also assistant director for human resources.
Mr. Drake is married to Gill Drake and has one son and one daughter.

 Non-heads of mission

Mirela Bufazi,
Second secretary

Lamri Ben Lamara,

Romualdo Rodrigues Da Costa,

Calsey Willmore Johnson,
High Commissioner

Joanna Esme N Benn-Griffith,
First secretary

Burkina Faso
Balkissa Zarani,

Ibrahim Ben Harouna Zarani,

Li Chang,
Second Secretary

Zengquan Liu,
Second Secretary

Miraly Caridad Gonzalez,
First secretary

Monika Horvath,
Counsellor and consul

Sandor Mihaly,

Zena Hameed Yousif Al-Dujaili,
Second secretary

Yoshinao Okabe,
Second secretary

Almas Makulbekov,
Third secretary

Abdalla M. Sh. Abuzed,

Wall Suliman

Saleh.G.S. Yahmed,

Jaafar Bin Kasim,
Defence adviser

Genaro Robles Casillas,
Military and air attaché

New Zealand
Garry Philip Collins

Abubakar Idris

Kamil Piotr Ochmanski
First secretary

Kirill Kalinin,
First Secretary

Maxim Rean,

Rustam Trankin,

Saudi Arabia
Shatha Mohammed A. Alsekait,

Omar Zakaria O. Barnawi,

Daha Mamadou Ngaido,

Ashwag Ahmed Diyab Ahmed,

Palakiyem Boyode,

Trinidad and Tobago
Reita Gabrielle Toussaint,

United Kingdom
Julia Elizabeth Nolan,
First secretary

United States
Matthew William Aken,
Assistant attaché

Kory Jon Benz,
Coast Guard Attaché

Matthew Scott Gordon,
Second secretary

William Jeffrey Hastings,
Assistant attaché

Nicole Denise Sobotka,
First secretary

Jean Carlos Du Boulay Algarin,
Second secretary

Carmen J. Padron De Moll,

Musata Kaunda Banda,
First secretary


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Category: Dignitaries

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