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Ambassador Series

Her Excellency Anne Anderson

Ambassador of Ireland to the U.S.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017
4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Jefferson Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

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The University of Virginia Center for Politics in partnership with the International Residential College will host a public event featuring Her Excellency Anne Anderson, the Ambassador of Ireland to the United States. Ambassador Anderson will discuss issues in Irish - U.S. relations, viewed through a JFK prism followed by questions from the audience.

Anne Anderson took up duty in Washington DC in August 2013. She is Ireland’s 17th Ambassador to the United States, and the first woman Ambassador

Ambassador Anderson was born in Ireland (Clonmel, Co. Tipperary) in 1952. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Politics from University College, Dublin, and a Diploma in Legal Studies from Kings Inns, Dublin. She entered the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1972.

Following a range of assignments at home and abroad, she took up her first posting as Ambassador in 1995. Prior to her current assignment in DC, she served as Ireland’s Ambassador to the United Nations in New York (2009–2013); Ambassador to France (2005-2009); Ambassador to the European Union, Brussels (2001-2005); and Ambassador to the United Nations, Geneva (1995-2001)

During her Washington assignment, the Ambassador is particularly focussed on further strengthening Ireland-US economic, trade and investment links; highlighting Ireland’s interests in relation to reform of US immigration legislation; supporting US interest and engagement on key issues still to be fully addressed in Northern Ireland; and further deepening the vibrant cultural connections between the two countries.

Ambassador Anderson has undertaken a wide range of responsibilities in her assignments to date. Highlights of her multilateral work have included chairing the WTO Trade Policy Review Body (1996), the UN Commission on Human Rights (1999) and heading the Irish team in Brussels during Ireland’s EU Presidency in 2004 (she was awarded European Voice “Diplomat of the Year” in recognition of her Presidency role). During her New York assignment, she oversaw a review of the UN Peace-building machinery and was tasked by the President of the General Assembly with facilitating preparations for the 2013 UN Special Event on the Millennium Development Goals.

Ambassador Anderson’s particular focus at the UN was on development/human rights/gender equality issues. From her assignment in Brussels, she retains a keen interest in EU Affairs. As a former Ambassador in Paris, her involvement with France also continues.

A strong believer in public diplomacy, Ambassador Anderson regularly engages as a lecturer, moderator and panellist in academic, think tank, and business settings. During her New York assignment, such engagements included Fordham University, Columbia University, International Peace Institute, UN Association of New York, Academic Council of the United Nations. Since taking up her current assignment, she has addressed numerous think tanks both in DC and around the country as well as speaking at a wide range of universities, Chambers of Commerce, and other business networks.

Ambassador Anderson was awarded a Doctor of Laws (Honorary) by the National University of Ireland in December 2011. She was listed among Ireland’s “25 Most Powerful Women” by the Women’s Executive Network in 2015 and the “30 Irish Women You Need to Know“ by the Irish Times in March 2017. During the past year, she was honoured with awards from University College Dublin (Alumnus of the Year: Arts and Humanities); Irish America magazine; the Flax Trust; the Irish International Immigration Center, Boston; and the Irish American Partnership. She was presented with the International Leadership Award by the Ireland Funds at its 25th National Gala in Washington DC in March 2017.

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For more information about this event, contact Daman Irby at irby@virginia.edu or (434) 243-8475.



Ambassador Series

His Excellency Björn Lyrvall

Ambassador of Sweden to the United States


Tuesday, April 26, 2016
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Peabody Hall Auditorium
University of Virginia


The University of Virginia Center for Politics and International Residential College in partnership with the University of Virginia Office of the President will host a public event featuring His Excellency Björn Lyrvall, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States. Ambassador Lyrvall will speak on current international issues related to Sweden, the Swedish social system, and the country’s relationship with the United States.

From 2007 until taking up his current position in September 2013, Ambassador Lyrvall was Director General for Political Affairs at Sweden’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm.

From 2002 to 2007, Ambassador Lyrvall was posted at Sweden’s Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels, first as Sweden’s delegate to the enlargement negotiations (2002-2003), and then as Sweden’s Ambassador to the EU Political and Security Committee (2003-2007).

Ambassador Lyrvall has also been working as Special Advisor to Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Carl Bildt, in his role as EU negotiator and International High Representative in Bosnia and Hercegovina (1995-1997), as well as United Nations Special Envoy on the Balkans in 1999.

Additional diplomatic stations included Leningrad, Moscow and London.

Born in Hofors, Sweden, in 1960, Björn Lyrvall graduated from Stockholm University with a degree in Political Science, Eastern European Affairs and Russian.

Björn Lyrvall is married and has three children.

For more information about this event, contact Daman Irby at irby@virginia.edu or (434) 243-8475.



Ambassador Series

His Excellency Pham Quang Vinh

Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the United States


Tuesday, April 12, 2016
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Albert & Shirley Small Collections Library
University of Virginia


The University of Virginia Center for Politics and International Residential College in partnership with the University of Virginia Office of the President and the Asia Institute will host a public event featuring His Excellency Pham Quang Vinh, Ambassador of the Socialists Republic of Vietnam to the United States. Ambassador Vinh will speak on geopolitical issues within Vietnam and Southeast Asia and the relationship with the United States.

Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh was appointed by President Truong Tan Sang as the fifth Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the United States of America in July 2014. He has also been accredited to the title of Senior Ambassador – the highest rank for a Vietnamese career diplomat. He arrived in Washington, D.C. in November 2014 and presented his Credentials to President Barack Obama on February 23, 2015.

From September 2011 to July 2014, Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh served as Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in charge of relations with countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, and Vietnam's Senior Official to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN SOM Leader).

From September 2008 to September 2011, Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh held the position of Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vietnam's ASEAN SOM Leader.

From January 2007 to September 2008, Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh was Deputy Director General, then Director General and Vietnam's ASEAN SOM Leader.

Much of the earlier years of Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh's career in the foreign service was attached to MOFA's Department of International Organizations, where he started off as a desk officer in September 1980 before getting promoted to Assistant Director General in 1994, and then Deputy Director General in 1995, the position that he held until December 2003.

Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh was posted twice to the Permanent Mission of Vietnam to the United Nations in New York, first as an Attaché from January 1987 to January 1990 and then as a Minister Counselor and Deputy Permanent Representative from July 1996 to August 1999. His third posting was to the Embassy of Vietnam in Bangkok, Thailand as a Minister Counselor from December 2003 to January 2007.

Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh graduated from the University of Foreign Affairs, Hanoi, Vietnam in 1980 and earned a post-graduate degree at Canberra College of Advanced Education, Australia in 1985.

He is married to Mme. Hoang Bich Lien and has two children.

For more information about this event, contact Daman Irby at irby@virginia.edu or (434) 243-8475.



Ambassador Series

His Excellency Peter Wittig

German Ambassador to the United States


Monday, March 14, 2016
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Newcomb Hall Ballroom
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

Saint Basil's Cathedral

The University of Virginia Center for Politics and International Resdiential College in partnership with the Univeristy of Virginia Office of the President, Center for German Studies, and German-American Association of Central Virginia will host a public event featuring His Excellency Peter Wittig, German Ambassador to the United States.

Peter Wittig has served as German Ambassador to the United States since April 2014. Prior to this, he was German Ambassador to the United Nations in New York and represented Germany during its tenure as a member of the UN Security Council from 2011 until 2012. There, he drew on his wide expertise in United Nations matters, having previously served as Director-General for United Nations and Global Issues at the German Foreign Office in Berlin and having been posted to the German Permanent Mission in New York in the late 1980s.

Wittig joined the German Foreign Service in 1982. He has also served in Madrid, at the headquarters as the private secretary to the Foreign Minister, and as Ambassador both in Lebanon and then in Cyprus. He was the German Government Special Envoy on the “Cyprus question” (the division of Cyprus) and has acquired extensive knowledge of the Middle East.

Before starting his career in the German Foreign Service, Wittig studied history, political science,and law at Bonn, Freiburg, Canterbury, and Oxford universities and taught as an assistant professor at the University of Freiburg.

His wife, Huberta von Voss-Wittig, has worked as both a journalist and a writer. The couple has four children: Valeska, Maximilian, Augustin, and Felice.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information about this event, contact Daman Irby at irby@virginia.edu or (434) 243-8475.



Ambassador Series

His Excellency Sir Peter Westmacott

United Kingdom Ambassador to the United States

Friday, October 23, 2015
11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Jefferson Hall (Hotel C)
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

Saint Basil's Cathedral

The University of Virginia Center for Politics in partnership with the International Residential College will host a public event featuring His Excellency Sir Peter Westmacott, Ambassador of the United KIngdom to the United States.

Prior to his posting in the US, Peter served as Ambassador to France, and Ambassador to Turkey; spending most of his career working in or on the non-Arab Middle East (Iran and Turkey), Western Europe, and the Americas. After a year in Middle East Department, and Persian language training, he was posted to Tehran in 1974. In 1978 he was loaned to the European Commission in Brussels, before his first posting to Paris from 1980 to 1984. After 3 years as Chief of Staff to successive Ministers of State in London, he went to Ankara in 1987, for the first of his two diplomatic postings to Turkey. From 1990 to 1993, he was Deputy Private Secretary to HRH The Prince of Wales. From 1993 to 1997, Peter was Counsellor for Political and Public Affairs in Washington, before returning to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as Director, Americas. He joined the Board of the FCO in 2000 as Deputy Under Secretary and returned to Ankara as Ambassador in 2002. Peter moved to Paris in 2007 where he served as Ambassador to France until the end of 2011. He presented his credentials to President Obama as Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the United States on Wednesday 18 January 2012. Peter married Susie Nemazee in 2001. Between them they have four grown up children, Oliver, Laura, Rupert and Safieh

For more information about this event, contact Daman Irby at irby@virginia.edu or (434) 243-8475.



Ambassador Series

Her Excellency Cecilia Nahón

Ambassador of the Argentine Republic to the U.S.


Monday, March 30, 2015
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Newcomb Hall South Meeting Room
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

Saint Basil's Cathedral

The University of Virginia Center for Politics in partnership with the Latin American Studies Program hosted a public event featuring Her Excellency Cecilia Nahón, the Ambassador of the Argentine Republic to the United States. Ambassador Nahón discussed the "Sovereign Debt Restructuring and Systemic Implications of the Argentine Case", followed by questions from the audience.

Prior to her current appointment, Ms. Nahón served as Secretary of International Economic Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina. In such capacity, she acted as National Coordinator of the MERCOSUR Common Market Group and Secretary of the Board of Directors of the export promotion agency FundaciónExportar. She also served as Undersecretary of Investment Development within the same Ministry during 2011. From May 2008 until her appointment as Undersecretary, she was responsible for the Strategy and Investment Environment Department of the former National Agency for Investment Development. Cecilia Nahón holds a Ph.D. in Social Sciences from the Latin American School of Social Sciences (FLACSO), a Master of Science in Development Studies from the London School of Economics (LSE) and a Bachelor in Economics from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). She has served in the public and private sectors as well as the academic sector, including her work as a researcher at the Department of Economy and Technology of FLACSO, and as a professor for undergraduate and graduate level courses at the University of Buenos Aires and the National University of Quilmes in Argentina.



Ambassador Series

His Excellency Dr. Hans Peter Manz

Ambassador of Austria to the U.S.


Thursday, February 26, 2015
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Small Collections Library, Harrison Auditorium
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

Saint Basil's Cathedral

The University of Virginia Center for Politics in partnership with the Center for German Studies hosted a public event featuring His Excellency Dr. Hans Peter Manz, the Austrian Ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Manz discussed the relationship between Austria and the United States and relations within the European Union followed by questions from the audience.

Hans Peter Manz, Ambassador of the Republic of Austria to the United States: Ambassador Manz has represented Austria in the United States since December 2011. He arrived in Washington D.C. having served as Austrian ambassador to Switzerland for more than four years. Ambassador Manz is a career diplomat who joined the Austrian foreign service in 1979. Between 1981 and 1987 he served at the Austrian Embassies in Berne and Tehran. After a spell on the Eastern European desk in Vienna and another tour in Berne, he became Deputy Chief of Mission at the Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations in New York in 1994. In 1999, Hans Peter Manz moved back to the Foreign Ministry in Vienna. From 2000 to 2007, he was the Diplomatic Advisor to the Austrian Federal Chancellor. Hans Peter Manz was born in Canberra on October 7, 1955. After high school in Vienna, he received his doctorate of law at the University of Vienna in 1977.



Ambassador Series

His Excellency Sergey I. Kislyak

Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the U.S.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Newcomb Hall Theater
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

Saint Basil's Cathedral

The University of Virginia Center for Politics in partnership with the Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation and the Center for Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies hosted a public event featuring His Excellency Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, the Russian Federation Ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Kislyak will spoke regarding the relationship between the U.S. and Russia and answered questions of the audience.

Ambassador Kislyak became Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States on September 16, 2009. He previously served as Russia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador to Belgium, and Representative to NATO in Brussels. In addition, he held high positions in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of Security Affairs and Disarmament, Department of International Scientific and Technical Cooperation, and the Department of International Organizations.