Ambassador from Azerbaijan: Who Is Elin Suleymanov?
Saturday, February 18, 2012
The former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, located in the Caucasus Mountains west of the Caspian Sea, south of Russia and north of Iran, has sent a new ambassador to the U.S. Elin Suleymanov is quite familiar with the U.S., having lived here ten years of his life, including the past six years in Los Angeles.
A career diplomat, Suleymanov was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in September 1970. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Azerbaijan State University in 1989, another in Political Geography from Moscow State University in Russia in 1992, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Toledo in Ohio in 1994.
Suleymanov worked with the Open Media Research Institute in Prague, Czech Republic, from 1995 to 1997, and as public information officer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Azerbaijan from 1997 to 1998. He returned to the U.S. to serve as press officer and first secretary at the Azerbaijan Embassy in Washington, D.C. He also earned a graduate degree in 2002 from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, where he was the first Azerbaijani to study. At Fletcher, Suleymanov focused on international security studies and public international law, writing a thesis entitled “Emergence of New Political Identity in the South Caucasus: Energy, Security, Strategic Location and Pragmatism.”
Suleymanov joined the Azerbaijani Foreign Service and was posted to the embassy in Washington, DC, to serve as first secretary and press attaché, followed by a stint as senior counselor in the Foreign Relations Department of the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. On November 14, 2005, Aliyev appointed Suleymanov Azerbaijan’s first consul general to Los Angeles, California, with responsibility for providing consular services to 13 states. Almost six years later, On October 26, 2011, Suleymanov was promoted to Ambassador to the U.S., and formally presented his credentials to President Obama on January 18, 2012.
Suleymanov speaks Azerbaijani, English, Russian and Czech. He is married to Lala Suleymanova.
The Price of Freedom: Remembering January 20, 1990 (by Elin Suleymanov, Huffington Post)
Q&A with Elin Suleymanov, Consul General of Azerbaijan (YouTube video in English)
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