Ambassador from Latvia: Who Is Andrejs Pildegovičs?
Saturday, September 03, 2011
Since July 2007, the ambassador to the U.S. from Latvia has been Andrejs Pildegovičs, a career diplomat who has defended U.S. spending on the Latvian military as necessary to the ongoing war in Afghanistan and to US security interests generally.
Born August 11, 1971, in Vladivostok, Pildegovičs is the son of a university professor in Asian languages, Peteris Pildegovičs. Andrejs himself earned an undergraduate degree in Chinese History and Language Studies at the University of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1994, spending the 1990-1991 academic year studying Chinese at the Beijing Foreign Languages Institute. In 1995 he pursued Diplomatic Studies at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and then at the Foreign Service Program at Oxford University during the 1998-1999 school year.
Pildegovičs joined the Latvian Foreign Service in 1994, and spent his first year studying at Stanford. Back in Latvia the following year, he served as Assistant to the State Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry from 1995 to 1996, and then as Press Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry from 1996 to 1998. After receiving his Foreign Service Studies Certificate from Oxford in 1999, Pildegovičs was promoted to Head of the Middle East and Africa Division of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Pildegovičs then went to work directly for the then President of Latvia, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, serving as a foreign policy advisor from 2000 to 2006, and as Chief of Staff of the President’s Chancery from 2006 to 2007. In July 2007, Pildegovičs began service as Latvian ambassador to the U.S., and in May 2008 he was accredited to Mexico as well.
Pildegovičs and his wife, Jelena, have three children. He speaks Latvian, Russian, English and Chinese.
- Matt Bewig
Why America Needs Allies (by Andrejs Pildegovičs, National Interest)
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