Ambassador from Luxembourg: Who Is Jean-Louis Wolzfeld?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg—a tiny (area: 998.6 miles2/2,586.4 km2) landlocked nation sandwiched between France, Germany and Belgium—sent a new ambassador to Washington last fall who has served in the U.S. before. Jean-Louis Wolzfeld presented his credentials to President Obama on September 19, 2012, succeeding Jean-Paul Senninger, who had served since August 2008. Wolzfeld is concurrently accredited as Luxembourg's ambassador to Canada.


Born in July 1951 in Luxembourg, Wolzfeld earned his undergraduate degree at the Institute of Translation and Interpretation at the University of the Sarre, in  Sarrebruck, Germany, and two Masters Degrees from the University of Paris I in International Public Law and in European Law.


Joining the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1977, Wolzfeld served early assignments as an attaché, as secretary in the office of international economic relations, and as a delegate at the 34th UN General Assembly in 1979. From 1981 to 1986 he was deputy permanent representative to the International Organizations in Geneva, Switzerland, serving as vice president of the Contracting Parties of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1986.


Ten years into his diplomatic career, Wolzfeld was named to his first ambassadorship, serving as his country's first ambassador to Japan from 1987 to 1993, with a concurrent appointment as ambassador to South Korea for part of that time. Returning to New York, Wolzfeld served as permanent representative to the U.N. from 1993 to 1998. In 1997, as chairman of the European Union delegations to the U.N., it fell to Wolzfeld to publically chastise the U.S. Congress for voting to refuse to pay a billion dollars in back dues as a protest against abortion.


Back in Europe, Wolzfeld served as director for political affairs at the Foreign Ministry from 1998 to 2002. He then served as ambassador to the United Kingdom, resident in London from 2002 to 2013 and concurrently accredited to Ireland, Italy, Malta and Iceland.


Wolzfeld speaks French, English, German, Italian, Spanish and Luxembourgish (a Germanic language spoken mainly in that country). He is not married.

-Matt Bewig


To Learn More:

Official Biography

A Grand Duchy Christmas and Amb. Jean-Louis Wolzfeld (by Gary Tischler, The Georgetowner)


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