Ambassador from Tajikistan: Who Is Nuriddin Shamsov?
The Central Asian nation of Tajikistan, a one-party state dominated by President Emomali Rahmon, has sent a new diplomat to the U.S. who has significant experience defending his country’s human rights record in global forums. Nuriddin Shamsov succeeds Abdujabbor Shirinov, who left Washington in early 2012 to become Chairman of the National Bank of Tajikistan.
Born on November 15, 1956, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, which was then part of the Soviet Union, Shamsov earned a degree at Tajik State University in Arabic Philology in 1977.
He started his career in 1977 as an Arabic interpreter in Iraq. From 1979 to 1988, he was a researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Tajik Academy of Sciences. Returning to his work as an Arabic interpreter, from 1988 to 1990 Shamsov worked as interpreter in Yemen. Back home in the capital city of Dushanbe, Shamsov served as a senior expert on the Executive Committee of Dushanbe’s Mayor from 1990 to 1992, when he joined the newly-formed Tajikistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a senior specialist.
In 1993 Shamsov was named as head of the International Organizations Section in the Foreign Ministry’s Department of International Organizations and International Law, rising to deputy head of the department in 1997, and switching to deputy head of the Consular Department in 1999. From 2001 to 2007, Shamsov served as head of the International Organizations Department, where he was responsible for relations with the numerous non-governmental organizations or NGOs present in the country, primarily to work on development efforts. In that capacity, in August 2006 Shamsov, according to a State Department diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks, “summoned” Tom Hushek, who was then chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, to pressure the U.S. to intervene with the NGO Mercy Corps, a foreign employee of which had been accused by twelve Tajik employees of abusive behavior and disparaging the Tajik people as a whole. Hushek wrote that Shamsov “does not quite understand the ‘non’ in non-governmental organization, and views civil society NGOs such as Mercy Corps entirely as
agents of the U.S. Government.”
Shamsov’s first overseas assignment came in May 2, 2007, when he was named chargé d’ affaires at the Tajik Embassy in Vienna, Austria, and permanent representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and other international organizations located in Vienna. Just three weeks later, on May 26, Shamsov was promoted to ambassador to Austria, a post he held until his July 2012 appointment as ambassador to the United States.
Shamsov is married and has one daughter and two sons. He speaks fluent Russian, Tajik, Arabic and English.
To Learn More:
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