Greece’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Theocharis Lalacos?
Theocharis (Haris) Lalacos, a career member of Greece’s Foreign Service, presented his credentials as his country’s ambassador to the United States on June 27, 2016. It’s his first such assignment.
Lalacos was born May 2, 1957, in Athens. He studied in the United States, earning a B.A. in history at Amherst College in 1980 and an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in 1983. He then spent two years in the Greek navy.
Lalacos joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1986 and worked at its Athens headquarters until 1990, when he was named consul in Sydney, Australia. In 1994, he was sent to Ankara, Turkey, where he served as first secretary and, eventually, counselor for political and economic affairs. Beginning in 1998, he directed the cabinets for the European Union coordinator in the Royaumont Process, an initiative focusing on stability and good neighborliness in South East Europe.
Lalacos returned to the United States in 2000 as counselor for political affairs in the embassy. In 2004, he was named consul general in Alexandria, Egypt. He returned to Athens in 2007 as deputy head of cabinet for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 2009, Lalacos was named head of the ministry department dealing with the common security and defense policy relating to the European Union.
He returned to Ankara in 2010 as deputy head of mission at the embassy there, serving as chargé d’affaires from April 2012 until leaving Turkey the following December. In 2013, Lalacos was named head of the liaison office in Skopije, Macedonia. There, he dealt with, among other things, Greece’s refusal to allow the country to call itself Macedonia. Lalacos remained there until being sent to Washington. One of his challenges will be to get help for his country as it deals with its refugee crisis, with thousands landing there and being forced to remain in camps.
Lalacos and his wife, Anna Michalopoulou, have two grown children, Errikos and Myrto. Lalacos speaks Greek, English, French, Spanish and Italian.
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