Macedonia’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Vasko Naumovski?
President Barack Obama accepted the credentials of Vasko Naumovski to be Macedonia’s ambassador in Washington on November 18, 2014. It’s the first time Naumovski has had charge of a foreign embassy.
Naumovski was born in 1980 in Skopje, in what was then Yugoslavia.
He earned a B.A. in international law at the University of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Skopje in 2003. He earned a masters’ degree in international law from that school and a Master of European Studies from the Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhelms University of Bonn, Germany. Naumovski earned a Ph.D. in international law from Cyril and Methodius in 2008. While working on his advanced degrees, Naumovski was a teaching assistant in the Department for International Relations, Politics and European Studies at New York University Skopje beginning in 2005. He moved up to assistant professor in 2008. That same year, as part of a U.S. State Department exchange program, he studied at the University of Florida.
During the 2009 elections, Naumovski was a frequent guest on Macedonian television espousing the views of the VMRO-DPMNE party. Later that year, Naumovski was appointed Macedonia’s deputy prime minister for European Union integration. The major sticking point in Macedonia’s efforts to join the EU has been its name. Greece is opposed to the use of the name Macedonia by its northern neighbor, saying it implies territorial claims to Greece’s northern province of the same name. Naumovski worked on that issue from 2009 to 2011, surviving a 2010 vote of no-confidence by members of the opposition party who claimed he was ineffective in his negotiations.
He left government in 2011 to teach law at the University of Saints Cyril and Methodius. In 2014 Naumovski was selected as ambassador to the United States and to take over as Macedonia’s chief negotiator in its name dispute.
Naumovski speaks fluent English and some German.
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