Mauritius’ Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Sooroojdev Phokeer?

Monday, January 18, 2016
Sooroojdev Phokeer

Sooroojdev Phokeer, who had previously served as his country’s ambassador to Egypt, presented his credentials as Mauritius’ ambassador to the United States to President Barack Obama on Aug. 3, 2015.

 

Phokeer was the seventh of nine children whose father was an official in Mauritius’ Ministry of Works. He attended secondary school at Bhujoharry College in Port Louis, Mauritius’ capital, and excelled in economics and languages. Phokeer subsequently taught economics at the school.

 

Phokeer started in politics around 1983 when he joined the MSM (Militant Socialist Movement) party, led by Prime Minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth. Phokeer won a seat in parliament in 1991. The MSM lost power in 1995, but when it won elections in 2000, Phokeer was appointed ambassador to Egypt, where he served for four years. He returned to Mauritius in 2004 and was appointed special adviser to the minister of agriculture.

 

In 2005, the MSM and its coalition partner, the Mauritian Militant Movement (MMM), fell out of power and Phokeer left for London. He worked as an academic counselor while studying law at the University of Huddersfield. He also commuted back to Mauritius, serving as campaign manager for Jugnauth, who by this time was president of Mauritius. Jugnauth returned to the post of prime minister in December 2014 and in mid-2015, Phokeer was tapped to go to Washington.

 

Phokeer is not married.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Sooroojdev Phokeer (by Marie-Annick Savripène, L’Express) 

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