Romania’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Iulian Buga?
Iulian Buga presented his credentials as Romania’s ambassador to the United States to President Barack Obama on December 3, 2013. The day had been a long time coming for Buga, a career civil servant who’d first been talked about for the Washington slot in 2007.
Buga was born August 31, 1957, in Rosiorii de Vede, Teleorman County, Romania. His first degree was a B.S. in electronics and telecommunications engineering in 1982 from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest. Buga began his working career as a researcher at Romania’s Research and Design Institute for Electronic Components in Bucharest, remaining there until 1990. He then moved to Electronium, a state-owned company that traded in Romanian-made electronics parts, where he remained until 1991.
At that point, two years after the fall of communism in Romania, Buga made a drastic career change, moving to his country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a third secretary in its protocol department. In 1992, Buga earned an M.A. in international relations and diplomacy from Westminster University in London. Buga was put in gradually more responsible positions in the foreign ministry until 1994, when he was sent to Washington as a counsellor in Romania’s embassy. In 1997, Buga was moved to the west coast as consul general in Los Angeles.
Buga received his first ambassadorial posting in 2001, being named to head his country’s mission in the Netherlands. At that time, he was also named Romania’s representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
He kept the post in the Netherlands until 2007, when the foreign ministry nominated him to be the ambassador to the United States. However Romanian President Traian Băsescu vetoed the move, and Buga returned to Bucharest to serve as state secretary in the foreign ministry.
In 2009, Buga was sent to Ireland to serve as his country’s ambassador in Dublin. He stayed there until his assignment to Washington.
Since his arrival in the United States, one of the big issues Buga has addressed is getting his country added to the visa waiver list, so Romanians can travel to the United States without visas, as citizens of many other countries, mainly Western European and Asian, do.
Buga and his wife, Mihaela, have a daughter, Irina.
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