The new ambassador assigned to work with Latvia’s diaspora will be Rolands Lappuķe, says the man who was the first to hold the job.
In a July 29 email to media and other contacts, Juris Audariņš revealed that Lappuķe will replace him in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the special assignments ambassador on Latvian diaspora issues. Audariņš, who held the post since it was created in 2004, is moving to Canada to become Latvia’s ambassador there.
Ministry spokesman Gints Serafinovičs confirmed the appointment in an email to Latvians Online.
Lappuķe since 2009 has been Latvia’s ambassador to Spain.
Lappuķe is himself a product of the Latvian diaspora. He was born in 1956 in Courbevoie, France. Lappuķe studied at the Univeristy of Strasbourg, where he earned a doctorate in neuroscience. From 1982-1986 he taught at Latrobe University in Melbourne, Australia, and also was a biology and chemistry instructor at the Latvian high school in Muenster, Germany (Minsteres latviešu ģimnāzija).
Lappuķe’s diplomatic career began in 1993 when he was assigned to the staff of the Latvian embassy in Germany. In 1997 he became a counselor and in 1999 the ambassador in Latvia’s embassy in Portugal. He later served as a special assignments ambassador and then as ambassador to France.
Replacing Lappuķe in Spain will be Jānis Eichmanis, who received his letter of accreditation from President Andris Bērziņš on July 28, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Eichmanis was born in 1942 in Rīga. Educated in Canada and the United Kingdom, Eichmanis first worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1992-1993. He then served as chief of staff for Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis. In 1995 he returned to government service in Canada, but in 1999 became a counselor and later deputy chief of mission in the Latvian embassy in Washington, D.C.
Eichmanis also has been the Latvian ambassador to Greece and to the NATO defense alliance.
Latvia’s new ambassador assigned to diaspora issues will be Rolands Lappuķe. (Photo by Inga Sadovska, courtesy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
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