The new Ambassador of Greece to the United States, Haris Lalacos, presented on Tuesday his credentials to American President Barack Obama.
Ambassador Lalacos conveyed to the U.S. President the best wishes of both the President and Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, for the prosperity and well-being of the American people. He said that Athens and the Greek people greatly value the privileged relationship and strategic partnership with the United States and emphasized the role of the vibrant and enterprising Greek-American community.
On his part, President Obama warmly welcomed the new Ambassador to Washington and said that he looks forward to working together in order to advance even more the common interests and strengthen the friendship between the two countries. He also referred to the dynamic presence of Greek Americans and their contribution to the American nation.
The U.S. President also praised Greece’s stance in the recent migration crisis, with the Greek people demonstrating extraordinary compassion, hospitality and cooperation. President Obama also expressed his belief that Greece’s resilience and perseverance will see the country’s economy recover.
Who is the new Ambassador to the U.S.
Haris Lalacos was born in Athens on May 2, 1957. He studied History at Amherst College, Massachusetts, graduating in 1980, and received a Master’s degree at the School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C. in 1983.
After serving in the Hellenic Navy, he joined the Hellenic Foreign Service in 1986 and until September 1990 he worked in various positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens.
From October 1990 until November 1994 he was Consul at the Consulate General of Greece in Sydney, Australia.
In December 1994 he was transferred to the Embassy of Greece in Ankara, where he served initially as First Secretary and subsequently as Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs until 1998.
From July 1998 until July 2000 he directed the cabinet of Dr. P. Roumeliotis, European Union Coordinator for the Royaumont Process for Stability and Good Neighborliness in South East Europe and, subsequently, Chairman of the Working Table on Democratization and Human Rights of the Stability Pact for South East Europe.
From August 2000 until August 2004, he served as Counselor for Political Affairs at the Embassy of Greece in Washington.
In August 2004, he assumed duties as Consul General of Greece in Alexandria, Egypt. He served in Alexandria until the end of July 2007, whereupon he was transferred to Athens.
In August 2007, he became Deputy Head of the Diplomatic Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
From January 2009 to March 2010, he was the Head of the CFSP/ESDP Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In March 2010 he was transferred to the Embassy of Greece in Ankara as Minister-Counselor and Deputy Head of Mission. From April until December 2012, he was heading the Embassy as Charge d’ Affaires.
In January 2013, he assumed duties as Ambassador and he was the Head of the Liaison Office of the Hellenic Republic in Skopje until May 2016.
Lalacos is married to Anna Michalopoulou. They have two children, Errikos and Myrto, 25 and 23 years old respectively.
Besides Greek, Lalacos speaks fluent English and French and he is conversant in Spanish and Italian.