Fulbright Alum appointed as Greece’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Photo credit: AmChamGR

Alexandra Papadopoulou, a distinguished member of the Greek Foreign Service who was a Fulbright Foreign Student from Greece, has been appointed as the country’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Since 2020, she has represented her country as the Ambassador of Greece to the United States, the first woman to serve in that role.

Her appointment follows the formation of a new government under Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis after his New Democracy party’s victory in the general election on June 25. President Katerina Sakellaropoulou presided over a ceremony on June 27 at the Presidential Mansion in Athens to swear in the new government.

At the official handover ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs later that day, the new Foreign Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis introduced Ambassador Papadopoulou as his deputy, recognizing her “long career in Greek diplomacy, in extremely critical positions, and with in-depth knowledge of foreign policy issues.”

Her extensive foreign service career has taken her to diplomatic posts throughout the world. Prior to her term as Ambassador to the United States, she served as Head of the Diplomatic Cabinet of the Prime Minister of Greece, Head of the European Union’s Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, Ambassador of Greece to Uruguay and Paraguay, and Permanent Representative of Greece to the European Union.

As a Fulbrighter, Papadopoulou studied International Law at the University of Pennsylvania. When she took up her position as Ambassador to the United States, she spoke about this experience in an interview with the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, where she described her desire to pursue further studies in the United States after finishing law school in Greece as “a real dream” because it “combined an outstanding academic experience with exposure to a different educational system and way of life.”  She said, “The Fulbright Program made this possible for me and I share in the gratitude of all alumni for having been given such a unique opportunity—especially at a time when this kind of foreign exploit was not as common or easy as today.”

“… Being exposed to the American educational system was an invaluable experience. But I was also exposed to the U.S. as a country, to its people, to their mentality, to the system, the admirable and the not-so-admirable points. As a young person at the time, I was very receptive to ideas, changes and challenges. I took the opportunity to also travel a lot in the country. The time I spent in the U.S. defined a great deal my way of thinking, my understanding of the U.S., and my abiding love for all things American. It was a life-changing experience.”

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