First Female Greek Consul General
Settles Into Post

Hon. Alexandra Theodoropoulou Stregthening Ties With City, Greece

HOUSTON owns the distinction of being served by the first female Consul General of Greece - the Honorable Alexandra Theodoropoulou.

The 35-year-old Theodoropoulou, appointed to the post in September 2007, is one of the youngest in the Houston Consular group, of which there are around 45 career diplomats.

Her office has jurisdiction over Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, Oklaho­ma and the Virgin Islands. She already has experienced a whirlwind of social and political activities almost daily.

Greek Consul
General: Hon. Alexandra Theodoropoulou

"Houston has a very active and diverse Greek community," said George Zombakis, the corresponding secretary of the Hellenic Professional Society of Texas. "In addition to her numerous consular duties, she also helps to support and promote the activities of the Hellenic Professional Society of Texas, the Pancyprian Association of Hous­ton, the Cretans of Houston, AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association) and the Hellenic Cultural Center of the Southwest."

On Oct. 25, 2007, Mayor Bill White issued a proclamation welcoming Theodoropoulou as the first female Consul General of Greece in the city's history, declaring that day in her honor.

I feel really welcome in Houston and people have been so warm and gracious, said Theodoropoulou, who lives in west Houston with her husband Konstantinos Kouzas, a musician. The energy, the diversity of the city and the worldwide dimension of Houston make this a very exciting post for me.

Her goals are to strengthen Greek­American relations; to transmit the contri­butions of the United States back to Greece; to have an open door to Houston firms that seek business with Greece; and to enhance the cultural presence of Greece on the national front.

"Shipping is a very important industry for us and I hope to enhance the presence of Greek shipping firms as well," Theodoro­poulou said.

She said she is excited by the new and growing Greek cultural center, which "embraces all Greek organizations," and so far operates out of various locations.

She also is pleased to see the city supporting such Greek churches as Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 3511 Yoakum, and St. Basil the Great Greek Orthodox Church, 1109 Eldridge.

Born in Athens, Greece, Theodoropoulou always knew she wanted to serve as an international diplomat.

She studied law at the University Robert Schuman in Strasbourg, Alsace, France, from 1991-95, including one year abroad at the Universitat de Barcelona.

After receiving a bachelor's degree in law in 1995 she studied ancient philosophy at the Icole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and earned a master's degree in 1996.

She was a scientific collaborator at UNESCO in Paris for one year, then returned to Greece. She taught law at the Centre Frannais d'Etudes Suplrieure in Athens and was a journalist at To Vima.

Theodoropoulou entered the Greek diplomatic corps in 1999.

I've always traveled a lot, and wanted an international life, she said. I thought the diplomatic corps was an opening to the world.

Proficient in four languages, French, Spanish, English and Greek.

She was assigned to the General Secretariat for European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Greece, before being posted at the Mission of Greece at the United Nations in Geneva from 2002-03.

Her first full, four-year term was at the Permanent Representation of Greece at the European Union in Belgium from 2003-07.

She received a second master's degree in political theory in 2005 from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.

When choosing her next assignment from those available, Theodoropoulou knew she wanted to go to Houston.

"This is very important to me career-wise, and will result in a lot of personal growth as this is a demanding assignment," Theodoropoulou said. "But I am so happy to be here.

(Posting date 2 October 2008)

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