New Consul General of Greece, Constantinos Orphanides, Welcomed to Boston

BOSTON, MA - Constantinos Orphanides arrived February 10 from Athens, Greece succeeding Konstantin Bikas as the new consul general of Greece. He will be honored by the Federation of Hellenic American Societies of New England in cooperation with the Metropolis of Boston and Metropolitan Methodios with a welcome reception at the Maliotis Center in Brookline March 2.

Born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, Orphanides is a son of the Greek Diaspora. As such, he is keenly sensitive to the importance of establishing strong bonds between Greece and the Hellenic communities living abroad. As consul general, Orphanides seeks to strengthen and reinvigorate the relations he initially cultivated in Boston while serving as consul (1994-1997) to then Consul General John Economides. During his tenure, Orphanides built strong bonds and friendships with the people of New England, promoted the teaching of the Greek language in local schools and worked for the strengthening of the relations between the academic communities of Greece and New England.

Prior to joining the Diplomatic Corps in 1990, Orphanides, general manager of Orphanides for Trade Limited, in Cairo from 1981-1988. He received a law degree from the University of Athens in 1977 and successfully became a member of the Athens Bar in 1980. He pursued post-graduate classes at the University of Dallas, TX where he received a pre-MBA Diploma in 1978. He Completed graduate studies at the American University of Cairo, Egypt and received an MBA in 1987. In 1988, he entered the Academy of Diplomacy of the Public Administration School in Athens, which he successfully completed and joined the Foreign Service in 1990.

Orphanides a seasoned diplomat. He has held a number of senior positions within the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was responsible for the implementation of the department's policy regarding issues of non-proliferation such as to Iran and North Korea (DPRK), as well as coordination of the various Greek governemnt agencies on matters related to the international control on the tranfer of arms and dual use items and the non-proliferation of conventional, nuclear weapons, and other weapons of mass destruction. As head of this section, he has represented Greece at various government meetings, plenaries and international conferences for numerous international organizations.

From 2003 to 2004, he served in the Department of Bilateral Relations with the former USSR Republics, as head of the Section for Caucasus and Central Asian republics. During this appointment, he coordinated the visit of President of the Hellenic Republic Constantinos Stephanopoulos to Azerbaijan, as well as a number of other missions to that region.

From. 2001 to 2003, Orphanides served as head of the Section for European Economic Policy (ECOFIN) and EU Regional Policy in the Department of European Affairs. During that time, he was he also the Greek contact point and coordinator for the Institution Building Program of the EU (often referred to as the "Twinning Program") which prepares candidate countries with their adhesion to the European Union. For this work, he was duly recognized and was awarded a Citation of Excellence by the general director of the Department for Enlargement of the European Commission.

From 1997 to 2001 he served as counselor in the Embassy of Greece in Santiago, Chile. From 1993 to 1997, he served as consul in the Consulate General of Greece, working intensely for the inclusion of Greek language in the secondary school system curriculum and for the development of cultural and educational relation between the academic communities of New England and Greece.

Orphanides has participated on the Greek Delegation to the Plenary of the General Assembly of the United Nations in a number of its sessions and worked on number of committes of the United Nations General Assembty. He also worked as a member of the Greek Delegation to the United Nations, on a special mission assignment, during the Greek presidency in 1994.

Orphanides has also served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the Middle East Department (1991-1992) and as deputy to the president of the Greek Committee for the implementation of United Nations sanctions against Serbia (1992-1993).

He speaks fluent Greek, English, Arabic, French and Spanish.

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