Brussels, 10 June 2022 (TDI): The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell named Riina Kionka as the next EU Ambassador to Pakistan.

Before the nomination as the next EU Ambassador to Pakistan, Riina Kionka served as EU Ambassador in South Africa from 2019 up to 2022.

About Riina Kionka 

Kionka earned a Ph.D. in International Relations from Columbia University in New York City. Prior to this, she started with a BA in International Relations and German Literature at Michigan State University.

Accordingly, she started her working career as a Research Analyst on Estonian affairs at Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty in Munich, Germany from 1989 to 1993.

Before moving to the EU Institutions, Kionka worked at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Hence, she was at the Ministry in Tallinn for a number of years.

Riina Kionka started off as Chief of Policy Planning in 1983. Following this, she then moved on to the role of Political Director in 1985.

In addition, her initial external posting was as Estonia’s Ambassador to Germany in 2000. Then in 2004, she went back to Estonia to take up the reigns at the Foreign Ministry as Undersecretary for EU Affairs.

In 2004, Kionka was made a Deputy for the Director dealing with the United Nations, the Americas, Counterterrorism, and Human Rights at the Council Secretariat.

Moreover, she led Human Rights for the European External Action Service (EEAS). In 2007, she started serving as the Secretary General/High Representative Javier Solana’s Personal Representative for Human Rights at the EU’s Council Secretariat.

Kionka also served as Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk from 2014 to 2019. More to this, she led the Central Asia Division at the (EEAS). Recently, Kionka served as the EU Ambassador in South Africa since 2019.

Lastly, in terms of her personal life, Kionka is married to Ambassador Lauri Lepik. Lepik is a former Estonian Ambassador to the United States, NATO, Ukraine, and Moldova.

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