Sandra Kalniete

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Sandra Kalniete, Latvia

"As a founding member of the pro-independence Latvian Popular Front, Sandra Kalniete played an influential role in the Latvian independence movement. She was a candidate for the 1990 Supreme Council that voted to re-establish Latvia as an independent country, and she helped rally foreign support for Latvia's nascent independence movement. Ambassador Kalniete was born in Siberia, where her parents had been banished by Soviet authorities. She and her family returned to Latvia in 1957. One of her books, "Siberian Snows," recounts her family's deportation and return story and is a perennial best-seller. Ambassador Kalniete currently serves on the board of the Robert Schuman Foundation. She has served as Latvia's Ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva (1993-97), as Ambassador to France (1997-2002) and UNESCO (2000-2002), as Foreign Minister (2002-2004) and as interim EU Commissioner for Agricultural Affairs (2004)." [1]

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  1. Background on Participants "champions of Freedom", White House, accessed August 24, 2007.