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President George W. Bush is joined on stage by Croatian Ambassador to the U.S. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, left, Albanian Ambassador to the U.S. Aleksander Saliabanda and NATO Secretary General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer, right, as he signs the NATO accession protocols Friday, Oct. 24, 2008 in the East Room of the White House, in support of the nations of Albania and Croatia to join the NATO alliance.

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović (born April 29, 1968) is a Croatian diplomat. As of 2008, she is the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Croatia to United States. She was sworn in as ambassador on March 19, 2008.[1] From 2005 to 2008 she was the foreign minister of Croatia.

Kolinda Grabar was born in Rijeka, Croatia. She lived in the United States for part of her childhood and graduated from Los Alamos High School in Los Alamos, New Mexico. She then attended the University of Zagreb graduating in 1992. Kolinda obtained a masters degree in international relations.

In 1992, Grabar-Kitarović became an advisor to the international cooperation department of the ministry of science and technology of Croatia. In 1993 she moved to the foreign ministry, becoming an advisor. In 1995 she became the head of the North American department of the foreign ministry, remaining in that position until 1997. In 1997 she began to work at the Croatian embassy in Canada, as a diplomatic councilor until October 1998 and then as a minister-councilor. She remained in Canada until 2000.

In 2001 Grabar-Kitarović became a minister-councilor to the ministry of foreign affairs. She left that position in 2003. In November 2003 she was elected to the Croatian Parliament from the seventh electoral district as a member of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ). In the government formed in December 2003, she became the minister of European integration, beginning negotiations in 2004 for Croatia to join the European Union. In February 2005 she was nominated to become the foreign minister of Croatia following the resignation of Miomir Žužul due to allegations of corruption.

She was confirmed by the parliament and sworn in to that position on February 17, 2005. Her main task as foreign minister was to guide Croatia into the European Union.

She was replaced as foreign minister by Gordan Jandroković in January 2008, following the November 2007 parliamentary election.

Grabar-Kitarović is married to Jakov Kitarović. They have two children. She speaks Croatian, English, Spanish and Portuguese fluently.


Preceded by
Miomir Žužul
Croatian Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration
Succeeded by
Gordan Jandroković


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