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Thursday 18 September 2014

Irishman new EU ambassador to Washington

David O’Sullivan set to be announced today

Published 05/05/2014 | 11:39

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IN a major diplomatic coup for Ireland, one of the country’s most senior EU civil servants is set to be formally announced today as the European Union's new ambassador to Washington.

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David O'Sullivan (61),  who is currently the chief operating officer of the EU's foreign service arm, the External Action Service, will take up the post shortly. He was the only nominee for the position.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has previously commended Mr O’Sullivan as having “an outstanding track record” in the European institutions, having held a succession of very senior positions, describing him as “a very good friend of Ireland.”

He takes over from Portuguese official Joao Vale de Almeida at a time of the delicate and heightened diplomatic situation regarding Ukraine and over the EU-US trade negotiations.

An Economics and Sociology graduate of Trinity College, Mr O'Sullivan joined the EU Commission from the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1979 and has risen steadily to become one of the EU’s most senior civil servants. He served as  director general of the European Commission's trade division and was chief operating officer of the European External Action Service.

Married with two children, he speaks several languages including German, French and Japanese.

In 1999, he was named European of the Year by the European Movement Ireland.

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