A Happy Juxtaposition: A New Archbishop and a New Ambassador to the U.S.

February 13, 2020

After a long period of retreat, our Community seems to be entering into a period that can be described as a dynamic and heaven-sent “spring.”

This “spring” was needed not only in our Community here, but also in Greece and in many of our others sister Communities around the world.

It may not yet be visible to the naked eye, but for me, it is certain that there is an undeniable interdependence between Greece and the Diaspora Communities, a parallel course, even though it manifests itself with some time differences.

There can be no doubt that Archbishop Elpidophoros will play a critical role in the change in course from decline to improvement and maintenance/rebuilding through dynamic actions and decisions.

With increasing speed, following the necessarily more slow and deliberate initial period, the Archbishop is restoring credibility and transparency to the Archdiocese – not that as a practical matter the former Archbishop was necessarily directly responsible for the financial crisis of the Archdiocese and the problems with the construction of St. Nicholas at the World Trade Center, but the problems Archbishop Elpidophoros inherited justify a complete overhaul of the organizational structure and operation of the Archdiocese.

There was a similar situation of decline at the Greek Embassy in Washington in recent years. And I’m not just talking about the state of its buildings and infrastructure.

Willfully isolating itself from the Greek community, the Embassy was unable to take full advantage of one of her two great assets for fulfilling its mission: the existence of our Greek-American Community and the unique opportunities it presents to Greece.

Along with last year’s change of government, however, there is now a new Greek Ambassador, Alexandra Papadopoulou. She is a skilled diplomat with roots in the United States. She is a person who knows and recognizes both the importance and the role of the Diaspora in terms of Greece’s wider interests and Greece’s relations with the United States. (She studied in the United States, served in the Consulate in New Orleans, LA, and was Consul General in Toronto. She also served as Greece’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN).

I wrote in a recent tweet (for anyone wishing to follow me, my handle is @AHDiamataris): “Ms. Alexandra Papadopoulou presented her credentials to President Trump, formally assuming her duties as Greece’s new Ambassador to the U.S. Having worked with Ms. Papadopoulou, I believe that there could be no better choice for this demanding position.”

Her appointment presents a great new opportunity.

A multiplier effect can be set in motion, enough to plant optimistic seeds between the Archbishop, community leaders and the Ambassador of Greece to the United States.

This multiplier effect, both in terms of Greece in this crucial historical juncture (and to be perfectly clear, I mean the Greek-Turkish crisis), but also in upgrading and strengthening relations between Greece and our Community.

We therefore welcome Ambassador Papadopoulou to the United States and wish her every success in her mission.


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