Representative Biographies



Odette Hampton is the Australian Trade and Investment Commission’s (Austrade) Deputy Consul General and Trade and Investment Commissioner, San Francisco. Odette supports Austrade's work in the West Coast of the United States. Odette previously worked for the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) in Sydney and practiced as a lawyer at Gilbert + Tobin Perth. Odette holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours)/Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame Australia and studied abroad at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. Odette has a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the College of Law and was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Western Australia. 


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Stéphane Lessard joined Global Affairs Canada at the Consulate General of Canada in August 2016. As Canada's Consul General in Denver, Stéphane oversees a team who work within Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Utah and Wyoming to strengthen trade and economic ties; enhance political, academic and cultural links; and assist Canadians visiting or living in the five-state U.S. Mountain West region. Stéphane began his career practicing commercial law in Montréal before joining the Canadian Federal Government in 1993, where he has held numerous senior and executive positions. Prior to arriving in Denver, Stéphane spent the last ten years with Health Canada (2006 to 2016), where he served in different executive positions. He has also worked with the Canadian Space Agency (1993 to 2004), where, as the Head of International Affairs, he oversaw relationships with foreign national and multinational space agencies; and with Global Affairs Canada’s Global Partnership Program (2004 to 2006), where he focused on preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction in the former USSR. 

Kathryn Burkell started her career working for the Canadian government at international expositions (Expos) in New Orleans, Vancouver and Brisbane Australia, where she promoted Canada to a worldwide audience. From there, her interests took her to the diplomatic world, and she joined the Trade Commissioner Service of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) in 1994. Kathryn began her foreign service career with various assignments in Ottawa and, in 1998, was appointed Vice Consul and Trade Commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada in Seattle, where she supported Canadian companies wanting to do business in the Pacific Northwest, and promoted trade relations between the US and Canada. In 2001, Kathryn returned to Canada and an assignment at the DFAIT regional office in Vancouver focused on promoting Canadian exports. From there, she moved on to work with a team on foreign investment attraction, delivering a BC-Canada business program at three Olympic Games, beginning in Turin, Italy in 2006, followed by Beijing, China (2008), and culminating in high level investor visits during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. In 2011, Kathryn was appointed Senior Trade Commissioner at the Embassy of Canada to Panama, leading a team that supported and promoted Canadian business interests in that country. From Panama, Kathryn went to Barcelona in September 2015. As Head of Office at the Consulate of Canada, she led a team that worked with Canadian companies, promoted investment in Canada and served Canadian consular clients. In September 2019, Kathryn arrived in Denver, where she is delighted to work with an excellent team of trade commissioners covering the Mountain West region, and plans to enjoy exploring the mountains and plains of these beautiful states.



 E. Hynek Kmonicek is the Ambassador of Czech Republic to the United States. Before his appointment as Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United States, Ambassador Kmoníček worked as the Director of the Foreign Affairs Department in the Office of the President of the Czech Republic.  His diplomatic career has spanned more than two decades since he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, specifically its Department for Middle East and Africa, in 1995. He worked in different positions such as the Director of North Africa and Middle East Department, the Director General for Asia, Africa, and America, and the Deputy Foreign Minister in two different periods. He served as the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Australia, India and to the United Nations in New York. Before joining the foreign service, the Ambassador studied English and Arabic Language Studies at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, and Modern History of the Middle East and Hebrew and Arabic Languages Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. Ambassador Kmoníček is concurrently the Ambassador of the Czech Republic for Jamaica and Antigua & Barbuda.



Zsuzsa James is responsible for the coordination, planning, implementation, future watch / innovation policy and reporting of Team Finland activities in the domains of games, e-sports & technology covering 13 Western states of the US.  Previously, she worked in the games, edu-tech and advertising spaces in roles ranging from design, through project management to marketing.



Attila Danku is the MBA Trade Commissioner and Diplomat for Hungary based in Los Angeles, CA. Attila is responsible for FDI, trade and economic relations between Hungary (EU) and 19 US states.



Rajesh N.  Naik is a career diplomat from India, presently serving as the Deputy Consul General at the Indian Consulate in San Francisco. Prior  to  the current assignment he  had  served in  the Indian  Embassy,  Tokyo  and  as  the  Under  Secretary  in  New  Delhi. He is a postgraduate in Clinical Psychology.  He also holds an International Law Certificate issued by the United Nations Institute for Training & Research, Geneva.



Consul-General Midori Takeuchi arrived in Denver in November 2018. She joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1982 and has served at the Embassy of Japan in Singapore and at Consulates-General of Japan in New York and Detroit. She also attended G7 Summits in London and Munich, G20 Summits in Washington D.C. and London, and has visited several countries including China, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and the United Arab Emirates. As of April 2019, Consul-General Takeuchi is one of 39 women currently in director-level or higher positions within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and one of only 13 female Heads of Mission representing the Japanese government around the world.


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Mario Rodriquez Montero is the current Minister for Economic Affairs at the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C. In 2018, he served as the Coordinator Deputy Chief of Staff for the Office of the President of Mexico and from 2013-2016 as the Minister for Trade and Investment at the Embassy of Mexico in Ottawa, On., Canada and as the Head of the NAFTA Office before Canada. His academic achievements include a BSc Economics from Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de Mexico  (ITAM) Mexico City, Mexico, a M.A. in Latin American Studies from the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS), University of Texas at Austin (UT), a Diploma on Commercial Policy,  GATT´s (WTO) Training Division Geneva, Switzerland, and a Diploma on Strategic Planning: “Executive Program” from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Boston, Mass. USA.

José Borjón is the Head Consul of Mexico in Salt Lake City, responsible for the state of Utah and western Wyoming. He holds a degree in International Relations from Mexico ́s National University (UNAM) and a Master’s Degree in Diplomatic Studies from the Diplomatic Academy of Mexico. He is a member of the Mexican Foreign Service with the rank of Minister. He has previously served in the Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC, the General Consulate of Mexico in Houston, and the Embassy of Mexico in Korea.



Gerbert (Gerrit Pieter Grades) Kunst, Consul General for Netherlands in San Francisco, was born May 25, 1966, in Hilversum, the Netherlands, in a family of five. His parents met in Amsterdam. His father worked as the director of a school for special education and his mother was a teacher.After secondary school, Gerbert attended the University of Leiden, where he earned a master’s degree in Dutch business law. In 1991 Gerbert participated in the EU Erasmus Program, and studied International Relations and Law at the University Panthéon Sorbonne in Paris for six months.

In 1991 Gerbert began working as a lawyer at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Fisheries. In 1995 he was posted in Brussels at the Dutch Permanent Representation, and from 2000 onwards he held management positions in the Hague, in the Representation of the Netherlands to the EU in Brussels, and in the Netherland’s Embassy in Berlin. Before his appointment as Consul General of the Netherlands in San Francisco, Gerbert was the director of European and International Affairs at the Ministry of Economic Affairs. He was responsible for the EU internal market policy, and coordinated the European and international policy of the Ministry. In addition, he was involved in the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 1997, 2004 and 2016. 

Ms. Skadi Tirpak – Senior Economic Policy Officer, San Francisco

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Mr. Maurice Williamson – Consul General of New Zealand, Los Angeles. He took up his position as the New Zealand Consul General in Los Angeles in August 2017 with jurisdiction over the twelve western states of the United States of America.Prior to his appointment, he was a Member ofParliament (MP) for the National Party, serving as MP for Pakuranga, Auckland since 1987. He has held a range of ministerial portfolios in successive governments, including Transport, Broadcasting,Building and Construction, Customs, Land Information, Statistics, Science and Technology, Local Government, Communications, Information Technology, and Small Business. Before entering Parliament, he worked in the Corporate Planning Division of Air New Zealand from 1975-1987, with various postings overseas, including to the United States. He is married to Raewyn and they have three children -Simon, Connor and Brittany.



Mr. Roland Denegri is a Minister in the Diplomatic Service of Peru. He graduated from the Catholic University of Peru and from the Peruvian Diplomatic Academy and has a Master’s Degree in Public International Law from the University of Nottingham-United Kingdom. Currently, he holds the position of Consul General of Peru in Denver with a jurisdiction of nine Estates of the American Union (Colorado, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming). He has worked at the Mission of Peru to the European Union, at the Embassy of Peru in Belgium (2000-2006), and Counselor and Minister Counselor at the Embassy of Peru in Argentina (2009-2014). In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he held several positions, including Third Secretary at the South American Department and MERCOSUR; First Secretary and Head of Chile Division of the South American Department; and was Adviser to the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.



Juan Carlos Sánchez Alonso, Consul General of Spain in Los Angeles, is a senior Spanish diplomat, whohas served as Ambassador of Spain to Peru and Consul General of Spain in Santiago de Chileand held other posts in the Spanish Diplomatic Missions of Venezuela and Argentina.

He has held several positions in the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Madrid as Vocal Advisor of Inter-American Affairs, Deputy Director for Countries of the Andean Community, Cabinet Director of the Secretary of State for Latin America and Director General of Foreign Policy for Latin America.He graduated from the Universityof Oviedowith a Law Degree in 1984 and entered Spain's Diplomatic Corps in 1991.

collette weston  


Collette Weston is the British Deputy Consul General for Los Angeles. She joined the FCO in 2002, and has had overseas postings in Mumbai and short term roles in fifteen countries. In Mumbai, she worked with the trade and investment team, covering the whole range of trade activity, but mainly focused on Inward Investment and Creative Industries. Most recently, she worked in the UK on the NATO summit held in Wales (the biggest conference ever held on UK soil) and passing legislation through the UK parliament.