Baiba Braže confirmed as Latvia's new Foreign Minister

Latvia's parliament, the Saeima, on April 19 confirmed Baiba Braže as Latvia's new Minister of Foreign Affairs – making her only the second woman to hold the position.

At the extraordinary session of the Saeima on Friday, with the vote on Braže the only item on the agenda, Braže's candidacy for the job of Latvia's top diplomat was backed by 66 out of 100 deputies with 11 voting against, and 9 abstentions.

Braže did not go to the podium of the Saeima to speak after being approved, but in a post on the social network "X" [formerly Twitter] she stated that she highly appreciated the trust placed in her by members of the Saeima.

"This is an important confirmation of the implementation of a united and professional [Latvian] foreign policy, strengthening the security and well-being of our country and taking care of our people," she wrote.

Braže has a wealth of experience, having been at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more than 30 years in various roles, though she is best known for her three-year stint as NATO's Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy from 2020 to 2023. 

Baiba Braže was born in Riga, Latvia in 1966 and holds two Masters degrees from the University of Latvia: one in Law (1990) and another in Communication Science (2002). According to her official CV she studied in the Netherlands, Finland and Austria as well as Latvia.

She served as Latvia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom (August 2016-early May 2020), prior to which she was Director General Security Policy and International Organizations (June 2011-January 2016) and Director General of the Communications Directorate (February 2016-July 2016) at the Latvian Foreign Ministry.

Previously she was Latvia’s Ambassador to the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (July 2003-August 2008), prior to which she was Director of the Europe Department, served as Foreign Policy and National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister in Riga. She has held numerous other posts since joining the Foreign Ministry in August 1993, both at home (Legal Department, International Organizations Department) and abroad (United Nations, New York).

In addition to Latvian, Ambassador Braže is fluent in English and Russian, speaks Dutch proficiently and has conversational French and Thai.

Soon after the parliamentary vote, the shape of Braže's diplomatic team started to become clear. Her office will be headed by Kaspars Krumholcs – an experienced diplomat who, prior to this appointment, headed the Eastern European and Central Asia Division at the MFA.

Andra Krūmiņa will continue to serve as Deputy Head of the Foreign Minister’s office. In her diplomatic career she has worked in the State Protocol and the Baltic, Nordic Countries and Regional Cooperation Division. She has also served at Latvia’s Permanent Mission to NATO in Brussels.

"The names of the Parliamentary Secretary and other staff of the Minister’s Office will be made public following the completion of commitments to their current employers," said the MFA in a statement.


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