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Where are all the young foreign ministers?

Pakistan made news today appointing the first female foreign minister in the country’s history. But there is something else ground-breaking about Hina Rabbani Khar — her age. At 34, she is the youngest foreign minister in the world. In fact, there are only a handful of other chief diplomats under age 40. Below, a list ...

AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images

Pakistan made news today appointing the first female foreign minister in the country’s history. But there is something else ground-breaking about Hina Rabbani Khar — her age. At 34, she is the youngest foreign minister in the world. In fact, there are only a handful of other chief diplomats under age 40.

Below, a list of a some top diplomats who also happen to be members of Generation X.

 

Maxim Gvinjia (age 35) — Abkhazia

Before being appointed foreign minister in February, 2010 of the breakaway territory (which is considered by many nations to be a part of Georgia), Gvinjia served as deputy foreign minister since 2004. He’s been involved in high level diplomacy with major international consequences since his mid 20s.

Antonio Milošoski (age 35)Republic of Macedonia

He’s been foreign minister since August, 2006, meaning he was only 30 when he took office. But then, he was the government’s chief spokesman when he was just 24 years old.

Aurelia Frick (age 36) Liechtenstein

Back in March, 2009, not only was she given control of the foreign ministry, she was also appointed head of the ministries of justice and cultural affairs. Of course, there are only 35,000 people in the country, so maybe it’s not that shocking that government ministers have to triple up.

Vuk Jeremi (age 36)– Serbia

Since his appointment in May, 2007, Jeremi has conducted a foreign policy “on steroids,” according to the Economist. Early on, most of his diplomacy had to do with trying to dissuade other nations from recognizing an independent Kosovo, which Serbia sees as part of its territory. He’s also pushed for better relations with the United States.

Urmas Paet (age 37) — Estonia

Another diplomatic wunderkind, Paet assumed office in April, 2005 at the tender age of 31. He was a journalist before entering politics in 1999 and speaks five languages. When he’s not accusing Russia of waging cyber war, he does show his age every once in while, like when he parachuted out of a plane (we haven’t seen William Hague do that recently).

Carolyn Allison Rodrigues-Birkett (age 37) — Guyana

Even before she became foreign minister in April, 2008, Rodriques was known as the “iron woman” of Guyana for her relentlessness in pushing through projects in remote parts of the country, to help out indigenous communities (she was previously minister for indigenous affairs, a position she was appointed to in her mid-20s).  

Roosevelt Skerrit (age 39)– Dominica

You can’t exactly call Skerrit a slacker. Upon taking over as prime minister in 2004, he also appointed himself foreign minister and finance minister. Skerrit is the second youngest head of state in the world, behind Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina.

Nickolay Mladenov (age 39) — Bulgaria

With a background serving in international organizations like the Open Society and the World Bank, Mladenov entered parliament in 2001, before his 30th birthday. He was appointed foreign minister last year.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan (age 39)– United Arab Emirates

The son of the founder of the UAE, Sheikh al Nahyan is a key advisor to the country’s current leader (who happens to be his older half brother). Other older brothers serve as the crown prince and deputy prime ministers. In the foreign ministry since February, 2006, al Nahyan’s vigorous diplomacy caused a bit of a stir last year, when a Wikileaks cable revealed he had developed a “good and personal relationship” with his Israeli counterpart at the time, Tzipi Livni. The cable said, they would not “do in public what they say behind closed doors.”

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