Ambassador Ojars Kalnins was Ambassador to the U.S. and Mexico from January 1993 - December 1999. Prior to his positions at the Embassy of Latvia, he was public relations director of the American Latvian Association (ALA). Ojars Kalnins was raised and educated in the United States, and, once Latvia restored its independence, gave up his U.S. citizenship to become a diplomat. Following his posting as Ambassador, he moved to Latvia and worked as Director of the Latvian Institute www.li.lv from 2000-2010. He is now a Member of the 11th Saeima (Parliament), representing the party Vienotiba (Unity). He is also Chairman of the Saeima Foreign Affairs Committee.