Ambassador Urban Ahlin Makes Cheerful Debut at House of Sweden
By October 30, 2023 0 477•
The Embassy of Sweden hosted a welcoming reception on Oct. 24 for its new Ambassador to the United States, Urban Ahlin, who presented his credentials to President Biden in August and succeeds Karin Olofsdotter.
Ambassador Ahlin most recently served as Sweden’s Ambassador to Canada. Before that, he was a member of the Swedish Parliament, representing the Social Democratic Party. Following the 2014 parliamentary election, he was elected Speaker of the Swedish Parliament for the period 2014-2018.
Members of the diplomatic community, policymakers, entrepreneurs, think tank representatives and cultural leaders gathered at the House of Sweden on the Georgetown waterfront, between Rock Creek and Washington Harbour, for an evening of music, food and friendship.
Known as a successful mediator, the 58-year-old, personable Ahlin has traveled extensively across the United States and was introduced and toasted by longtime colleagues — Kurt Volker, an American diplomat who has served as NATO Ambassador and Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations; Fred Turner, Senior Vice President in BGR Government Affairs International Practice; and Craig Kennedy, former president of the German Marshall Fund. Volker noted how the word, “skol,” also meant “skull,” which Ahlin gently corrected. It is more like a small ship. Kennedy joked that Ahlin could have been “a long-haul truck driver” across America.
After the happy toasts, all were reminded of the war in Ukraine, as Denys Sienik, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Ukraine, thanked governments and individuals for their support. The Ukrainian Embassy is also in Georgetown.
The cheerful but earnest crowd mingled as the sun set and the Potomac’s shadow complemented the illuminated, stylish House of Sweden.