The Swedish-American of the Year 2017
International Swedish diplomat, former UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ambassador Jan Eliasson recognized.
Every year since 1960 the Vasa Order of America has appointed a recipient of the Swedish American of the Year award, which commemorates Swedish immigration to North America.
The 2017 Swedish American of the Year is Jan Eliasson, a well known international diplomat recognized for the work he has done and continues to do for world peace and understanding in the U.S., Sweden and across borders.
Jan Eliasson was born in 1940 in Gothenburg, Sweden and was educated at the University of Gothenburg, was an exchange student in the U.S. (Indiana) and was commissioned as a naval officer with the Royal Swedish Naval Academy; he also holds honorary degrees from American University, University of Gothenburg and Uppsala University.
Eliasson began his career in 1965 at the Swedish State Department and has worked in several countries. He has served as mediator for the UN in many countries, was the Swedish Ambassador to the UN in New York in 1988 and 1992, was the Under Secretary General at the UN in 1992-1994, and served as Swedish State Secretary for Foreign Affairs in 1994-2000. He was the Swedish Ambassador to the United States from 2000 to 2005, and in June 2005 he was the first Swede to be elected chairman of the UN General Assembly. Jan Eliasson was appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations in July 2012 to December 2016, when he and his wife returned home to Sweden.
Eliasson has a profound interest in water issues, particularly in the developing world and has received many international awards for his diplomatic and humanitarian work. In 2016 he was awarded the Government’s Illis Quorum for his lifelong and untiring work for peace and understanding between countries, both as a representative for Sweden and the United Nations.
A special celebration for him will take place in Filipstad and Karlstad, Sweden on August 5.
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