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Young Diplomats Club of San Francisco
Past Honorary Chairs


Founding YDC Honorary Chair
The Hon. Alexey Dobrynskiy,
Russian Federation, 2009

Special thanks to our founding Honorary Chair for his vision and leadership in launching this important organization.
Vice Consul Dobrynskiy served from April - October, 2009.

The Hon. Alexey Dobrynskiy,
Russian Federation

The Hon. Alexey Dobrynsky
transferring Honorary
Chair position to The Hon.
Barry O'Brien, October 2009 aboard the California Spirit


Founding YDC Honorary Chair, The Hon. Alexey Dobrynskiy, born in 1979 in Moscow, Russia, graduated from the Moscow State Institute of Foreign Relations in 2002. From 2002 until 2004 he was the Assistant to the Director, Department of Consular Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation He has served as Vice-Consul, Chief of Protocol of the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco from 2004 until his return to Russia in 2009. He is married and has one daughter.

Vice Consul Dobrynskiy stated, “We believe that networking is essential in current diplomatic affairs, especially in a cosmopolitan city like San Francisco, where diplomatic activity is very dynamic. We know how difficult it may be for the young diplomats to integrate with the consular corps, especially in the early days of their postings. Although there may be many events to which the heads-of-post are invited, we are especially encouraging participation by those who don’t usually receive such invitations. It is our goal to provide a social and networking opportunity in a relaxed private setting in order for members to become better acquainted with one another.”



The Hon. Barry O'Brien,

The Hon. Barry O'Brien, Ireland, 2009/2010

The Hon. Barry O’Brien assumed duty as Vice Consul General of Ireland to the Western United States, based in San Francisco, on 2 October, 2009. He was born in Dublin, Ireland and educated at Belvedere College S.J. and University College Dublin. Barry holds a bachelors degree in Economics and a masters degree in Business Studies. Prior to this appointment as Vice Consul General, Barry served in the Anglo-Irish Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Dublin. Before joining the Irish Foreign Service. Barry worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Sydney, Australia and BearingPoint Consulting in Dublin.

Message from Barry O'Brien:
"The Young Diplomats Club of San Francisco offers a fantastic opportunity for the younger members of the Diplomatic Corp here to interact, network, share ideas and most of all build friendships that will last. It has been my experience in attending past events that they are not only a great fun occasion but have also shown how networking can be a vital tool of diplomacy in achieving our aims. It is my hope that during my tenure as Chair of the Young Diplomats Club that we further extend our outreach. I feel very fortunate for having been posted to San Francisco; it truly is a magnificent city with a rich diplomatic history, unparalleled beauty and a cultural capital. I am very grateful for the opportunity to Chair this organization and look forward to working with you all in organising the many great events we have planned for the New Year."



The Hon. Mohamed Elkhatib,
Arab Republic of Egypt

The Hon. Mohamed Elkhatib, Arab Republic of Egypt, 2010

The Hon. Mohamed Elkhatib assumed his duty as Commercial Consul of Egypt to the Western United States, based in San Francisco, in August, 2009. Prior to this current appointment, Consul Elkhatib enjoyed his previous posting to Brussels, Belgium, from 2003 to 2007.Mohamed's message: "The Young Diplomats Club of San Francisco is a very special club which has members of young diplomats posted from all over the world. I was very lucky to start my post in San Francisco by attending one of the events of the club, and I really enjoyed it very much as it gave me a great opportunity to meet many of my colleagues in other consulates as well as many others involved in diplomacy and networking in San Francisco. I believe every event of the club is a new chance to have fun, exchange ideas, and get to know more people. I invite all the young diplomats posted in San Francisco to join this club to enjoy all that it offers, and I am sure that with our joined efforts, the club will grow in importance, size and attract more people who are interested in cultural exchange with various countries.

Message from Mohamed Elkhatib:
"I would like to wish you successful posts in San Francisco and that you enjoy the marvels of this amazing city, and I look forward for your cooperation and help as the current honorary chair of the club to have more activities and larger participation from all consulates."


Wang Chen, People's Republic of China
The Hon. Wang Chen,
People's Republic of China

The Hon. Wang Chen, People's Republic of China, 2011

The Hon. Wang Chen served as Consul, Economic and Commercial Office in San Francisco. Wang Chen has returned to his Ministry in Beijing, China. He is currently the Deputy Division Director of the Department of Mechanic, Electronic and High-tech Industry for the Ministry of Commerce of the P.R.C. He sends everyone at the YDC his special Chinese New Year greetings!


Nora Weber
The Hon. Nora Weber,
Consular Agent, Consulate General of the Federal
Republic of Germany


Ms. Nora Weber, Federal Republic of Germany, 2011

Ms. Nora Weber was born and raised in western Germany. She has been in the foreign service since 1996. Her previous posts abroad were Bulgaria (apprenticeship); Angola; Houston, Texas; Kabul, Afghanistan; and San Francisco. All of her assignments have been interesting and diverse. She met her husband Alex, in Kabul and they married when they arrived in San Francisco in 2008. Nora brings a tremendous amount of enthusiasm to all of her endeavors and has been a loyal participant in all of the Young Diplomats Club of San Francisco activities.

Message from Nora Weber:
"I am honored to be the first female honorary chairperson of the Young Diplomats Club of San Francisco as we continue this endeavor together and look forward to the fantastic experiences that lie ahead. More than ever, diplomatic relations are critical in ensuring a progressive and peaceful world. The YDC not only allows young diplomats the opportunity to hone their networking skills but it also offers a relaxed environment that fosters and encourages the development of innovative ideas that younger diplomats can provide. It has been almost two years since the Young Diplomats Club of San Francisco was launched and it has been growing ever since. Here's to many years to follow!"



The Hon. Rosana Paradini de Sá, Consulate General of the Federative Republic of Brazil

Rosana Paradini de Sá, Frederative Republic of Brazil, 2012

Ms. Rosana Paradini de Sá, was born in São Paulo, Brazil, which is one of the alpha-world cities for its significant cultural, economic and political influence both nationally and internationally. It is popularly known as Sampa, and it is among the five largest metropolitan areas on the planet. Sao Paulo's and Brazil's growth have been extraordinary, and Brazil is proud to be the host of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

Rosana received her college degree from Ibero Americana, a college in Sao Paulo, where she majored in languages and teaching. She spent her early life in Sampa until 1993 when she was transferred by Chevron from São Paulo to San Francisco on a special assignment that was supposed to last one year. She never left. Rosana decided to stay in San Francisco because it was such a beautiful, diverse and vibrant city.

She began working for the Consulate General of Brazil as a Cultural Attaché in 2000. Her job gave her the opportunity to work with the highest ranking educational institutions in the Bay Area including Stanford University and the University of California in Berkeley. She has also organized and participated in many special and interesting events including international film festivals.

Message from Rosana Paradini de Sá:
"I am very excited to be the new Young Diplomats Club Honorary Chair and pleased to work together during the next two events with the co-founder Sherri Ferris and her great colleagues. When I receive an email from Sherri, my work routine is broken and it automatically puts a smile on my face because I know something fun is on the way.

It is organizations like YDC that provide one of the greatest hopes for the future. As the world population grows and we become a more global community, it is critical that we not only work together but we also learn to respect and hear from one another. It is the long-term friendships that we make at places like this that will sustain and nourish our ever more complex world. I welcome all the Consulates to participate in the next upcoming events and have a taste of Brazil!"



The Hon. Marta
Troyano, Consulate General
of the Kingdom of Spain


Marta Troyano, Kingdom of Spain, 2012

Ms. Marta Troyano was hired as a visa officer for the Consulate General of Kingdom of Spain in 2005. She was born in the cosmopolitan capitol, Madrid, Spain, and spent the first twelve years of her life there. Madrid is not only the home of the Spanish Royal Family, but it plays a major role in both the banking and industrial sectors. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin. Madrid is currently bidding to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Marta spent the next twelve years in Malaga, in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Spain. It lies on the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) of the Mediterranean Sea. Her family originates from this region. She received her college degree in Industrial Relations from the University of Malaga, moving to California in October 2001. Marta brings a tremendous amount of talent and graciousness to all of her endeavors and has been a loyal participant in all of the Young Diplomats Club of San Francisco activities since its inception. She even won the second place "YDC's Got Talent" contest for her performance of the "Sevillanas", a typical dance from Southern Spain in Seville (Andalusia). We were pleased to learn that a sevillana is a very light and happy type of music. The music that accompanied her dance was, "Sevillanas a cantores de Hispalis." Ole! Brava, Marta y bienvenidos!

Message from Marta Troyano
"It is a great pleasure to be the new YDC Honorary Chair. It is very easy to get involved with Sherri and her marvelous team, with their great organizational ability and dedication, after I have seen the tremendous enthusiasm of the San Francisco career consular corps and staff. I hope that everyone will get contagious to participate in the events to come. Protocol Professionals, Inc. has created a wonderful environment for us to network and make life-long friends from many countries".



The Hon. Kenichi, Finance Consul, Consulate General
of Japan

Kenichi Osuga, Japan, 2013

Mr. Kenichi Osuga is the Finance Consul at the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco. He was born in Osaka, Japan and educated at Doshisha University in Kyoto. Mr. Osuga holds a B.A. in Law and Japanese History. He arrived in San Francisco in July 2011 after serving as a Special Officer in the Debt Management Policy Division of the Ministry of Finance.

Message from Kenichi Osuga
"It is with great honor that I accept the position of Honorary Chair for the Young Diplomats Club of San Francisco. I have been fortunate to attend several wonderful events hosted by Sherri Ferris and her staff at Protocol Professionals since I arrived in San Francisco. I strongly believe that YDC events provide an ideal setting for members from various consulates to come together and build lasting relationships. I encourage all members to attend our upcoming event which will feature Japan's unique culture and I look forward to leading us in a lively kampai (cheers) to new friendships, "nourish our ever more complex world.



The Hon. Achraf Sekhiri, Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Achraf Sekhiri, Kingdom of the Netherlands, 2014

Achraf Sekhiri has been in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2008, where he combines his passion for global business with his unique European market knowledge at the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco. In his current role he assists US West Coast based companies to establish, enter and/ or expand their European operations in the Netherlands. He is passionate about working with high tech, innovative startups, early stage growth and fully established companies that see the world as one big international adventure.

Earlier in his career, Achraf worked at the European Procurement Fund (EUPF) in New York where he was a trusted adviser to corporations interested in entering the United Nations Procurement Market in New York City. In his spare time Achraf enjoys playing soccer, cooking and traveling the world in search of new cultures, adventures and experiences.

Message from Achraf Sekhiri:
It is with utmost honor and gratitude that I accept the position of Honorary Chair for the Young Diplomats Club in San Francisco. The Young Diplomats Club is a place where we as the young diplomatic staff can come together to connect in mind and spirit, exchange ideas, strengthen relationships, build life-long friendships and network but mainly come together and enjoy each others company, culture and heritage over laughter and fun! This is a place where old friendships are renewed and new friendships are created.

This upcoming year we will bring you a variety of events with a touch of Dutch, giving you a taste of Dutch culture and celebrations. I would love to see each and every single one of you at our upcoming events where we will share our typical holidays with you, such as "Kingsday" (previously known as Queensday) and "Sinterklaas" (aka Santa Claus). The Young Diplomats Club is an established name because of all the unbridled energy, enthusiasm and hard work of Sherri Ferris and her team and my sincere thanks goes out to all of them. We are able to do all these great events because of the YDC support and we are eternally grateful for that. I can't wait to meet you all at our next event and I'll look forward to getting to know you better!



The Hon. David Goodstone, Consulate General of the
f State of Israel

David Goodstone, State of Israel, 2015

David Goodstone works as Director of Public Affairs for the Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest, having previously participated in the Israel Government Fellows program in the International Organisations Division of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There, he focused-inter alia- on promoting multilateral cooperation, and developing Israel's relationship with civil society, NGOs and UN bodies such as the Commission on the Status of Women; UNWOMEN and the International Labour Organisation. Mr. Goodstone was born in London, and in his spare time he enjoys savoring the fine food of the Bay Area, travel, reading and cricket.

Message from David Goodstone:
"Honorary Chair of the Young Diplomats Club is a position rather like the head of Google Ideas. You are given generous support, the wonderful talents of Sherri Ferris and her team, as well as the freedom to create engaging events for the benefit of a diverse but unique community. As such, I didn't hesitate to accept the position, and I look forward to meeting fellow members of the diplomatic corps at many fun-filled gatherings in the future.I anticipate greeting new and familiar friends at upcoming events, and it is my great pleasure to serve you, proudly carrying the torch for the YDC's spirit of celebrating different cultures and nations in the wonderful City by the Bay."



The Hon. Michael Harroch,
State of Israel


Michael Harroch, State of Israel, 2015

Michael Harroch, Director of Trade and Business Development, Government of Israel Economic Mission to the West Coast.

Michael Harroch was born and grew up in Paris, France. He moved to California to pursue a higher education. After obtaining a BS in Sociology and International Relations, he earned his MBA from Cal Poly in 2010. Since then, Michael has immersed himself in the world of entrepreneurship and innovation. He launched a housing service for students in 2009 while still in school and managed it for 5 years. During that time, he also worked in several start-ups in the enterprise-marketing space including and Zuberance. An international background has also cultivated a passion for international affairs and diplomacy, which led him to his current role at the Israel Economic Mission to the West Coast.



The Hon. Rafael Comesaña, Chancellor, Consulate
General of the Kingdom
of Spain


Raffael Comesaña, Kingdom of Spain, 2015/2016

Raffael Comesaña was born and raised in Madrid, Spain. His law degrees were obtained at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (LL.B.) and Universidad de La Laguna (J.D.). For the Ministry of Finance, he held the position of County Auditor in Tenerife (5 years) and Regional Auditor in Malaga (14 years). In 2006 he was selected by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to direct the Consular Section of Spain in Taipei, from which he moved to San Francisco on 2011 as a Chancellor at the Consulate General of Spain.



Catherine Delfino, France, 2018/2019

Ms. Catherine Delfino is a French citizen even though she was born in England and then lived in seven different countries before landing in California. She has been working at the French Consulate in San Francisco since 2013, first at the visa department and now as assistant to the Consul General since 2016. She brings a lot of enthusiasm and experience with networking and organizing events in the San Francisco Bay Area, having served for more than 6 years as Vice President of the San Francisco Bay Accueil French association.

Catherine Delfino, Consulate General of France    


Sietze Vermeulen, Netherlands, 2020/2021

Mr. Sietze Vermeulen is in charge of communications and public diplomacy at the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco. Before moving to California in 2017, he worked as press officer for the Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation, EU communications and in TV-journalism. He brings a lot of enthusiasm and creativity with him, having organized and hosted many events for the Consulate and in his previous position as board member of the Young Diplomats Club of the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs.

Message from Sietze Vermeulen:
"The YDC brings together younger and older diplomats and consulate staff that, even though they work for different countries, have a lot in common. Working in international affairs in the middle of the Silicon Valley tech scene, brings a lot of excitement and challenges. It's great to share these with colleagues. I'm looking forward to all the next events, catching up with this very special international group and of course working together with Sherri and her wonderful team."


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