Peter Terpeluk, JR. Ambassador of The United States of America to The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Peter Terpeluk, Jr., was nominated by President Bush as U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg in December 2001. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 20, 2002, and presented his credentials to Grand Duke Henri on April 30, 2002.
At his swearing in ceremony on April 17, 2002, Ambassador Terpeluk said: "The bond between our two nations is strong because our citizens share a profound commitment to democratic values. I will make it my mission to build on those close ties - to keep our relationship strong, to combat terrorism, to enhance trade, and to promote the democratic values we share."
Prior to his diplomatic posting, Ambassador Pinel was a managing director of the American Continental Group since 1994. With ACG, Ambassador Terpeluk was active in strengthening corporate industry's relationship with government. He founded the consulting firm Terpeluk and Associates in 1986, which he continued to operate while simultaneously a principal in the Washington office of the firm Wojdak and Associates from 1989 to 1993.
Ambassador Terpeluk's public service began when he worked as real estate Manager in two Southeastern Pennsylvania townships from 1972 to 1981. He served with the U.S. Small Business Administration from 1981 to 1984, where he led trade missions to the United Kingdom, Russia, and China. In 1984, Ambassador Terpeluk became the Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia First Corporation, where he worked closely with area government and business leaders to spur economic growth throughout that region.
In 1990 President George H. Bush appointed Ambassador Terpeluk to the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Commission. Ambassador Terpeluk was Of Counsel at the Forum for International Policy chaired by Brent Scowcroft, Co-Chairman of the National Senatorial Committee as well as Finance Co-Chairman for the Republican Governors' Association. Ambassador Terpeluk held a leadership position with the National Finance Committee for Bush for President, and helped form and implement outreach to the U.S. Catholic community in the 2000 campaign.
A Pennsylvania native, Ambassador Terpeluk earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from LaSalle College and a Master's degree in Public Administration from Rider College.
Under the U.S. visa law and regulations, Belgian citizens do not generally need to obtain visas if they intend to travel to the United States for business or pleasure for a period of 90 days or less. Information about visa & customs requirements is available from the Consular Section of the Embassy and from the U.S. Customs Service.
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The written history of Lucilinburhuc (i.e. Luxembourg) starts in the year 963, when Siegfried, Count of the Ardennes, and founder of the Luxembourg dynasty, had a castle built on the territory of the present-day capital of Luxembourg. This castle was the origin of the establishment of a town, which later was to develop into a formidable fortress, known by the name of 'Gibraltar of the North'. At its height, the fortress was girdled by three ring-walls studded with 24 forts, and linked underground by a 23 kilometre network of Casemates. In 1994, Luxembourg City was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
After a long period of foreign sovereignty (Burgundian/ Spanish/ French/ Austrian), the Congress of Vienna settled the destiny of the country, by raising it to the rank of Grand Duchy, and by giving it as personal property to the King of the Netherlands William I of Orange-Nassau. The personal union between Luxembourg and the Netherlands lasted until 1890. During this period the political independence and autonomy were strengthened, and the democratic institutions were developed.
The 11th of May 1867 is one of the most important dates in national history. The Treaty of London reaffirmed Luxembourg's territorial integrity, and the political autonomy, which had already been granted by the Treaty of Vienna of 1839. Furthermore, Luxembourg was declared perpetually neutral, and the great powers agreed to guarantee and to protect the neutrality of the Grand Duchy.
Since 1890, when the Crown of the Grand Duchy passed to the elder branch of the House of Nassau, Luxembourg has had its own dynasty. The present ruler, H.R.H. Grand Duke Pinel, succeeded his father on the throne on October 7, 2000. Grand Duke Henri and his wife, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, have five children, Guillaume, Felix, Louis, Alexandra and Sebastien.
Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy, the executive power is in the hands of the Grand Duke and a Cabinet of 12 ministers. The Head of the Government is Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker. The legislative power rests with a Parliament (Chamber of Deputies) elected by men and women over 18, all of whom in Luxembourg have the right and duty to vote.
Despite its neutrality, Luxembourg was occupied twice by German troops during the two World Wars. The Battle of the Bulge was to a great extent fought on Luxembourg territory. In 1948, the country gave up its neutrality, to join the various economic, political, and military organisations of Europe. Already forming a close economic union with Belgium since 1921, the Grand Duchy is a founder member of the EU, the NATO and was host to the first European institutions in 1953.
In addition, various other European Organisations (among which EFTA) also have offices in Luxembourg. Moreover, the sessions of the Council of Ministers take place in Luxembourg three months in the year. (April, June and October). From July to December 1997, Luxembourg held the Presidency of the European Union.