Europe Day In Santa Fe – Speaker Biographies

EU Day Dinner and a Movie Panel Ambassador Brito


Featured Speaker:

H.E. Nuno Brito, the Ambassador of Portugal to the United States,

Nuno Brito
Nuno Brito

Mr Brito presented his letters of credence to President Barak Obama on February 23rd, 2011.  Previously, Nuno Brito had been the Political Director of Portugal and co-chair of the Portuguese- US Standing Bilateral Commission since October 2008.

He joined the Portuguese diplomatic service in 1984 and was soon appointed “desk officer” in the Americas Department. In 1987 was posted to the Portuguese Embassy in Washington where he served for the next 6 years, until 1993.

Having returned to the Ministry, he was appointed to the Cabinet of the Portuguese Foreign Minister where he served until 1995 when he became chef de Cabinet of the Secretary of State for Defense.

In 1997, Ambassador Nuno Brito was posted to the Portuguese Mission to the United Nations as Deputy Alternate Representative to the Security Council and subsequently Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in 1999.

Ambassador Nuno Brito returned to Portugal in 2002 to serve as the Senior Diplomatic Adviser to the Prime Minister until March of 2005. Subsequently, he was appointed Director-General for European Affairs and was also co-chair of the Luso-Spanish Transborder Co-operation Commission and a Counselor to the Economic and Social Council.


Georgios Papanikolaou, Greek Consul General in Houston

Georgios  Papanikolaou
Georgios Papanikolaou

Accepted his duties on October 18, 2011.

He has studied International Relations and International Economy at the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece, (1993-97), at the University of Nice, France (1997-98), and has completed his studies with an MA in International Economic and Monetary Relations from the American University and Georgetown University, Washington D.C., USA (1998-2000).

Working experience:

2003 – 2005 Marketing consultant

2005 Joined the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affair

2005 – 2006 Served at the Greek Diplomatic Academy in Athens, Greece

2006 – 2007 Deputy Head of Mission and Consul at the Embassy of Greece in Kinshasa, DRC

2007 – 2008 Stationed at the Special Secretariat of the Greek MFA for the Development of International Program

2008 – 2011 Deputy Head of Mission and Consul at the Embassy of Greece in Baku, Azerbaijan

He is married to Mrs. Afshana Danishani.


Mr. Stephan Helgesen, Honorary Consul of Germany in New Mexico

Stephan Helgesen,
Stephan Helgesen,

Stephan Helgesen is a New Mexico resident and retired career U.S. diplomat who lived and worked in over 30 countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific Rim and the Caribbean Basin. Since his retirement from the Foreign Service in 2004 he held the positions of: Director of the North American Institute of Santa Fe (2004-06) and Director of the State of New Mexico Office of Science and Technology (2006-10). Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he owned a business-to-business advertising agency in Connecticut (1978-84), worked overseas for two internationally-operating Danish corporations (1974-78), was co-owner of Bayland Publishing Company (publishers of Houston Home and Garden Magazine) and was on the staff of the Houston Business Journal (1971-74).


He is currently Honorary Consul for Germany in New Mexico (since 2010) and is CEO of his own consulting company, specializing in international trade. He writes a regular newspaper column and has published four books. He can be contacted at: or




Edward Herrera, Director of the New Mexico Economic Development Department,

Office of International Trade

Edward R. Herrera
Edward R. Herrera

Edward Herrera was appointed as the Director of the New Mexico Economic Development Department, Office of International Trade (OIT) in 2011.  Edward Herrera has 24 years of experience as an International Trade Specialist with the New Mexico Economic Development Department.  Edward has managed the Asia-Pacific and Middle East desks and gained knowledge of doing business in these areas through extensive travel and hands-on experience. When combined with 8 years of international trade and marketing in the private sector, he has a total of 30 years experience in international trade and marketing.  Edward currently oversees the state’s three trade offices in Jerusalem, Israel for the Middle East; the Greater China Trade Office in Taipei, Taiwan, and the Brazil Trade Office in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Prior to joining the Economic Development Department, Edward set up and managed a distribution network in Latin America for medical diagnostic test kits, clinical and laboratory instrumentation and reagents including training the distributor’s sales force in marketing and technical support to capture a share of the market for hospital and medical equipment in major markets of Latin America including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico.

Edward Herrera has consulted with numerous client companies throughout the State of New Mexico in order to assist them in the process of exporting their products overseas and establishing distribution channels. Edward has worked with foreign buyers and governments from emerging markets seeking to source products and equipment from New Mexico suppliers. In partnership with the Santa Fe U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC), Edward Herrera conducts numerous seminars and workshops designed to teach export fundamentals and knowledge of individual or regional markets to NM companies which may be new to export or new to market..

Edward Herrera has an MBA in International Finance from the American Graduate School of International Management(Thunderbird) in Glendale, Arizona. Edward Herrera has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Economics from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Dr. James Joy, Retired US Senior Foreign Service Officer

Dr. James Joy
Dr. James Joy

Dr. James Joy graduated from Oberlin College in 1965 – majoring in economics and political science.  He attended the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and received a Ph.D. in international relations in 1971.

From 1968 until 1980 he taught economics at both the University of Denver and the University of Nebraska at Omaha (where he was a tenured, associate professor).  From 1980 to 1986 he was the supervisory economist on a U.S. Treasury team at the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Finance.  Joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 1986, Dr. Joy was a diplomat until 2006 when he retired as a member of the Senior Foreign Service.

His European posts included Commercial Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Hamburg,  and Commercial Counselor at the American Embassies in Berlin and Bern.