H.E. Mr Francisco FONTAN PARDO presented his letter of credence to H.E. Le Luong Minh, then Secretary General of ASEAN, on 17 September 2015.
Mr Fontan is the first dedicated EU Ambassador to ASEAN, appointed in July 2015 by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. As Head of the newly created EU Mission to ASEAN, Ambassador Fontan is mandated to coordinate the EU’s expanding relations with the ASEAN Secretariat, working with ASEAN Permanent Representatives, EU Member States, and enhancing public diplomacy efforts in relation to EU-ASEAN overall agenda.
Ambassador Fontan started his career as a logistician at the EU’s Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) in the Balkans and Burundi. He then spent over 20 working on foreign relations as an EU official, first at the European Commission, and then at the European External Action Service (EEAS), dealing with humanitarian, political and economic development cooperation issues, with posting in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Ambassador Fontan assignments at EU diplomatic representations abroad include the EU Delegation to Guinea-Bissau, the Office of the first EU High Representative to Afghanistan, as well as in two ASEAN countries: In Vietnam, working on economic cooperation, and in Indonesia, as Head of the Europe House, in Banda Aceh, helping to coordinate the EU’s support to the reconstruction after the 2004 tsunami, and the peace process following the 2005 Helsinki peace agreement.
Prior to his current assignment, Mr Fontan was the Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to the Federative Republic of Brazil.
Mr Fontan has a degree in Law from the Universidad Complutense, Spain. While pursuing his studies, he was also awarded a two-year Erasmus scholarship at Law Faculties in France and Austria. He completed his studies preparing the examinations for the Spanish Diplomatic Academy in 1994.
Mr Fontan was born in Madrid in 1969, and speaks Spanish, English, French, German, Portuguese and keeps on working on his Bahasa Indonesia!
Mr Fontan is married to Mrs Megan Ireland and they have three children.