Imants Lieģis is a highly experienced former Latvian Diplomat and Minister of Defence with a wide expertise in European and Transatlantic foreign, defence and security issues.
Born in the United Kingdom in 1955, Imants Lieģis obtained a Law Degree from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne and Solicitor Qualifying Exams from Guildford College of Law. He worked as a solicitor in various law firms in England for 10 years.
His diplomatic career in Latvia’s Foreign Ministry extended from 1992 until 2020, with an interruption as Minister of Defence and in parallel acting Minister of Justice (7 months), and Member of Parliament. His Ministerial duties were with Current Executive Vice-President of the EU Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis’ first Government in 2009 -2010. He was Chairman of Latvia’s Parliament’s European Affairs Committee and Head of Latvia’s Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly from 2010 -2011.
Imants Lieģis was Latvia’s Ambassador to NATO during the accession period (1997 -2004) and later served as Ambassador to the EU Political and Security Committee (2005 – 2008). He has been Latvia’s Ambassador to France (2016 – 2020), Hungary (2012 -2016), Spain (2008-2009) and Belgium (1997 – 1999) and has served as non- resident Ambassador to the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Morocco, Algeria and Monaco. He has worked at the Latvian Embassies in London and Stockholm. He has also been the Personal Representative of the President of Latvia to the International Organisation of La Francophonie.
Imants Lieģis has for almost a decade been actively engaged with the European Leadership Network, and is a member of the ELN Advisory Board. He helped set up the NGO Latvian Transatlantic Organisation (LATO) and to spearhead the annual Riga Dialogue which embraces dialogue partners from Europe, America and Russia.
Imants Lieģis publishes widely on foreign and security issues (e.g. LIIA publications: “Latvian Foreign and Security Policy” yearbooks; “Latvijas ārlietu simtgade; V sējums”; “Deterrence Through Adaptation”; book “Benilukss- sadarbības paraugs Baltijas valstīm”; booklet “Latvia’s accession to NATO – Dream or Reality”) and regularly engages in public diplomacy through conferences and lectures. He is a fellow at Latvia’s Institute of International Affairs.
He has received the following awards: The Latvian Order of the Three Stars; the Order Gran Cruz of the Kingdom of Spain; the Order Terra Mariana of the Republic of Estonia; l’Ordre National du Merite of the Republic of France.
Imants Lieģis is married and has two daughters.