|This biographical article relies too much on references to primary sources. (June 2007)|
|Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe|
8 March 2012 – 8 April 2014
|Preceded by||Ján Kubiš|
|Succeeded by||Christian Friis Bach|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
9 February 2007 – 10 February 2012
|Prime Minister||Nikola Špirić|
|Preceded by||Mladen Ivanić|
|Succeeded by||Zlatko Lagumdžija|
11 November 1948 |
Sarajevo, SFR Yugoslavia
|Citizenship||Bosnia and Herzegovina Croatia|
|Political party||Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina (SBiH)|
|Alma mater||University of Sarajevo|
Sven Alkalaj[pronunciation?] (born 11 November 1948) is a Bosnian diplomat who served as the country's Foreign Minister from 2007 to 2012 under Prime Minister Nikola Špirić. More recently, Alkalaj held the post of Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe between 2012 and 2014. Alkalaj is one of the most prominent Bosnian Jews of Sephardic origin and is a longtime member of the Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina (SBiH) led by Haris Silajdžić.
Alkalaj was born on 11 November 1948 in Sarajevo to a Sephardi Jewish father and Bosnian Croat Catholic mother. He was raised Jewish. His paternal family emigrated from Spain and settled in Sarajevo hundreds of years ago when they fled the Spanish inquisition. Alkalaj graduated mechanical engineering at the University of Sarajevo in 1974. He returned to the university in 1987 and earned a degree in economics.
- 1975–1985: Petrolinvest, Commercial Manager in Sarajevo
- 1985–1988: Energoinvest, Regional Manager for Middle and Far East in Sarajevo
- 1988–1994: Energoinvest, Managing Director in Bangkok, Thailand
- 1994–2000: Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United States in Washington, D.C.
- 2000–2004: Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, D.C.
- 2004–2007: Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Belgium and Head of Mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels
- 2007–2012: Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- 2012–2014: Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in Geneva
Alkalaj has been exposed to harsh criticism and requests for his resignation after it was published that he has received the Croatian citizenship in 2006 through his mother's lineage, Bosnian media reported. On April 2, 2010, during a visit to Dublin for a meeting with the Irish foreign affairs minister Micheál Martin, Alkalaj declared to the press that Serbia should hand over Ratko Mladić to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
- Zrinjski, Marijana (2007-11-05). "Ministar VP neće glasati na izborima u Hrvatskoj" (in Croatian). Nacional. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- Rose, Jasmina (2009-06-30). "Bosni je potrebna EU i Amerika" (in Croatian). Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- Perelman, Marc (2007-10-10). "Divided Bosnia Puts Forward a Jewish Face". The Forward. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- Franklin, Stephen (1995-04-08). "Jews, Muslims Come Together For Bosnia". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- Jelić, Nikola (2007-08-24). "Ministar vanjskih poslova BiH ima hrvatsko državljanstvo" (in Croatian). Jutarnji list. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- Bosnia calls for Serbia to hand over Ratko Mladić. Irish Times, April 4, 2010
- Official website of the Ministry of Foreign affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnian) (English) (German)