Yousif B. Ghafari

Yousif B. Ghafari was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia on May 15, 2008. He served until 2009.

Born in southern Lebanon on September 27, 1952, Ambassador Ghafari emigrated to the United States in the early 1970s and became an American citizen on September 6, 1978. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics in 1974, a Master of Arts in Applied Mathematics and Computer Applications in 1975, and a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering in 1977 - all from Wayne State University. He became a licensed Professional Engineer in 1984, and in 1992, Ambassador Ghafari received his Master of Business Administration from the Michigan State University Advanced Management Program. He was founder and chairman of GHAFARI, a firm of architects, engineers, consultants, and staffing specialists involved in projects in aviation, manufacturing, government, and the commercial sector. He returned to the helm of Ghafari Associates after completing his tour in Slovenia.

In 2004 and 2005, Ambassador Ghafari served as Public Delegate Designate at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations for the 59th United Nations General Assembly. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board in 2005. He was also a founding member of the "Partnership for Lebanon," a collaborative effort by U.S. firms and the U.S. government to help Lebanon revitalize itself economically.

Yousif Ghafari is considered one of the Detroit area's leading philanthropists. In 1995 he was named one of the Top 100 "Executive Heroes" in southeastern Michigan and he is also a member of the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit's "Hall of Fame." In 2005, Wayne State University acknowledged his longtime support by renaming one of its residence buildings Yousif B. Ghafari Hall. He was named one of the 2010 Detroiters of the year by Hour Detroit.

Ambassador Ghafari is also an active member of numerous business and sports clubs, and an enthusiastic athlete, having run the Boston Marathon and Detroit Free Press International Marathon.

He is married to Mara Kalnins-Ghafari, J.D., and has three children.

Ambassadorial Post(s)

Slovenia, (2008 - 2009)

Areas of Expertise