Sandra Kalniete

Sandra Kalniete

Sandra Kalniete (born December 22, 1952) is a Latvian politician. Between 1 May 2004 and 22 November 2004 she was Latvia's EU Commissioner.

Kalniete was born in Togur, Tomsk Oblast, Russia where her family was deported from Latvia during the Soviet occupation. She studied art at Latvian Academy of Art from 1977 to 1981 and worked as an art historian, publishing a book, "Latvian textile art", in 1989. She joined politics in 1988, during Latvia's independence movement, and was a deputy chairwoman of Latvian Popular Front, the main pro-independence political organization.

After Latvia declared independence, Kalniete worked in Latvia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and served as Latvia's ambassador to the UN (from 1993 to 1997), France (from 1997 to 2000) and UNESCO (from 2000 to 2002). She became Foreign Minister of Latvia in November 2002 and served in this position until being nominated as Latvia's EU Commissioner in 2004.

Many Latvians were shocked after she was not re-nominated as Latvia's EU Commissioner. Afterwards, Kalniete stepped aside from politics and refused the low-rank diplomatic positions she was offered.At the beginning of 2006, Kalniete joined the New Era Party. In October 2006, she was elected to the Latvian parliament. She was the candidate of the New Era Party for the post of Latvia's president, before withdrawing in favour of Aivars Endziņš on May 24, 2007.

She is an author of three books:
* "Latviešu tekstilmāksla" ("Latvian Textile Art"), 1989.
* "Es lauzu, tu lauzi, mēs lauzām. Viņi lūza" ("I broke, you broke, we broke. They fell apart"), a book about Latvia's independence movement, published in 2000.
* "Ar balles kurpēm Sibīrijas sniegos" ("With dancing shoes in Siberian snows"), a book about the deportation of her family to Siberia during Stalin era, published in 2001. The last book was also published in French as "En escarpins dans les neiges de Sibérie" and was nominated for the "documentary book of the month" by the readers of ELLE magazine.


The book "Ar balles kurpēm Sibīrijas sniegos", Riga, Latvia: Atēna, 2001 (ISBN 9984-635-78-3) has been translated into several languages:

* French: "En escarpins dans les neiges de Sibérie". Transl.: Velta Skujina. Paris: Editions des Syrtes, 2003. ISBN 2-84545-079-6
* German: "Mit Ballschuhen im sibirischen Schnee". Transl.: Matthias Knoll. München, Germany: Herbig Verlag, 2005. ISBN 3-7766-2424-8
* Italian: "Scarpette da ballo nelle nevi di Siberia". Transl.: G. Weiss. Milano, Italy: Libri Scheiwiller, 2005. ISBN 88-7644-445-9
* Czech: "V plesových střevíčkách sibiřským sněhem". Czech Republic: Lubor Kasal, 2005. ISBN 80-903465-5-3
* Swedish: "Med högklackade skor i Sibiriens snö". Transl.: Juris Kronbergs. Stockholm, Sweden: Atlantis, 2005. ISBN 91-7353-066-2
* English: "With Dance Shoes in Siberian Snows". Transl.: Margita Gailītis. Riga, Latvia: The Latvian Occupation Museum Association, 2006. ISBN 9984-9613-7-0
* Russian: "В бальных туфельках по сибирским снегам". Riga, Latvia: Atēna, 2006.
* Finnish: "Tanssikengissä Siperiaan". Transl.: Hilkka Koskela. Helsinki, Finland: Werner Söderström Osakeyhtiö, 2007. ISBN 978-951-0-32096-9
* Dutch and Spanish translations are in progress.


* [ KALNIETE, Sandra] International Who's Who. accessed September 4, 2006.

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