What Does an Honorary Consul Do?

November 1, 2013

Prior to joining Hall Booth Smith, P.C. as in-house legal counsel in the multinational corporate and governmental environments, John E. Parkerson, Jr. was part of the International practice group within the Law Department of Delta Air Lines, advising with regard to outbound legal issues ranging from foreign labor and employment issues to international aviation liability.  Before joining Delta, Parkerson served in a variety of international law Army assignments, including Chief of the International Law Branch in the Office of the Judge Advocate General (“JAG”), the Pentagon; Associate Professor of Law at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; U.S. Forces Europe legal liaison at the U.S. Embassy, Bonn; and international legal advisor at the U.S. Army’s European headquarters in Heidelberg.  John is also is an educator: he is adjunct professor of Contracts Drafting at Emory University School of Law; and formerly was Clayton State University’s Director of International Programs and Assistant Professor of International Business/Global Logistics.

In 2001, the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce awarded Parkerson “International Business Person of the Year”; and he was a 2006 finalist for the “Governor’s Award for Individual Contribution to the International Community.” He is the President of The World Trade Center Atlanta and a member of numerous non-profit boards.  In May 2007, the Government of Hungary appointed Parkerson as its Honorary Consul for Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas.

Julius E. Coles, Honorary Consul of Senegal for the State of Georgia, was appointed the Interim Director of the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership beginning in July 2012.  Before returning to Morehouse, he was President of Africare from 2002 to 2009.  Most of Mr. Coles’ career of some twenty-eight years in the Foreign Service has been spent as a senior official with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  While with USAID, Mr. Coles was Mission Director in Swaziland and Senegal and served in Vietnam, Morocco, Liberia, Nepal and Washington, D.C. He retired from the U.S. Government’s Foreign Service in 1994 with the rank of Career Career Minister.  Mr. Coles is a member of the Boards of Health and Development International, Academy for Educational Development (AED), CAPA International and Gregory University (Uturu, Nigeria). He has received numerous awards, including the Bennie Achievement Award, Morehouse College; Princeton-in-Africa Lifetime Achievement Award;  Morehouse College National Alumnus of the Year for 2006, and was decorated by President Abdou Diouf of Senegal as Commander in the Order of Lion.

Mona Tekin Diamond became the Turkish Honorary Consul General for the State of Georgia in 2005. In the same year, she became the Founder and Chairman of The American Turkish Friendship Council, a not for profit organization for the promotion of close relations between the United States and Turkey. Ms. Diamond is the Managing Director of Turquoise Consulting, LLC. She is one of the original founders of the Turkish Lecture Series at Emory University, an endowed lecture series. Being deeply committed to education, she is working with Emory University as a member of the President’s International Advisory Council, with the aim of bringing Turkish Students to Emory University. She has obtained a grant from the Turkish government in order to have the Turkish language taught at Georgia State University. Mona also sits on the Advisory Committee of the Atlantic Council, Washington D.C. to connect and build constructive relationships between young professionals and future leaders from the United States and Turkey.

Consul General of the Republic of the Philippines in the U.S. Southeastern Region since 1994, Raoul “Ray” Donato is the former Senior Vice-President  of Nissho Iwai American Corporation (currently Sojliz Corporation of Japan), a company specializing in the metals industry, oil and gas, real estate, infrastructure of countries, and financial asset-based lending projects.  Ray visited most of the blast furnace and electric arc furnace steel producers of the world.  For the last ten years, he has developed strategic areas of acquisition and mergers for the company in areas of chemical, general commodities, food, plastics and machinery equipment.  From 1996-2006, Consul General Donato was Trade Counsel for the Jamaican Government. Ray serves on the boards of Chrisal Corporation, Eneco Group of Companies, AHD International, and LLC and Atlanta Energy Corporation. He has received commendations from former President Fidel Ramos of the Republic of the Philippines; from the Philippine Olympic Committee; and from the Federations of Philippine American Organizations in Georgia.

DATE:       Thursday, January 16, 2014

TIME:        11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

MODERATOR:        John E Parkerson Jr.

PANELISTS:        Julius E. Coles (Senegal), Mona Teki Diamond (Turkey), Raoul “Ray” Donato (Philippines)

LOCATION: Capital City Club

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