Pēteris Blumbergs and Mārīte Kļaviņa to lead the World Federation of Free Latvians (PBLA) for the next two years.
PBLA leadership elections were held in late 2023.
Incumbent PBLA PresidentPēteris Blumbergs was re-elected for a second term and will lead the association in 2024 and 2025. calendar years The representative of the European Latvian Association on the PBLA Board, Mārīte Kļaviņa, is elected as his deputy for the same period. Mārīte Kļaviņa.
Pēteris Blumbergs was born and raised in Chicago. He received his Latvian education at the Krišjānis Barons School in Chicago and at the Gaŗezers Summer Secondary School (GVV). He holds a B.S. in Economics and a J.D. from the University of Illinois. At DePaul University in Chicago, he was the editor of theDePaul Law Review He moved to Washington DC more than 20 years ago to work as a lawyer.
From 2015 until 2021 Blumbergs was Chairman of the Board of the American Latvian Association (ALA) and ALA representative on the PBLA Board. The most notable events during his leadership were the centenary celebrations of Latvia, which were widely celebrated in the association’s organisations, the establishment of a business conference Spotlight Latvia. During this time ALA doubled its share capital, which enabled it to provide significant financial assistance to Latvian schools and camps in the USA during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since 2022, Pēteris Blumbergs has headed the World Federation of Free Latvians (PBLA), making Latvia’s defence and security issues, which have been exacerbated by Russia’s violent invasion of Ukraine, the main goals of PBLA. Diaspora education and culture, as well as issues related to remigration, are also important in the work of the association. In order to promote cooperation between the diaspora and various Latvian entrepreneurs, under his leadership, in 2023 the 10th year of PLEIF was successfully celebrated with a large-scale Global Latvian Economic and Innovation Forum (PLEIF) at the premises of the National Library of Latvia.
Peter is married and together with his wife Laura they have raised four sons, Alexander and Grant, both graduates of the
University of Virginia.
They works in the economic consulting industry, and younger sons, twins Edijs and Filips, are studying
Universities in the USA. All four sons participate in Latvian society and are GVV graduates.
has been active as a representative of the European Latvian Association (ELA) at the PBLA since 2022. As a member of the PBLA Board, she has been actively involved in a number of current issues, such as the organisation of the Global Latvian Economic and Innovation Forum (PLEIF). She has also met several times with representatives of Latvian state and local authorities under the auspices of the PBLA, addressing diaspora issues. Mārīte has lead the Frankfurt Latvian Society for eight years, maintaining close ties with the local Latvian diaspora in Germany.
Kļaviņa was born in Tallinn, Estonia, but spent her school years in Rīga, where she completed her highschool education at the Rīga State German Gymnasium. Mārīte has lived in Germany since 2003, where she started her studies. She holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Cologne. Kļaviņa currently lives with her family in Frankfurt am Main and devotes her everyday life to her three daughters. In addition to managing the Frankfurt Latvian Society, Mārīte has been a member of the Frankfurt Latvian Society since 2022. She has served as internal auditor of the European Latvian Association since 2009.
Kļaviņa emphasises that her contribution to the work of the PBLA will be an understanding of the work and needs of the smaller European Latvian diaspora organisations. “As the founder and head of the Frankfurt Latvian Society I am well aware of and feel the challenges of the small societies under our roof, which are not only advocating for the preservation of Latvian language and culture in their home countries, but are in constant search of funding and human resources.”
The PBLA Chairperson and his/her Vice-Chairperson were elected by secret ballot by the PBLA Executive Board from among its members for a two-year term. Elections are traditionally held every two years in December, so that the new management team can take up its duties from January 1.
As the first task, P. Blumbergs and M. Kļaviņa highlight the development of the PBLA’s work priorities, as well as the creation of a calendar of key events for 2024. A visit by a delegation of the PBLA leadership to Rīga is planned for the beginning of the year to meet with government representatives and cooperation partners and to agree on priorities for joint work. –
(PBLA Press Release)