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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Georgea Polizos
January 17, 2017—No. 01 (202) 785-8430

AHI Foundation Announces New President; Two Named to AHI’s Board

WASHINGTON, DC —The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) and the American Hellenic Institute Foundation (AHIF), the first think tank devoted to Greek American issues, are pleased to announce additions to their respective governing bodies.

The AHI Foundation announces the selection of Constantine (Kostas) Apostolos Galanis as its president, effective January 1, 2017.  Galanis succeeds AHI Foundation President Dr. Spiros Spireas, who has served in that capacity since 2011.  He will remain on the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

“We are thrilled Constantine Galanis has agreed to serve as president of the AHI Foundation,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said.  “He brings enthusiasm and talent to the Foundation.  Constantine will be a significant asset to the Foundation and will help it to advance its mission to the benefit of the Greek American community. I look forward to working with him.”

“AHI, its members and stakeholders are deeply grateful to outgoing AHIF President Dr. Spireas for his leadership of the Foundation during the past six years,” Larigakis stated. “Under his leadership, the Foundation continued to flourish and provided outstanding programs that served to promote and preserve Hellenism.”

“It is an honor and a privilege for me to serve the American Hellenic Institute Foundation,” Galanis said. “I will do my best to enhance its goals, objectives, and programs and work to advance its reach in the community. Furthermore, we will work diligently to ensure more people get involved in the issues that are of utmost importance in the United States, Greece and Cyprus.  I call upon all Greek and Cypriot Americans to join in helping Greece and Cyprus to overcome their challenges.”

He added, “For our part, we will work tirelessly to inform the public, and especially those of Greek and Cypriot decent, of the issues at hand.”

galanisMeet Constantine Galanis

Born in Patras, Greece, Galanis is the CEO of Quimica Apollo in Mexico following years of working for Apollo Technologies in the United States, Greece, and the United Kingdom.  He is cited as one of the 100 most influential personalities in the energy sector of Mexico.  Galanis emigrated to the United States at the age of 14 and settled in New Jersey. He studied at Rutgers University, obtaining degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Marketing and Business Administration. Galanis, an AHI member since 2010, is married to Sophia Nifakos, Wrightstown, N.J. and has three sons. He also has served on AHI’s Board of Directors.  In addition, Galanis is the honorary consul of Cyprus in Toluca, Mexico, where he lives.  He is an archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Order of Pamakaristos of Athens.

Dr. Balta, Halakos Named to AHI Board of Directors

The American Hellenic Institute announced the addition of Dr. Athina Balta and Mr. Demitrios Halakos to its Board of Directors effective January 1, 2017.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Athina Balta and Mr. Demitrios Halakos to AHI’s Board of Directors,” President Larigakis said. “They will be assets to the Institute.  I look forward to working with them to achieve our mission of advocating for the rule of law.”

“Upon joining AHI’s Board, I hope I can help with AHI’s mission to aid in educating the Greek diaspora to ensure that future generations are prepared to face the challenges facing Hellenism, generally, and specifically Greece,” Halakos said. “By being a part of AHI’s leadership, I believe I can do my part in helping to inform the American people and their representatives on issues of importance to the Greek American community.” 

baltaMeet Dr. Athina Balta

Dr. Athina Balta is the Principal Member of Athina Balta Law Group PLLC.  Dr. Balta is a member of the New York and District of Columbia Bar and has a PhD in Public Administration and Policy with a focus on Space, Science and Technology from George Washington University, a Law Degree from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, an LLM in Litigation and Dispute Resolution from George Washington University, a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs and a Master’s Degree in International Law and Policy from American University in Washington DC.  Her culturally, academically and professionally diverse background (having been born and raised in Greece, lived in the United States, England and France); proficiency in several languages; and experiences in working on behalf of several government and private entities, in the U.S. and Europe, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the World Bank, ING and Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as a valuable and powerful network of connections she has built through these years give her the knowledge and qualifications to work on a broad spectrum of private and government legal and policy matters in both the United States and Europe.  The firm provides general counsel services to a wide variety of businesses, including immigration legal advice and litigation, as well as advice for legal and policy matters in the aerospace and defense arena.  Dr. Balta is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School teaching trial advocacy.

halakosMeet Demitrios Halakos

Mr. Demitrios Halakos has resided in Delaware since emigrating to the United States from Greece in 1985, after having received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from T.E.I. in Patras. He is a founder and principal of Halakos Management and various subsidiaries consisting of real estate holdings in several states and restaurant/entertainment enterprises. Halakos is a former member of the Parish Council of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Wilmington, Del., and he currently serves on its investment committee. Also, Halakos is a proud member and benefactor to AHEPA Chapter 95, Wilmington. He has also chaired the Wilmington community’s festival, a highly regarded regional event and one of the largest of its kind on the East Coast. Halakos is an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, a member of Leadership 100, and the National Hellenic Society. In addition, he currently serves on the Metropolitan Council of the Metropolis of New Jersey. As an accomplished businessman and resident of Delaware, Halakos has served on Governor Jack Markell’s finance committee in addition to roles with the Delaware Restaurant Association and the Chamber of Commerce. As an active and respected member of the local community, Halakos has been involved in the election campaigns of incoming Governor John Carney and incoming U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, offering guidance on issues of importance to the Greek American community.  He has also supported Delaware Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons. Halakos, and his wife, Georgia, reside in Greenville, Del., with their two children, Billy and Dia.

The American Hellenic Institute is a non-profit Greek American think-tank and public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.

The American Hellenic Institute Foundation (AHIF) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, tax-exempt educational and research organization, and the first think tank devoted to Greek American issues.  

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For additional information, please contact Georgea Polizos at (202) 785-8430 or at [email protected] For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our website at http://www.ahiworld.org and follow us on Twitter @TheAHIinDC.