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Right direction | Networking on behalf of Romania and the United States: An interview with George Roth, honorary consul

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GEORGE Roth was born in 1956, in the city of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He graduated from the “Babeş-Bolyai” University in Cluj-Napoca (M.Sc., Mathematics and Computer Science, 1975-1980).

Tiberiu Dianu

He worked for the Cluj Territorial Center for Computation (1980-1991), after which he emigrated to the United States. In the United States, he worked as a Software Architect on numerous projects for large financial institutions in the U.S. and Europe (Recognos Inc., 1999 – to present; UiPath, 2018 – to present).

George Roth is one of the founding members of the Romanian American Business Network. He is also the Honorary Consul of Romania in San Francisco (2007 – to present) and the Chairman of the Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce, the San Francisco Chapter (2017 – to present).

On October 4, 2019, Honorary Consul George Roth attended the annual ALIANTA/The Alliance Gala at the Romanian Embassy, in Washington, DC. https://alianta.org/

With that occasion Mr. Roth granted me an exclusive interview.

1. Good morning, Mr. George Roth, you are the Honorary Consul of Romania in San Francisco and the Bay Area. What responsibilities and activities do you have in this line of work?

So, the Honorary Consuls organization, there are twenty three of them in the United States. You have in Portland one, too, with an American gentleman. Our role is to network on behalf of Romania and to network on behalf of the U.S. in Romania. So, we are a kind of organization which have to build the relationship between the two countries, which can be cultural, financial, and then different type, on multiple levels. One of the advantages of this Honorary Consuls organization, which was created in the United States by the initiative of [then] Ambassador and later Minister of Foreign Affairs Mircea Geoană, he created this network. And our advantage is that we represent continuity, working closely with the Romanian Embassy and consulates, when the consuls and the ambassadors are changing. But us, being locals, we are the link and maintain the continuity of this relationship. We are not financed by anybody, we are self-financed and that’s why we are a kind of independent body, interested purely in the relationship between Romania and the United States.

2. Thank you so much, Mr. Roth. You are known for becoming involved in promoting the Romanian IT industry in the Bay Area of California. Please, elaborate for our readers your success story.

I mean, I am promoting in the sense that I created an organization called the Romanian-American Business Network. Actually, I didn’t create it, I restarted it. Our scope is to help the Romanian IT to come in the U.S. and also have the American companies to go to Romania. In time, this role changed, in the sense that initially we sent American companies to Romania through outsourcing, but lately it’s nice to see that companies, successful companies, from Romania come to the U.S. to open a global presence through Silicon Valley or United States. Virtually, I was involved with a company [that] I started, which took a lot of years, so everything what I talked about I experimented myself and I went through the history and evolution of these relationships.

3. Thank you so much, Mr. Roth. Last question: what are your more recent projects and your goals for the future?

I mean, my biggest recent project is that I am working for UiPath, which is the first Romanian IT Unicorn. I am extremely lucky that I work for such a company, seeing what’s going on from inside. And my personal role is, actually, to help that the brain-drain, which is happening in Romania to become an advantage of the country through returning the know-how of the people who left Romania to Romania. And also to help Romanians to invest in Romania.

4. Thank you so much, Mr. Roth.

My pleasure, thank you.

Tiberiu Dianu has published several books and a host of articles in law, politics, and post-communist societies. He currently lives and works in Washington, D.C. and can be followed on Medium. https://medium.com/@tdianu

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