english  česky 

Advanced search

history of consulates on the US West Coast

In the very year of proclaiming its independence in 1918, Czechoslovakia established diplomatic relations with the United States, opened a Legation in Washington DC in 1919, and was keen to expand its presence across the US territory.

In August 1920, the Czechoslovak Government approved the establishment of the first mission on the US West Coast: a Vice-Consulate in San Francisco. It opened in November 1920, only to close down in less than a year. Until 1925, California, the US West, as well as Alaska, Hawaii and the Philippines fell within the jurisdiction of the Czechoslovak Consulate in Omaha, Nebraska. In May 1930, a regular Consulate in San Francisco reopened, but it transformed into a Honorary Consulate in late 1932.

In the meantime, two more Czechoslovak Honorary Consulates were established on the US West Coast: in Los Angeles and Seattle. The Czechoslovak Consul in Los Angeles was at first Joseph (Josef) F. Tříska, but shortly the Consulate was taken over by Felix B. Janovsky, a Czech businessman living in the US since the 1900s. In a protest against the Communist takeover in Czechoslovakia, he resigned from the post of Honorary Consul in early 1948. In the meantime, Czechoslovak Consulate in San Francisco was opened for the third time in 1942 but it was closed shortly after the Communist coup in 1948. By 1950, all remaining Czechoslovak consular missions in the United States terminated their activities: Consulates General in New York and Chicago, and Consulates in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. For the next four decades, the US West was supervised by the Czechoslovak Embassy in Washington DC.

After the Velvet Revolution of 1989, Czechoslovakia decided to strengthen its presence in the United States. In January 1992, the Federal Government approved the establishment of a Consulate General in Los Angeles. The Head of Mission was nominated, however the Czechoslovak Federation ceased to exist and the Mission never opened.

A year later, in September 1993, the Czech Government confirmed the decision to open a Czech Consulate General in Los Angeles: it was officially launched on September 1, 1995, following the arrival of the first Consul General.

Furthermore, Czech Honorary Consulates in San Francisco and Portland were opened in 1995, followed by Honorary Consulates in Anchorage (1999), Salt Lake City (2010), Livingston (2011), Honolulu (2012), Boulder (2012), Seattle (2013), Phoenix (2014), and Las Vegas (2016).

List of former heads of Czechoslovak and Czech consular missions in Los Angeles

Joseph (Josef) TŘÍSKA - Honorary Consul, 1926-1927
Felix Bohumil JANOVSKÝ – Honorary Consul, 1926-1928

Ivana HLAVSOVÁ – Consul General, 1995-1999
Zdeňka GABALOVÁ – Consul General, 1999-2001
Margita FUCHSOVÁ – Consul General, 2002-2006
Daniel KUMERMANN – Consul General, 2006-2011
Michal SEDLÁČEK – Consul General, 2011-2015
Pavol ŠEPEĽÁK – Consul General, 2015-2020
Jaroslav Olša, Jr. - Consul General, 2020 - now