Iveta Vējone, First Lady of Latvia since Jul 8, 2015 (wife of Raimonds Vejonis)
Mrs. Iveta Vējone considers support in the area of education and social affairs be especially significant. She wishes that her presence and support would highlight those projects and campaigns, where support is provided to the workers in corresponding sectors.
Therefore, Mrs. Iveta Vējone has chosen to become a patroness of the project “Looking for the Beloved Nurse” and the SOS Villages for Children.
She also supported the proceedings of European Professional Puppetry Festival held from 10 September to 13 September 2015 in Riga and included 110 masterpieces of professional artists and art school students from 17 countries worldwide.
Latvian First Lady Dace Seisuma is a doctor and internist, as well as a resident endocrinologist at the Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital. She was born on January 10, 1973.
The first lady began her career at the Skaļupes rehabilitation centre in Līgatne, where she worked as a physiotherapist. She joined the Emergency Medicine Centre at the Pauls Stradiņš hospital in 2008, continuing her career as an endocrinologist at the hospital’s Endocrinology Centre.
Education and languages
First Lady Seisuma is a graduate of the No. 1 High School in Cēsis, as well as the Cēsis School of Medicine, where she trained as a nurse. She later received a bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy and health care from the Latvian Academy of Medicine.
The First Lady earned her doctoral degree from the Faculty of Medicine at the Rīga Stradiņš University. She served her residency as an internist and received a certificate as an internist. Today First Lady Seisuma is a resident endocrinologist at the Endocrinology Centre of the Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital. She speaks Latvian, Russian and English.
After becoming the First Lady in the summer of 2011, Mrs Dace Seisuma took on patronage of several major social projects. The First Lady particularly tries to support those who take care of and help children. With her presence, she wishes to support those projects and activities which involve true selflessness and a real desire to help each participant.
At this time, First Lady Seisuma is patron of the “Looking for the Beloved Nurse” project, the “Sunny Days Charity Project” to support the Oncology Ward of the Paediatric Hospital, and the Latvian Association of Foster Families, which offers moral, psychological and material support for families that have taken in foster children.
The First Lady has also taken part in other projects related to education and philanthropy, including the opening of the Medical Education Technology Centre at the Rīga Stradiņš University – a centre that is the most modern one of all in the Baltic States. She has also participated in the Latvian Children’s Fund activity “Don’t Pass By.” A tradition for the President and the First Lady during the Advent season is to invite Latvian families to attend the lighting of a Christmas tree.
Receiving foreign guests
First Lady Seisuma takes part in the reception of foreign heads of state to Latvia. She meets with the spouses of the leaders and introduces her guests to Latvian culture and art.
Family and hobbies
First Lady Seisuma has a son, Kristaps Andris, who is attending preschool. She is interested in tennis, yoga, Pilates, medical literature and fiction.
Lilita Zatlere, Former First Lady of Latvia
The First Lady of the Republic of Latvia, Lilita Zatlere, was born on February 24, 1953, in Rīga. She studied at the Rīga No. 15 Eight-Year School, after which she studied at the Rīga Trade Technical School and the People’s University.
The First Lady’s first work experience was at an antiques shop which dealt with art. She spent three years as an expert on the Rīga local government commission which focused on compensation for property lost by repressed citizens. In 1995, she became director of a company called Private Orthopaedic Practice.
Since Valdis Zatlers became President of Latvia on July 8, 2007, Mrs Zatlere has actively supported his priorities. Among other things, she has become the public patron of various projects related to education, family values, welfare, music, art, and environmental protection.
Hoping to support the development of public education, First Lady Zatlere has become patroness of a preschool in the town of Smiltene, “Pīlādzītis,” which was the first new educational institution to be built in that town. It is an example of public-private partnership, and it has put together an exhibition of national honours that was exhibited in 2008 in Ventspils, Daugavpils, Cesvaine and countries outside of Latvia.
In the area of culture, Mrs Zatlere has been an active patroness of the 5th Jāzeps Vītols International Piano Competition, which reveals new talents from all over the world, the Polish Theatre Festival of Rīga, and the 9th International Bach Chamber Music Festival.
Lilita Zatlere supports a charity project organised during the Christmas season in the city of Jelgava – “Angels of the Castle.” She is also a supporter of a boarding school and developmental centre for children with hearing difficulties in Valmiera. Finally, the First Lady is patroness of a project called “Looking for a Sister of the Heart.”
Mrs Zatlere has also been active in international forums.
In February 2008, she opened a European and North American regional conference in Rīga in preparation for a UNESCO meeting of the world’s ministers of education in Geneva. In June 2008, she attended an international forum, “Expanding the Role of Women in Intercultural Dialogue,” which was organised in Azerbaijan by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO and the Islamic Organisation for Education, Science and Culture. During the plenary session of the forum, the First Lady spoke about the role of women in intercultural dialogue, in society and in the family, focusing particularly on the role of women as stabilising factors in interethnic relationships.
As part of an official visit to Ukraine in June 2008, Latvian First Lady Lilita Zatlere was awarded the Order of Princess Olga, First Grade. In October of the same year, she received the Knightly Order Pro Merito Melitensi of the Sovereign Military Hospital Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta. In April 2009, Mrs Zatlere received the Order of the Cross of St Mary’s Land of Estonia, First Grade, and the Spanish Royal Order and Chain of Isabel, the Catholic, First Grade. In May 2010, First Lady received the Order of the White Rose of Finland. In 2011, Lilita Zatlere received the Order of Vytautas the Great in Lithuania and the National Order „Faithful Service” in Romania.
Lilita Zatlere has two children, son Kārlis and daughter Agnese. She speaks English and Russian. The First Lady and the President are actively involved in the arts and culture in Latvia, visiting and taking part in various social and public events. Mrs Zatlere’s hobbies include the fine arts, music and skiing.