ENCINITAS — A prominent Cardiff-by-the-Sea attorney has been appointed honorary consul of his native country, Denmark.
Malte Farnaes, 41, is one of 36 honorary consuls to the Scandinavian nation in the United States and one of only three in California. He replaces Craig S. Andrews, who retired after holding the position in San Diego for 18 years. As honorary consul, Farnaes will serve as a critical link between Denmark and the United States for Danish citizens in the San Diego area.
More than 90 people gathered to celebrate Farnaes appointment and Andrews retirement Feb. 22 at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park, including Danish Ambassador Lars Bo Møller, the deputy chief of mission of the Royal Danish Embassy in Washington D.C., who presented Farnaes with a certificate confirming the appointment.
“This is a great honor,” said Farnaes, who in his speech talked about how as a Danish citizen his undergraduate education at UC San Diego was paid for by the Danish government. “I’ve always felt a little indebted as a result, so let’s just say there has been a weight lifted off my shoulders, and I am very humbled to be able to give back.”
Farnaes, who lives and works in Cardiff, serves as secretary on the Cardiff 101 Main Street Association’s Board of Directors. Born in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, Farnaes has lived in the United States since 1984.
As honorary consul, Farnaes will be a resource to Danish citizens in the United States who need assistance with passport matters or other embassy-related concerns. He also would assist when Danish dignitaries, such as members of the royal house, visit San Diego, as well as work to develop investment and cultural ties between Denmark and local communities.
“He will represent Denmark here,” Møller said. “I think with San Diego being so close to the border and being such a popular tourist and student destination, there are people in need of classic consulate assistance, and Malte will play a role in delivering those services.”
Møller said that Farnaes was selected because of his strong ties to his native country, his legal background, and his strong reputation in his community. Møller pointed to the big crowd on hand for the event as a tribute to Farnaes’ networking capabilities, also a key attribute of an honorary consul.
“From my dealings with Malte, he is a very dedicated, spirited, warm-hearted and welcoming person,” Møller said. “I think he is going to do quite well in the position.”
Among others in attendance at Farnaes appointment celebration were San Marcos City Manager Jack Griffin, former Encinitas Highway 101 Coordinator Peder Norby and former Cardiff 101 MainStreet Association Executive Director Tess Radmill, who recently took a position with San Marcos.
Norby said he was excited for his longtime friend, with whom he worked on the Cardiff 101 association for several years.
“Being of Danish background, my father has known all of the Danish consuls since the 1950s,” Norby said. “Now, I can say that I know this one.”