By Duncan Mackay

Australian Paul Foster has been appointed as head of protocol by Baku 2015 ©Baku 2015Baku 2015 has appointed Paul Foster, the former head of protocol, events and hospitality at the International Olympic Committee (IOC), to its director of protocol for the inaugural European Games, it was announced today. 

The Australian-born Foster is the founder and principal of consulting firm PJF Group, and will join Baku 2015 on a part-time basis next month before relocating full-time the Azerbaijani capital in November. 

Foster, who assisted Baku 2015 as a consultant for the first two European Olympic Committees Coordination Commissions last year, will lead the European Family Operations team providing services to all of the event's stakeholders. 

He was at the IOC until 2012, working on Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 and Vancouver 2010.

During this period he was also involved in the preparations for London 2012 and Rio 2016 and Sochi 2014.

After leaving the IOC, Foster worked on Madrid's unsuccessful bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics alongside Simon Clegg, who is now chief operating officer of Baku 2015. 

Paul Foster worked on Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, as well as Vancouver 2010, while he was head of protocol, events and hospitality at IOC ©PJFPaul Foster worked on Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, as well as Vancouver 2010, while he was head of protocol, events and hospitality at IOC ©PJF

"Paul has a fantastic breadth and depth of experience within the Games world and this puts him in an excellent position to integrate our international and domestic dignitary programmes," said Clegg.

"His international reputation and passion for sport will further enhance the existing  team and assist us in delivering an event of which Azerbaijan and the whole of Europe will be proud."

As well as working for the IOC, Foster has experience of working for the Organising Committees at Sydney 2000 and Salt Lake City 2002 and Turin 2006.

"I am delighted to be joining Baku 2015 and the opportunity to be involved with the inaugural European Games is a very exciting one for me," said Foster.

"It is an honour to be a part of such a talented team and I look forward to working with all our national and international stakeholders to deliver an experience which will become the benchmark for all future editions of the European Games."

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