New US Ambassador arrives in Manila – Manila Bulletin

A new American ambassador to the Philippines has arrived in Manila.

MaryKay Carlson was greeted by members of the US Embassy in the Philippines, including former acting Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava, on Thursday evening following consultations in Washington DC

Photo courtesy of the United States Embassy in the Philippines

“So excited to be here! I look forward to getting the ball rolling and engaging with our Filipino #FriendsPartnersAllies to further strengthen the burgeoning relationship between the United States and the Philippines. Maraming salamat (Thank you very much) for the warm welcome!” the envoy said in a post on Twitter.

In a statement, Carlson also said she was thrilled to be in the country and was honored to represent the United States “in this important relationship.”

“With the Philippines, our oldest treaty ally in Asia, we have a long history of shared sacrifice and incredibly close people-to-people ties,” she said.

“I look forward to working with the new government and our partners to improve and modernize our alliance to meet new challenges, expand bilateral trade and investment, and promote democratic freedoms and good governance,” he said. -she adds.

Sworn in in May 2022, Carlson succeeded Sung Kim, who served from November 2016 to October 2020.

Carlson, who speaks English, Spanish and Chinese, served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, before arriving in Manila.

She also worked as Deputy Head of Mission in New Delhi, India for three years, including a ten-month period as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.

During her 37 years of foreign service, she held various positions in India, China, Ukraine, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Kenya and the Dominican Republic.

Carlson also served as Principal Assistant Executive Secretary to the Secretary of State in Washington, DC.

A mother of two, the new American envoy was from Little Rock, Arkansas. She holds master’s degrees from Georgetown University (international relations) and the National War College (national security studies).

On the other hand, Heather Variava, interim charge d’affaires since September 2021, will remain in Manila as deputy head of mission.

“I thank Heather for her outstanding leadership and for the exceptional work she has done to promote our close partnership with the Philippines,” said Carlson.

“I look forward to working closely with her and the U.S. Embassy team to further strengthen our ties with the Philippines as enduring friends, partners, and allies,” she said. added.

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