Oh wait, US Ambassador to Luxembourg, Cynthia Stroum Quits

Yesterday, we posted about the missing DCM at the US Embassy in Luxembourg. We’re obviously a week late on Luxembourg news. Apparently, on January 12, the US Ambassador to Luxembourg Cynthia Stroum announced her resignation effective the end of this month.

Ambassador Stroum
Photo from US Embassy Luxembourg/Facebook

Anyway, here is Al Kamen announcing the new ambassadorial opening for those interested:

[M]ega-donor Cynthia Stroum quit after less than a year on the job.

Stroum, a venture capitalist from Seattle, said in a statement last week that she had decided to return home from Luxembourg “to focus on my family and personal business.”

She noted that she’d “traveled throughout the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.” (Not that hard to do, since it’s the size of Rhode Island, with a population of half a million.)

She’s being replaced for now by the deputy chief of mission, Arnold Campbell, a veteran diplomat who arrived just a few weeks ago to take that job. We’re told he’s the third deputy in that post in the past year – which may be why Stroum had something of a reputation among the career folks of being hard to work with. On the other hand, she was said to be most unhappy with her posting.

(Note to donors: Luxembourg, a NATO ally and a very wealthy country, is less than a couple hours by train from Paris.)

If you have browsed the embassy’s website as we have, you would not have known about this development.  The resignation statement is not posted on its website or the mission’s Facebook page. Perhaps they are too busy with the boss moving on and all that.

More about this resignation from News352 dated January 12, 2010:

Cynthia Stroum announced her departure in a press statement released this afternoon (Wednesday), citing a desire to return to family and business life in the States.
Mrs Stroum, who took up the post of Ambassador in February last year, described her experience in Luxembourg as both “rewarding” and “challenging”. She said in a statement: “This was a very difficult choice to make.  Not only have I developed a very strong bond with the people of Luxembourg, I have loved the work and am tremendously proud of what we have accomplished during my tenure.”
Mrs Stroum is to be temporarily replaced by Career Foreign Services Officer Arnold Campbell, who is currently deputy chief at the Embassy. Mr Campbell, who has more than 25 years’ diplomatic experience, arrived in Luxembourg a few weeks ago to take up the post.

Embassy spokeswoman Kareen Thorpe said that there was no information available yet about a permanent replacement.

News352 included an excerpt from the official statement:

“As the U.S. Ambassador, I have served my President and his Administration with great honor as I’ve travelled throughout the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It has been a privilege to work together with the Government of Luxembourg to build even stronger partnerships between our two countries. I am extremely proud of the relationships that have been built both professionally and personally. It is then with some regret that I am announcing my resignation as Ambassador effective January 31, 2011 to return to private life in the United States. The reality is that I now need to focus on my family and personal business.

She continued: “I want to thank His and Her Royal Highnesses, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, the Government of Luxembourg and its citizens for their warmth, hospitality and friendship since I arrived. While I will be returning home to Seattle, I will always have great affection for Luxembourg as my second home.”

So that’s that. We would not be surprised if the Deputy Chief of Mission is a retired WAE diplomat on TDY assignment. They are the only ones who can quickly fill in at short notice. 

But at least for now, we need not be too concerned on who gets to flip the coin over there.