US Mission Pakistan: New Consul General Assumes Charge of ConGen Peshawar

Officially announced yesterday – the U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar has a new Consul General:

Peshawar, July 7, 2011 – Dr. Marie Richards, the new U.S. Consul General, was welcomed to Peshawar today at the 11th Corps’ Garrison Club in a ceremony presided over by U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter.  Dr. Richards brings with her two decades of diplomatic experience, including previous experience in Pakistan and the region.

Ambassador Munter welcomes the new U.S. Consul General Marie Richards to Peshawar. Among the guests were the Provincial Minister for Environment Wajid Ali Khan and Abdul Hakeem Shinwari, Former Vice President of the Tribal Chambers of Commerce & Industry
Photo from US ConGen Peshawar

In his remarks, Ambassador Munter welcomed Dr. Richards as a “great friend of Pakistan.”  He underscored the strong working relationship with officials of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the FATA Secretariat and noted that “together we have been able to implement projects that improve the lives of the people of this area.”

Under Dr. Richards’ leadership, the U.S. Consulate General looks forward to strengthening cooperation with Pakistan in KP/FATA.  “I am thrilled to be here in Peshawar.  Consulate Peshawar is proud to be a partner of the KP government and the FATA Secretariat.  I look forward to continuing this close collaboration during my tenure,” said Dr. Richards.

Prior to arriving in Peshawar, Dr. Richards served as the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Coordinator at U.S. Embassy Islamabad and as Director for Afghanistan on the staff of the National Security Council in the Executive Office of the President.  She was the Deputy Political-Military Counselor in Kabul, Afghanistan, from 2005-2007.  In  Washington, she served as the Asia Section Chief in the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Regional Security and Arms Transfers Policy.  She has also served in Guangzhou, China, New Delhi, India, and Karachi, Pakistan.  Dr. Richards is fluent in Urdu and proficient in Pashto.

Active links added above.  Dr. Richards succeeds Elizabeth Rood who departed Peshawar in December 2010 a few months after arrival at post (see US Mission Pakistan: reports of Consul General’s departure due to Taliban threats wrong | Sunday, December 12, 2010). Ms. Rood who is back in the United States has reportedly joined the State Department’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN).