U.S. Embassy Rangoon: Ambassador Derek Mitchell Concludes Burma Assignment (Updated)

Posted: 2:58 am EDT
Updated: 12:38 am EDT
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On March 15, Secretary Kerry issued a statement officially congratulating Htin Kyaw on his election as Burma’s next president. The Aung San Suu Kyi’s confidant is the the country’s first civilian president in five decades.  According to NYT, Aung San Suu Kyi is barred from the presidency by a clause in the military-drafted Constitution that forbids people with foreign relatives from holding the office. She has two sons who are British, as was her husband, Dr. Michael Aris who died in 1999.

On the same day, Ambassador Mitchell and his wife, Min also officially concluded their three and a half years in Burma, according to the embassy’s FB page, “at the same place where they started, with a visit to Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.”  Ambassador Derek Mitchell served as a special representative to Myanmar (Burma) from August 2011 until he was appointed ambassador in June 2012. President Obama visited Burma, the first by a sitting U.S. president in 2012 and in 2014. hosted then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her visit in 2011, and President Barack Obama in his 2012 (the first by a sitting U.S. president) and 2014 visits.   Correction: Michael E. Thurston was the Chargè d’affaires to Burma in 2011/2012 and was the top representative in country when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Burma in 2011. Apologies for the error.

The new Ambassador to Burma Scot Marciel was sworn-in by Secretary Kerry early this month.

 

 

Below is the U.S. Embassy’s Thingyan video from 2015 featuring Ambassador and Mrs. Mitchell with the mission staff and some photos:

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Related item:

Ambassador Mitchell’s Speech at MISIS (February 22, 2016)

 

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Secretary Kerry Swears-In the Next U.S. Ambassador to Burma Scot Marciel

Posted: 12:16 am EDT
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Ambassador Marciel will succeed Ambassador Derek J. Mitchell who was confirmed as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Union of Burma on June 29, 2012. We understand that Ambassador Mitchell is expected to depart Rangoon in mid-March after three and a half years at post.

 

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Ambassador David Shear: From Vietnam to DOD’s Asian and Pacific Security Affairs (APSA)

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— Domani Spero 

Last month, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Ambassador David B. Shear to be the next Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs in the Department of Defense. The WH released the following brief bio:

Ambassador David B. Shear is the U.S. Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, a position he has held since 2011.  From 2009 to 2011, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State (DOS).  Previously, he was the Director of the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at DOS.  Mr. Shear joined the Foreign Service in 1982 and has served in Sapporo, Beijing, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, and Washington, D.C.

Mr. Shear received a B.A. from Earlham College and an M.A from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and has attended Waseda University, Taiwan National University, and Nanjing University.

US Embassy Vietnam: CODEL McCain - Jan 18-20, 2012

Ambassador David Shear with Senator John McCain
US Embassy Vietnam: CODEL McCain – Jan 18-20, 2012

APSA is responsible for oversight of security cooperation programs and foreign military sales programs within the regions under its supervision. It looks like it covers East Asia, South & Southeast Asia and Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia.

If confirmed. Ambassador Shear would succeed Mark Lippert who was appointed to the position in 2011 and confirmed by the Senate in 2012. In May 2013, Mr. Limpert became the Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense. Dr. Peter R. Lavoy who served as the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs (APSA) is reportedly leaving this month. Ambassador Derek J. Mitchell, the current U.S. Ambassador to Burma was previously the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for APSA.

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Related item:
December 19, 2013 | President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

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Photo of the Day: All together now, say “queso”

U.S. Ambassadors to ASEAN nations pose for a photo with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, during her visit to Phnom Penh on July 13, 2012.

Via US Embassy Manila/FB

From L-R, the US Ambassadors to the ASEAN countries: Daniel Shields (Brunei), Harry Thomas (Philippines), Karen Stewart (Laos), Derek J. Mitchell (Burma), HRC, David Carden (ASEAN), David Shear (Vietnam), Kristie Kenney (Thailand), William Todd (Cambodia), and David Adelman (Singapore).

Missing from the photo: Paul Jones of US Embassy Malaysia and Scot Marciel of US Embassy Indonesia.

Domani Spero

US Senate Confirms Eleven Ambassadorial Nominees

The United States Senate on its floor wrap up for Friday before leaving town discharged the Foreign Relations Committee and confirmed the following nominees:

PN1680Derek J. Mitchell, of Connecticut, to be Ambassador to the Union of Burma.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Executive Calendar #768 Edward M. Alford, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador to the Republic of The Gambia.

Executive Calendar #769 Peter William Bodde, of Maryland, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

Executive Calendar #770 Piper Anne Wind Campbell, of the District of Columbia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador to Mongolia.

Executive Calendar #771 Dorothea-Maria Rosen, of California, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia.

Executive Calendar #772 Mark L. Asquino, of the District of Columbia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

Executive Calendar #773 Michele Jeanne Sison, of Maryland, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Maldives.

Executive Calendar #774 Douglas M. Griffiths, of Texas, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Mozambique.

Executive Calendar #775 Jay Nicholas Anania, of Maryland, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Suriname.

Executive Calendar #776 Susan Marsh Elliott, of Florida, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Tajikistan.

Executive Calendar #778 Richard L. Morningstar, of Massachusetts, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The Senate reconvenes on Monday, July 9, 2012.

Domani Spero

Officially Moved: Derek J. Mitchell – from Special Rep for Burma to Burma

On May 17 President Obama announced his intent to nominate Ambassador Derek J. Mitchell as the next ambassador to the Union of Burma. The WH released the following bio:

Ambassador Derek J. Mitchell is Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma, with the rank of Ambassador, having been appointed by President Obama in August 2011.  Previously, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs.  Before joining the Administration in 2009, Ambassador Mitchell served as Senior Fellow and Director for Asia in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).  He concurrently served as founding Director of the CSIS Southeast Asia Initiative, which was inaugurated in 2008.  From 1997 to 2001, Ambassador Mitchell was Special Assistant for Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  During this time, his roles included Senior Country Director for China, Taiwan, Mongolia, and Hong Kong (2000-2001), Director for Regional Security Affairs (1998-2000), Senior Country Director for the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore (1998-1999), and Country Director for Japan (1997-1998).  Before joining the Department of Defense, he worked at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs as Senior Program Officer for Asia and the Former Soviet Union (1996-1997), and as Program Officer for Asia (1993-1996).  He began his career as Assistant to the Senior Foreign Policy Adviser to Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Ambassador Mitchell received a B.A. from the University of Virginia and an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

The last Senate-confirmed Ambassador to Burma was career diplomat, Burton Levin who served from 1987-1990. No ambassador was appointed to replace Levin, and there has been no U.S. ambassador in Burma since then.

More than a half dozen chargé d’affaires have been appointed head of mission in Rangoon since then:

  • Franklin P. Huddle, Jr. (September 1990–September 1994) – later became Ambassador to Tajikistan
  • Marilyn Meyers (September 1994–October 1996)
  • Kent M. Wiedemann (October 1996–May 1999) – later became Ambassador to Cambodia
  • Priscilla A. Clapp (July 1999–August 2002)
  • Carmen Maria Martinez (August 2002–August 2005) – later became Ambassador to Zambia in 2005-2008
  • Shari Villarosa (August 2005–September 2008) – officially nominated as Ambassador to Port Louis and The Seychelles in November 2011, nomination currently stuck in Senate.
  • Larry M. Dinger (September 2008–August 2011) – previously U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Fiji Islands, the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of Nauru, the Kingdom of Tonga, and Tuvalu from July 2005 to June 2008 and U.S. Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia (2002–2004)
  • Michael Thurston (August 2011–2012) – previously Consul General at USCG Melbourne, Australia (2008-2011) and prior to that he was the Team Leader of PRT Diyala, Iraq (2007-2008).

Domani Spero

Related item:

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts | May 17, 2012