Obama names new envoy to RP

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — US President Barack Obama has named Harry K. Thomas, Jr. as new Ambassador to the Philippines.

Obama announced his intent to nominate Thomas, Jr. as US envoy to RP last Nov. 19.

Thomas is a career foreign service officer who served as ambassador to Bangladesh from 2003 to 2005. He has also been posted in India, Nigeria, Peru and Zimbabwe.

The US Senate has yet to confirm Thomas’ nomination. This gives US Ambassador Kristie A. Kenny time to continue her business of improving lives and strengthening relations between the two countries for a few more months.

Kenney said she needs to plan her return to the US soon “for personal and professional reasons.”

“It is with great pleasure that I learned that President Obama has named my successor. Ambassador-designate Harry Thomas is a personal friend of mine, an exceptional diplomat, and a wonderful person,” she said.

Kenney said it has been an honor and privilege to serve as US envoy to RP for more than three and a half years. She said working with Filipinos from all walks of life has been one of her most memorable experiences.

“I have come to deeply appreciate not just the warmth and friendship of Filipinos, but also their determination to make their country, region, and world a better place for their children and grandchildren. It has been a true pleasure to live in this beautiful country, and to lead the U.S. Embassy in efforts to partner with the government and people of the Philippines for the greater good of Americans and Filipinos alike,” she said.