WASHINGTON (July 20, 2010) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced his intent to nominate Karen Brevard Stewart as the United States Ambassador to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic – a posting with the Department of State. According to the White House Office of the Press Secretary, Brevard Stewart is a career member of the Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor and has previous experience in Laos, twice, where she once served as Deputy Chief of Mission.
Stewart has served since January 2010 as Special Advisor to the Director General of the Foreign Service. Prior to that, Ms. Stewart was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.
In 2006 Stewart was named U.S. Ambassador to Belarus by President George W. Bush. She had served as the Director of the Office of Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus Affairs in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.
For her work Stewart received the Department of State Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards. In December 2007, Ambassador Stewart was presented the Department’s first Diplomacy for Freedom Award for her Embassy’s work in Belarus.
Her previous overseas postings included Thailand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Laos. Her second languages include Thai, Lao, and Russian.
In Washington, Stewart has served in the Bureaus of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; Economics and Business; Near East; and Europe and Eurasia.
A native of Florida, Ms. Stewart graduated with a B.A. in Astronomy and Economics from Wellesley College and received an M.S. from the National War College. She joined the Foreign Service in 1977.
Ms. Stewart graduated with a B.A. in astronomy and economics from Wellesley College and pursued further studies in astronomy at the University of Virginia.
President Obama also nominated Mark M. Boulware as Ambassador to the Republic of Chad; Christopher J. McMullen as Ambassador to the Republic of Angola; Joseph A. Mussomeli as Ambassador to the Republic of Slovenia; and Wanda L. Nesbitt as Ambassador to the Republic of Namibia.
Obama also announced his intent to appoint four government officials, Helen Hurcombe, Kathleen Martinez, Pamela C. Schwenke, to the Committee for Purchase from People Who are Blind or Severely Disabled.
“I am grateful that these distinguished men and women have agreed to serve in this administration,” said President Obama. “I am confident they will represent our country with honor at home and abroad, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”