November 26, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 18, 2016) — The White House Office of the Press Secretary on Wednesday announced that President Barack Obama intends to nominate Sung Y. Kim as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines, and Rena Bitter as the U.S. Ambassador to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

Kim and Bitter were listed among eight individuals that President Obama intends to nominate to key administration posts. The others include:

Ysaÿe M. Barnwell – Member, National Council on the Arts
Daniel Becker – Member, Board of Directors of the State Justice Institute
Rena Bitter – Ambassador to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Department of State
Anne S. Casper – Ambassador to the Republic of Burundi, Department of State
Geoffrey R. Pyatt – Ambassador to Greece, Department of State
Douglas Silliman – Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq, Department of State
Marie L. Yovanovitch – Ambassador to Ukraine, Department of State

“I am pleased to announce that these experienced and committed individuals have decided to serve our country,” Obama said. “I look forward to working with them.”

 

Sung Y. Kim
Sung Y. Kim

Mr. Kim received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, a J.D. from Loyola Law School, and an LL.M. from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She went on to become a career member of the Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor.

Kim is currently Special Representative for North Korea Policy and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State, positions he has held since 2014.  Previously, he served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 2011 to 2014, Special Envoy for the Six Party Talks with the rank of Ambassador from 2008 to 2011, and Director of the Office of Korean Affairs in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs from 2006 to 2008.

Kim was Political-Military Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea from 2002 to 2006. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1988, Kim has also held positions at posts in Hong Kong, Japan, and Malaysia. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Kim was a Deputy District Attorney in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Bitter received a B.S. from Northwestern University and a J.D. from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and went on to become a career member of the Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor with the U.S. State Department. She is currently Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, a position she has held since 2013.

Consul General Rena Bitter presents a gift to Associate Prof. Dr. Tran Van Nam of the University of Da Nang in this 2015 U.S. Embassy in Ho Chi Minh City photo.
Consul General Rena Bitter presents a gift to Associate Prof. Dr. Tran Van Nam of the University of Da Nang in this 2015 U.S. Embassy in Ho Chi Minh City photo.

Previously, Ms. Bitter served in the Department of State’s Operations Center as Director from 2010 to 2012 and Deputy Director from 2009 to 2010. She was Consular Section Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan from 2006 to 2009, and Chief of the Nonimmigrant Visa Unit in the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in London, United Kingdom from 2003 to 2005.

Bitter was a Transatlantic Diplomatic Fellow in London from 2002 to 2003. Before that she served as a Special Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of State from 2001 to 2002 and on the Department’s Executive Secretariat Staff from 2000 to 2001. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1994, Bitter has also served at posts in Colombia and Mexico.

 

 

Geoffrey R. Pyatt, a career member of the Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, a position he has held since 2013.  Previously, Ambassador Pyatt was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs from 2010 to 2013.  He was Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna, Austria from 2007 to 2010.  He also served at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India as Deputy Chief of Mission from 2006 to 2007 and as Political Counselor from 2002 to 2006.  Ambassador Pyatt served as Economic Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong from 1999 to 2002 and as Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Lahore, Pakistan from 1997 to 1999.  Since joining the Foreign Service in 1989, he has also served on the National Security Council staff and at posts in Honduras and India.  Ambassador Pyatt received a B.A. from the University of California, Irvine and an M.A. from Yale University.

Douglas Silliman, a career member of the Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as U.S. Ambassador to the State of Kuwait, a position he has held since 2014.  Ambassador Silliman was a Senior Advisor in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs from 2013 to 2014 and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq from 2012 to 2013.  From 2011 to 2012, he was Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs in Baghdad.  Before serving in Iraq, he was Deputy Chief of Mission in Ankara, Turkey from 2008 to 2011.  Ambassador Silliman was Director of the Office of Southern European Affairs from 2005 to 2007 and Deputy Director from 2004 to 2005.  From 2000 to 2004, he was Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan.  Since joining the Foreign Service in 1984, he has also served at posts in Haiti, Pakistan, and Tunisia.  Ambassador Silliman received a B.A. from Baylor University and an M.A. from The George Washington University.

Marie L. Yovanovitch, a career member of the Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as Dean of the School of Language Studies at the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute, a position she has held since 2014.  Ms. Yovanovitch was Deputy Commandant at the Eisenhower School at the National Defense University from 2013 to 2014.  She served in the Department of State’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary from 2012 to 2013 and as Deputy Assistant Secretary from 2011 to 2012.  Prior to that, she served as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia from 2008 to 2011 and as U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan from 2005 to 2008.  Ms. Yovanovitch was Senior Advisor and Executive Assistant in the Office of the Under Secretary for Political Affairs from 2004 to 2005 and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine from 2001 to 2004.  Since joining the Foreign Service in 1986, she has also served at posts in Canada, Russia, Somalia, and the United Kingdom.  Ms. Yovanovitch received a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.S. from the National War College.

Dr. Ysaÿe Barnwell is President and Owner of Barnwell’s Notes Publishing, Inc., positions she has held since 1985.  From 1979 to 2013, Dr. Barnwell was a vocalist and composer for the a cappella quintet, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and also composed music for dance, choral, film, and stage productions.  Dr. Barnwell was a Project Director at Gallaudet University from 1988 to 1991 and worked at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center from 1982 to 1985.  Dr. Barnwell was also a Professor of Speech Pathology in the College of Dentistry at Howard University from 1968 to 1980.  Dr. Barnwell received a B.S. and an M.S.Ed. from SUNY Geneseo, an M.S.P.H. from Howard University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

Daniel Becker has served on the Board of Directors of the State Justice Institute since 2012.  He is the State Court Administrator at the Administrative Office of the Courts for the State of Utah, a position he has held since 1995.  Prior to that, he served various positions with the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, including Deputy Director from 1993 to 1995, Court Services Administrator from 1986 to 1993, and Assistant to the Director from 1984 to 1986.  Mr. Becker was Trial Court Administrator for the Fourteenth Judicial District of North Carolina from 1981 to 1984.  He was Assistant Director of Operations from 1980 to 1981 and a Court Consultant from 1979 to 1977 for the Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts.  Mr. Becker was recipient of the Warren E. Burger Award for Excellence in Court Administration in 2006.  He received a B.A. and an M.P.A. from Florida Atlantic University.

Anne S. Casper, a career member of the Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, serves as Senior Advisor in the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications at the Department of State, a position she has held since 2015.  Ms. Casper has served concurrently as Acting Director of Partnerships for the Department’s Global Engagement Center since April 2016.  Ms. Casper was Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Public Affairs from 2014 to 2015, Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from 2012 to 2014, and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda from 2009 to 2012.  She was Public Affairs Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand from 2006 to 2009 and served as Arabic Media Liaison Officer in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs from 2002 to 2004.  From 2001 to 2002, Ms. Casper was the Counterterrorism Policy Officer in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism.  Since joining the Foreign Service in 1993, Ms. Casper has held positions at posts in Albania, Jerusalem, and Syria.  Ms. Casper received a B.A. from Tufts University, an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and an M.S. from the National War College.

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