U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Loss Carlson presents her credentials to President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. during a ceremony at the Malacañan Palace on July 22. (Photo from U.S. Embassy)
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The U.S. Embassy welcomed MaryKay Loss Carlson as its new ambassador to the Philippines.

Carlson arrived Thursday night in the Philippines, following consultations in Washington, D.C.

“I am thrilled to be in the Philippines and honored to represent the United States in this important relationship. With the Philippines, our oldest treaty ally in Asia, we have a long history of shared sacrifice and incredibly close people-to-people ties,” Ambassador Carlson said.

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U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Loss Carlson signs the guest book in the presence of her husband Aubrey Carlson (left) and Chief of Presidential Protocol Undersecretary Adelio Angelito Cruz (right).

“I look forward to working with the new government and our partners to upgrade and modernize our alliance to face new challenges, expand bilateral trade and investment, and promote democratic freedoms and good governance,” she added.

Carlson succeeds Sung Kim, who led the U.S. Mission from 2016 to 2020.

Carlson was the deputy chief of mission and Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, before moving to Manila. She has also held positions as principal deputy executive secretary on the office of the Secretary of State in Washington, D.C., as well as deputy chief of mission and Chargé d’Affaires in New Delhi, India.

She has been a member of the diplomatic service since 1985 and has served in posts in American embassies in China, the Ukraine, Hong Kong, Kenya, Mozambique, and the Dominican Republic. After graduating from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and International Studies, Carlson went on to earn Master’s degrees in International Relations from Georgetown University and National Security Studies from the National War College. She is fluent in Chinese and Spanish.

Heather Variava, who has been serving as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim since September 2021, will remain in Manila as Deputy Chief of Mission.

“I thank Heather for her remarkable leadership and for the outstanding work she has done to promote our close partnership with the Philippines,” Ambassador Carlson said. “I look forward to working closely with her, and with the team at the U.S. Embassy, to further strengthen our ties with the Philippines as enduring friends, partners, and allies.”

Ambassador Carlson arrived with her husband, Aubrey Carlson, a retired U.S. diplomat. Ambassador Carlson’s full biography may be viewed here: https://ph.usembassy.gov/ambassador/

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