MaryKay Loss Carlson. (Photo from the U.S. Department of State through Wikipedia)

The White House announced on Friday that President Joe Biden has chosen career diplomat MaryKay Loss Carlson as the next United States ambassador to the Philippines.

The position had been vacant for more than a year since Sung Kim ended his four-year tour of duty in Manila in October 2020.

Heather Variava has been ad interim Chargé d’Affaires (CDA) at the US Embassy in Manila since September last year, succeeding John Law.

CDA is an embassy’s official representative in the absence of an ambassador.

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Carlson currently serves as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Previously, she worked as Deputy Chief of Mission in New Delhi, India for three years and as ad interim CDA for 10 months; and as principal Deputy Executive Secretary of the Secretary of State in Washington, D.C.

She has been a foreign service officer since 1985 after earning her degree in Spanish and International Studies from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, and Master of Arts in International Relations from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

She also served at diplomatic missions in China, Ukraine, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Kenya, and the Dominican Republic.

“The biggest lesson I learned is the need to treat each applicant with respect,” Carlson said in an interview with the Rhodes College website in 2019. “Consular officers are the face of the United States, and how we treat applicants, even those who don’t qualify for visas, matters.” (PNA)

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