US Ambassador MaryKay Carlson affirms strength of US-PH ties

Published July 28, 2022, 12:02 AM

by Manila Bulletin

New US ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Loss Carlson arrived in the country committed to further strengthen US-Philippine ties. This was reciprocated by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. when he received her credentials in Malacañang last July 22, 2022.

“We echo your commitment that the United States is committed to the Philippines; the Philippines is also committed to the United States,” the President said. “Committed to the continuing relationship between our two countries, in the many dimensions and the multi-faceted nature of our relationship.”

The President stressed that the long-standing relationship between the two countries is “deep and enduring.”  Under his leadership, Marcos will strengthen Philippine-US ties, to keep the stability of the country and the region. “We continue to look to the US for leadership when it comes to world events and we continue to look to the US as a friend, partner, and ally.”

Carlson, as the new American Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of the Philippines, fills the position after it had been vacant for more than a year ever since Sung Y. Kim concluded his four-year tour of duty in October of 2020.  Carlson will serve as ambassador in an interesting time as the Philippines and the world enters a post-pandemic era.

A career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor, Carlson served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In her profile on the White House website, it said that Carlson is a “native of Little Rock, Arkansas, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Rhodes College and a master’s degree from Georgetown University and the National War College.”

Part of Carlson’s extensive experience was serving as deputy chief of mission in New Delhi, India for three years, including a 10-month stint as Chargé d’Affaires. Prior to that, she held the position of principal deputy executive secretary on the staff of the Secretary of State in Washington, D.C.  A Foreign Service officer since 1985, she has also served at US diplomatic missions in China (twice), Ukraine, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Kenya, and the Dominican Republic. Her domestic assignments include director of the Secretary’s Executive Secretariat Staff and deputy director of Korean Affairs. Carlson has received numerous performance awards, including six Superior Honor Awards.

As the country welcomes the arrival of a new US ambassador, may this diplomatic move serve as a reminder of the enduring ties between two nations, forged by Filipino and American soldiers who have fought side-by-side in the name of freedom and enhanced with various cooperation and humanitarian projects, most recently with the American people’s donation of vaccines and assistance to victims of natural disasters.

We hope that Carlson, a respected veteran diplomat, will bring with her not only a wealth of experience culled from years in the diplomatic field, but also her dedication and passion for work as gleaned from her extensive professional accomplishments.

She hit the ground running on day one of her arrival and expressed optimism in the road ahead: “I am deeply honored to work with the Philippine government led by President Marcos and our #FriendsPartnersAllies across this great country to further strengthen US-Philippine ties.”