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Meeting with US Ambassador MaryKay Carlson on US-PH Relations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At the invitation of the US-Philippines Society, incoming Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson joined Society directors led by Co-Chair Amb John D. Negroponte and President Amb John F. Maisto with support of Amb Frank Wisner for a July 11 substantive discussion on US-PH relations. Marking its tenth anniversary, the Society recently concluded its annual board meeting program in the Philippines, first in-person post-pandemic, June 20-23, where members met with then President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and First Lady Lisa A. Marcos, along with key members of the new PH leadership, with support of Amb Jose Manuel Romualdez.

Co-Chair Ambassador Negroponte congratulated Amb Carlson who was confirmed by the Senate on May 5. She had taken her oath as Ambassador to the Philippines on May 23, in Argentina where she served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires. The Society expressed confidence in Ambassador Carlson noting that today’s challenges and opportunities require especially strong and effective leadership, and the Society is delighted that in an expression of confidence, President Biden has entrusted her to meet those challenges and make the most of the varied opportunities ahead as Chief of Mission in Manila.

Ambassador Carlson has extensive experience in the Indo-Pacific region, including a ten-month stint as Chargé d’Affaires a.i. at the American Embassy in New Delhi. She has also served at U.S. Diplomatic Missions in China (twice), Ukraine, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Kenya, and the Dominican Republic. She speaks Chinese and Spanish. She also served as principal Deputy Executive Secretary at the State Department in Washington, D.C., as well as in the office of Korean Affairs. She is expected to be in Manila by the end of July.

Ambassador Frank Wisner who served as Ambassador to Philippines and India during his extensive foreign service career co-organized the meeting, an opportunity for a candid exchange of views that will bolster private sector engagement, including in the energy, communication, digital technology and insurance sectors, in the context of the new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework initiative. The exchange provided a timely opportunity to explore ways the Society can play an effective and supportive role in strengthening the bilateral relationship, and advancing our shared people-to-people, culture, and education ties.

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