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Biden nominates a career diplomat to serve in Thailand

The White House announced today (Saturday) that Robert F. Godec, a career diplomat, is to be the next ambassador to Thailand.

The position has been vacant for over a year, after Michael DeSombre, who was appointed by the Trump administration, stepped down in January 2021. Michael Heath, chargés d’affaires at the US Embassy, has served as acting ambassador since then.

Godec currently serves as Senior Coordinator for Afghanistan in the US bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration at the State Department.

Previously, he served as Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs. Prior to that, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs.

Godec was also Deputy Commandant and International Affairs Advisor at the National War College.

He was U.S. Ambassador to Kenya from 2013 to 2019. Godec was also chargés d’affaires ad interim at the U.S. Embassy Nairobi, Kenya in 2012.

Before his assignment in Nairobi, Godec was the Principal Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism in the Bureau of Counterterrorism in the Department of State.

He has also served as U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia, Assistant Office director for Thailand and Burma, in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and Director for Southeast Asian Affairs at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Godec has a Master’s degree from Yale University and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia.

He is the recipient of two Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, numerous Senior Performance Awards, and a Distinguished Honour Award.

He speaks French and German.

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