Joe Biden nominates MaryKay Carlson to be US ambassador to the Philippines
United States President Joe Biden has nominated veteran diplomat MaryKay Carlson to be the country’s next ambassador to the Philippines.
In a press release, the White House said that Carlson has been a foreign service officer since 1985, and now has the rank of Minister-Counselor. She is currently serving as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has previously served in US diplomatic missions in India, China, 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,” the White House press release also noted.
Born in the state of Arkansas, Carlson earned her bachelor’s degree from the Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee and has two master’s degrees – one from Georgetown University and another one from the National War College. She speaks Spanish and Chinese. If confirmed, Carlson will be the second woman US ambassador to the Philippines following Kristie Kenney, who served from 2006 to 2010.
The position of US ambassador to the Philippines has been vacant since Sung Kim, America’s most recent top envoy to the country, was re-assigned to Indonesia in October 2020 by then-President Donald Trump. Despite the fact that Biden’s Democratic Party controls the US Senate, Carlson’s confirmation process will most probably take months. It is possible that her tenure as ambassador to the Philippines will coincide with the start of the next administration.