Michele Sison, formerly U.S. Consul General in Chennai, will be nominated by President Barack Obama for the post of Ambassador to the Sri Lanka and the Maldives, according to a statement from the White House press office.
Currently Ms. Sison, a career diplomat with the rank of Minister-Counselor, is the Assistant Chief of Mission for Law Enforcement and Rule of Law Assistance in Baghdad, Iraq. Prior to that role she was the Ambassador to Lebanon, between 2008 and 2010.
Her appointment comes at a sensitive time in U.S.-Sri Lanka relations, less than a week after the U.S. successfully sponsored a resolution against Sri Lanka and the United Nations Human Rights Council calling on the island nation to take further action to speed up the implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.
Ms. Sison has held numerous other senior diplomatic positions, including Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (2004 to 2008), Deputy Chief of Mission in Islamabad, Pakistan, Consul General in Cameroon; and Director of Career Development and Assignments in the Department of State’s Bureau of Human Resources.
While the White House this week announced President Obama’s “intention to nominate” Ms. Sison and others, the timeframe in which such a nomination may actually lead to a confirmed appointment in the U.S. Congress is unclear.
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