Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Washington, DC
September 22, 2010

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee,

Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. I am honored to be President Obama’s nominee to serve as the United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand, and I appreciate the trust and confidence that the President and Secretary Clinton have placed in me by this nomination. Thank you for the time the Committee has made for my colleagues and me to appear before you today.

As a career senior Foreign Service Officer, I believe I have developed over a long career the experience and leadership skills to represent the United States in Thailand. I have served as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines and to Ecuador. I have great respect for the importance of building strong U.S. allies to safeguard the well being and safety of the American people. If confirmed, my experience in building effective interagency teams will serve me well in heading the large and diverse U.S. Mission in Thailand.

Thailand is one of our oldest treaty allies in Asia, and our long friendship is based on a common set of values that define our two peoples. Our bilateral relationship provides important benefits to both countries in health, security, trade and investment, in law enforcement cooperation, and in humanitarian assistance to refugees. The American people have long had a special admiration for the rich Thai traditions and culture.

The past months have been difficult ones for the people of Thailand. As Secretary Clinton said, “As longtime friends of Thailand…We are deeply saddened by the recent violence and loss of life.” She expressed our hope that the people of Thailand can resolve their differences in a way that “strengthens democracy and the rule of law.” And while the Thai people must decide themselves how to resolve the challenges they face, they can count on the friendship of the United States in supporting reconciliation within their society.

The strong bonds between our two countries are based on mutual respect and decades of working together to make the future brighter for our citizens. We stand by that friendship and are confident that the strong, enduring bonds between our nations will continue to strengthen.

Thank you again for considering my nomination, and I look forward to answering any questions you may have.