A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Harry K. Thomas Jr. (in the dark suit) has taken his post as the new United States Ambassador to the Philippines. Mr. Thomas is the first black envoy to the Philippines, and he arrives at his new post with a formidable resume:
Ambassador Thomas served most recently as a Special Assistant to the Secretary and Executive Secretary of the State Department.
He joined the Foreign Service in 1984, and served as Director for South Asia at the National Security Council in the White House from 2001 to 2002. He served as United States Ambassador to Bangladesh from 2003 to 2005. His other postings include: New Delhi, India; Harare, Zimbabwe; Kaduna, Nigeria; and Lima, Peru. He has served as Senior Watch Officer, Deputy Director, and Director of the State Department Operations Center, Special Assistant to the Undersecretary for Political Affairs, and Staff Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs.
Ambassador Thomas speaks Spanish, Hindi, and Bangla. He has received many awards, including the Arnold Raphel Award for leadership, motivation, and mentoring of colleagues. Source: Manilla Bulletin Publishing Corp
And now Ambassador Thomas has added Tagalog to his linguistic repertoire. Thomas had several weeks of downtime waiting for his confirmation to be approved, so he studied the Philippine national language.
It's a big world out there. I hope Ambassador Thomas career achievement reminds all young people of that fact.