PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT

Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center
With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i


MORRIS CONFIRMED AS U.S. AMBASSADOR TO MARSHALLS

By Aenet Rowa

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Yokwe Online, July 1) - Greta N. Morris, of California, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, has received approval from Congress to become Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs met to consider her nomination in a June 26 business meeting, and her confirmation was announced the next day.

In her appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on June 18 to discuss her nomination, Ambassador-Designate Morris spoke of how she would fulfill her position.

"If I am confirmed, I will faithfully implement the Compact, including assisting the Marshall Islands in achieving greater transparency and accountability in its management of Compact funds. I will encourage the Marshallese to work toward economic self-sufficiency," Morris stated.

The United States has another important interest in the Marshall Islands, said Morris, and needs to fulfill its obligations brought about by U.S. nuclear testing program from 1946 to 1958.

"If confirmed, I will work diligently to discharge U.S. responsibilities as outlined in the Compact and other related agreements," she said.

The 23-year veteran said that she would bring to the position extensive public diplomacy experience, which is critical to gaining support for U.S. foreign policy.

Morris has served in Kenya, Uganda, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

As Deputy Director of the Office of Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, she had responsibility for oversight and policy direction for public diplomacy programs throughout the East Asia and Pacific region.

"My experience in both Africa and East Asia has given me an understanding of the political, economic and social challenges faced by developing countries and new democracies," Morris said.

The new Ambassador will be replacing Michael J. Senko who served as Ambassador to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Republic of Kiribati since January 2001.

July 2, 2003 

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