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DC Filipinos Praise Nomination of First African-American Ambassador to Manila

Philippine News, Posted: Dec 01, 2009

WASHINGTON The Filipino community in Washington welcomed the nomination of Harry Thomas Jr. as ambassador to the Philippines, the Philippines News reports. Following his confirmation by the U.S. Senate, he becomes the first African-American envoy to Manila. Thomas nomination was announced a week after Secretary of State Hillary Clintons visit to the Philippines.

The Philippine American community looks forward to continuing to work with the State Department, said Jon Melegrito, spokesman of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA). We hope that the kind of relationship building with the Filipino community will continue under the new ambassador.

A career diplomat, Thomas, 53, is slated to succeed Kristie Kenney, the first woman ambassador to the Philippines. She was appointed by former President George W. Bush, and served for three and a half years.

A State Department statement said Thomas served most recently as director general of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources. He previously served as a special assistant to the secretary and executive secretary of the department.


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