President Barack Obama has tapped an Auburn native as the next U.S. ambassador to Haiti, according to members of Maine’s congressional delegation.
Pamela White is currently U.S. ambassador to The Gambia, a small country in Africa. She’s held that post for just over a year.
White grew up in Auburn and graduated from Edward Little High School in 1967. Her lengthy career has spanned the Peace Corps and Foreign Service, where she has the rank of career minister.
U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, in a prepared statement, noted their shared hometown and said the nomination was a nod to White’s “30 outstanding years of public service.”
“Like so many, my heart continues to go out to the people of Haiti and I believe it is vital the U.S. and the international community continue to monitor and help in the rebuilding of this nation in its time of need,” Snowe said. “Despite tough economic times, Mainers, true to their spirit, took action in the wake of the earthquake, donating much-needed resources and supplies to assist with rescue and relief efforts.
“So, it could not be more appropriate that a Mainer has been nominated to serve as our nation’s ambassador to Haiti, and we certainly could not have a better advocate than Pamela White.”
Calling it a “challenging post,” Congressman Mike Michaud said in a written statement that White has a distinguished record: “I wish her all the best in her work ahead.”
White couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday. A spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department said it was policy not to grant interviews during the nomination process. She said it was unclear how long that process could take.
Through the U.S. Agency for International Development, White has worked in Egypt, South Africa, Mali, Tanzania and Liberia. She’s also worked in Haiti before.
She started her career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon in 1971.
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