Trump nominates US ambassador to Georgia, with 25-year of experience and state awards

Kelly C. Degnan will replace Ian Kelly as the US ambassador to Georgia. Photo: US Embassy to Italy., 04 Sep 2019 - 10:52, Tbilisi,Georgia

The US President Donald Trump has presented Californian Kelly C. Degnan for the role of the new US ambassador to Georgia.

Degnan has 25 years of diplomatic experience and is a recipient of the Secretary of State’s Expeditionary Service Award.

The post has been vacant since March 2018.

Degnan currently serves as the political advisor to the Commander of United States Naval Forces Europe – United States Naval Forces Africa.

Previously, she was deputy chief of mission of the United States Mission to Italy, deputy executive secretary of the Department of State, and Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy in Pristina, Kosovo.

Ambassador Ross Wilson arrived to take up duties as chargé d’affaires, [a diplomat who head a mission in the case of absence of an ambassador], at the American Embassy in Tbilisi on 8 November 2018. He left the country in mid-may and Elizabeth Rood served as an acting US ambassador. 

During her 25-year career, she has served as political counselor at the United States Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels, Belgium, senior civilian representative to Brigade Combat Team Salerno in Khost, Afghanistan, and deputy political counselor at the United States Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.

Trump’s administration says that she also served as a special assistant to the Secretary of State and to the Undersecretary for Political Affairs at the Department of State.

She speaks Italian, French, Turkish and Urdu.

Previous Ambassador Kelly announced his retirement once his mission in Georgia concluded at the end of March 2018, bringing an end to his 33-year career. 

Georgian FM David Zalkaliani has welcomed the decision and vowed a close cooperation with the new ambassador after all mandatory procedures are completed.

She is the first US ambassador to Georgia under Trump’s administration,” Zalkaliani said.

Zalkaliani stated that the US is the strategic partner of Georgia and a key ally and the close cooperation will continue.