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Press Releases 2010

U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson Honored In The U.S. Senate

March 5, 2010

Islamabad - United States Senator Edward E. Kaufman recognized Ambassador Anne Patterson as one of America's great federal employees in a speech on the floor of the United States Senate in Washington, D.C., on March 2, 2010.  Senator Kaufman's remarks follow below.

In Praise of Ambassador Anne Patterson

Senator Edward Kaufman
As Delivered in the United States Senate,
March 2, 2010

I rise again today to recognize one of our Nation's great federal employees.

From the day of its creation as the first executive department in 1789, the State Department has carried out the important work of American diplomacy, pursuing peaceful relations between the United States and other nations.  When our role as a world power grew in the late nineteenth century, our diplomats became peacemakers among nations.  Since the end of World War Two, we heavily invested our time, treasure, and human capital in the preservation of global peace during a time wrought with potential for war and mass destruction.

Today, in the aftermath of the Cold War and the September 11 attacks, our State Dept. personnel - and our Foreign Service officers in particular - work tirelessly to promote the American values of liberty and international cooperation.

Stationed in every region, they daily endure risks to their health and safety.  They leave behind family and a familiar culture.  These talented and dedicated men and women are the living embodiment of President Kennedy's declaration that, while we should never negotiate out of fear, we must never fear to negotiate.

Those in the Foreign Service must pass a rigorous examination and be prepared to serve at any of our 250 posts around the world.  They have jobs as consular officers assisting Americans abroad, political or economic officers analyzing trends in foreign countries and promoting U.S. interests, management officers running our embassies, or public diplomacy officers who share the story of America with foreign audiences.

The most senior and successful diplomats may become ambassadors, the public face of our Nation and the President's personal representatives abroad.

One distinguished ambassador, whose career exemplifies the work of our Foreign Service, is Anne Patterson.

A native of Arkansas, Anne studied at Wellesley College and the University of North Carolina.  She first joined the Foreign Service in 1973 as an economic officer.  Her initial postings overseas included Saudi Arabia and the United Nations offices in Geneva, Switzerland.  From 1991-1993, Anne served as the State Department's Director for Andean Countries and, later, was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs.

In 1997, Anne was nominated and confirmed as Ambassador to El Salvador, where she served for three years.  She became our Ambassador to Colombia in 2000.  While escorting the late Senator Paul Wellstone on a visit that year to a rural town, an explosive device was found nearby by local security forces.  That incident underscores the reality of the many dangers our Foreign Service officers face while serving overseas.

Anne returned to Washington in 2003, where she served as Deputy Inspector General for the State Department.  The following year, she was appointed Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.  After U.N. Ambassador John Danforth resigned in January 2005, Anne became Acting Ambassador, representing the United States at the United Nations.  She continued to serve in the role for six months.

From 2005-2007, Anne led the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.  In May 2007, after Ambassador Ryan Crocker left Islamabad to take up his post in Iraq, President Bush nominated Anne to serve as our Ambassador to Pakistan.  She continues her work in Islamabad to this day, representing our Nation at a time of great importance for the U.S. Pakistani relationship.

During the times I have had the honor of visiting her and our embassy officials in Pakistan; I have been impressed by her dedication to furthering American priorities in the country, to protecting our national interests, and to managing our talented team on the ground.

The life of a Foreign Service officer is not easy.  Anne, her husband, and her two sons and step-daughter can attest that Foreign Service families face many challenges during a career of living overseas and moving frequently.  In addition, Foreign Service families must make significant sacrifices to serve in dangerous locales like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq where there are restriction on bringing spouses and children to post.  These officers serve in the face of great hardship not for financial reward but for the satisfaction of serving the United States, protecting its interests, and promoting peace among nations.

Mr. President, I hope that my colleagues will join me in recognizing the enormous contribution made by Ambassador Anne Patterson and all those who serve in the Foreign Service and the State Department.