Obama taps career diplomat Pamela Ann White as Haiti ambassador

President Barack Obama has nominated Ambassador Pamela Ann White, a career diplomat with more than 35 years public service experience mostly in Africa, as the United States’ next ambassador to a quake-ravaged Haiti.

White is a former Peace Corps volunteer who once served in Haiti as an executive officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Before her assignment in Gambia, West Africa, where she has been since 2010, White served as mission director in Liberia, Tanzania and Mali for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

As USAID’s mission director in Liberia, White managed the agency’s second largest development budget in Africa, averaging more than $200 million a year, according to the State Department.

Between 1999 and 2001, White served as USAID’s deputy director for East Africa. .

White has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine, a master’s from the School for International Training, and a master’s from the Industrial College of Armed Forces.

She joined the Peace Corps in 1971, and served as a volunteer in Cameroon until 1973. Five years later, she joined USAID. She also has been posted in Egypt, South Africa and Burkina Faso.

If approved by Congress, White will replace U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten. Merten is a career diplomat who had two previous diplomatic assignments to Haiti before his August 2009 assignment in the Caribbean nation.

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