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03.10.2005 General News

US Ambassador Bridgewater arrives to assume duty

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Accra, Oct. 3, GNA - The new US Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Pamela Bridgewater, arrived in Accra on September 30 to begin a three-year tour of duty, the US Embassy announced on Monday.

A statement issued by the US Embassy quoted Ms Bridgewater as saying: "I am very pleased to be here in Ghana. The U.S. relationship with Ghana is of enormous importance and I look forward to working together with President John Agyekum Kufuor."

Ms Bridgewater was nominated by President George Bush on May 11, 2005 to be the next Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana and the U.S. Senate confirmed her in June. From September 2004 through May 2005 Ms Bridgewater served as Diplomat-in-Residence at Howard University. Ms Bridgewater replaces Ambassador Mary Carlin Yates, who ended her tour in August.

Ms Bridgewater was appointed U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in December 2002 and served there through September 2004.

She managed the Department's relationship with 16 countries in West Africa, Economic and Commercial Policies and Programmes, and Public Diplomacy Programmes for all of Africa below the Sahara. "Her superb skills in public diplomacy meant that she was able to comprehend and enhance the global objectives of public diplomacy while consistently focusing on the personal diplomacy and specific programmes that bring daily successes with foreign counterparts and which create the foundation of mutual understanding with the US," the statement said.

At the height of the civil war in Liberia, she was named Special Coordinator for Peace in Liberia.

Ms Bridgewater served as U.S. Ambassador to Benin from 2000-2002 and Deputy Chief of Mission in Nassau, Bahamas from 1996-1999. She was the longest serving U.S. diplomat in South Africa (Pretoria, 1990-1993, Durban 1993-1996 as Consul General). She also served in Brussels, Belgium and in Kingston, Jamaica.

She entered the U.S. Foreign Service in 1980 after teaching at Morgan State University; Bowie State University in Maryland and Voorhees College in South Carolina.

She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Virginia State, and a Master's Degree in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati.

She advanced to candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in International Studies at The American University School of International Service. She was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Virginia

State University in 1997, and received the National Order of Benin in 2002.

Recognized for her innovative approach to promoting U.S. business interests in Benin, specifically and in Africa overall, Bridgewater received The 2002 Charles E. Cobb, Jr. Award for Initiative and Success in Trade Development.

She is also the recipient of three Department of State Superior Honour Awards and Senior Presidential Performance Pay. She speaks fluent French.

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