ISLAMABAD: US President Barack Obama has appointed Dr Cameron Munter, a career diplomat, as America’s new ambassador to Pakistan.
Fifty-six-year-old Munter, who is known as a tough-talker, will replace Anne W Patterson who completed her three-year term in June. It is not yet clear where Patterson will serve next.
A statement issued by the US Embassy in Islamabad on Monday said that Munter was a career member of the foreign service and had the rank of a minister. His most recent assignment was in Serbia and he has also served as a deputy chief of mission in Iraq, the Czech Republic and Poland. He was also the first leader of the first provincial reconstruction team in Iraq in 2006.
A Pakistani foreign office official also confirmed Munter’s nomination as new US envoy to Pakistan, saying Islamabad had already given its consent to his appointment.
During his time in Washington, he was director for Central Europe at the National Security Council, executive assistant to the counselor at the US State Department, and chief of staff of the Nato Enlargement Ratification Office.
Munter studied at the Cornell University and completed his PhD from the Johns Hopkins University. He was also a Rusk Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. He is considered a tough diplomat who has played an important role in redefining America’s role in countries passing through complicated situations.
Munter, who has been closely associated with US Special Representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke, takes up his new role at a time when the Obama Administration is considering a phased troops withdrawal from Afghanistan and possible reconciliation with the Taliban. For the next three years, he will be the key man to implement America’s policy in the region, particularly with reference to Afghanistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2010.