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Obama names Philip Goldberg new US Ambassador to PH

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United States President Barack Obama has appointed a new ambassador to the Philippines, replacing Harry Thomas Jr. who ends his tour of duty this year, an embassy statement said on Thursday. 

 

Obama named Philip S. Goldberg, a seasoned career diplomat, as Thomas’s successor, who has been assigned in the Philippines in 2010. 

Goldberg’s nomination still has to be confirmed by the US Senate.

The American diplomat was at the center of controversy in one of his most recent posts as ambassador to Bolivia, which expelled him in 2008. Goldberg was accused by Bolivian President Evo Morales of "fomenting civil unrest." 

Goldberg, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career-Minister, is Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research at the Department of State, a position he has held since 2010.   

From 2006 to 2008, he served as Ambassador to Bolivia and as Chief of Mission in Pristina, Kosovo from 2005 to 2006.


Expelled from Bolivia

In 2008, Goldberg was ordered home by Bolivian President Morales after he accused the American of "fomenting the civil unrest that threatens not only the country's first indigenous Indian president, Evo Morales, but the unity of the nation itself."

According to the Daily Telegraph, Goldberg was declared persona non grata for "conspiring against democracy and seeking the division of Bolivia."

The US denied Bolivia's claims, calling them "baseless."

Bolivia's declaration came after heightened protests against Morales, a former coca farmer who legalized to some extent the production of cocaine in Bolivia.


Rose through the ranks

Goldberg also served as Charge d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, Chile from 2001 to 2004.  In 2001, he served as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs.  

From 1996 to 2000, he served as Special Assistant and then Executive Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State and as Bosnia Desk Officer from 1994 to 1996.   

Goldberg’s previous overseas assignments include: Consular and Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia and Political-Economic Officer in Pretoria, South Africa.  

He began his career as a Liaison Officer for the City of New York for the United Nations.  He received a B.A. from Boston University. - VVP, GMA News

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