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Biden nominates new ambassador for Namibia 

2022-07-22  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Biden nominates new ambassador for Namibia 

US President Joe Biden has nominated a career foreign service officer who was the State Department’s first special envoy for human rights of LGBTI people, Randy Berry, as the new US ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Namibia.

According to the White House media statement dated 22 June, Berry’s nomination is pending before the senate foreign relations committee.

If confirmed, the 57-year-old will take up the position held vacant since the departure of Lisa Johnson at the end of last year.

Berry was an international training manager for America West Airlines in Phoenix before he joined the Foreign Service in 1993. His first assignment was as vice consul in Dhaka, Bangladesh, before taking a similar job in Cairo in 1996.

He went to the embassy in Kampala, Uganda, in 1998, first as political section chief, and then as regional refugee coordinator. He returned to Washington in 2002 as South Africa desk chief until leaving the following year to be deputy principal officer at the US consulate in Cape Town, South Africa.

Berry’s first assignment in Nepal came in 2007, when he was named deputy chief of mission there. In 2009, he moved to Auckland, New Zealand, as consul general, and then to the same job in Amsterdam in 2012.

He assumed the LGBTI envoy post in February 2015, travelling around the world to help protect LGBTI people from violence and death. 

He remained in the post for a time after Donald Trump’s inauguration, despite disapproval from some in the conservative community. 

Tony Perkins, head of the far-right Family Research Council, said: “Keeping Berry only signals to the world that the extreme agenda of the Obama years is still deeply entrenched in the State Department.” Just before Trump took office, Berry was named deputy assistant secretary in the bureau of democracy, human rights and labour, in addition to his envoy post.


2022-07-22  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

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