Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield’s Remarks
Swearing-In Ceremony for Ambassador-Designate to The Gambia C. Patricia Alsup
Friday, October 30, 2015
- Good afternoon. It is a special honor for me to be with you today. I am so excited to be here today to swear-in, Patricia Alsup, one of our finest Foreign Service Officers as Ambassador to The Republic of The Gambia, my good friend Pat Alsup.
- I would like to recognize Pat’s family members who are with her today. Thank you for coming.
- I would like to welcome His Excellency, Ambassador of The Gambia to the United States, Omar Faye.
- We are also very honored to have Ambassador Johnnie Carson, former Assistant Secretary of Bureau of African Affairs, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Africa Bureau Rob Jackson, and Former Ambassador to Cape Verde Adrienne O’Neal with us. Thank you very much for being here today.
- I have known Pat for several years. Both of us previously served at the U.S. Embassy in The Gambia. So Ambassador Fie, you are getting someone with real experience. Pat served as our Deputy Chief of Mission at our U.S. Embassy in Banjul from 2005-2007.
- I visited Pat during that time and was impressed with her ability to maintain a strong, collaborative team and a clear sense of purpose to advance U.S. interests and objectives. I served in a more junior position many years before Pat. More years than I want to mention.
- No matter how tough the environment or complicated the issues, Pat’s compassionate leadership builds strong, confident, and effective teams. As Deputy Chief of Mission at our U.S. Embassy in Ghana, Pat calmly guided the U.S. Mission to develop complementary initiatives for the Partnership for Growth, a second Millennium Challenge Compact, and Power Africa. Her constant encouragement brought out the best in interagency collaboration.
- I conducted an informal survey from individuals who worked closely with Pat over the years. I spoke with individuals who worked with her when she was Director of the Africa Bureau’s Office of Central African Affairs and individuals who served with her in The Gambia and in Ghana.
- Here are some of the things that people said:
- “Pat epitomizes style and grace,”
- “I never saw her in a bad mood,”
- “She always had a ready smile for colleagues she encountered in the halls,” and
- “She has an extremely gracious leadership style.”
I heard one adjective being used time and time again to describe Pat – that word is “cheerful!” Whether she is hosting a holiday party, cruising on a boat trip on the Gambia River, delivering a tough message, or smiling in the hallway, Pat Alsup makes life enjoyable for those serving around her.
- I know she will continue to build upon her skills as an experienced Foreign Service Officer and use her many talents to strengthen and grow our bilateral relations with The Gambia.
- Ambassador, The Gambia is important to the United States for several key reasons. The Gambia is a partner in the fight against violent extremism and has played a positive role in regional peacekeeping efforts. As our Ambassador, Pat will work with The Gambia on issues that are important to both of our countries. Continued cooperation on regional security and development initiatives will be paramount to our bilateral relationship.
- She will work to rebuild our bilateral relationship so that the people of The Gambia can prosper.
- It is a great pleasure having you on our team, Pat. Now if you are ready, I will administer the oath of office.