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New U.S. Ambassador Degnan Arrives to Georgia

Kelly Degnan, who was unanimously endorsed by the U.S. Senate on December 19 to be the next Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Georgia, arrived in Tbilisi on January 29.

Announcing the arrival of Ambassador Degnan, U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi noted “we look forward to the work we will do together to strengthen the partnership between the United States and Georgia.”

Degnan, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with 26 years of experience, is in the diplomatic rank of Minister Counselor. She recently served as the Political Advisor to the Commander of United States Naval Forces Europe–Africa. Degnan’s prior diplomatic postings include Rome, Pristina, Ankara, Brussels and Khost, Afghanistan.

In Brussels, Belgium Degnan served as Political Counselor at the U.S. Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Her career includes Washington DC experience as well. Kelly Degnan worked as the Special Assistant to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Special Assistant to the Undersecretary for Political Affairs at the Department of State.

Degnan obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and the doctorate in law from the University of Southern California Law Center. Besides her native English, Degnan speaks Italian, French, Turkish and Urdu.

Earlier in January, in her swearing-in remarks, Degnan said “like Americans, Georgians want to grow businesses, vote in fair elections, hear from a responsible media, worship freely, and raise their families in a country where rule of law governs.”

She then highlighted that “the focus now is on implementing systems and laws to ensure greater equality, justice, and transparency.” Degnan also spoke of crucial October 2020 polls, noting that “Parliamentary elections later this year are an important opportunity for Georgians to show the world that the progress they have worked so hard for cannot be reversed.”

U.S. President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate Kelly Colleen Degnan, native of California, as the new U.S. ambassador to Georgia in September 2019.

The position had remained vacant since Ambassador Ian C. Kelly completed his mission in March 2018. Until now, Elizabeth Rood, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. to Tbilisi served as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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