( 03 March 2012, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Patricia Butenis will soon be replaced, sources said.
Buetnis will shortly end her diplomatic assignment in Sri Lanka paving the way for Michele J. Sison to take over as the Ambassador in Colombo.
Butenis carried out her duties as the US ambassador here at a time when US-Sri Lanka relations were quite strained.
According to External Affairs Ministry sources, the State Department has already sent a memo, and the ministry is now in the process of approving the US nominee. Sison had a stint as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Baghdad, Iraq and also served as Ambassador in Lebanon.
Sison’s overseas assignments include service as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan from 1999 to 2002 and as Consul General at the US Consulate General in Chennai, India from 1996 to 1999.
She also served at the US Missions in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (1993-1996); Douala, Cameroon (1991-1993); Cotonou, Benin (1988-1991); Lomé, Togo (1984-1988); and Port-au-Prince, Haiti (1982-1984), as well as in Washington. Ambassador Sison is the recipient of numerous US Department of State awards for exceptional service.
She has worked as the US Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates in 2004. Prior to her appointment to the UAE, she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of South Asian Affairs, charged with providing broad policy oversight of US relations with Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
She also had a short stint as chargé d’Affaires of Lebanon, before officially becoming the US Ambassador to Lebanon, in June 2008. Sison’s diplomatic assignment in Lebanon ended in August 2010.
She earned her BA in Political Science from Wellesley College and also studied at the London School of Economics. – (Ceylon Today )