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21 November 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Saying he is the right man for the job, Secretary of State John F. Kerry today swore in veteran diplomat Philip Goldberg as the new United States ambassador to the Philippines.

Secretary Kerry administered the oath to Ambassador Goldberg as Washington’s point person in Manila in ceremonies at the Department of State, a few days after the US Senate gave its concurrence to his appointment.

The Philippine Embassy said it is looking forward to the arrival of Ambassador Goldberg in Manila where he is expected play a key role in ongoing US efforts to help the Philippines deal with the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan earlier this month.

“Ambassador Goldberg is a seasoned diplomat who can be expected to bring relations between our two countries to greater heights,” Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., said after attending the oath-taking ceremonies.

Ambassador Goldberg, who will be replacing Ambassador Harry Thomas, is expected to depart for Manila on Monday.

“As we struggle to respond to this human disaster, we are proud that we are sending to the Philippines the right person to do the job,” Secretary Kerry said in his remarks. “Phil Goldberg is a consummate professional who has held an enormous array of positions in the Foreign Service.”

Secretary Kerry broke tradition for the third time since he took over the State Department by personally swearing in Ambassador Goldberg—a task normally performed by a Deputy Secretary or an Undersecretary. The other two envoys sworn in by Secretary Kerry were Ambassador to Libya Deborah Jones in June and Ambassador To Japan Caroline Kennedy early this month.

In his response, Ambassador Goldberg said he heads to the Philippines with mixed emotions.

“I’m excited and honored to be going to the Philippines, a country with which we share so much history. At the same time, it’s hard to think of the suffering of so many people in the Philippines in recent weeks and all they’ve endured without a touch of sadness and without being moved,” he said.

“If I’ve learned one thing from the Filipino friends I’ve made all around the world, and there are Filipinos all around the world, it’s that they are warm, but they are also tough and resilient. There should be no doubt that they will bounce back. I have no doubt,” Ambassador Goldberg added.

Prior to his appointment by President Obama, Ambassador Goldberg served as Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research and as Coordinator for Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874 on North Korea.

A native of Boston, Goldberg served as Ambassador to Bolivia from 2006 to 2008; Chief of Mission in Pristina, Kosovo from 2004 to 2006; and Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Santiago, Chile from 2001 to 2004.

A career diplomat, Ambassador Goldberg served as acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs from January to June 2001; Special Assistant to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott from 1996 to 1998 and later as his Executive Assistant from 1998 to 2000

He was the Desk Officer on Bosnia at the State Department from 1994 to 1996 and was a member of the US negotiating team in the lead-up to the Dayton Peace Conference and Chief of Staff for the US Delegation at Dayton. Ambassador Goldberg has served overseas as a consular and political officer at the US Embassy in Bogota, Colombia and political and economic officer in Pretoria, South Africa.

Before joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Goldberg worked for several years as a liaison officer between the City of New York and the United Nations and the consular community. ###