United States ambassador harry thomas jr. biography

    United States ambassador harry thomas jr. biography

    United States Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. Biography. Harry K. Thomas, Jr. (June 3, 1956 in the Harlem section of New York City) is the United States Ambassador to the Philippines. A former United States Ambassador to Bangladesh (serving from 2003 to 2005) and Director General of the United States Foreign Service (serving from 2007 to 2009), Thomas was designated by US President Barack Obama on November 19, 2009 to replace Kristie Kenney as Ambassador to the Philippines—the first African
    American to serve at that post. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 19, 2010 and presented his credentials to Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on April 27, 2010
    Thomas joined the Foreign Service in 1984. In addition to his tenure as Ambassador in Bangladesh, his earlier postings included service in the US embassies in New Delhi, India; Harare, Zimbabwe; Kaduna, Nigeria; and Lima, Peru. He also served as executive secretary of the US State Department, director of the Department’s Operations Center, and special assistant to the then-U.S.Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

    Foreign languages

    Thomas speaks Spanish, Hindi, Urdu and Bangla and is learning Tagalog.


    Thomas is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and pursued further study at Columbia University.
    On May 15, 2010 Thomas gave the commencement address at Loyola UniversityMaryland.
    On April 2, 2011 Thomas gave the commencement address at Angeles UniversityFoundation College of Nursing during it's commencement exercises.


    Thomas is married to Ericka Ovette, a jazz singer; they have one daughter, Casey Merie.


    In September 2011 Thomas sparked outrage - while in post as Ambassador to the Philippines - by making the remark that 40% of male tourists to the Philippines go there for sex tourism - without having the slightest evidence for this remark. He was subsequently obliged to make a full and unconditional public apology to the Foreign Ministry of the Philippines. It is not known how this remark may affect his future diplomatic career.

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