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FAREWELL: Incoming US Ambassador will be a Political Appointee

FAREWELL: Incoming US  Ambassador will be a  Political Appointee
Outgoing US Ambassador to Fiji Judith Cefkin (middle) with some staff members of the Fiji Sun (from left) journalists Lusiana Tuimaisala, Selita Bolanavanua, Ashna Kumar, Managing Editor Digital Rosi Doviverata, Managing Editor News Jyoti Pratibha, Roneel Karthik (Digital), Managing Editor Special Projects Maika Bolatiki and Managing Editor Training Nemani Delaibatiki. Photo: US Embassy
February 15
10:31 2018

The incoming United States of American Ambassador will be a political appointee.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Donald Trump intends to nominate Michigan consultant, Joseph Cella. If approved by the Senate, Mr Cella will serve as Ambassador to Fiji, as well as Kiribati and Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu.

Mr Cella led the Trump campaign’s Catholic Advisory Council during the 2016 Election. He also founded the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in 2004.

A White House statement said: “Mr Cella, a respected businessman and committed community leader, has served since 2010 as principal of the Pontifex Group, a consulting firm whose practice includes strategic and tactical counsel, communications, crisis management, public relations, political consulting, public policy, operational launching and enhancement, donor and investor prospecting and media advocacy.

“For nearly two decades, Mr Cella has worked in the US Senate, the US House of Representatives, political campaigns, and non-profit organisations.”

Outgoing Ambassador Judith Cefkin departs from Fiji this month. She is a former journalist and a career diplomat and served in the position for three years. During her visit to the Fiji Sun office yesterday to bid farewell, she said she would miss Fiji’s diverse cultures and traditions. One of her high moments was watching the first Fijian 7s rugby Olympic gold medal win with US Embassy staff in Suva last year.

“On the work front, I take great pride in areas where we have ramped up our engagement,” she said.

This included partnering with local communities to build resilience through the USAID programmes and the Peacecorp programme.

Ms Cefkin believes that like the United States, Fiji is an outward looking country.

“Fiji wants to have an impact and wants to contribute to solutions to international challenges like climate change and the on-going contribution to peacekeeping is extremely valuable for global peace and security,” she said.

“These are some things that really distinguish Fiji and make Fiji a really good partner for the US.”

Edited by Percy Kean


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