Dili – Kathleen M. Fitzpatrick arrived in Dili on Wednesday, January 17 to take up her duties as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. Isilio Coelho, Director General for Bilateral Affairs for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MNEC), joined U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Daniel Bischof to receive Ambassador-Designate Fitzpatrick and her husband Richard Figueroa at Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport.
Ambassador-Designate Fitzpatrick handed over a copy of her credential letter to MNEC Vice-Minister Adaljíza Magno and received a protocol briefing from MNEC officials on January 18. On January 19, she will present her credentials to President Francisco Guterres Lú-Olo in a ceremony at the Presidential Palace and then fully assume her duties as the head of the U.S. Mission in Timor-Leste.
Prior to her appointment to Timor-Leste, Ambassador-Designate Fitzpatrick served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. She also previously served as Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, where she worked on human rights, democracy and international religious freedom issues in the Middle East, Latin America, and East Asia.