MANILA, Sept 18 (Mabuhay) — Senior American diplomat Heather Variava has assumed the role of chargé d’affaires at the United States Embassy in Manila, succeeding John Law who ended his tour of duty in the Philippines.

She was previously posted in Indonesia as Embassy CDA and deputy chief of mission. She will be serving in Manila for the next three years.

“It is a privilege and an honor to assume charge of our large and busy Mission in the Philippines. I look forward to strengthening the broad and deep relationships we have here,” Variava said on Friday. “While we are not yet free of the pandemic, I am committed to partnering with the government and people of the Philippines to face challenges together.”

A CDA is an embassy’s official representative in the absence of an ambassador, representing the US president in the host country.

US President Joe Biden has yet to nominate a US ambassador to the Philippines.

Variava has been a member of the US Foreign Service since 1996. Before her posting at the US Embassy in Jakarta, she was the US Consul General in Surabaya, Indonesia from 2015 to 2018.

She also served as the Director of the Office of Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, and Bhutan in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the US Department of State.

She has worked in Mumbai, India; Port Louis, Mauritius; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Dhaka, Bangladesh. (MNS)

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