US appoints new ambassador to Zimbabwe

THE United States has appointed a new ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Brian A Nichols who replaces Harry K Thomas who left in March this year after three years in the country.

The US embassy in Harare announced the coming in of Ambassador Nichols on micro blogging site, Twitter yesterday.

“We say congratulations and welcome to our new Boss Ambassador Brian Nichols. The United States Senate yesterday confirmed Ambassador-designate Brian Nichols as Ambassador to the Republic of Zimbabwe. The confirmation by the Senate completes his nomination process,” posted the embassy.

According to the US Department of State, Mr Nichols was confirmed by the United States Senate as Ambassador to the Republic of Peru on June 19, 2014.

“Ambassador Nichols served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) from 2011-2013. In that capacity, he oversaw the full range of rule of law programs and counter-narcotics issues of the Department of State.

Ambassador Nichols directed INL programmes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Europe, and Asia and led US delegations to counter-narcotics and anti-crime fora. Prior to becoming Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, he served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary in INL,” wrote the department.

From August 2007 to July 2010, Ambassador Nichols served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Bogotá, Colombia.

As Deputy Chief of Mission, he managed day-to-day US diplomatic activities in Colombia including overseeing over $500 million in annual US development assistance, rule of law and security assistance.

Ambassador Nichols previously served as the Director of the Office of Caribbean Affairs, coordinating US policy toward 14 Caribbean countries, including US efforts to re-establish democratic governance in Haiti. He also served as Counsellor for Political Affairs at the American Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia from 2001 to 2004.

In Indonesia, he worked to assist the Indonesian government respond to the Bali bombing terrorist attack, strengthen rule of law institutions, and consolidate its democracy. He served as Deputy Political Counsellor in Mexico City, and Political Officer in El Salvador.

Ambassador Nichols began his foreign service career as a Consular Officer in Lima, Peru from 1989 to 1991. He is the recipient of the 2011 Presidential Meritorious Service Award, six Superior Honor Awards, and multiple other Department of State awards. A native of Rhode Island, he is a graduate of Tufts University.

At his farewell, Ambassador Thomas hailed President Mnangagwa for delivering on his promises saying he has created excitement among investors who are now jostling for opportunities in the country.

He said the American Embassy’s economic section has never been busier with investors calling to inquire about investment opportunities in Zimbabwe. — Chronicle

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