Nancy J. Powell, the new U.S. Ambassador to Nepal, arrived in Kathmandu today. She made a brief statement to waiting journalists at Tribhuvan International Airport. Here is the text:
“Namaste. It’s very nice to be back. I look forward to working with the government and the people of Nepal as we move forward in this time of democracy. Dhanyabaad.”
Ambassador Powell is scheduled to present her credentials to Prime Minister G.P. Koirala on Thursday, August 9.
American ambassadors are headline hunters in Nepal. They are one of the most talked about and one of the most controversial figures in Nepali politics and society. Moriarty is in our mind and we haven’t forgotten many of his predecessors. We even remember how the first US envoy came to Nepal decades ago. We know which American ambassador fixed which of our minister’s marriage and which American diplomat get stoned by ultra communists. So we think it’s worth knowing about the top American diplomat in Kathmandu and we here publish a biographical summary of Nancy Powell that we received from the American Center in Kathmandu:
In March 2007 President Bush nominated Nancy J. Powell, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, as U.S. Ambassador to Nepal. As required by the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Senate confirmed her nomination on June 28 and Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte swore her into office on July 16, 2007. She previously served in Kathmandu as a consular officer from 1980 to 1982, and as the State Department Nepal Desk Officer from 1982-1984.
Prior to her present assignment, Ambassador Powell most recently served as the National Intelligence Officer for South Asia at the National Intelligence Council from 2006 to 2007. Ambassador Powell was U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan from August 2002 through October 2004 and U.S. Ambassador to Ghana from September 2001 through May 2002. She also served in Washington as Acting Assistant Secretary for African Affairs from January until June 2001. From July 1999 until January 2001 she was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs. Ambassador Powell has also served as U. S. Ambassador to Uganda from 1997 to 1999, and was Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 1995 to 1997. After a 1-year tour as Consul General in Calcutta, Ms. Powell served in New Delhi as Political Counselor from 1993 to 1995. She was Deputy Chief of Mission in Lome, Togo from 1990 until 1992. In addition, her other overseas assignments have included Islamabad and Ottawa, and previous Washington assignments included Refugee Assistance Officer.
Born in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Ambassador Powell joined the Foreign Service in 1977 following 6 1/2 years as a high school social studies teacher in Dayton, Iowa. She is a 1970 graduate of the University of Northern Iowa. She has studied French, Nepali, Hindi and Urdu.
1. Here Comes Our Powell: Next American Celebrity in Nepal (Transcripts of Senate Hearing)