A Note From the U.S. Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean

Posted by Mary Ourisman
February 15, 2008
Ambassador Ourisman Presenting Awards at Barbados Music Awards

Mary Ourismanserves as the U.S. Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

As Ambassador, I am the President's representative and the voice of his administration to the Eastern Caribbean which comprises seven countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In fact, I am the only U.S. Ambassador accredited to so many sovereign nations, each of which has its own vote in the United Nations General Assembly.

My role is primarily to promote the interests of the United States here while at the same time building strong bonds of friendship and cooperation at the governmental as well as individual and personal level. As U.S. Ambassador to these nations, my role has proven to be challenging, inspiring and many times downright fun. I do a lot of the things you might expect an Ambassador to do, like delivering speeches, engaging foreign dignitaries, hosting press conferences, and dedicating and getting recognition for U.S. sponsored projects. I have done some unusual things as well such as taking a public HIV/AIDS test to promote testing and reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.

I have been inspired by underprivileged children learning about their marine environment. I have visited orphanages to bring help and relief to children abandoned by society and I have worked to promote the arts in the Eastern Caribbean. I've taken a lot of satisfaction in overseeing the work people at our Embassy do to assist American citizens in trouble, and to provide those visa services that help promote legitimate travel to the United States while screening out those people who may be seeking to enter our country to do us harm. I've done some pretty fun things too, like presenting awards at the Barbados Music Awards ceremony and dedicating the Alexander Hamilton museum in Nevis which we funded through a U.S. government grant. I am honored the President asked me to serve as Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. I know our presence in this region is making a difference and I am so happy to have led the U.S. Inter-Agency Team that is making it happen.

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