The U.S. Embassy near Monrovia is anxiously awaiting the arrival of its Ambassador-designate, Michael McCarthy, who is to succeed Ambassador Christine Elder who took an early exit from her assignment in Liberia of service months ago.
Ambassador McCarthy has since been named by President Donald Trump, but perhaps his coming might have been impeded by the Coronavirus that has claimed many lives in the United States
The U.S. Embassy, in a Facebook post, stated: “Ambassador-designate Michael McCarthy takes another step toward becoming the next U.S. Ambassador to Liberia. His swearing-in ceremony took place on December 9, 2020 in Washington, D.C. We look forward to his arrival!”
The Embassy also noted: “There shall be perpetual peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Republic of Liberia, and also between citizens of both countries.”
The social media page of the Embassy has become flooded with congratulatory messages and wishes with some expressing high anxiety to see the newly appointed US Ambassador come to Liberia.
Ambassador-designate McCarthy has been in public service for 34 years and worked as a Foreign Service Officer in the Department of State, as a Civil Servant in the Executive Office of the President, and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo. He has also served in South Sudan as Deputy Chief of Mission and in other post-conflict countries in transition, and has worked on African issues for much of the past two decades, most recently as the Consul General in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In his testimonies before the Foreign Affairs Committee in the US Senate, Ambassador-designate McCarthy said: “Mr. Chairman, Senators, I can think of no higher honor than to represent the American people as Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of Liberia, a country with which the United States shares a special bond rooted in our deep historical ties, and preserved through our commitment to democracy, human rights, economic prosperity, and greater security in the West African region. If confirmed, I continue to strengthen all facets of our bilateral relationship and ensure that the United States remains a steadfast partner as Liberia grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Ambassador-designate McCarthy also vowed that he will lead the U.S. Embassy’s broad and highly cooperative interagency team — which includes USAID and the US Centers for Disease Control, as well as the Department of State, Department of Defense, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the Peace Corps to ensure that Liberia remains on a path to self-reliance, that ordinary Liberians see the benefits of private-sector growth and accountable government, and that the country remains the United States’ most steadfast partner on the African continent.
With promises to open Liberia to American businesses and bring economic prosperity to Liberians, Ambassador McCarthy also has in package to ensure that Liberia does not backtrack from the progress it has made to increase transparency and fight corruption. He said Liberia’s growth and development will depend on increased trade and investment, which in turn will require that U.S. and international businesses are confident they can compete openly and fairly and that any concerns will find remedy in an honest and impartial justice system.
He added: “These same concerns will inform my approach to human rights, as the justice sector, strained by the pandemic, struggles to deal with reported cases of sexual and gender-based violence, rape, child labor, and human trafficking. These abuses must be confronted for their own sake, as well as to ensure a broader system of accountability, good governance, and rule of law.”
Ambassador McCarthy is a product of Tulane University in the State of Louisiana where he earned Bachelor of Science degree. He joined the Foreign Service in 1990. He was nominated on May 27, 2020 by outgoing President Donald J. Trump.
According to the U.S. Department of State, Mr. McCarthy’s earlier assignments include service as the Management Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt, Germany, the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India and the U.S. Embassy in Asmara, Eritrea. Prior to that, he was the Area Management Officer of the East Africa Division in the Office of Overseas Buildings and Operations at the U.S. Department of State and a Country Desk Officer in the Office of West African Affairs in the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs. He also served at the U.S. Embassies in Montevideo, Uruguay; Colombo, Sri Lanka; and Bangkok, Thailand. Before joining the Foreign Service, he was the Vice President, Marketing for Compro Systems, Inc., in Baltimore, MD. He also was a Technical Information Specialist in the Executive Office of the President in addition to serving earlier as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo.