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US Embassy on reports Mina Chang is next envoy to PH: ‘Not true’

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

US State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Mina Chang

MANILA, Philippines – The United States Embassy on Wednesday belied reports that a US State Department deputy assistant secretary has been appointed as America’s next ambassador to the Philippines.

In a statement, the US Embassy said reports on Mina Chang’s alleged appointment to replace current envoy Sung Kim is false.

“We’ve seen this claim. It is not true,” the Embassy said.

It added that in September 2018, the White House announced US President Donald Trump’s intent to nominate Mina Chang to be an Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development for the Bureau of Asia.

The nomination was referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January 2019.

“There have been no additional White House announcements regarding her nomination to the USAID position,” the Embassy said.

According to the website of the US State Department, Harvard-educated Chang is currently assigned to its Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations.

Her profile stated that the 32-year old Korean-American diplomat has “extensive on the ground experience in conflict areas such as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria and the Philippines.

Before assuming government position, Chang was the chief executive officer of the non-government organization Linking the World.

She is also an advocate of global education and pushes for “proactive stabilization as a strategic tool of foreign engagement and an investment in a stronger America abroad.”

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US Ambassador lauds ‘total rockstar’ Manila Mayor Isko

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – “A total Rockstar,” this was how United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim called new Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso when they met on Friday.

Kim lauded Domagoso’s progressive policies and leadership style that “bring dynamism and energies” to the position.

The new mayor of the Philippine capital city recently grabbed headlines for dramatically reforming Manila’s congested roads and markets, ordering clearing operations against illegal vendors and other road obstructions.

READ: Manila Mayor Isko orders ‘shrine makeover’ near city hall

READ: Mayor Isko warns to close Manila malls with illegal vendors

Kim also commended Domagoso’s stance on the government’s campaign against drugs. The mayor earlier expressed support for the program but cautioned police to respect human rights.

“We appreciate your approach. You’re dealing with it in a manner that is consistent with human rights and rule of law,” Kim said.

Mayor Isko, who took part in the US State Department sponsored International Visitors Leadership Program in 2011, also shared with Kim his policies and plans for the City and “the core values that influence his mindset and leadership style.”

When asked by Kim on what keeps Mayor Isko awake at night, he replied: “My greatest is for the people to accept that chaos is the norm in the city.”

44-year old Domagoso was with his chief of staff, Cesar Chavez, when they paid Kim a visit on Friday morning while the US envoy was accompanied by Internal Political Chief of the Embassy Josh Morris. Their meeting lasted for nearly 45 minutes.

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Trump eyes reassigning US Ambassador to PH Kim as envoy to Indonesia

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, July 11th, 2019

US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim

MANILA, Philippines – US President Donald Trump is eyeing to reassign US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim as his envoy to Indonesia, a statement on the White House website said.

“Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key positions in his Administration: Sung Y. Kim of California, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Indonesia,” the statement, dated July 10, read.

The statement came just days after the US Embassy in Manila belied reports that US State Department deputy assistant secretary Mina Chang has been appointed as the America’s next top envoy to the Philippines.

READ: US Embassy on reports Mina Chang is next envoy to PH: “Not true”

The White House, however, has yet to announce its next top diplomat to the Philippines.

The Korean-born Kim was nominated by former US President Barack Obama as the Washington D.C.’s envoy to Manila on May 19, 2016 to replace Philip Goldberg.

The White House website said Kim, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Career Minister, has extensive history of public service at the Department of State, including as Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, Special Envoy for the Six Party Talks, Director of the Office of Korean Affairs, Special Representative for North Korea Policy, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. 

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Palace sees ‘exciting times’ ahead with rumored incoming US envoy Mina Chang

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

Deputy Assistant Secretary Mina Chang

MANILA, Philippines – The United States is reportedly sending Deputy Assistant Secretary Mina Chang as the replacement to outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, according to insider information from the US Executive Department.

The report set the country’s diplomatic scene abuzz and though he couldn’t confirm it, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo was obviously thrilled saying days ahead would be “exciting” if Chang’s appointment would push through.

Why?

First, the 32-year-old Korean-American diplomat is a stunner and is among the top-caliber official of the United States government.

She is currently assigned to the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations.

Second, she is an advocate of global education. Before assuming a government position, Chang was the Chief Executive Officer of the non-government organization Linking the World.

Likewise, she is an advocate “for proactive stabilization as a strategic tool of foreign engagement and an investment in a stronger America abroad.”

According to her U.S. State Department profile, Chang has “extensive on the ground experience in conflict areas such as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria, and the Philippines.”

Third, Chang has impressive academic credentials: “An alumna of the Harvard Business School, a graduate of the United States Army War College National Security Seminar, a Harvard John F. Kennedy Senior Executive in National and International Security and a former International Security Fellow at New America.”

Aside from good looks, Chang also had a flourishing career as an international pop singer and recorded both English and Korean songs, a platform she used to push her humanitarian goals.

With the Filipinos’ weakness for beauty pageants and President Rodrigo Duterte’s fondness for beautiful women, U.S. President Donald Trump is perhaps using this ‘beauty queen diplomacy’ to convince the President to make a turn around as he pivots to China.

Once confirmed, Chang will be the second female US ambassador to the Philippines after Kristie Kenney, who served as ambassador to Manila from 2006 to 2009.  

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