WASHINGTON–President George Bush today announced plans to nominate career diplomat, Marie L. Yovanovitch as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.
According to a personnel announcement posted on the White House website, the President’s candidate "currently serves as Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic. Prior to this, she served as Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs at the Department of State. Earlier in her career, she served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Kyiv. Ms. Yovanovitch received her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and her master’s degree from the National War College."
The Associated Press (AP) today quoted ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian as saying: "It’s important to have an ambassador in Yerevan, but it’s also important to have the right ambassador. Being able to speak truthfully about what we all acknowledge is the historical record, is an important part of a U.S. ambassador’s ability to effectively represent our nation’s values and interests in Yerevan."
Prior to official appointment, Yovanovitch will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for confirmation hearings, followed by confirmation vote by the panel and then the full Senate.
The President’s previous nominee, Dick Hoagland, who was proposed twice for consideration by the Senate, faced bipartisan Congressional opposition and two separate "holds" by Senator Bob Menendez over his denial of the Armenian Genocide, before, ultimately, being withdrawn from consideration by the White House. The last U.S. Ambassador to serve in Armenia, John Marshall Evans, was fired for speaking truthfully in public about the Armenian Genocide, sparking widespread Congressional protests and outrage in the Armenian American community.