Geeta Pasi, an Indo-American, has been nominated by President Donald Trump as the next ambassador to Ethiopia. An election year appointment, it has been sent to the United States Senate for approval and if selected, she will be replacing Michael Raynor, a career diplomat who was appointed in 2017.
Ambassador Pasi, 52, has served as a top diplomat in Chad and Djibouti and was most recently the Principle Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor P. Nagy at the State Department in Washington DC.
This year, a number of Addis Ababa based diplomats continue and are planning to depart Ethiopia, including ambassadors from India, Holland, Germany, and the European Union to the African Union, Finland and others. In the midst of COVID-19, all have been forced to depart without tributes and gathering to mark their time in Ethiopia.
Ambassador Raynor was known within Ethiopia as a champion of some of the government reforms initiated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD), including the liberalization of some of the government held entities and the democratic renewal that is still a work in progress.
He was also noted to travel across Ethiopia helping supervise and showcase the work of the United States as well as that of USAID. He also saw the opening of the first Pizza Hut, an American eatery in the nation.
He also presided his ambassadorship at a time when the United States president showed little interest within the continent and made slurs that most African leaders and population found insulting. Many Ethiopian entrepreneurs complained about visas being denied to them to travel to the North American nation to participate and solicit investment and partnership opportunities and forums.
The appointment of Ambassador Pasi is currently under the consideration of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and it is expected to pass easily.
A native of New York, she joined the State Department in 1988, much like Ambassador Raynor and has been stationed in India, Sri Lanka, Ghana and Romanian and is multilingual, including speaking German, French, Hindi and Romanian.