All posts tagged: Rena Bitter

Ambassador to Laos, The Honorable Rena Bitter visits the PacNW and Discusses Building Bridges

Former President, Barack Obama’s presidency was full of historical firsts. Everyone knows about the larger scale accomplishments, but only a small country like Laos, and its people around the world, would even care enough to know about the smaller stuff. I’m talking, of course, about the historical visits to Laos from Secretary Hillary Clinton to said President himself, a couple of years ago. While the homeland can only view it positively – the Lao diaspora ran the gamut of emotions. Not unexpected, considering it’s been a little over 40 years since the diaspora began. While some of us have made it back home for a visit, the disappearance of Sombath Somphone raises the dormant alarms we never quite forgot. It’s as if we were lulled into a semi-safe space by a lethargic dance-off only to have the Bogeyman reappear after we washed our makeup off. Regardless, with 40 years of time passing, the doors to some kind of positive relationship appear to at least be open. I couldn’t say if that is an insanely long …

NEWS FLASH: Rena Bitter is new U.S. Ambassador to Laos

(photo: U.S. Department of State) Here’s an interesting bit of news flash, especially for those who understand the complexities of the Southeast Asia pivot and Vietnam and China friendships with Laos. Amb. Rena Bitter has just been confirmed in her new post as the new U.S. ambassador to Laos. “Rena Bitter, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, a position she has held since 2013. Ms. Bitter’s experience in Vietnam, an important neighbor of Laos, demonstrated her ability to promote trade and human rights, including opening space for a broader range of political speech. Her understanding of the region and U.S. foreign policy more generally, gained through a number of key assignments in the Department, has prepared her well to become U.S. Ambassador to Laos.” Learn more about who she is: