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2012 Speeches

Remarks by Ambassador William E. Todd at the Welcome Reception for New Embassy Sections Heads

U.S. Embassy, Phnom Penh | September 25, 2012

(as prepared for delivery)

Distinguished representatives of the Royal Government of Cambodia; our partners in the diplomatic corps, civil society, and the private sector; ladies and gentlemen.

Tonight I am pleased to introduce to you three of the newest members of our Embassy team – Consular Section Chief Eric Meyer, Regional Security Officer Luis Matus, and Political and Economic Section Chief Darren Hultman.

Each is accomplished and has a remarkable resume – they could have served anywhere they wanted.  But to a person, they wanted to serve in Phnom Penh, and they passed up other great opportunities and beat out many other strong candidates to come here.

They are joining a superb Embassy team – one of the best I have ever worked with.  Although they work for me, they and their teams are a valuable resource for everyone in this room.  I want to encourage all of you to take advantage of their experience, knowledge and expertise. 

So let me introduce them and allow each to say a few words: 

Eric Meyer speaks Spanish, French, Danish, Finnish, and Khmer – having performed superbly for my notoriously strict Khmer teacher, Look Kru Samphy.  Eric was Consular Section Chief in Helsinki and before that served in Cairo and Buenos Aires.  Eric is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and previously worked in Government Relations with United Airlines. Eric soon will be joined by his wife Karina, who is in the United States following the birth of their second daughter.  We look forward to welcoming Karina, two-year-old Amelia, and seven-week-old Anika Taevy to Phnom Penh soon.

[Eric delivers brief remarks]

Luis Matus began his career with the Diplomatic Security Service nearly 15 years ago, and most recently served in Iraq as the Countermeasures Branch Chief at the Embassy in Baghdad.  He has also served in Lima, Cairo, and Ankara.  Before that, he served on the Secretary's Protection Detail for Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell, and served in the Protective Liaison Office in the Congress.  Luis is a graduate of the University of Maryland.

[Luis delivers brief remarks]

Darren Hultman is a licensed attorney.  But we're still happy to have him anyway.  He received his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center, and like Eric he is also a graduate of U.C. Berkeley.  Darren was the Economic Officer and Deputy of the Political and Economic Section at our Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia before coming to Cambodia, and has served in Washington as the Ukraine Desk Officer, as well as in Moscow and Belize City.  Darren comes to Phnom Penh with his wife Vourneen and their two daughters, Signe, who is six years old, and Caitlin, who is three.

[Darren delivers brief remarks]

Please join me now in welcoming Eric and Karina, Luis and Catherine, and Darren and Vourneen.  Please enjoy the evening, and get to know them.  Thank you.