President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Pres. Sirleaf Commissions Two Foreign Ministry Officials
MONROVIA, August 12 (LINA) - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has commissioned two Foreign Ministry officials to the Foreign Service and the Protocol Office of the Republic of Liberia.
Those commissioned are Mr. George S. Patten as Liberia’s Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, African Union (AU) and the U.N. Commission for Africa (UNECA); and Ambassador Jervis A. Witherspoon as Chief of Protocol, Republic of Liberia.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, the ceremony took place in the Cabinet Room of the President’s temporary office at the Foreign Ministry on Thursday, August 11.
During the brief ceremony, President Sirleaf admonished them to provide service of integrity, commitment and understanding to the Republic and its people, thanking the families and associates of the honourees for giving them their support to enable them reach this level of service.
Speaking earlier, Ambassador Patten assured President Sirleaf that as Liberia’s representative, he will endeavor to work assiduously not only in strengthening the presence of Liberia and building upon the efforts that she has made over the years, but will also strive to enhance bilateral ties for the benefit of the country.
He reiterated that Liberia’s position in the comity of nations continues to be shaped by the strong leadership that President Sirleaf provides, recalling when he endured the unpleasant experience of sitting in Liberia’s seat but not being able to express the views and concerns of the country due to sanctions.
“This debilitating experience characterized the complexities our country and people faced,” Ambassador Patten remembered.
The Liberian diplomat indicated that since the ascendancy of President Sirleaf, the country’s diplomatic history has regained its enviable place in the sub-region, on the continent and in the wider international community.
“I thank you immensely for making our country a proud nation again,” Patten told the Liberian President.
Ambassador Patten joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a research assistant in 1988.
In 1992, he was appointed First Secretary and Consul to the newly-established Embassy of Liberia in the Gambia with concurrent accreditation to Senegal and Guinea Bissau. He was later transferred to the Embassy near Tripoli, Libya in 1998.
In 2005, Ambassador Patten was appointed Counselor at the Embassy in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; and in 2010, transferred to the Permanent Mission of Liberia to the United Nations in New York with elevation to the rank of Minister Counselor.
Prior to his new appointment, Mr. Patten served as Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., at the Permanent Mission of Liberia to the United Nations in New York.
For his part, Ambassador Witherspoon served as religious advisor to President Sirleaf prior to his appointment.