(posted Dec. 5, 10:30 p.m.) - After Republican lawmakers blocked U.S. President Barack Obama’s first nominee for ambassador to Nicaragua, the president has shuffled his Central American nominations and named the sitting U.S. Ambassador to Panama, Phyllis Powers, as his next pick for the job in Managua.
Powers, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, has previously served in Iraq, Peru and Colombia, where she was Director of the Narcotics Affairs as part of the Plan Colombia.
According to her State Department bio, Powers also served an earlier post in Washington as Senior Post Management Officer for the Bureau of Near East Asia and South Asia, with oversight responsibility for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Persian Gulf countries and as Deputy Director of the Office of Travel Support in the Bureau of Administration.
Her diplomatic career also includes tours in Jordan, Russia, and Poland.
State Department sources tell The Nicaragua Dispatch that Powers’ nomination as ambassador to Nicaragua is not expected to have any delays getting approved by Congress.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Farrar—Obama’s first pick as ambassador to Nicaragua—has been re-nominated to the post in Panama.