(posted March 30, 12:45 p.m.)- The U.S. Senate has finally confirmed Phyllis Powers as the new U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua—a post that has been vacated since last July, when Ambassador Robert Callahan retired.
Powers, the acting ambassador in Panama, was approved along with dozens of other Obama administration appointments, including 15 other ambassadors.
Republicans who wanted the U.S. to take a more hard-line approach against the Ortega administration had previously stonewalled President Obama’s efforts to appoint a new ambassador to Nicaragua. Obama’s first pick for ambassador to Nicaragua, Jonathan Farrar, was rejected by Republicans.
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.