Ian C. Kelly as the Next US Ambassador to Georgia

Following yesterday's empassioned speech by current US Ambassador Richard Norland in which he prepared to hand over his position to Ian C. Kelly, Georgia Today takes a better look at the resume of the next US representative in Georgia.

Richard Norland, the U.S. ambassador to Georgia who has served in Tbilisi since September, 2012  will be replaced by Ian C. Kelly who has been in the foreign service for about 30 years, served as State Department spokesman in 2009-2010 and was the U.S. ambassador to the OSCE in 2010-2013. 

After joining the Foreign Service, Kelly served as a Director of the Information Centre in Belgrade and Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer in Leningrad and Moscow. In these capacities, he was involved in establishing embassies across the newly independent states after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Later, the American diplomat acted as a Director of Democratic Initiatives to the Newly Independent States (NIS) at the U.S. State Department. Kelly gained diplomatic experience working as a Press Attaché at the American Embassy in Ankara (1997-2000) and in Rome (2000-2004). He also held positions as a Public Affairs Advisor at the U.S. Mission to NATO (2004-2007) and a director of the Office of Russian Affairs at the State Department (2007-2009).

From 2009 Ian Kelly worked as the Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State and under the Obama administration, the American diplomat was nominated to be U.S. Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), with the rank of Ambassador. He held the position until 2013.

Ambassador Kelly speaks Russian. He also studied Italian, Serbo-Croatian and Turkish at the National Foreign Affairs Training Center of the Department of State. He is married and has four children.

Speaking during a confirmation hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in May, the US envoy reassured U.S. support for Georgia and stated that “no third party” has the right to veto Georgia’s EU and NATO integration aspirations.

On the 24th of June this year, the US Senate confirmed Ian C. Kelly as the next US ambassador to Georgia. 

“I look forward to working with the Georgian government and my embassy colleagues in realizing these aspirations. I will also urge all Georgians, who believe in their country’s Euro-Atlantic goals, to unite in supporting them and moving their country forward,” Kelly told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 20.

“We will work with all parties in Georgia to help ensure the next parliamentary elections in 2016 are the freest and fairest in Georgia’s history,” said Kelly. The U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi said on June 25 that Ambassador Kelly plans to arrive in Tbilisi in September.

Nino Japarashvili

26 June 2015 11:18