Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - End of road for ambassador

End of road for ambassador

End of road for ambassador

110921_2
US Ambassador Carol Rodley speaks at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh, in July of 2010. Photo by: Sovan Philong

THE United States embassy in Phnom Penh confirmed yesterday that Ambassador Carol Rodley will be leaving her position at the end of the month.

Her departure ends a term in which she openly spoke against corruption and saw the release of hundreds of diplomatic cables as part of the WikiLeaks saga.

In an email to the Post yesterday, embassy spokesman Sean McIntosh said that Rodley had “completed her mission in Cambodia”.

The embassy’s announcement comes nearly three years after Rodley began her term on October 24, 2008. McIntosh said that Rodley “will be making private farewell calls on a number of senior Cambodian officials prior to her departure”.

Yesterday morning, Rodley met with Foreign Minister Hor Namhong.

During the closed-door meeting in Phnom Penh, Rodley praised the improved relations and deep understanding between the two countries, said Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong.

Rodley also reiterated American commitment to the region, he added.

Despite this show of good will, Rodley has attracted some controversy throughout her tenure, being at times outspoken of the Cambodian government, a rarity for most ambassadors in the Kingdom.

She has been particularly critical of corruption, which, in a 2009 diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks, she said “stares Cambodians in the face”.

That same year, during a speech at an anti-corruption concert in Phnom Penh, Rodley made headlines by saying that Cambodia was losing up to US$500 million each year due to graft, a claim that drew government ire.

“It is very much regrettable that a representative of a foreign government has made such an allegation based on a biased assessment and without any proof,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement at the time.

Leaders of local American organisations yesterday spoke highly of the Ambassador’s time in the Kingdom.

“She’s been open and accessible. She hasn’t just been an ambassador for us, she’s been an ambassador for everyone,” said Democrats Abroad Cambodian Chairman Wayne Weightman.  

“She will be missed,” he added.

A successor to Rodley has not yet been named, McIntosh said.

US ambassadors are nominated by the President and are subsequently confirmed by the Senate after hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman