Bitter, Rena - Lao People's Democratic Republic - May 2016


REPORT FOR THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS

UNITED STATES SENATE


SUBJECT: Ambassadorial Nomination: Certificate of
Demonstrated Competence -- Foreign Service
Act, Section 304(a)(4)

POST: Lao People’s Democratic Republic

CANDIDATE: Rena Bitter


Rena Bitter, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, a position she has held since 2013. Ms. Bitter’s experience in Vietnam, an important neighbor of Laos, demonstrated her ability to promote trade and human rights, including opening space for a broader range of political speech. Her understanding of the region and U.S. foreign policy more generally, gained through a number of key assignments in the Department, has prepared her well to become U.S. Ambassador to Laos.

Previously, Ms. Bitter served as Director and Deputy Director of the Department of State’s Operations Center (2009-2012), Consular Section Chief at U.S. Embassy Amman, Jordan (2006-2009), and Chief of the Nonimmigrant Visa Unit in the Consular Section of U.S. Embassy London, United Kingdom (2003-2005). She also was a Transatlantic Diplomatic Fellow in London (2002-2003), and before that served as a Special Assistant in both the Office of the Secretary of State (2001-2002) and in the Department’s Executive Secretariat Staff (2000-2001). Prior to that, Ms. Bitter served as a Watchstander in the Department’s Operations Center (1999-2000), Political/Economic Officer at U.S. Embassy Bogota, Colombia (1997-1998), and as Consular Officer and Staff Assistant at U.S. Embassy Mexico City, Mexico (1995-1997). Ms. Bitter joined the Foreign Service in 1994.

Ms. Bitter earned a B.S. from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and a J.D. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She has won numerous Department of State performance awards. Her languages are Spanish, Arabic and Vietnamese.