Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, 16 May / corr. Trend G. Hasanov /
Ambassador Robert E. Patterson, Jr. has arrived in Ashgabat and has presented his credentials to President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who accepted them this morning. Ambassador Patterson immediately began work in his new role as the United States Chief of Mission, a post he expects to hold for the next three years, the U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat reported.
Ambassador Patterson was nominated by President Obama on March 3,
2011 and confirmed by the United States Senate on April 14, 2011. He was sworn in as the United States Ambassador to Turkmenistan on April 26, 2011.
Ambassador Patterson is a career officer in the United States Senior Foreign Service. He has had foreign assignments in Central and Eastern Europe, the North Caucasus, Russia, the USSR, and East Africa since joining the State Department in 1985.
He most recently served as Counselor for Somalia Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Ambassador Patterson has also served as Chief of the Political/Internal Office in Moscow and has headed the political sections at U.S. embassies in Hungary, Ukraine, and Armenia.
A native of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Ambassador Patterson received a B.A. degree from Reed College, and M.A. and M.Phil degrees from Columbia University, as well as an M.A. from the U.S. Naval War College.
He served in the U.S. Air Force and received an Honorable Discharge in 1974. Ambassador Patterson speaks Russian, Ukrainian, Hungarian, and German. He is married to fellow Foreign Service Officer Inmi Patterson, who is currently the U.S. Consul General in Hamburg, Germany.