LISA Johnson, a career diplomat, has been assigned by the United States Department of State to be Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Nassau and is scheduled to arrive in the Bahamas on June 28.
Ms Johnson will be second in command at the US Embassy to Cassandra Q Butts, who has been appointed by President Barak Obama as the new US Ambassador to the Bahamas. The appointment is currently going through the confirmation process by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Philip Miller, Permanent Secretary at the Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs, met Ms Johnson in Washington as part of his official visit last week to the various Bahamas missions in the US. He visited the consulates in Miami, Atlanta and New York as well as Washington, where Dr Eugene Newry, Bahamas Ambassador to the US, also met Ms Johnson.
The Bahamian officials expressed their desire for further collaboration with the US government beyond the traditional ambit. That included focus on security initiatives, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and assistance in achieving related compliance measures, alternative energy sources, the provision of technical expertise and best practices in improving detention facilities in the Bahamas, sustainable development, improving the terms and conditions for the Bahamas to access capital from International Financial Institutions (IFI) and the elimination of using Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the sole determinant, the vulnerabilities faced by Small Island Developing States, including the Bahamas, and assistance in accessing resources.