What does the US ambassador to Fiji do all day?

What does the ambassador to countries like Fiji, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Soloman Islands do all day?

I couldn’t like of a more cush job than this. Year round sun, warm ocean water, beach weather, great home, relatively high salary and little if any responsibility. If there is any real work to be done, assign it to your assistants!

What assistants? A post like that is likely the ambassador and a secretary.

Although I would love to have “Military Attache to the U.S. Embassy, Fiji” on my resume. :wink:

The US, being a superpower and all, would surely have work to be done anywhere in the world… so I’m even more curious about what the Paraguayan ambassador to Slovenia does all day?

He plays pinochle with the Uruguayan ambassador.

Fiji has had kind of a history of military coups and political instability, so the ambassadorship is possibly not as much of a totally cushy job as it might seem.

Interestingly, several spots on the globe which you would think would be perfect areas for giving cushy ambassadorships to [del]major contributors to the President’s re-election campaign[/del] public-minded citizens with non-traditional credentials turn out to be handled by “circuit amabassadors”. So, our man in Barbados is also ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Even Grenada doesn’t get its own ambassador, despite The War and all. And our woman in Fiji also handles Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu. We also don’t have an ambassador to Liechtenstein (handled by our ambassador to Switzerland) or Monaco (handled by our ambassador to France).

Well, you could always write and ask her: http://suva.usembassy.gov/ambassador.html

Those Black Sites don’t build themselves, you know.

Why is this in Cafe society? On a more serious note even in tiny countries an Ambassador is involved to building trade and cultural connections as well as diplomatic ones. So they’ll meet with local international chambers of commerce, help organise and attend international cultural events etc. If the Embassy is truly small they might have to personally deal with Visa applications and replacement passports for US citizens.

They’d also be involved in helping make sure any US citizens in legal trouble got access to local legal representation. And then yes they do a lot of just attending events and talking to people, events put on by other local embassies and events put on by the host country. But at these events they are still working, building relationships and representing the US. They can’t just get sloshed on the free booze and hang loose.

So no, they wouldn’t just be chilling on the beach the whole time.

Done. I said that unless expressly directed not to, I will post the response (if any) here.

Keeping the Chinese military presence in the Pacific at a minimum without actively pissing off firms like Huawei who are happy to throw cash around a poor region is probably top of his list.

Theres only so much they can do about that. China / Chinese government backed companies are a spending a lot of money on infrastructure projects throughout asia pacific and africa and these countries are not in a position to say no.

Also looking at her page the Ambassador to Suva is a career diplomat not a political appointee, so she probably also spends a lot of time dealing with internal matters for the US diplomatic service. She’s putting in the time as Ambassador at a smaller post and seems to be specialising in Asia so she would be hoping to land the Ambassador position at a top tier embassy like Bangkok, Beijing, Tokyo or Seoul as the highlight of her career.

Somewhat off-topic, I remember a Wall Street Journal article from perhaps 20 years ago about an American law firm associate who answered an ad and became a Supreme Court justice in one of the small Pacific island nations. As I recall, it was a pretty sweet gig.

During WWII, my Grandfather was stationed in Fiji. Let’s just say he didn’t exactly experience any PTSD.

I guess after Pearl Harbor there could’ve been some more exciting South Pacific action, but it didn’t really happen.

Not all of the backwater countries - the Solomons, for example - have US Embassies (although they may have missions). I believe the Solomons are served by the PNG Ambassador who lives in Honiara. From what I’ve heard, believe me, that is NOT a posting you want.

In at least some cases, odd little postings like the Federated States of Micronesia - when filled by career folks rather than political appointees who are being rewarded with something they actually want, for whatever reason (maybe they like diving) - mean one of two things:

[li]If the ambassador is young, it may mean he or she is “paying his/her dues” and putting in the years at a less exciting posting to show s/he can take one for the team and be a loyal government employee despite the lack of thrilling workload. Later, s/he can hope to be posted in a more prestigious country with greater geopolitical significance.[/li]
If the ambassador is old, it may mean they have “washed out” and need to be posted somewhere, but will never have an exciting diplomatic role of great importance.[/ol]

Port Moresby is the capital of PNG, I think thats what you meant to say. Yes its a pretty nasty place, home invasion by “rascals” with machetes are common. Ex pats there tend to live in gated compounds with iron grills on every door and window AND armed 24 hour security guards.

Yes - thank you for the correction, that’s exactly right. I had a brain fart, or a finger fart, or a brain-finger fart…

Since this is looking for speculation, off to IMHO

A posting to the Solomons isn’t always a day at the beach, either. Honestly, the OP seems to have an idea of the Pacific formed by Bob Hope “Road” movies.

If the US Embassy is anything like other federal governmental offices, the mailman brings huge quantities of printed matter every day, reflecting every slightly altered nuance of procedures that are mandated by Congress and whomever else is empowered to make trivial amendments to rules land regulations.

Presumably, somebody (the Ambassador or his staff) needs to at least put all this stuff on shelves, if not read it and be aware of its contents. The Embassy staff includes (at least) a US Marine in full-dress uniform standing at the front door. To guard and secure the mission.

In Amman, a good friend of mine was the First Secretary at the Embassy of South Vietnam. There was only he and the ambassador. He didn’t even have a car at his disposal, and he lived on a cot in the consular office. The two of them were the entire staff. He was at my house when Saigon fell. I drove him down to the embassy, and the ambassador had already looted it. He was suddenly a man without a job, abroad with a passport to what had just become a non-existent country. He successfully got out, and I heard from him in Marseilles, where he had a daughter.

In any embassy of size, there are people who sift out the wheat from the chaff so the ambo isn’t swamped by paper every day. In a tiny place where there is only the ambo and a few others, he may not have that luxury, but likely could ignore most of the UNCLAS messages unless he was the direct addressee and not just one of many on a broadcast message. Honestly, many of the messages are of the “Secstate wishes everyone a Merry Christmas” variety.