The US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Daniel Russel, is coming to Samoa on Monday.
Mr. Russell is meeting Samoan government officials and Civil Society representatives. Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Admiral Scott Swift will accompany Assistant Secretary Russel.
The high-level trip demonstrates the United States’ enduring commitment to the Pacific Islands region and the whole-of-government approach to enhancing our bilateral political, economic, and security relations in the Pacific.
The trip also underscores continued U.S. support to the issues that are of utmost importance to the Pacific Islands, including climate change, the ocean, maritime security, women’s empowerment, sustainable development, and health.
In Apia, Assistant Secretary Russel will visit U.S. government-supported projects that bolster security, the empowerment of women, and environmental protection. Mr. Russel will also travel to Tonga; and Koror, Palau.
About Daniel Russel
Daniel Russel is the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service.
Prior to his appointment as Assistant Secretary on July 12, 2013, Mr. Russel served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Asian Affairs.
During his tenure there, he helped formulate President Obama’s strategic rebalance to the Asia Pacific Region, including efforts to strengthen alliances, deepen U.S. engagement with multilateral organizations, and expand cooperation with emerging powers in the region.
Prior to joining the NSC in January of 2009, he served as Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs and had assignments as U.S. Consul General in Osaka-Kobe, Japan (2005-2008); Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands (2002-2005); Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus (1999-2002); Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering (1997-99); Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (1995-96); Political Section Unit Chief at U.S. Embassy Seoul, Republic of Korea (1992-95); Political Advisor to the Permanent Representative to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Ambassador Pickering (1989-92); Vice Consul in Osaka and Branch Office Manager in Nagoya, Japan (1987-89); and Assistant to the Ambassador to Japan, former Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (1985-87).
In 1996, Mr. Russel was awarded the State Department’s Una Chapman Cox Fellowship sabbatical and authored America’s Place in the World, a book published by Georgetown University. Before joining the Foreign Service, he was manager for an international firm in New York City.
Mr. Russel was educated at Sarah Lawrence College and University College, University of London, UK.
About Scott Swift
Adm. Scott Swift was promoted to Admiral and assumed command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet on May 27, 2015. He is the 35th commander since the Fleet was established in February 1941 with headquarters at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Swift attended San Diego State University and received his commission in 1979 through the Aviation Reserve Officer Candidate program. He received his master’s degree from the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. His operational assignments include Attack Squadron (VA) 94; VA-97; Carrier Air Wing 11 staff; commander, Strike Fighter Attack Squadron 97; commander, Carrier Air Wing 14; deputy commander, Naval Forces, U.S. Central Command; commander, Carrier Strike Group 9; and commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. During those tours he participated in combat Operations Praying Mantis, Southern Watch,Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Swift has been recognized as the commander, Naval Air Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet Landing Signal Officer of the Year; was presented the Commander Michael G. Hoff Award as the U.S. Pacific Fleet Attack Aviator of the Year; and is entitled to wear the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, and Air Medal with Combat V, along with various other personal, unit and service awards.