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Dec 03rd
Home Community The White House U. S. Cabinet Official Named to Represent President Obama at RP's Presidential Inaugural
U. S. Cabinet Official Named to Represent President Obama at RP's Presidential Inaugural PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 26 June 2010 12:25



(Journal Group Link International)


U. S. Cabinet Official Named to Represent President Obama at Philippine Presidential Inaugural


P resident Barack Obama named Friday (June 25) Trade Representative Ron Kirk to lead the presidential delegation to Manila, Philippines, to attend the inauguration of President Benigno S. Aquino II and Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday (June 30).


Also named part of the delegation is U.S Ambassador to the Philippines, Harry K. Thomas, Jr., according to a press release received by this reporter from the White House in Washington, D.C.


As United States Trade Representative (USTR), Ambassador Kirk is a member of President Obama's Cabinet and serves as the President's principal trade advisor, negotiator and spokesperson on trade issues.


A mbassador Kirk was nominated to be United States Trade Representative by President Barack Obama and was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 18, 2009. During his tenure at USTR, Ambassador Kirk has led the office in developing trade policies that are proactive, responsible, and more responsive to American families' interests - recognizing that trade can be a job-creating pillar of economic recovery in the United States and around the world. Highlights have included a new focus on trade policy that assists America's small- and medium-sized businesses, increased enforcement efforts to bring home the benefits of existing trade agreements, and changes to move forward the Doha Round of world trade negotiations.


Ambassador Kirk draws upon more than 25 years of diverse legislative and economic experience on local, state and federal levels. As the first African-American mayor of Dallas from 1995 to 2001, Ambassador Kirk expanded Dallas' reach to the world through a range of trade programs, including numerous trade missions. Previously, he served as Texas Secretary of State under Governor Ann Richards; as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen (D-Tex.) and as chair of Texas' General Service Commission. Ambassador Kirk also served as a City of Dallas assistant city attorney.


Prior to joining USTR, Ambassador Kirk was a partner at Vinson & Elkins LLP. He was named one of "The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America" by The National Law Journal in 2008, and one of the nation's top government relations lawyers by The Best Lawyers in America from 2007-2009.


Ambassador Kirk was born and raised in Austin, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and sociology from Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1979. He is married to Matrice Ellis-Kirk. He and his wife have two daughters, Elizabeth Alexandra and Catherine Victoria. # # #


Editor’s Notes: To contact the author, please e-mail him at:  (



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Last Updated on Saturday, 26 June 2010 12:30
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81 foreign dignitaries to attend Aquino-Binay inaugural First Posted 14:56:00 06/29/2010

MANILA, Philippines—Eighty-one countries and organizations have confirmed their attendance to the inauguration of President-elect Benigno Aquino III and Vice President-elect Jejomar Binay on June 30, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a news release Tuesday.

Of these, at least 21 states are sending high-level delegations.

According to DFA Chief of Protocol Eduardo Pablo Maglaya, numerous countries have expressed interest to participate in tomorrow’s inauguration.

“We have received a lot of requests from the international community to allow them to attend the inauguration ceremonies. Confirmations were easy to secure from those whom we invited,” he said.

First to arrive last June 28 is Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos Horta who will lead his country’s delegation to the event. A close friend of the Aquino family, President Horta was also present during the interment of former President Corazon C. Aquino, the mother of President-elect Aquino.

The United States will be represented by Trade Representative Ron Kirk. US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas Jr. was earlier quoted as saying that the attendance of Kirk in the inauguration signals the US government's commitment to increasing trade opportunities with the Philippines and how it looks forward to working with the new Philippine government.

Meanwhile, the delegation of the People’s Republic of China will be led by National People’s Congress Vice Chairperson Madame Yan Junqi.

The Chinese embassy said the expected visit by Madame Yan would help maintain the sound momentum of high-level exchanges between China and the Philippines. The visit would also contribute to ensure that China-Philippines strategic and cooperative relationship gets off to a good start under the new Philippine administration and continues to forge ahead.

Japan will be sending its State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Osamu Fujimura and Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara. Mr. Ishihara is also a close friend of the Aquino family.

The Holy See’s representative is the Titular Archbishop of Pia and Apostolic Nuncio to Korea The Most Reverend Osvaldo Padilla. Archbishop Padilla is a Filipino born in Sogod, Cebu and has previously served as the Apostolic Nuncio to Costa Rica, Nigeria, and Sri Lanka.

Spain will be represented by its Defensor del Pueblo Enrique Mugica. In a May 14 letter coursed through the Spanish Embassy, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero wished President-elect Aquino success during his presidency, adding that Spain is ready to cooperate with his administration.

Singapore will be sending its Foreign Minister George Yong-Boon Yeo, while Minister of State of the Foreign Affairs Dr. Nizar bin Abaid Madani will lead Saudi Arabia’s delegation.

Brunei Darussalam will be represented by Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma, Cambodia by Minister of Information Khieuk Kanharith, and Indonesia by Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Dr. H.R. Agung Laksono.

Other guest of ministerial rank include Korea’s Chairman of the Board of Audit and Inspection Kim Hwang-Sik, Laos’ Chief of Cabinet to the President Souban Srithirath, Malaysia’s Minister for Women, Family and Community Development Senator Dato’ Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Thailand’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Ongart Klampaiboon, and Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang.

Members of Parliament attending the inauguration include Australia’s Julie Owens, Canada’s Jim Abbott, and New Zealand’s John Hayes.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) will be represented by its Assistant Secretary General Samir Diab, while Peru will be represented by its Ambassador to Indonesia Jorge Castaneda Mendez.

Representatives of international organizations attending the inauguration include the United Nations’ Resident Coordinator Jacqueline Babcock, Food and Agricultural Organization’s Kazuyuki Tsurumi, International Committee of the Red Cross’ Jean-Daniel Tauxe, International Labor Organization’s Linda Wirth, and International Monetary Fund’s Dennis Bothman.

Other representatives of international organizations include: International Organization for Migration’s Duc Tran, United Nations Children’s Fund Vanessa Tobin (represented by Colin Davis), UN Development Program Renaud Mayer, UN High Commission for Refugees Rico Salcedo, UN World Food Program Stephen Anderson, World Banks’ Bert Hoffman, and World Health Organization’s Dr. Linda Milan.

Foreign ambassadors who are residents here, as well as based in nearby countries, have also confirmed their attendance to the inauguration tomorrow.

These representatives are expected to attend the inauguration ceremonies tomorrow morning at the Quirino Grandstand and the presidential reception at Malacanang Palace in the evening.

The inauguration ceremonies will start at 11 a.m. with the singing of the Philippine national anthem and the invocation, followed by a musical ensemble and a reading of the proclamation of election results by the Senate President

At 11:40 a.m., the oath of office will be administered to Vice President-elect Binay, and at exactly 12 p.m., President-elect Aquino will take his oath as the new President of the Philippines.

President Aquino will give an inaugural address thereafter, followed by a Pledge of Allegiance (Panata sa Pagbabago). The inauguration ceremonies will end at around 1 p.m. with the new President heading for Malacanan.

A vin d’honneur reception for the foreign dignitaries and other guests will be held at 6 p.m. in Malacanang.

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