On Friday, January 31, 2020, Carmen G. Cantor presented her credentials to President David W. Panuelo at the FSM National Government compound in Palikir, Pohnpei.
A native of Puerto Rico, she earned her Certificate in International Migration Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies, an M.A. in Labor Relations from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus.
A career member of the Senior Executive Service, Ambassador Cantor most recently served as the Director of the Office of Civil Service Human Resource Management in the Bureau of Human Resources, Executive Director for the Bureaus of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and International Information Programs (IIP), and Executive Director of the Bureau of Counterterrorism (CT) at the U.S. Department of State.
Prior to joining the U.S. Department of State, Ambassador Cantor worked in U.S. federal government positions at the Federal Maritime Commission, the Foreign Agricultural Service and at the U.S. Postal Service.
In her address to President Panuelo, Ambassador Cantor shared her excitement about experiencing the culture and visiting the rest of the FSM. She shared with him that upon her arrival into Pohnpei the previous day, she noted the similarities in vegetation and topography between Puerto Rico and Pohnpei and felt almost as if she were coming home.
Ambassador Cantor talked with President Panuelo about the United States’ willingness to defend the FSM against the threats posed by transnational crime, terrorism, and illegal fishing in its 1.3 million square mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and about the shared goal of promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Following Ambassador Cantor’s remarks, President Panuelo reiterated his statement from his inaugural address, that the United States is FSM’s closest ally and partner. “We are super delighted to welcome you to our country. With the wealth of experience that you do have, I am more than confident that you will uphold our relationship between our two countries.”
Present during Ambassador Cantor’s credential ceremony were: FSM Vice President Yosiwo P. George; Secretary Kandhi Elieisar, FSM Department of Foreign Affairs; Secretary Joses Gallen, FSM Department of Justice; Secretary Kalwin Kephas, FSM Department of Education; Secretary Marion Henry, FSM Department of Resource and Development, Secretary Livingston Taulung, FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs; Deputy Secretary Ricky Cantero, FSM Department of Foreign Affairs; Deputy Assistant Secretary for American Affairs Kehlen Halbert, FSM Department of Foreign Affairs; Chief of Staff Leo Falcam Jr; Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Kalvin Ehmes; Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multilateral Affairs Stacy Yleizah, and FSM Public Information Officer Richard Clark.