President Basescu welcomes new US ambassador

President Traian Basescu on Wednesday welcomed the new US ambassador in Bucharest, Mark Henry Gitenstein, who presented his letters of credence.

Also on Wednesday, President Basescu welcomed at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace German ambassador Andrea von Mettenhein, Canadian ambassador Phillipe Beaulne, Ducth ambassador Maria Wilhelmina Josepha Antonia van Gool, Mexican ambassador Maria Cristina de la Garza Sandoval, and Philippine ambassador Isaias F. Begonia who presented their letters of credence.

Ambassador Gitenstein was welcomed on Friday, August 28 by Romanian Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu.

The Romanian Foreign Ministry reports in a press release that Diaconescu and Gitenstein evoked the special character of the bilateral relationship between the US and Romania, as well as the excellent level of cooperation between Romania and the US at various levels.

Gitenstein highlighted the special importance attached by the US Administration to the US relationship with Romania, which is seen as one of the closest partners and friends of the US in Europe.

Before accepting President Obama’s nomination to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Romania, Mark Gitenstein was a non-resident senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, where he specialised in issues related to national security and civil liberties.

He was also a partner at the Washington office of the multi-national firm Mayer Brown LLP.

Previously, Ambassador Gitenstein worked as a Senate staff member for 17 years – both for Senator Biden as Committee Counsel and as Chief Counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is the author of Matters of Principle, an award-winning book on his experience managing the Judiciary Committee staff during the confirmation battle over the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court in 1987.

Ambassador Gitenstein has been selected by his peers several times for inclusion in ‘Best Lawyers in America’.

He holds a bachelors degree from Duke University and a law degree from Georgetown University. Ambassador Gitenste in’s great grandparents emigrated from Romania to the U.S. in the late 19th century, making him the first U.S. Ambassador to Romania with Romanian heritage.

He is married to Elizabeth Gitenstein and has three children and two grandsons.
On June 11, 2009 he was nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama to be Ambassador to Romania; July 7, 2009 a confirmation hearing was held before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee;

July 11, 2009 he was confirmed by U.S. Senate as U.S. Ambassador to Romania, while on August 3, 2009 he was sworn in by U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden in Washington D.C.
Gitenstein’s predecessor, Nicholas Taubman, ended his diplomatic mission to Romania in November 2008.

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