It is an honour to me to be the first Romanian American appointed to this position and am looking forward to knowing my country of origin.
Personally I am proud that Romania is a partner of the United States that is so much appreciated and it is my mission to consolidate and amplify this alliance, the new American Ambassador in Bucharest told the first meeting with the press.
He said that, on Saturday, he went for the first time with his wife, Libby, to the Lispcani Street, in Bucharest’s historical centre, that he saw the Royal Palace, which he liked very much, and said he was anxious to learn as much as possible about Romania.
After a first impression Gitenstein described Romania as being a country full of energy, with many beautiful buildings and a charming music.
He also said that he intended to go to Braila (eastern Romania) and Iasi (eastern Romania), the places from where he thinks his great grandparents left, in order to find his roots again.
Mark Gitenstein, who is a lawyer by profession, was nominated in June by US President Barack Obama for the position of Ambassador in Bucharest. He is the grandson of some Romanian emigrants.
After they announced his nomination Mark Gitenstein explained in a releasee that his paternal grandfather, Israel Gitenstein, who was known as „Mr G” to the inhabitants of Florala, Alabama, emigrated to the US from Moldova, which was part of Romania at that time, and the parents of his grandmother were from Romania.
His grandfather set up the Franklin Ferguson weaving mill in Flora la. The name of Gitenstein is well known in the region, where his family contributed to building the Florala Memorial Hospital and helped numerous local people with scholarships and charitable activities.
As for Mark Gitenstein, he lived in Florala till he was 14, after which he moved to Birmingham to finish school, attended the Duke University and graduated in law from the Georgetwon University in Washington.
He was for 17 years on the staff of the US Senate. Recently he has become known as adviser of current Vice-President Joe Biden when he was only nominated for this position.