The US Ambassador to Thailand seems to have quit after only serving less than 1 year in office and moments after President Biden’s inauguration. Michael George DeSombre, who was appointed by President Trump in early 2020, made the announcement of his departure on the embassy’s official social media platform yesterday. A day before, he met with PM Prayut to “thank the Royal Thai Government” as is customary with departing ambassadors. DeSombre succeeded career diplomat Glyn T. Davies.
“It has been a privilege serving as the United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand. I am exceedingly proud of all we have done to strengthen the US-Thai relationship. I am signing off now from this account and leaving it in the good hands of our Embassy staff.”
Now, as the US Embassy official website names Chargé d’Affaires Michael Heath as its diplomatic mission leader, it is not known when a new ambassador will be chosen by the Biden administration.
Just last year in October, DeSombre wrote, on the same day that President Trump tested positive for the virus, that he was less than supportive of a full-blown shutdown.
“The evidence over the last six months shows that the costs of a really extreme shutdown are generally worse than the benefits and it is better to keep the economy running.”
According to Wikipedia, DeSombre co-founded Republicans Overseas for Americans abroad in 2013 in which the organisation focuses on tax reform.
Upon his appointment as Ambassador, DeSombre stated that his office would primarily encourage the economic partnership between the two countries, with a focus on American investments and Thailand’s infrastructure projects and supply chains.
He has also said that US firms were interested in increasing investments in Thailand, including in areas under the 1966 Amity treaty. Thailand and the US established relations in 1818 and later formalised the ties in 1833.