Ambassador to Guyana: Who is Brent Hardt?
Sunday, April 24, 2011
On April 6, President Barack Obama nominated D. Brent Hardt to be the U.S. ambassador to the South American nation of Guyana.
Hardt earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from Yale University, and Master’s and Doctorate degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He joined the U. S. Foreign Service in 1988, and served as a Consular Officer in Barbados from 1988-1989, Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany from 1990 to 1992, and Political-Military Officer at the U.S. Embassy in The Hague from 1993 to 1996, where he also served as an exchange diplomat in the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1996 to 2000, he returned to the U.S. Embassy to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean as Political-Economic Section Chief and Acting Deputy Chief of Mission. During this time, he helped develop the 1997 Caribbean-U.S. Summit agenda and subsequently worked to implement Summit commitments with countries in the Eastern Caribbean.
From 2000 to 2002, Hardt served as Team Leader for NATO Policy in the Office of European Political and Security Affairs in the Department of State. He then served as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican in Rome, Italy, from 2002 to 2005, and at the U.S. Embassy in Nassau, Bahamas, from 2005 to 2008.
Hardt gained a certain amount of attention in the diplomatic community when WikiLeaks released a cable he sent in November 2006 prior to the death in the Bahamas of Anna Nicole Smith. “Several months into her Bahamian residency,” wrote Hardt, “American B-list celebrity and regular entertainment television fixture Anna Nicole Smith has changed the face of Bahamian politics. Not since Category 4 Hurricane Betsy made landfall in 1965 has one woman done as much damage in Nassau. Lying in disarray in her wake are Doctor's Hospital, the Coroner's Court, the Department of Immigration, local mega-lawyers Callenders and Co., formerly popular Minister of Immigration Shane Gibson, and possibly Prime Minister Christie's PLP government.”
In May 2008, Hardt moved to Barbados as deputy chief of mission. When Republican political appointee Mary Martin Ourisman resigned as ambassador to Barbados upon President Barack Obama’s inauguration, Hardt stepped up to chargé ‘d’'affaires ad interim.
Hardt speaks Italian, Dutch, German and French. He and his wife, Saskia, have three sons.
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