Philip Goldberg

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Philip S. Goldberg
United States Ambassador to the Philippines
Assumed office
November 21, 2013
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Harry K. Thomas, Jr.
United States Ambassador to Bolivia
In office
13 October 2006 – 10 September 2008
President George W. Bush
Preceded by David N. Greenlee
Succeeded by Krishna R. Urs
(Chargé d’Affaires a.i.)
Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research
Assumed office
16 February 2010
Preceded by Randall M. Fort
Personal details
Born (1956-08-01) August 1, 1956 (age 58)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S
Profession Diplomat

Philip S. Goldberg (born August 1, 1956)[1] is a senior United States diplomat and government official, currently serving as the United States Ambassador to the Philippines. He served previously as Charge d'Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, Chile, Chief of Mission in Pristina, Kosovo, and as Ambassador to Bolivia. He was nominated on October 23, 2009 to be INR Assistant Secretary and confirmed by the Senate on February 9, 2010.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Goldberg is a native of Boston, Massachusetts[3] and is a graduate of The Rivers School and Boston University.[3] Before joining the Foreign Service, Goldberg, who speaks Spanish, worked as a liaison officer between the City of New York City and the United Nations and consular community.[3]

Department of State appointments[edit]

Goldberg is a Career Minister in the U.S. Senior Foreign Service.[3] Goldberg has served overseas as a consular and political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia, and political-economic officer in Pretoria, South Africa.[3] From 1994 to 1996 Goldberg served as the State Department's Desk Officer for Bosnia and a Special Assistant to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke.[3] As Special Assistant to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Goldberg was a member of the American negotiating team in the lead-up to the Dayton Peace Conference and Chief of Staff for the American Delegation at Dayton.[3] From 1996 to 1998 Goldberg served as Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State.[3] From 1998 to 2000 Goldberg served as Executive Assistant (1998–2000) to the Deputy Secretary of State.[3] In 2001 Goldberg served as a senior member of the State Department team handling the transition from the Clinton to Bush Administrations.[3] From January 2001 to June 2001 Goldberg served as acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs.[3] From 2001 to 2004 Goldberg served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, Chile.[3] From June 2009 until June 2010, he served as the Coordinator for Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1874 (Sanctions) on North Korea. He has received numerous honors for his work including Presidential Distinguished and Meritorious Rank awards, and the State Department's Distinguished Honor Award.

Assistant Secretary of State[edit]

Goldberg assumed the duties of Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (INR) February 16, 2010, leading one of 16 elements in the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). INR's primary mission is to harness intelligence to serve U.S. diplomacy. Drawing on all-source intelligence, INR provides value-added independent analysis of events to U.S. State Department policymakers; ensures that intelligence activities support foreign policy and national security purposes; and serves as the focal point in the State Department for ensuring policy review of sensitive counterintelligence and law enforcement activities around the world.[4]

Ambassador to Bolivia[edit]

President George W. Bush nominated Philip S. Goldberg as Ambassador to Bolivia and his nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 3, 2006.[3] Goldberg presented his credentials to Bolivian President Evo Morales on October 13, 2006.[5]

In August 2007, the United States was accused by Government Minister Juan Ramón Quintana of funding opposition to President Morales by providing opposition leaders and critical think-tanks with millions of dollars.[6] According to Quintana, the US Government Aid agency, USAID, had implied by reference in documents in Bolivia's possession that funding was to help restore democracy to Bolivia.[6] Morales indirectly threatened retaliation against the ambassador for interference with Bolivia's government.[6] Tom Casey, a spokesman for the State Department, denied these allegations.[6]

On September 10, 2008, the Bolivian Government gave 72 hours for Ambassador Goldberg to leave the country, after declaring him persona non grata.[3] The Telegraph reported on September 12, 2008 that President Morales had been angered by a meeting between Goldberg and Santa Cruz Governor Rubén Costas.[7] Costas, founder of Autonomy for Bolivia,[8] has pressed for democracy and autonomy for Bolivia's regions.[9] Morales had accused Goldberg of plotting against Bolivia's government.[7][10]

In an interview with Newsweek magazine, Goldberg indicated a belief that several factors had come into play in his expulsion, including the influence of Venezuela, and that "[i]t was part of the general policy of the Bolivian government for Morales to attack the United States."[11] Immediately prior to leaving Bolivia, Goldberg had said that Morales' decision would have "serious consequences of several sorts which apparently have not been correctly evaluated".[12] The US State Department issued an official statement saying that Bolivia had committed a grave error and that the allegations against Goldberg were baseless.[13] The statement also indicated that:[13]

President Morales’ action is a grave error that has seriously damaged the bilateral relationship.... We regret that President Morales has chosen this course. It will prejudice the interests of both countries, undermine the ongoing fight against drug-trafficking, and will have serious regional implications.

Ambassador to the Philippines[edit]

In 2013, U.S President Barack Obama appointed Goldberg as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, replacing Harry K. Thomas Jr. who has been assigned to the country since 2010. Goldberg's nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate,[14] and he was sworn in on 23 November 2013.[15]


  1. ^ date & year of birth according to LCNAF CIP data
  2. ^ Rogin, Josh (2010-02-09). "Senate confirms two national security nominees before snow recess". The Cable (Foreign Policy). Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n United States Department of State. "Biography of Philip S. Goldberg" September 22, 2006. Public domain.[dead link] (Newest Archive copy - only significant difference is the added bold sentence re. PNG status.)
  4. ^ State Department Official Website (accessed 07/18/2013)
  5. ^ US Embassy in Bolivia. "Biography of Philip S. Goldberg" Note: This is an article by an agency of the US Federal government is not subject to Fair Use restrictions as it is in the public domain.
  6. ^ a b c d Reuters. "Bolivia accuses U.S. of funding Morales opponents" by Eduardo Garcia. August 29, 2007.
  7. ^ a b Telegraph. "Bolivia expels US ambassador Philip Goldberg" by Jeremy McDermott. September 12, 2008.
  8. ^ Rubén Costas, el rostro y la voz de la autonomía cruceña (Spanish), Deia (Bilbao newspaper), 2008-05-04, accessed on 2008-11-21
  9. ^ Sanchez, Alex. (2008-11-5) Bolivia’s military: It’s a difficult life, but certainly there is no sign of a pending military coup Council on Hemispheric Affairs. Accessed 2008-11-21.
  10. ^ Wall Street Journal. "Bolivia Expels American Ambassador" by John Lyons. September 11, 2008.
  11. ^ Newsweek Magazine. "Grandstanding" by Mac Margolis. September 20, 2008.
  12. ^ AFP. "Expulsion will have 'serious consequences': US envoy to Bolivia" September 14, 2008.
  13. ^ a b US Department of State. "State Department Statement on Expulsion of Ambassador Goldberg from Bolivia" September 11, 2008. Public domain.
  14. ^ GMA News. Obama names Philip Goldberg new US Ambassador to PHL . July 31, 2013.
  15. ^ Associated Press. "U.S. appoints new ambassador Philip Goldberg to the Philippines". Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Harry K. Thomas, Jr.
United States Ambassador to the Philippines
Government offices
Preceded by
Randall M. Fort
Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research
February 9, 2010 – Present
Succeeded by