US appoints acting ambassador to Ireland

Reece Smyth has held postings in Beirut and NATO

US appoints acting ambassador to Ireland

Image: US embassy in Ireland

The US embassy says its next ambassador to Ireland will be Reece Smyth from Texas - at least temporarily.

Mr Smyth has taken up the post of be Chargé d'affaires, or acting ambassador, for the next few months.

He says: "I look forward to engaging with you here and sharing my experience of visiting this wonderful country and getting to know the Irish people".

He assumed his duties on January 20th, after the departure of former ambassador Kevin F O'Malley.

Mr Smyth originally arrived in Dublin to take up the role of deputy chief of mission on September 30th last year - coming directly from an assignment at the US embassy in Beirut.

There he served as the counselor for political and economic affairs. Previously, he was deputy director of the US State Department's Office of UN Political Affairs.

He has also served at the US mission to NATO - as well as overseas tours in Skopje, Sarajevo, and Islamabad.

Prior to joining the foreign service in 1999, he worked in the private sector as a senior trade consultant in London and New York.

Originally from Dayton, Ohio he grew up in Houston, Texas.

He is a graduate of Baylor University and holds an MPP from Princeton University and a master's level degree from the Université Libre de Bruxelles. He also speaks Russian, Serbo-Croatian, and French.

A spokesman for the US embassy says Mr Smyth's appointment is temporary until US President Donald Trump chooses a permanent successor.