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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., testified on behalf of a Sheridan native today during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Enzi introduced Jeanine Jackson of Sheridan to serve as the United States Ambassador to the West African Republic of Burkina Faso. Enzi’s comments follow.

Mr. Chairman, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee meets today to consider the President’s nomination of Jeanine Jackson to be the United Ambassador to the Republic of Burkina Faso.

Mr. Chairman, ranking member, this is a proud day for Diana and I, for Sheridan, for the whole State of Wyoming and will be a great benefit for the United States of America. My wife, Diana grew up with Jeanine – as a classmate, best friend, and fellow church member. I think she is the fifth Wyomingite to serve as Ambassador, and the first career officer to do so.

I strongly support Ms. Jackson’s nomination. She is an excellent candidate for this important diplomatic position. Jeanine Jackson also has the distinction of being from Sheridan, Wyoming. I am proud that an outstanding Wyoming native who I have known for decades has been nominated to contribute to the important foreign policy goals of the United States in Africa.

Ms. Jackson’s experience is extensive. She is a career senior Foreign Service officer and recently completed 30 years as a full Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves. She and her husband, Mark, have served in the Foreign Service requiring tremendous career sacrifice to both have positions in the same country. He is retired now so that she can serve as ambassador – which benefits our country and Burkina Faso as you could say that we are going to get two great representatives – for the price of one.

She has served her country in Vietnam, Germany, Korea, Switzerland, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Kenya, and Afghanistan. Most recently, she served as the Management Coordinator for the establishment of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, a job requiring strong interagency leadership. In 2001, Ms. Jackson became the first senior U.S. Diplomat to serve in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. In Kenya, in the years after the Al Qaeda bombing, she played a major role in rebuilding the staff, operations, and infrastructure. In Hong Kong, she protected the interests of U.S. Government agencies and employees at the time of reversion to Chinese sovereignty.

The United States faces diverse and dynamic challenges and opportunities in Burkina Faso. Promoting development includes an emphasis on the elimination of poverty, transparent governance, economic reform, anti-corruption practices, and greater political and economic participation. Individuals like Jeanine Jackson understand these complexities and will help the United States achieve its goals.

Ms. Jackson, and her husband Mark, have taken on some very challenging assignments around the world and often enjoy driving to their new posts. Nearly every weekend, when I am in Wyoming, I drive hundreds of miles around the state to visit my constituents. Ms. Jackson has driven over 10,000 miles around Africa, not counting their trips in Europe and the Middle East. The deserts and mountains of Wyoming are a long way from Burkina Faso, but I know Ms. Jackson’s childhood in Wyoming has prepared her for the adventures and challenges of Africa.

Mr. Chairman, I enthusiastically endorse Ms. Jackson’s nomination and recommend her to this committee.