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Release Date: Thursday, September 29, 2011 3:18 PM
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By Sholnn Freeman and Olivia Drake
University News
September 27, 2011      
Howard Alumna Reed Sworn in as Ambassador to Fiji

Frankie Annette Reed

WASHINGTON – Today, Howard alumna Frankie Annette Reed was sworn in as the next United States ambassador to the Pacific island nations of Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru in a ceremony at the U.S. State Department.

In August, President Barack Obama tapped Reed for the ambassadorship. In the post, Reed will be in charge of diplomatic relations for the islands. In addition, Reed was recently elevated to the Minister-Counselor within the Senior Foreign Service, a high-level diplomatic rank.

“I am honored with my appointment as U.S. Ambassador to the Republics of Fiji, Nauru, Kiribati, the Kingdom of Tonga and Tuvalu,” Reed said. “The road to becoming an ambassador is very different for each individual. However, none of us accomplishes this alone.”

Reed credited the leadership principles she learned from journalism professors during her student days in the School of Communications. She also said her tenure as editor-in-chief of The Hilltop gave her the management background and public diplomacy skills that are important to running an embassy.

Reed earned a bachelor’s in journalism from Howard in 1975. She went on to earn a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining the Foreign Service in 1983, she was a Peace Corps volunteer and a journalist. Reed’s mother is a graduate of the School of Social Work and her daughter, Brett Calhoun, earned a bachelors degree in international business and is now working in Ghana.

In addition to Reed’s elevation, three other Howard graduates – Kali C. Jones, John C. Kelley and Yolonda V. Kerney -- are on the U.S. State Department’s most recent promotions list for advancement. The list is reserved for significant career accomplishments in the Foreign Service.

Kali C. Jones graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1994. While at the university, Jones served on the staff of the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center. Currently, Jones is a political officer at the United States Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

John C. Kelley earned a marketing degree from Howard in 1997. He is set to become political/economic chief in the newly established U.S. Embassy in Juba, Southern Sudan. He is completing a two-year assignment at the State Department in the Office of Monetary Affairs.

Yolanda V. Kerney earned a bachelor’s degree in music and master’s degree in music education from Howard in 2002 and 2003. Kerney is the public affairs officer/U.S. embassy spokesperson at the United States Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica.

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