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Press Releases 2005

May 26, 2005

Senate confirms New Ambassador

The Senate confirmed William Alan Eaton, of Virginia, as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Panama on May 26, 2005.

A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Mr. Eaton currently serves as Assistant Secretary for Administration at the Department of State. He previously served as Executive Director of the Bureau of European Affairs at the Department of State. Earlier in his career, Mr. Eaton worked in various offices in the State Department, including the Office of the Deputy Secretary, Under Secretary for Management and the Assistant Secretaries for Administration and Diplomatic Security. He has also served in various positions at U.S. Missions in Guyana, the Soviet Union, Italy, and Turkey. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.

Following you will find his biography: Bill Eaton, a Minister-Counselor in the career Senior Foreign Service, was sworn in as Assistant Secretary for Administration on July 13, 2001. As one of the Department’s most senior career management officers, he has a strong record of leadership and management. He has served overseas in Georgetown, Moscow, Istanbul, Milan and Ankara. In Washington, he has served in a wide variety of inter-functional positions, including in the Office of the Deputy Secretary, Under Secretary for Management and the Assistant Secretaries for Administration and Diplomatic Security.

Outside the State Department, Bill won a Virginia Press Association award in 1978 for journalistic excellence. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving, among other places, in South Korea. He left the Foreign Service for 3 years and served as Executive Director and Director of International Operations for the Young Presidents’ Organization, an international association of young chief executive officers of multi-million-dollar companies in nearly 80 countries around the globe; in this position, he led a $3-million turnaround of the organization and, through effective leadership and recruitment, cut staff turnover from 48% annually to virtually nil.

Bill demonstrated his skills as political analyst and negotiator as political officer in Georgetown, Guyana and leading successful negotiations with Russia, Ukraine, the European Union, Canada and Sweden to establish science centers in Moscow and Kiev for former weapons scientists. He was graduated magna cum laude in International Relations from the University of Virginia. A gifted linguist, he speaks Spanish, Turkish, Russian, Dutch and Italian. He is a recipient of the 2004 Presidential Distinguished Service Award, The Department’s Arnold Raphel Award for Mentoring, 2001 Presidential Meritorious Service Award, 2004 Honorary National Distinguished Principal Award for leadership in international education and the Department’s Leamon R. Hunt Award for Administrative Excellence.

Mr. Eaton is a native of Winchester, Virginia.