Welcome to Indonesia, Mr. Ambassador!
AmCham and USINDO welcome Ambassador Joseph R. Donovan and Mei Chou Donovan to Jakarta
By Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
AmCham Indonesia and the United States Indonesia Society (USINDO) held a formal reception for the new US Ambassador to Indonesia, Joseph R. Donovan Jr, and his wife Mei Chou Donovan, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Ballroom in Jakarta on February 6.
The reception was attended by more than 150 friends of AmCham and USINDO, all of them supporters of close ties between the two countries. The audience included prominent US and Indonesian business executives, former and current Indonesian government officials and board members and leading figures from the two host organizations.
Ambassador Donovan is the 20th US Ambassador to Indonesia, following the retirement of Ambassador Robert O. Blake in 2016. Ambassador Donovan arrived in Indonesia in December 2016 after being confirmed by the US Senate as Ambassador in November. He formally presented his credentials to President Joko Widodo on January 13.
In opening remarks, AmCham President Brian Arnold reiterated AmCham’s working relationship with the US Embassy and the Indonesian government. “AmCham, for its part, has worked closely with many of the government officials and companies in this room to maintain an open and productive business and investment climate,” he said.
“We are certain that the vibrant cooperation we have long received in this regard from the American Embassy in Jakarta will continue under Ambassador Donovan. This cooperation is one of the hallmarks of AmCham’s work as the advocate of choice for US businesses in Indonesia.”
USINDO President David Merrill, a former ambassador himself, said he reached out to AmCham to hold a joint reception in order to show the unified support of the American and Indonesian communities in building a strong partnership between the two countries.
In his remarks, Merrill highlighted the historical moment taking place in Washington as the new ambassador takes up his post. “Ambassador Donovan takes his office in Jakarta at exactly the same time as our new US presidential leadership has taken office,” he said. “A new administration which brings profound change in many areas, with high stakes for both countries’”
“In the period ahead,” Merrill concluded, “the need for accurate mutual understanding between our countries and peoples has never been greater.”
A career diplomat, Ambassador Donovan served most recently as Managing Director of the Washington Office of the American Institute in Taiwan. Previously, he was Foreign Policy Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon from 2012 to 2014, Associate Professor at the National Defense University in Washington, DC, from 2011 to 2012, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State from 2009 to 2011. AmCham greatly looks forward to working with Ambassador Donovan and his team.
AmCham and USINDO would also like to heartily thank the sponsors who made the evening possible. Diamond: BCA Bank and Edwin Soeryadjaya; Platinum: Cargill Indonesia, Chevron Indonesia, ExxonMobil Indonesia, Freeport McMoRan and HM Sampoerna; Gold: ConocoPhillips Indonesia and the Lippo Group; Silver: Coca-Cola, Honeywell Indonesia and Visa.