Former Ambassador Jean Manes returns to El Salvador as charge d’affaires of the embassy.

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Friday, May 28th, 2021
Jean Manes
Ambassador Jean Manes and President Nayib Bukele

The United States Department of State has appointed former ambassador Jean Manes as the new charge d’affaires of the embassy in El Salvador. Manes was Ambassador to El Salvador from 2016 to 2019; she will replace Brendan O’Brien as charge d’affaires.

“Today, Secretary Blinken designated Ambassador Jean Manes as Chargé d’affaires ad interim to the Republic of El Salvador. This appointment reflects the importance of our relations with El Salvador. Ambassador Manes previously served as U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador from 2016 to 2019,” U.S. State Department.

The Press release highlights Manes’s almost 30 years of service as a diplomat. “She has extensive experience overseeing U.S. government programs, and she also brings relationships with a broad array of Salvadorans, from government, civil society, and the private sector. These attributes ideally situate her to work collaboratively to improve conditions in El Salvador and address the root causes of irregular migration,” states the press release.

After May 1, when the new Legislative Assembly removed the Salvadoran General attorney and all Judges in the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Judicial Court. The relationship between the U.S. and El Salvador has been at a low point.

President Nayib Bukele and Legislators have on many occasions expressed that the United States is the number one partner of El Salvador. However, they have also made clear that the decisions made on May 1 are irreversible.

“Our partnership with El Salvador is crucial to increase prosperity and security and address the root causes of migration. By naming Jean Manes as Chargé d’affaires, we have the ideal leader for our work with government, civil society, & other sectors to tackle these challenges,” wrote U.S. Secretary Antony Blinken on Twitter.

For his part, Brendan O’Brien, who until this week will serve as Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador, highlighted Manes’s diplomatic experience. “Will work with all his efforts to promote a safe, prosperous, and democratic country for the benefit of the people of the U.S. and El Salvador,” expressed O’Brien.

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