Saturday, July 06, 2013 — The next ambassador to the northeast African nation of Ethiopia, which was the only African nation to successfully maintain its independence during the Age of Empire, will be Patricia Haslach. If confirmed by the Senate, Haslach would succeed Donald Booth, who served in Addis Ababa from 2009 to 2012. In her most recent position, Haslach served as principal deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s newest bureau, the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, starting January 24, 2013.
Born in Rockville Center, New York, in 1956, Haslach moved with her family to Lake Oswego, Oregon in 1971. Her father, Frank Haslach, was an asset and recovery manager for Evans Products and Oregon Bank. She graduated St. Mary’s Academy in 1974, earned her B.A. in Political Science at Gonzaga University in 1978, and her M.A. in International Affairs at Columbia University in 1981.
Haslach began her career with the federal government in 1986 as an agricultural attaché with the Foreign Agricultural Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, assigned to India from 1987 to 1990. Transferring to the State Department as an economic officer, she was posted to the U.S. Mission to the European Union managing assistance to the Group of 24 countries. In the years following, Haslach served as resource officer at the embassies in Jakarta, Indonesia, and in Lagos, Nigeria. From 2000 to May 2002, she served as economic counselor at the embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, while her husband, David Herbert was the embassy’s general services officer. As Pakistan became part of the front line in President George W. Bush’s war against Islamic terrorism, Haslach gave up her post to move her two daughters back to the United States..
In her next stateside post as director of the Office of Afghanistan Reconstruction from 2002-2004, Haslach oversaw the multi-billion-dollar reconstruction program intended to fix some of the damage caused by war. Haslach then served two straight stints as an ambassador, first as ambassador to Laos from 2004 to 2007, and then as ambassador to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, headquartered in Singapore, from 2007 to 2009.
She served as assistant chief of mission for assistance transition at the embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, from July 2009 to June 2010, and as deputy coordinator for diplomacy for the U.S. Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative from June 2010 to March 2011. From then until late 2012, Haslach was the State Department’s coordinator for Iraq transition in the Office of the Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources.
Patricia Haslach has two adult daughters, Shereen and Kiran Herbert.