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Alumnus Scott DeLisi ('80) Nominated Ambassador to Nepal

NOVEMBER 20, 2009—President Obama has selected Scott DeLisi ('80) to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Nepal, pending Senate approval, the White House announced Nov. 17, 2009. The career Foreign Service officer is currently Director of Career Development and Assignments for the State Department and oversees staffing at embassies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other challenging posts.

DeLisi was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Eritrea from 2004 to 2007. He also has served in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Botswana embassies and been the Director of the Office of Southern African Affairs.

In an interview for the fall 2009 issue of the Law School's magazine, Perspectives, soon to be released, the South St. Paul native told author Cathy Madison, "I didn't know what I was getting into" during the first steps down a diplomat's career path. After 28 years in the foreign service, he now says that one of the greatest rewards is that "You can make a difference on occasion."

His term in Eritrea already had made DeLisi part of a prestigious six-member group: Law School alumni appointed to serve as U.S. Ambassadors.

Samuel Kaplan ('60) just moved to Rabat in October to begin his appointment as ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco; Benson Whitney ('87) was ambassador to Norway in 2006-09; Tom McDonald ('79) was ambassador to Zimbabwe in 1997-2001; and James Blanchard ('68) was ambassador to Canada and Walter Mondale ('56) was ambassador to Japan, both in 1993-96.

Obama also announced his intention of nominating University of Minnesota Medical School Associate Professor Robert A. Petzel as the Veterans Health Administration's Undersecretary for Health. Dr. Petzel has been serving as acting undersecretary and Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs' Upper Midwest Network. Previously he was chief of staff at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center.

Scott DeLisi (right) speaking with officer from USS Juneau docked at port of Massawa, February 2005