New US ambassador to Italy arrives in Rome

Phillips happy to return to 'land of ancestors'

New US ambassador to Italy arrives in Rome

Rome, September 13 - The incoming American ambassador to Italy, John Phillips, who arrived in Rome on Friday, said that he was ready "to work on strengthening the special and important relationship that bonds the United States and Italy, two true allies". Phillips, a Washington lawyer and founder of the executive committee Taxpayers Against Fraud, was appointed by President Barack Obama in July. "I am proud, grateful and very honored that President Obama has chosen me to fill the post of ambassador to Italy, the land of my ancestors," he said. His grandparents changed their name from Filippi when they immigrated from Italy. "I am sure that my grandparents would be proud to know that their grandson has returned as United States ambassador to the great nation where they were born," he said. Phillips added that he would focus on the issues that "most concern our countries: economic progress and opportunities for future generations, trade, innovation, a strong energy policy and security for our nations". He is married to Linda Douglass, the former director of communications for the White House Office of Health Reform. Phillips graduated from Notre Dame University in Indiana, then University of California, Berkeley before setting up the Phillips and Coen law firm in Washington in 1988. He will take over from Ambassador David Thorne, who is finishing his four-year term. (photo: Ambassador John Phillips and wife Linda Douglass)

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