President Joe Biden tapped a Baton Rouge native to become ambassador to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, the White House announced Wednesday.
Nicole D. Theriot, who currently serves as the principal officer in Karachi, Pakistan, was nominated as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary for the South American nation.
She graduated in 1993 from LSU with a bachelor’s degree and in 1998 with a master’s in international relations from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Theriot speaks French and Urdu.
The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle the swampy coast along the Atlantic Ocean that became the nation of Guyana. But Guyana was taken over by the British in the late 1700s and ruled the country as colony until it gained independence in 1966. Guyana is the only English-speaking nation in South America. Its capitol is Georgetown.
The country is probably best known in the U.S. as the host of Jim Jones and his People’s Temple of Christ in the 1970s. After murdering U.S. Rep. Leo Ryan, a San Francisco Democrat who was investigating complaints of abuse at the temple’s settlement in November 1978, more than 900 of Jones’ followers committed suicide.
Theriot previously served as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Prior to that, she was director for Immigration and Visa Security for the president’s National Security Council.
She also has been the senior adviser to the deputy assistant secretary of state for overseas citizens services in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, and she has held posts in Kabul, Afghanistan; Casablanca, Morocco; Frankfurt, Germany; Islamabad, Pakistan; Barbados; Baghdad, Iraq; Montreal, Canada; Paris, France; and Lagos, Nigeria.
Theriot is the recipient of numerous State Department performance awards, including a Senior Foreign Service Performance award.
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