US diplomat with image-boosting remit quits post

WASHINGTON: The US diplomat charged with boosting the image of America overseas has quit her post.

Under-secretary of state for public affairs and public diplomacy Margaret Tutwiler will join the New York Stock Exchange as executive vice-president for communications and government relations in July.

Her resignation comes as anti-US sentiment continues to grow in countries such as Iraq, and is a blow to President George Bush’s administration’s attempts to win hearts and minds in the Muslim world.

This Tuesday (4 May), around 50 retired US diplomats signed a letter condemning Washington’s support for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

The move echoed an open letter written by 52 former British diplomats to Tony Blair last week criticising his approach to the Middle East and Iraq (PRWeek, 30 April).

In a statement released by the NYSE, Tutwiler, whose final day in her current job will be 30 June, said: ‘The President and Secretary [of State Colin] Powell have my deepest gratitude for the opportunity to have served.’

Tutwiler took up the job less than a year ago, replacing Charlotte Beers, who resigned for personal reasons (PRWeek, 20 August 2003).

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