Georgia bid farewell to outgoing U.S. Ambassador Kelly Degnan in September after three years of commendable service dedicated to supporting the Georgian people and championing their Euro-Atlantic aspirations. As the country prepares to welcome newly appointed U.S. Ambassador Robin Dunnigan, Investor.ge takes a look at her background and what priorities she’s set out for her coming tenure in Georgia.
The U.S. Senate confirmed on July 27 the nomination of Robin Dunnigan as U.S. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Georgia. Ambassador Dunnigan joined the State Department in 1992. She served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources from August 2014 to August 2017 and has also served at the U.S. embassies in Vietnam, Chile, Turkey, Cuba, and El Salvador, working extensively in the areas of trade and investment, energy, and sanctions issues.
Most recently, the incoming ambassador served as the Chargé d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Austria from 2018 to 2021. She then served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary responsible for Central and Eastern Europe in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs until June 2023.
At her confirmation hearing in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in March, Ambassador Dunnigan outlined the importance of working with the Georgian government and people to ensure the country’s integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions like the EU and NATO.
She told the committee: “Not only will Euro-Atlantic integration benefit the citizens of Georgia, but I deeply believe it is in the U.S. national interest. We want a democratic Georgia firmly integrated with the West, capable of defending its borders, and able to withstand the pressure of Russian malign activities. Georgia has made remarkable progress over the last 30 years, but some concerning developments show there is more to do.”
The incoming ambassador also highlighted her intention to continue strengthening economic ties between the U.S. and Georgia, noting that she plans to “strengthen bilateral trade and investment, including by increasing U.S. exports and opportunities for American companies in Georgia.”
Ambassador Dunnigan also focused on Georgia’s national security and sovereignty, which she vowed to continue advocating for in the face of Russia’s ongoing occupation of the country. “I will work with Georgian international partners to hold Russia to its commitments under the 2008 ceasefire agreement and the UN charter,” she said.
AmCham Georgia extends our warmest welcome to Ambassador Dunnigan. As AmCham President, Irakli Baidashvili, noted, “AmCham’s relationship with the U.S. Embassy is vital to our mission of strengthening U.S.-Georgia connections. We have already seen from her public statements that our goals align, and we look forward to continuing our strong relationship moving forward.”