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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Yulee, Florida)
For Immediate Release                                      May 27, 1999

The President announced today his intent to nominate Bismarck Myrick to be Ambassador to the Republic of Liberia.

Mr. Bismarck Myrick, of Portsmouth, Virginia, is a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, and is a decorated Vietnam War hero. Before beginning his tenure as Diplomat-in-Residence at Spelman College this summer, he served in southern Africa for eight years and helped manage United States policies during that region's historic transformation from apartheid to non-racial democracy. He was U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho from 1995 to 1998. In May 1998, the government of the Kingdom of Lesotho conferred on him the award of Officer of the Most Meritorious Order of Mohlomi, the Kingdom's highest honor to a non-citizen, for his work at promoting democracy. He also served as principal Officer in Cape Town, South Africa, from 1993 to 1995; and as principal Officer in Durban, South Africa, from 1990 to 1993.

Mr. Myrick began his career as a U.S. Army private. He performed military police duties in Okinawa and Germany before his first assignment as an Infantry Officer in South Korea. He was an infantry company commander in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. Mr. Myrick became an Army Foreign Area Officer and served in Ethiopia from 1975 to 1979. Mr. Myrick joined the Foreign Service in 1980 and was assigned as Desk Officer for Somalia in the Office of East African Affairs. Next, he was assigned to Monrovia, Liberia, as political officer, 1982-1984. The following year he returned to Washington to serve as action officer in the office of Strategic Nuclear Policy, Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs, 1985-1987. He was chairperson of the Interagency Nuclear Testing Arms Control Working Group and served on the U.S. Delegation to the Geneva Nuclear Testing Talks, 1986-1987. Mr. Myrick was named Deputy Director for Policy Plans and Coordination in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, 1987-1989. In 1989, he was awarded an Una Chapman Cox Fellowship and conducted research on a project entitled, "Change in the Horn of Africa and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy in the 1990s."

Mr. Myrick was born in Portsmouth, Virginia. He earned a B.A. degree from the University of Tampa and a M.A. degree from Syracuse University. He holds the Department of State's Superior Honor Award and four Meritorious Honor Awards. His military decorations include the Silver Star, Purple Heart and four Bronze Stars for heroism in combat. He was inducted into the U.S. Army's Hall of Fame at Fort Benning, Georgia in 1996.