• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Trump will immediately remove U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica, other foreign diplomats from Obama era

January 6, 2017

There will be no grace period for U.S. ambassadors appointed under President Barack Obama once president-elect Donald Trump takes office in two weeks.

According to a Thursday report from the New York Times citing unnamed U.S. diplomats who were apparently relaying information from official State Department communication, Trump is breaking with decades of precedent by requiring the immediate withdrawal of all ambassadors worldwide who were Obama’s political appointees, without exception. Traditionally, new U.S. presidents have allowed a grace period before replacing ambassadors, both to ensure that gaps do not occur while the Senate confirms new appointees, and to avoid disruptions for ambassadors’ children in the middle of their school year.

The U.S. Embassy in San José confirmed to The Tico Times via email that S. Fitzgerald Haney, the U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica, will leave his post on Jan. 20 when Trump assumes the presidency.

Chargé d’Affaire Robin Matthewman, who has held her post since 2013, will fill in on an interim basis before Trump assigns his new diplomats.

By all accounts, Haney has been an effective ambassador during his 1.5-year term. Among other notable contributions, the ambassador has donated to local police efforts and has helped facilitate key talks between U.S. and Costa Rican politicians during the recent Cuban migrant crisis.

Haney’s wife Andrea has battled breast cancer while in Costa Rica and their four school-aged kids are all enrolled in local private schools. The U.S. Embassy did not comment on whether or not Haney’s family will stay in the country beyond his term as ambassador; however, The New York Times reported that Haney hopes to stay in Costa Rica so that his children can complete their school year here, and is searching for a home to rent for his family during that time.

Haney is originally from Englewood, New Jersey and has a wealth of experience in international business. In 2008, Fitzgerald and Andrea donated nearly $300,000 combined to the Obama campaign.

You may be interested

How 6 Exotic Animals in Costa Rica Got Their Names
Environment and Wildlife
6369 views
Environment and Wildlife
6369 views

How 6 Exotic Animals in Costa Rica Got Their Names

The Tico Times - March 7, 2021

When it comes to pointing out animals, some people in Costa Rican can be extremely unspecific. Sometimes it seems that…

Slothy Sunday: Restrictions are lifted, now what? See sloths, what else!
Sloth Sundays
2562 views
Sloth Sundays
2562 views

Slothy Sunday: Restrictions are lifted, now what? See sloths, what else!

Mariana Diaz / Toucan Rescue Ranch - March 7, 2021

This is officially the first week we are all allowed to drive again on both days of the weekend, how…

Sloths in Costa Rica: 11 Little Known Facts
Costa Rica wildlife
15424 views
Costa Rica wildlife
15424 views

Sloths in Costa Rica: 11 Little Known Facts

The Tico Times - March 7, 2021

Since they were first described by naturalists in the 1700s, sloths have been misunderstood. Early scientists described the slow-moving beasts…