New US consul general in Mumbai a squash champion


Mumbai : A squash champion and a former pilot Paul Folmsbee, who spent part of his childhood in south India, has taken over as the new US consul general in Mumbai here.

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On Monday, he succeeded Michael S. Owen, whose tenure here ended about a month back, an American Centre announcement said.

Folmsbee, who spent part of his childhood in south India, considers this assignment as “a homecoming of sort”.

A masters degree holder in Social Anthropology, he conducted fieldwork during his academic career in Mexico and Guatemala. A national-level squash player, he also played football in college.

The announcement said Folmsbee, who joined the US State Department as a Foreign Service Officer in 1987, has served in Dar-es-Salaam, Nairobi, La Paz, Colombo, Libreville, Port-au-Prince and Islamabad.

Folmsbee’s Mumbai posting came after an assignment in Baghdad as the State Department’s provincial reconstruction team leader for Sadr city and Adhamiya in downtown Baghdad, working on governance, political reconciliation and economic development programmes.

Prior to Baghdad, Folmsbee served in Islamabad as the country director for the International Narcotics & Law Enforcement programme that addressed counter-terrorism, police and judicial support initiatives and counter-narcotics efforts.

“It is a true honour to return to India as the US consul general for western and central India. With the relationship between our two countries stronger than it has ever been, I look forward to further deepening of our government-to-government and people-to-people ties,” Folmsbee said of his new assignment.

The new US consul general will be accorded a reception by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce here Thursday evening.