Who is he?
David O’Sullivan was previously the Chief Operating Officer for the European External Action Service (EEAS), the European Union’s diplomatic wing that was launched on January 1, 2011. He is the first person to serve in that post. O’Sullivan began his career in the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and has worked for the European Commission in various roles ever since, most recently as the Director General for Trade.
Why is he in the news?
Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, appointed O’Sullivan as the new EU Ambassador to the United States, where he was sworn in on November 18, 2014, replacing outgoing Ambassador João Vale de Almeida of Portugal who has served since August 2010. O’Sullivan is the second Irishman to be appointed head of the delegation to the United States, following former prime minister John Bruton who served from 2004-2009.
O’Sullivan spoke at the Pacific Islands Forum in Palau on July 31 where he gave a speech expressing the EU’s commitment to supporting renewable energy technologies in the Pacific. So far, the EU has pledged $135 million towards the goal of meeting the energy needs of struggling small island developing states.
What can we expect from him?
O’Sullivan has been a strong advocate of ASEAN, frequently praising the EU-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership. He recently delivered a speech at the annual Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Brussels which highlighted the need for greater connectivity between Asia and European Union. As an expert on Asia, O’Sullivan should advance the already substantial U.S. – EU coordination on Asia policy and strategy to new levels.