On September 29, 2023, U.S. Ambassador Joel Ehrendreich presented his credentials to President Whipps in the President’s Office of the Executive Building in the Capitol.   

In his remarks, Ambassador Ehrendreich began by offering the U.S. Embassy’s thoughts and prayers for Minister of Education Dr. Dale Jenkins and hope for a speedy recovery. He expressed that being the new United States Ambassador to the Republic of Palau is an honor, especially during this exciting time. He thanked President Whipps for his leadership in ensuring a shared Pacific Island Countries’ vision for a resilient Pacific region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion, and prosperity, where individuals can reach their potential, the environment can thrive, and democracy can flourish.

Ambassador Ehrendreich also shared some of his key priorities, which include support for the implementation of the Compact Review Agreement, further strengthening security cooperation between the government of Palau and the U.S. military, addressing climate change, and strengthening our people-to-people ties, with a special focus on baseball diplomacy. He concluded that he was touched by the warm welcome he received from the people of Palau and noted they have lived up to their world-famous reputation for kindness.

Ambassador Ehrendreich is a U.S. Foreign Service, Department of State career member.  He was appointed Ambassador to the Republic of Palau in August 2023.   Previously, he served as Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs. Prior to that, he was the Director of Regional and Security Policy in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs; Senior Operations Officer in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs; Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commandant of the Marine Corps; Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Okinawa, Japan; Economic Counselor at U.S. Embassy Manila; Economic and Political Counselor at U.S. Embassy Singapore; Political-Military and External Unit Chief at U.S. Embassy New Delhi; Political Officer at Embassy Tokyo; Visa Officer in Sydney; and Consular and Political Officer in Togo, West Africa. He also served in the White House Situation Room as a Senior Duty Officer.

Ambassador Ehrendreich graduated from Drake University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He served in the Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa, 1985-87 and worked in the private sector for several years. His wife, Rachel, is also a Foreign Service Officer. They have two sons. His hobbies are watching baseball, playing baseball, and talking about baseball.

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