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Clean Cooking Forum 2022

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Honorable Virginia E. Palmer

U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana

Virginia E. Palmer arrived in Accra to assume her responsibilities as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana in April 2022.  She was previously Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Resources at the Department of State, overseeing U.S. foreign policy engagement at the critical intersection of our energy, climate and national security goals.  She took up that post after serving as Deputy Commandant of the National Defense University’s Eisenhower School.

She served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Malawi from  2015 to 2019.   There, she oversaw an annual bilateral assistance budget of more than $500 million and the work of eleven U.S. government agencies.  As Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in South Africa from 2011 to 2014, she oversaw the work of 28 U.S. government agencies.  As Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam from 2008-2011, she promoted major trade initiatives and helped shape new U.S. dioxin (Agent Orange) remediation efforts.

From 2005-2008, Ambassador Palmer was the State Department’s Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism, responsible for terrorist finance issues and regional initiatives to strengthen partner nations’ capacity to degrade terrorist capability.  From 2004-2005, she was Director of the East Asia Bureau’s Office of Economic Policy and the alternate U.S. Senior Official for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC).

Other postings during her 36-year diplomatic career include assignments in Kenya, Canada, Zimbabwe, China, and Hong Kong working on political-military affairs, corruption, trade and agriculture, labor and human rights issues, health and development.

Ambassador Palmer obtained her Masters and did doctoral studies at the University of Virginia.  She received a BSFS from Georgetown University and also attended Washington University in St. Louis.  She speaks Mandarin.  She and her husband, retired Foreign Service Officer Ismail Asmal, have two adult daughters.

Day 0 October 10
Sessions by Honorable Virginia E. Palmer
Day 1 October 11
Sessions by Honorable Virginia E. Palmer
9:30 am-11:30 am
Adlon Ballroom

Opening Plenary

Speakers
Dymphna van der Lans CEO, Clean Cooking Alliance
H.E. Hajia Samira Bawumia Second Lady of Ghana
Honorable Matthew Opoku Prempeh Minister of Energy, Ghana
Adwoa Etsiwaa Sey Chairperson, Ghana Alliance for Clean Cooking
H.E. Ingrid Mollestad Ambassador to Ghana, Government of Norway
Honorable Virginia E. Palmer U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana
Carla Montesi Director, European Commission's Directorate-General for International Partnerships
Katja Lasseur Deputy Ambassador, Government of Netherlands
Gabriela Elizondo Azuela Practice Manager, Energy Sector Management Assistance Program, World Bank
Vincent Wierda IDE Energy Lead, UNCDF
Ashvin Dayal Senior Vice President, Power & Climate and The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, The Rockefeller Foundation
Fatih Birol Executive Director, International Energy Agency
Damilola Ogunbiyi CEO, Sustainable Energy for All
Kandeh Yumkella Founder & CEO, The Energy Nexus Network
Leela Hazzah Co-Founder & Executive Director, Lion Guardians
Dr. Mokowa Blay Adu-Gyamfi Presidential Advisor on HIV/AIDS, Executive Office of the President, Ghana
Shirley McAlpine Founder, Shirley McAlpine & Associates
Day 2 October 12
Sessions by Honorable Virginia E. Palmer
Day 3 October 13
Sessions by Honorable Virginia E. Palmer
Day 4 October 14
Sessions by Honorable Virginia E. Palmer
Sessions by Honorable Virginia E. Palmer
Sessions by Honorable Virginia E. Palmer
9:30 am-11:30 am
Adlon Ballroom

Opening Plenary

Speakers
Dymphna van der Lans CEO, Clean Cooking Alliance
H.E. Hajia Samira Bawumia Second Lady of Ghana
Honorable Matthew Opoku Prempeh Minister of Energy, Ghana
Adwoa Etsiwaa Sey Chairperson, Ghana Alliance for Clean Cooking
H.E. Ingrid Mollestad Ambassador to Ghana, Government of Norway
Honorable Virginia E. Palmer U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana
Carla Montesi Director, European Commission's Directorate-General for International Partnerships
Katja Lasseur Deputy Ambassador, Government of Netherlands
Gabriela Elizondo Azuela Practice Manager, Energy Sector Management Assistance Program, World Bank
Vincent Wierda IDE Energy Lead, UNCDF
Ashvin Dayal Senior Vice President, Power & Climate and The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, The Rockefeller Foundation
Fatih Birol Executive Director, International Energy Agency
Damilola Ogunbiyi CEO, Sustainable Energy for All
Kandeh Yumkella Founder & CEO, The Energy Nexus Network
Leela Hazzah Co-Founder & Executive Director, Lion Guardians
Dr. Mokowa Blay Adu-Gyamfi Presidential Advisor on HIV/AIDS, Executive Office of the President, Ghana
Shirley McAlpine Founder, Shirley McAlpine & Associates
Sessions by Honorable Virginia E. Palmer
Sessions by Honorable Virginia E. Palmer
Sessions by Honorable Virginia E. Palmer