Monday, September 6, 2010

Alan Holst and Joseph Tordella joins US Embassy-Manila Cultural Affairs Department

Last September 3, I am of the privilege few who were invited in the residence of Richard Nelson, the Counselor of the Public Office of US Embassy here in Manila. The dinner was to formalize Joseph Tordella and Allan Holst as the new member of their Cultural Affairs Department.

(US Embassy-Manila Public Office Counselor Richard Nelson)

The guests in Counselor Nelson’s residence was a gathering of different personalities from different fields and groups in the Philippines, there are diplomats, organization fronliners, celebrities, athletes, media practitioners, bloggers and youth. The dinner is just a presentation of what the Cultural Affairs is planning to have in the future and that is to converge all kinds of interest and topics that will create exchange of views and talents which is the primary aim of the said department.

(Cultural Affairs Officer Alan Holst, Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer Joseph Tordella and Public Affairs Counselor Richard Nelson)

Alan Holst was appointed as Cultural Affairs Officer last August 31. He joined the Foreign Service with the United States Information Service in 1994 and transferred to the Department of State in 1996. His recently completed his assignment in Tel Aviv, where he was a Political Officer and focused on the issues of refugees and trafficking in persons. His other assignments were in WHA/CAN, where he worked on oil, intellectual property rights and other Canadian/American economic issues; in Tokyo, where he served as Assistant Press Officer and his duties included the Embassy website; in Naha, Japan, where as the only Consular Officer his focus was American Citizen Services for the large U.S. military population; in Monterrey, Mexico, where he served one year as a visa officer and one year in a combined POL/ECON office; and in La Paz, Bolivia, where he was an Assistant Press Officer. He is now married with Minako Holst, a Japanese citizen and now has 3 kids.

Joseph Tordella was appointed Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer last May 16, 2010 and before joining the team here in Manila he works at the same department of US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel and Vice Consul at the US Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. With his new position here in the Philippines, Tordella manages to do exchange programs where he brings Filipinos to US for professional and educational visits to learn about America and share it with their friends. America. He also helps coordinate the visits of American artists, musicians, academics, and other professionals coming to the Philippines to share their skills with Philippine audiences across the country. Together with his colleagues, he also helps implement a variety of programs promoting English language study, American studies, conflict mitigation, and leadership development.

(Flowell Galindez (Me), Juned Sonido, Joseph Tordella, Jane Tenefrancia Uymatiao and Noemi Dado - Photo by Jane)

With Holst and Tordella joining the Cultural Affairs Department of US Embassy in the Philippines, they will be sharing a lot of projects and activities that they did in their work in Japan, Saudi Arabia and Israel to strengthen the relationship between our country and US and also to open doors for cultural exchange and learning which is the primary goal of their office.

For more updates about US Embassy-Manila activities where Public Office and Cultural Affairs Department is spearheading follow and “like” US Embassy-Manila Facebook group For more information about US Embassy Manila visit their website at

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