US Naples Consul hails 'panoply of wonderful memories'
NAPLES- Colombia A. Barrosse is a career member of the senior Foreign Service with the rank of Counsellor. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, she grew up in Latin America (Colombia, Uruguay, Panama), where her father worked for the United States Agency for International Development and began her diplomatic career in 1989. Her vast experience has already led to assignments in political, cultural and consular sectors that include Dominican Republic (Consul, 1989-1991), Madrid, Spain (Consul and Ambassador’s Staff Assistant, 1991-1994), Buenos Aires, Argentina (Visa Chief/Consul, 1994-1996) Lima, Peru (Deputy Political Counsellor and Cultural Attaché, 1998-2001) Paris, France (Cultural Attaché, 2003-2007) and, her most recent assignment prior to coming to Italy, as Consul General in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Ms Barrosse is now Consul General in Naples, one of the oldest US Foreign Service posts, where her three-year duty is about to end. She speaks French, Spanish and Italian and has a great sense of style as she is always seen in impeccably elegant attire for appearances.
Italian Insider- The 4th of July or Independence Day is a federal holiday for Americans. On that day, the US commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence signed in 1776 by the Continental Congress declaring that the 13 American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the USA and no longer part of the British Empire. This pledge to a new country and its democratic values are very felt by its citizens. In such a critical time and moment of crisis for democracy in countries around the world like the Ukraine, Syria and North Africa struggling with basic human rights, how do you feel in this complicated moment in world history?
Consul General Barrosse- The difficult global context in which we celebrate US Independence day provides an opportunity for us to renew our commitment to democracy. We have come a long way in extending the rights and freedoms promised by our founding fathers to all of our citizens. We, together with other democratic nations, must continue to uphold our values and be a beacon for the millions who seek the same for their countries.
And we must not permit acts of violence by terrorists to weaken our commitment to human rights, liberty and justice.
Italian Insider- What makes this year’s celebration special?
Consul General Barrosse- The US Consulate for Southern Italy commemorated this 240th anniversary with a traditional festivity July 1st.
Italian Insider - How are you planning on celebrating?
Consul General Barrosse- This long holiday weekend we will spend with our families doing the same - I will be traveling with mine throughout the south for one last vacation prior to my official departure.
Italian Insider- The Consulate General in Naples engages in a full range of U.S. government activities and services within a large consular district that is comprised of the regions of Campania, Basilicata, Molise, Puglia, Calabria, and Sicily. Coming to the close of your third and final year here in Naples, what do you consider your greatest political/economic/cultural accomplishments as Consul General at the US Consulate General in Naples?
Consul General Barrosse - During these three years I have had the privilege and good fortune to lead a fantastic team of professionals - American and Italian. Together we have traveled to every region strengthening our relationship and implementing new projects. These have spanned every sector: entrepreneurial, scientific, political, countering gender based violence, promoting LGBT rights and so much more.
High in our priorities has been youth programs and exchanges, permitting a new generation of Italiansand Americans to forge friendships and gain leadership skills that will increase their ability to compete in a global economy.
We have been fortunate to have great Italian partners in these endeavors.
Italian Insider - Any unfortunate failure(s)?
Consul General Barrosse - My great regret is not having enough time in the day to do even more!
Italian Insider- Naples has often been called both the best city in the world for its breathtaking beauty and the worst city in the world for all of its crime and filth. Undoubtedly, the city is trying to clean up its act, by creating a better image and a more efficient service system that will attract growing foreign tourism and investment. What are the new or projects-in-progress for better US/Naples relations that you’re going to leave in the hands of your successor?
Consul General Barrosse - Our successors will be able to continue to build on all of these projects and to, of course, start some of their own. As Naples continues to emerge in terms of its reputation as a tourist destination and commercial and entrepreneurial center, more possibilities will arise.
Italian Insider- Naples is the home of pizza. What’s your favourite pizzeria?
Consul General Barrosse- That is a trick question if I heard one! I have my favorites, of course, but they are all delicious and highlight the talents of the various pizzaioli and the fresh ingredients the Mezzogiorno is known for.
Italian Insider- What is your next assignment?
Consul General Barrosse- My next assignment will be in Washington in the office that makes the critical decisions regarding who is qualified to join the Foreign Service. I am very much looking forward to joining some of my colleagues from around the world!
Italian Insider- What’s the best Naples souvenir you’re planning on bringing back with you?
Consul General Barrosse- The best souvenirs without a doubt are a panoply of wonderful memories and treasured friendships that will remain for the rest of my life.