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Western College grad named U.S. Ambassador to Brunei

10/22/1999

Sylvia Gaye Stanfield, a 1965 graduate of Western College for Women, which in 1974 was acquired by Miami University, has been named U.S. ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, in northwest Borneo.

Stanfield, who began her career with the Department of State in 1968, is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. Her primary specialization has been Asian affairs.

Brunei, officially the State of Brunei Darussalam, is a sultanate (pop. 295,000), in northwest Borneo, in two coastal enclaves surrounded by Malaysia. A British protectorate after 1888, Brunei was granted self-government in 1971 and became independent in 1984.

Stanfield has served as political officer with the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Among other duties, she has served as an inspector in the office of the Inspector General, and from 1990-93 was director of the Office of Australia and New Zealand Affairs. From 1997-98 she headed the Taiwan Coordination Affairs Office.

"Sylvia brings a keen sense of the importance of this region in our foreign policy, a sincere and deep intelligence, and the experience of some 31 years of distinguished diplomatic service," said Secretary Thomas Pickering, under secretary of state for political affairs, at her swearing-in.

In addition to her Western College degree, Stanfield earned a master's degree in Asian studies from the University of Hawaii and also studied at the University of Hong Kong School of Oriental Studies and Linguistics.

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