US CG in Vladivostok Ms. Sylvia Currant: I Really Like Russia’s Far East
Ms. Curran talks about her career and family life.
VLADIVOSTOK. October 29. VOSTOK-MEDIA – It’s been a little more than a month now since Sylvia Reed Curran arrived in Vladivostok replacing Thomas Armbruster as chief consul officer at the US consulate in Vladivostok, but she has already made a number of fact-finding trips across Primorye, including Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Khabarovsk and Nakhodka, and held her first press-conference.
In the recent press-conference Ms. Curran told journalists about her career and family life.
“Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama are now working closely on the “reset” policy of improving relations between Russia and the US. And it is up to me now to contribute to the positive agenda in our relations in the Russian Far East. Strengthening business ties as well as increasing imports and exports are the key tasks I face as a consular official. Also, I’m looking forward to resuming direct air links between Russia and America. Recently, a delegation of Alaskan senators has visited Primorye and they raised the issue during the talks.”
“As to business ties, I would like to see more and more franchises of American fast food chains, such as McDonald’s, Starbucks and KFC, opened in the Russian Far East.”
“I have made a number of fact-finding visits throughout Primorye holding meetings with local officials, business community and American nationals residing here to learn more about the region.”
About Russia’s Far East
“So far, I have liked every place I had a chance to visit. It’s very beautiful here in Primorye; I like its nature and mountains. I’m looking forward to visiting every single town and city in my consular district.”
“While I was preparing to take this position, I gathered as much information about the city as possible. The most amazing thing I learned was the fact that Yul Brynner, a famous American actor, was born here.”
On learning foreign languages.
“In addition to the English language, I speak Russian, Spanish and Chinese. Spanish was the first foreign language I mastered. After graduating from the university I have spent some time in Puerto Rico. The other languages I had to learn at the foreign language school of the State Department prior to my assignment to those countries. I think, however, that the best way to learn a foreign language is to live or work in a native speaking environment.”
Ms. Curran’s family.
“I have two grown-up sons. They are now working toward their bachelor degrees, and so they won’t be able to visit Vladivostok any time soon. But they say they would love to visit the city.”
“As a kid, I often dreamed that I would one day get a job that would involve extensive travel around the world. In fact, I was not sure if such a job really existed. It was not until my postgraduate years that I learned I had a good chance of entering the diplomatic service. All I had to do was pass a certain exam and proceed to work. Working with people is the thing I like most. People around the world have much in common and it is my task to promote mutual understanding between them.”
Ms. Curran’s Hobby.
“I’m an avid reader of history. Also I like traveling and skiing. I think I have a rather interesting and exiting life and I wouldn’t change anything in it. ”
“I like fruit juices. As for Russian cuisine - pelmeni is my favorite dish. The Russians lead a very eventful cultural life and I’m trying to take part in as many events as possible. I like classical music, ballet and other forms of art.”
Sylvia Reed Curran was born on January 11, 1958 in Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Curran received a BS in Biology and AAS in Chemistry from the University of Alaska, studied medical technology at the University of Hawaii, and received an MS in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University.
She has started her career as a member of the United States Foreign Service since 1987. She worked as a consular officer in Mexico, Canada, China, Uzbekistan, Israel and Turkmenistan. In addition she served as a Political Officer and Deputy Political Unit Chief in Moscow from 1998 through 2001.
Ms. Curran speaks Russian, Spanish, and Mandarin. She is a member of the Mensa Society.
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