This biography is no longer current; at present, no other official Department of State biographical information is available.
Patricia A. Butenis was nominated by President Barack Obama as the U.S. Ambassador to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives on May 27, 2009. She was confirmed by the Senate on August 4, 2009 and sworn in on August 19, 2009. She is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, rank of Career Minister. Prior to this assignment, Ambassador Butenis served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad from 2007-2009. From 2006-2007, she served as Ambassador to Bangladesh and from 2004-2006 as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad.
Ambassador Butenis joined the Foreign Service in 1980. She has served consular tours in Karachi, Pakistan, in San Salvador, El Salvador, in New Delhi, India, and in Bogotá, Colombia. She attended the National War College, served in the Visa Office of the Consular Affairs Bureau, and as Consul General in Warsaw, Poland and Bogotá, Colombia.
Ambassador Butenis received the Baker-Wilkins Award as the Outstanding Deputy Chief of Mission for her service in Iraq (2008). She received the Presidential Rank Award (2007), the Senior Foreign Service Performance Award (five times), the State Department’s Superior Honor Award (twice), and the Meritorious Honor Award (twice).
Raised in New Jersey, Ambassador Butenis received a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania, magna cum laude and an M.A. in International Relations from Columbia University. Ambassador Butenis supports animal welfare organizations and activities wherever possible.