He also requested all staff to redouble their efforts and rededicate themselves to serve the motherland with commitment, determination and steadfastness. The Ambassador also emphasized the importance of keeping members of the Sri Lankan community engaged at all times with a view to promoting Sri Lanka’s image and interests in the host country. Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Rodney Perera thanked the staff for the warm welcome and expressed his optimism that the relations between the two countries would be further strengthened and expanded encompassing all conceivable areas of interest during his tenure. Ambassador – designate of Sri Lanka to the United States of America, Rodney Perera assumed duties at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington DC. Prior to appointment as the Ambassador to the US, Ambassador Perera was Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union. Upon arrival at the Embassy in Washington DC, Ambassador Perera was welcomed and greeted by the staff. His assumption of duties was marked by a simple ceremony which commenced with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp by the Ambassador and other diplomatic staff and traditional Sri Lankan milk rice and sweet meats being served on the occasion. Ambassador Perera, a member of the Sri Lanka Foreign Service for over three decades, held senior posts in Sri Lanka Missions abroad and in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He held the post of Additional Secretary and was the Ministry Spokesman from 2013 – 2014. Ambassador Perera also served as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Norway from 2009 to 2012 and to Italy from 2003 – 2007.Ambassador Rodney Perera holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Columbia University, New York. He is also the recipient of “Grande Ufficiale – Ordine Della Stella Della Solidarieta” (Grand Officer of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity – highest Italian civilian honor), bestowed by the President of the Italian Republic in May 2007.