Category Archives: Officially In

Obama Officially Nominates WH Adviser Tony Blinken as State Dept #2

– Domani Spero

 

On November 3, we blogged this: State Dept’s Wendy Sherman Now Dual-Hatted as “P” and New Acting Deputy Secretary. Four days later, and three days after the midterms, President Obama officially announced his intent to nominate Anthony Blinken as Bill Burns’ successor at the State Department.

The WH released the following brief bio:

Antony Blinken is Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor, a position he has held since 2013.  From 2009 to 2013, Mr. Blinken was Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor in the Office of the Vice President.  Previously, he was Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2002 to 2008.  From 2001 to 2002, he was a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  In the Clinton Administration, he served on the National Security Council staff as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs and as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Strategic Planning and Speechwriting.  He also served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs at the Department of State.  Mr. Blinken received a B.A. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.

Via Twitter:

 

 

 

 

This announcement came at a Friday afternoon, the reaction appears generally positive at this time.  There does not appear to be any reaction that could portend to how this nomination would fare in the lame duck session. Except for one Fox News contributor who boldly tweeted the following:

A side note, if Mr. Blinken is confirmed, there will be a new power couple at State. Right now, current power couple is Heather Higginbottom (D/MR and State Department #3) and spouse Daniel Sepulveda, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy with a rank of ambassador. If confirmed, Mr. Blinken will be State’s #2.  His spouse, Evan M. Ryan is currently Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Prior to becoming Assistant Secretary of State, she served as the assistant for intergovernmental affairs and public liaison for Joe Biden; she also worked for the Kerry campaign and served in various capacities for then First Lady Hillary Clinton.

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Consular Affairs to Get a New Boss — Michele Bond Nominated as Assistant Secretary

– Domani Spero

 

On September 9, President Obama announced his intent to nominate  Michele Thoren Bond as the next Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs. Ms. Bond has been the Acting A/S for the CA bureau since the retirement of Janice Jacobs this past spring.

Photo via Embassy Maseru/FB

Photo via Embassy Maseru/FB

The WH released the following brief bio:

Michele Thoren Bond is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the Department of State (DOS), a position she has held since December 2012.  Since April 2014, she has also served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs at DOS.  From 2010 to 2012, she served as the Ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho and from 2007 to 2010, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Overseas Citizens Services at DOS.  From 2006 to 2007, Ms. Bond was the Director of the Office of Policy Coordination and Public Affairs in the Bureau of Consular Affairs at DOS.  From 2003 to 2006, she served as a Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and she was Managing Director for Overseas Citizens Services at DOS from 2001 to 2003.  From 1999 to 2001, Ms. Bond was the Director of Consular Training at the Foreign Service Institute.  Since joining the Foreign Service in 1977, she has also served in Guatemala City, Guatemala; Belgrade, Serbia; Prague, Czech Republic; and Moscow, Russia.

Ms. Bond received a B.A. from Wellesley College, an M.A. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and an M.A. from the National War College.

She is married to Clifford G. Bond, a retired Foreign Service Officer and former Ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Ms. Bond speaks Spanish, French, Serbian, and Swedish.  Her official state.gov bio also includes the following:

Ambassador Bond received a Presidential Award for Meritorious Service in 2013, and the Mary A. Ryan Award for Outstanding Public Service in 2010. She and her team at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow received a national Public Service award in 1998 for their initiatives in support of adoptions in Russia and seven other formerly Soviet nations.

Click here for an interview she did when she was ambassador to Lesotho.

Ms. Bond will still need to go through the Senate confirmation process  but we expect that she will get confirmed just as soon as the most deliberative body gets its interpersonal disharmony worked out.

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Officially In: Jess L. Baily — From Turkey to Macedonia

– Domani Spero

 

On July 8, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Jess L. Baily as Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia. The WH released the following brief bio:

Jess L. Baily, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is the Deputy Chief of Mission in Ankara, Turkey, a position he has held since 2011.  From 2010 to 2011, Mr. Baily served at the Department of State as Director of the Office of Southeast European Affairs.  From 2008 to 2010, Mr. Baily served as Director of the Office of United Nations Political Affairs and previously served as Leader of the Regional Reconstruction Team in Erbil, Iraq from 2007 to 2008.  Mr. Baily served as the Director of the Washington Foreign Press Center from 2005 to 2007 and as Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands from 2002 to 2005.  From 1998 to 2002, he served as a Cultural Affairs Officer and subsequently as an Information Officer/Spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara.  Before the United States Information Agency (USIA) merged with the Department of State, Mr. Baily served as USIA’s Representative to the American Foreign Service Association in Washington, D.C. from 1996 to 1997.  He was a Senior Advisor in the Office of the USIA Deputy Director from 1995 to 1996 and USIA Desk Officer for Francophone West Africa from 1994 to 1995.  From 1992 to 1994, Mr. Baily served as the Binational Center Director at the U.S Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.  He also served at U.S. Embassies in Dakar, Senegal and Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Before joining the Foreign Service in 1985, he worked at AMIDEAST in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Baily received a B.A. from Yale University and an M.A. from Columbia University.

U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Jess L. Baily joined the audience #ankaracazfestivali #raulmidon — at ODTÜ KKM - Kemal Kurdaş Salonu. via US Embassy Ankara/FB

U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Jess L. Baily (R) joined the audience #ankaracazfestivali #raulmidon — at ODTÜ KKM – Kemal Kurdaş Salonu.
via US Embassy Ankara/FB

The Certificate of Demonstrated Competence submitted to SFRC says in part:

Jess Lippincott Baily, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as Deputy Chief of Mission in Ankara, Turkey where he skillfully manages a complex mission in a NATO ally in the heart of a critical region. In February 2013, he expertly led the response to a suicide bombing of the Embassy. His years of experience in Europe, strong inter-agency and management skills, and public diplomacy expertise will enable him to further bilateral relations with the Government of Macedonia and engage effectively with both the Macedonian public and important institutions.

This is Mr. Baily’s first ambassadorial appointment. He would succeed  career diplomat Paul Wohlers who was sworn in as the sixth U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia by Secretary Clinton on August 11, 2011. All ambassadors appointed to Macedonia to-date have been career diplomats.

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Today at the SFRC: Crocker (IO), Lawson (ICAO), Wood (USCD)

– Domani Spero

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is holding its confirmation hearings for President Obama’s nominees for  the International Organization AffairsInternational Civil Aviation Organization and the Conference on Disarmament .

Presiding: Senator Markey
Date: Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Time: 03:00 PM
Location: Senate Dirksen 419

Webcast:

This hearing is scheduled to be live webcast. Please return to this page to view the hearing live or see the nominees’ prepared statements.

Nominees:

  • Ms. Bathsheba Nell Crocker
    of the District of Columbia, to be an Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs

Bathsheba N. Crocker is the Principal Deputy Director in the Office of Policy Planning at the Department of State (DOS), a position she has held since 2011.  Previously at DOS, she served as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of State from 2009 to 2011.  From 2008 to 2009, Ms. Crocker was a Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer for International Affairs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  She was the Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support at the UN Peacebuilding Support Office from 2007 to 2008.  From 2005 to 2007, Ms. Crocker was the Deputy Chief of Staff to the UN Special Envoy at the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery.  Ms. Crocker worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project as a Fellow and Co-Director from 2003 to 2005 and as an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations from 2002 to 2003.  Ms. Crocker was an Attorney-Adviser for the Office of the Legal Advisor at DOS from 2001 to 2002 and from 1997 to 1999.  From 2000 to 2001, she was Deputy U.S. Special Representative for Southeast Europe Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy.  From 1999 to 2000, Ms. Crocker was Executive Assistant to the Deputy National Security Advisor for the National Security Council at the White House.  She has served as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University, and American University.  Ms. Crocker received a B.A. from Stanford University, an M.A. from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. (Via)

  • Mr. Michael Anderson Lawson 
    of California, for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as Representative of the United States of America on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization

Michael Anderson Lawson is the immediate past President of the Los Angeles World Airports’ Board of Airport Commissioners.  He has been a member of the Board of Airport Commissioners since 2005 and held the position of President of the Commission since 2011.  From 1980 to 2011, he practiced law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP where he served as partner since 1995.  From 1978 to 1980, he was a staff attorney at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.  Mr. Lawson is a member of the Board of Trustees of Morehouse College, Loyola Marymount University, The Advancement Project, the Music Center at the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, the California State Teachers Retirement System Board, and the Community Redevelopment Agency Oversight Board for the City of Los Angeles.  Mr. Lawson received a B.A. from Loyola University in Los Angeles and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. (Via)

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Today at the SFRC: Bauchus (China), Chacon (DGHR), Smith (INR)

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–Domani Spero

Today, the  Senate Foreign Relations Committee is holding its confirmation hearing for President Obama’s nominee for the next ambassador to China, the Director General of the Foreign Service and the Assistant Secretary for the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research.  You know where all the attention will be.

Via sfrc

Via sfrc

Presiding: Senator Menendez

Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Time: 10:00 AM

Location: Senate Dirksen 419

Webcast: This hearing is scheduled to be live webcast. Please return to this page to view the hearing live and see the nominees prepared testimonies:

Panel One:

The Honorable Max Baucus (see WH announcement)
of Montana, to be Ambassador to China

Panel Two:

The Honorable Arnold Chacon (see WH statement)
of Virginia, to be Director General of the Foreign Service
The Honorable Daniel Bennett Smith (see WH statement)
of Virginia, to be Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research
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Ambassador David Shear: From Vietnam to DOD’s Asian and Pacific Security Affairs (APSA)

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– Domani Spero 

Last month, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Ambassador David B. Shear to be the next Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs in the Department of Defense. The WH released the following brief bio:

Ambassador David B. Shear is the U.S. Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, a position he has held since 2011.  From 2009 to 2011, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State (DOS).  Previously, he was the Director of the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at DOS.  Mr. Shear joined the Foreign Service in 1982 and has served in Sapporo, Beijing, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, and Washington, D.C.

Mr. Shear received a B.A. from Earlham College and an M.A from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and has attended Waseda University, Taiwan National University, and Nanjing University.

US Embassy Vietnam: CODEL McCain - Jan 18-20, 2012

Ambassador David Shear with Senator John McCain
US Embassy Vietnam: CODEL McCain – Jan 18-20, 2012

APSA is responsible for oversight of security cooperation programs and foreign military sales programs within the regions under its supervision. It looks like it covers East Asia, South & Southeast Asia and Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia.

If confirmed. Ambassador Shear would succeed Mark Lippert who was appointed to the position in 2011 and confirmed by the Senate in 2012. In May 2013, Mr. Limpert became the Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense. Dr. Peter R. Lavoy who served as the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs (APSA) is reportedly leaving this month. Ambassador Derek J. Mitchell, the current U.S. Ambassador to Burma was previously the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for APSA.

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Related item:
December 19, 2013 | President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

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Officially In: Douglas Silliman — From Iraq to Kuwait

– Domani Spero

On December 12, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Douglas Alan Silliman as the next Ambassador to the State of Kuwait. The WH released the following brief bio:

Douglas Alan Silliman, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, was most recently Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, a position he held since 2012.  From 2011 to 2012, he was Counselor for Political Affairs in Baghdad.  Before serving in Iraq, he was Deputy Chief of Mission in Ankara, Turkey from 2008 to 2011.  Mr. Silliman was Deputy Director and then Director of the Office of Southern European Affairs in the Department of State from 2004 to 2007. From 2000 to 2004, he was Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan.  His previous assignments in the Department of State include Regional Officer for the Middle East in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Desk Officer in the Office of Soviet Union Affairs, Lebanon Desk Officer and Staff Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs.  His overseas assignments with the Department of State include Political Officer in Islamabad, Pakistan, Visa Officer in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and Political Officer in Tunis, Tunisia.  He joined the Foreign Service in 1984.

He received a B.A. from Baylor University and an M.A. from the George Washington University.

This is Mr. Silliman’s first ambassadorial appointment.  If confirmed, he would succeed career diplomat, Matthew H. Tueller who was appointed to post in 2011. Kuwait is one of the 42 posts where the appointees have traditionally come from the career service.All of the last 17 ambassadors appointed as chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait came from the Foreign Service.

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Officially In: Peter A. Selfridge—From WH to State Dept’s Chief of Protocol

– Domani Spero

On December 12, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Peter A. Selfridge as the next Chief of Protocol, with the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service at the Department of State. The WH released the following brief bio:

Peter A. Selfridge is currently the Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Advance & Operations at the White House, a position he has held since 2011.  He previously served as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Advance in 2011, and Director of Advance for the Vice President from 2009 to 2011.  Mr. Selfridge served as Deputy Director of Advance for both the Presidential Transition Office and Obama for America from 2008 to early 2009.  Prior to this, he worked as the Los Angeles City Director at the Clinton Climate Initiative and as a Public Affairs Consultant from 2005 to 2007.  From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Selfridge served as Associate Director in the Office of Scheduling and Advance for John Kerry for President.  He was Senior Associate and Associate at Citigate Communications/Citigate Sard Verbinnen from 2001 to 2003.  Mr. Selfridge was a Media Logistics Coordinator for the Gore-Lieberman campaign in 2000 and from 1997 to 2000, he served as a Policy Analyst for The City of New York, Department of Citywide Administrative Services.  Mr. Selfridge was Director of Scheduling Correspondence and Deputy Director in the Office of Scheduling and Advance at the White House from 1995 to 1997.  From 1993 to 1995, he served as Legislative Correspondent and Staff Assistant in the office of Senator Tom Harkin.

Mr. Selfridge received a B.A. from the University of Iowa and an M.I.P.P. from Johns Hopkins University.

If confirmed, Mr. Selfridge would succeed Capricia Marshall who was appointed Chief of Protocol from from 2009 until her departure this past summer.  When her departure was reported by WaPo in May 2013, Reliable Source noted that she was the “most visible link between State’s tight-knit group of Clinton loyalists and the Obama White House” and one of the last of the Hillary Clinton insiders at the State Department to depart.  This Daily Beast farewell piece says that one of her accomplishments was “Creating the Patrons of Diplomacy Program with Secretary Clinton and raising $20 million to endow the elegant Diplomatic Reception Rooms.”

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December 12, 2013 | President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

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Officially In: Robert A. Wood — from USEU to the Conference on Disarmament

– Domani Spero

On December 12, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Robert A. Wood, for Rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as United States Representative to the Conference on Disarmament. The WH released the following brief bio:

Robert A. Wood, a Career Member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is Chargé d’Affaires at

English: Robert A. Wood is the State Departmen...

Robert A. Wood was  a State Department’s Deputy Spokesman and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the U.S. Mission to the European Union.  From 2010 to 2013, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna, Austria.  From 2008 to 2010, Mr. Wood was the State Department’s Deputy Spokesman and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs.  From 2004 to 2008, he served as the Press Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany.  Prior to his assignment to Berlin, he was Deputy Spokesman at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York from 2001 to 2004.  Mr. Wood has been a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State and the former U.S. Information Agency since 1988.  In Washington, Mr. Wood has worked as a public affairs advisor for the Bureau of African Affairs, as a Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, and in several positions dealing with the Balkans.  Mr. Wood has also served in public affairs positions in Mexico City, Mexico; Lagos, Nigeria; Islamabad, Pakistan; and Pretoria, South Africa.

He received a B.A. from The City University of New York.

This is Mr. Wood’s first ambassadorial appointment. If confirmed, he would succeed Laura E. Kennedy who was United States Representative to the Conference on Disarmament at USUN in Geneva from March 2010-May 2013.

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Related item:

December 12, 2013|  President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

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US Mission France: Ambassador Rivkin Departs Paris For State Dept’s Econ and Biz Bureau

– Domani Spero

Ambassador Rivkin permanently departed Paris on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 after more than four years as chief of mission. President Obama nominated Ambassador Rivkin to serve as Assistant Secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. He received the U.S. flag flown over the U.S. Embassy until September 11, 2013

Photo via US Embassy Paris

Photo via US Embassy Paris

The WH released the following brief bio on October 30, 2013.

Ambassador Charles H. Rivkin is the U.S. Ambassador to France and Monaco, a position he has held since 2009.  From 2005 to 2009, Ambassador Rivkin was the President and CEO of W!LDBRAIN, an award-winning film and television show production company.  From 1988 to 2003, he served in various roles for The Jim Henson Company, most recently as the President and CEO.  Previously, Ambassador Rivkin was an analyst in Corporate Finance at Salomon Brothers from 1984 to 1986.  Before his service as Ambassador, he served on the boards of various companies and organizations, including Save the Children from 1997 to 2003 and Chrysalis from 1996 to 2002.  From 1996 to 2009, he was a Member of the Young Presidents Organization and from 2007 to 2009 he was a Member of the Pacific Council on International Policy.  Ambassador Rivkin received a B.A. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

If confirmed, Ambassador Rivkin will succeed Jose W. Fernandez who was appointed assistant secretary to EB from 2009-2013.  In late October, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP announced that Mr.  Fernandez had joined its firm as a partner in the New York office.  At Gibson Dunn, Mr. Fernandez will reportedly focus his practice on mergers and acquisitions and finance in emerging markets in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

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