This is a Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 lawsuit involving an African-American Special Agent in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security who joined the State Department in 2002. In September 2013, he joined State’s Office of Mobile Security Deployments (MSD). Excerpt below from the May 31, 2020 Memorandum of Opinion by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia:
Viewing the complaint in the light most favorable to Hill, it alleges facts to support all three elements of this type of race discrimination claim. First, it alleges that “Hill and Whitaker were the only African American Team 2 members and that the Caucasian Team members had been complaining about them, admitting they did not respect them, and requesting transfers to get away from them since the month after Hill took over as Team Leader.” Compl. ¶ 118. The complaint enumerates multiple instances where the Caucasian team members complained about Hill, see, e.g., id. ¶¶ 23, 24, 31, 39, 42, and sought his removal from his leadership position, see, e.g., id. ¶¶ 45, 46, 49. And the ongoing dispute over the Caucasian team members’ use of the baboon logo and their joking references behind Hill’s back to the baboon logo as “racist,” id. ¶ 19, give rise to a reasonable inference that the Caucasian team members’ treatment of Hill was racially discriminatory. Second, “State admits it removed Hill based on the complaints from the Caucasian Team 2 members, making their complaints the proximate cause of the actions taken against Hill.” Id. ¶ 117. Third and finally, a fair inference can be drawn that Collura and Rowan, Hill’s supervisors, should have known that the Caucasian team members’ complaints were racially motivated. See id. ¶ 120. The complaint alleges: (1) a clear fissure between Hill and Whitaker and the Caucasian team members from the very start of Hill’s tenure, see id. ¶¶ 19–29; (2) that Hill complained to his supervisors about team members defying his order not to use the racially offensive baboon logo, see id. ¶ 47; and (3) that several of the Caucasian team members’ complaints about Hill had a questionable basis, see, e.g., id. ¶ 37, 43; yet, (4) “[m]anagement acted on the Team’s accusations against Hill without investigating the facts,” id. ¶ 120. Accepting all of these allegations as true, Collura and Rowan acted negligently by not investigating the Caucasian team members’ complaints before removing Hill from his leadership role.3 And because Collura and Rowan acted negligently with respect to the information the Caucasian team members provided, the racial bias of the team members is imputed to them. See Vasquez, Inc., 835 F.3d at 276. Accordingly, the Court will deny the Secretary’s motion to dismiss the race discrimination claim based on Hill’s removal from his leadership position. 4
4 In contesting this conclusion, the Secretary places heavy reliance on Tallbear v. Perry, 318 F. Supp. 3d 255 (D.D.C. 2018). In that case, the Court dismissed a Title VII race discrimination claim by a plaintiff who alleged that her co-workers had continued to use the word “Redskins” in spite of her objection to the term. Id. at 260–61. But Tallbear’s co-workers used the term in the context of discussing the Washington Redskins, a local professional football team, and there was no indication that they used the word as a racial slur or directed it at Tallbear herself. Id. at 261. Here, in stark contrast, Hill has alleged that his team members explicitly referred to the baboon logo as “racist” and ordered hundreds of dollars’ worth of baboon-branded gear behind his back after he, the team leader, explained why the logo was offensive and ordered the team to stop using it. Compl. ¶ 19. Moreover, and more importantly, Hill’s co-workers engaged in extensive and targeted efforts to remove him from his supervisory role, see id. ¶¶ 23, 24, 31, 39, 42, 45, 46, 49, and those efforts ultimately succeeded, id. ¶ 56.
Background excerpted from court record:
The Office consists of several teams of agents who deploy worldwide to provide specialized training to overseas personnel, as well as security support for potential and actual crises. Id. ¶ 10. At all times relevant to this case, Hill’s first-level supervisor was Justin Rowan, and his second-level supervisor was Nicholas Collura, Deputy Director of the Office. Id. ¶ 11. Both Rowan and Collura are Caucasian. Id.
In March 2014, Hill was assigned to Team 2 of the Office as its Team Leader. Id. ¶ 12. Another Special Agent, Steven Whitaker, was assigned to Team 2 at that same time. Id. ¶ 15. Both Hill and Whitaker are African American. Id. When Hill and Whitaker joined Team 2, the team consisted of four members, all of whom were Caucasian. Id. ¶ 14. The four Caucasian team members described themselves as close friends. Id.
When Hill and Whitaker joined Team 2, each of them found a printed image of a baboon—the team’s unofficial logo—at their new desks. Id. ¶ 16. Both Hill and Whitaker were offended by the logo. Id. When Hill officially took over as Team Leader in May 2014, Hill held a team meeting. Id. ¶ 18. At this meeting, Hill explained that he found the baboon logo offensive because of the history of racially derogatory references to apes. Id. Hill instructed the members of Team 2 to stop using the baboon as the team logo. Id.
The Caucasian members of Team 2 continued to use the baboon logo nevertheless. Id. ¶ 19. After Hill banned the logo, the Caucasian team members used their government email accounts to order hundreds of dollars’ worth of baboon coins, badges, stickers, and hats. Id. They jokingly referred to the baboon logo and the word baboon as “racist.” Id. They did not tell Hill or Whitaker that they were ordering the baboon gear. Id. Hill soon discovered that his team members were disregarding his order, though; one agent’s phone lock screen was the baboon image and another agent was handing out baboon coins to soldiers and local contacts. Id. ¶ 20
Reuters reported last week that CWT (formerly Carlson Wagonlit Travel) was hit with a strain of ransomware called Ragnar Locker, which encrypts computer files and renders them unusable until the victim pays for access to be restored. “Hackers who stole reams of sensitive corporate files and said they had knocked 30,000 computers offline.”
Elsewhere it is reported that the hackers “may have stolen 2 terabytes of data, allegedly including thousands of global executives credentials. This is particularly worrisome given CWT provides travel services to as much as 33% of the Fortune 500.”
ITNews notes that “CWT, which posted revenues of US$1.5 billion last year and says it represents more than a third of companies on the S&P 500 US stock index, confirmed the attack but declined to comment on the details of what it said was an ongoing investigation.”
The news mainly talks about the 2 terabyte of sensitive files exfiltrated which supposedly include global executive credentials, but a CWT division, CWTSatoTravel is one of two contractors awarded a master contract by GSA “responsible for soliciting and managing travel for the U.S. military and government clients.” Government clients include the State Department where Carlson Wagonlit manages its travel management center.
According to GSA, the U.S. Federal Government is the largest consumer of travel services in the world. ETS2, the government’s current Travel & Expense management solution, serves an active user base of over 1 million Civilian Government employees, and was used for 86 percent of all civilian agency travel in 2017.
ETS2 is a competitively bid master contract with two vendors providing agencies travel and expense software, hosting, and support services based on fixed-price transaction fees, which is a unique program within the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS).
Competitively bid ETS2 contracts were awarded to:
- Concur Technologies, Inc., of Redmond, WA, in June 2012; and
- CWTSatoTravel, of Arlington, VA, in September 2013.
CWTSatoTravel is the division of Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) responsible for soliciting and managing travel for the U.S. military and government clients. CWT is a global leader specialized in managing business travel and meetings and events.
The 2019 DOS Financial Report describes its Travel Systems Program
In 2016, the Department successfully transitioned to the next generation of the E-Government Travel Services (ETS2) contract with Carlson Wagonlit Travel. In 2016, the Department also implemented the Local Travel module allowing for the submission of local travel claims for expenses incurred in and around the vicinity of a duty station. The Department expanded the use of the Local Travel feature to also accommodate non-travel employee claims previously submitted through an OF-1164. In the Local Travel module, approvers will electronically approve claims and provide reimbursement to the employee’s bank account via EFT. The Department has completed this implementation for 118 posts overseas.
The Department continues to work with our bureaus and posts to identify improvements that can be made to the travel system. The Department also participates with other agencies to prioritize travel system enhancements across the Federal Government landscape. The Department worked with Carlson Wagonlit Travel to enhance the functionality of the Local Travel feature to more closely align with the temporary duty travel functionality for foreign currency and approver expense reduction options. The Department continues to work with Carlson Wagonlit Travel on enhancements to support integration improvements with our financial systems. The Department continues to work with Carlson Wagonlit Travel on enhancements to support the implementation of the Local Payments module domestically and has initiated work to implement mobile capabilities for approvals and reservations.
Somebody asked if anyone has publicly acknowledged that the initial hack may imply a massive potential personally identifiable information (PII) leak on the scale of the eQIP compromise.”
The company released a statement to The Register saying “we have no indication that PII/customer and traveller information has been affected.”
Has Foggy Bottom said anything?
But the online chat room where the ransom negotiations took place was left online, giving a rare and *incredibly* interesting insight into how these things actually go down pic.twitter.com/WmkI19Dxt8
— Jack Stubbs (@jc_stubbs) July 31, 2020
— The Register (@TheRegister) July 31, 2020
In 2014, the Germany’s ambassador to the Netherlands was reported to be in attendance in a commemoration at the German War Cemetery in Ysselsteyn, located in Eastern Netherlands close to the German border, and where many SS soldiers are apparently buried.
This piece notes that “of the 32,000 German war graves at Ysselsteyn, an estimated 3,000 are for fighters of the ‘Waffen SS”, a Nazi elite unit whose men were responsible for the murder of countless Jews during the Holocaust.”
JTA reported that Ysselsteyn cemetery is also a place where neo-Nazis have gathered in the past to honor Nazi soldiers buried there. Ysselsteyn is the largest German war cemetery in the world. According to WW2 Cemeteries, the war dead on this site include Germans, Dutch, Poles and Russians who fought on the side of the German military.
Last week, the U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Peter Hoekstra not only visited the cemetery but also tweeted about his visit writing, “A terrible reminder of the cost of going to war and why we must always work towards peace.”
I never imagined I would see this:
A US ambassador paying tribute to Nazi German fighters & occupiers. Including SS
I don’t care if they’re dead or alive, & I don’t care how long it’s been
Wish I could visit graves of my family the SS killed but I can’t: they were incinerated. https://t.co/aVD0ahJeK1
— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) July 30, 2020
Via Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Volume 22:
TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTEENTH DAY Monday, 30 September 1946
The Race and Settlement Office of the SS, together with the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle, were active in carrying out schemes for Germanization of occupied territories according to the racial principles of the Nazi Party and were involved in the deportation of Jews and other foreign nationals. Units of the Waffen-SS and Einsatzgruppen operating directly under the SS Main Office were-used to carry out these plans. These units were also involved in the widespread murder and ill-treatment of the civilian population of occupied territories. Under the guise of combating partisan units, units of the SS exterminated Jews and people deemed politically undesirable by the SS, and their reports record the execution of enormous numbers of persons. Waffen-SS divisions were responsible for many massacres and atrocities in occupied territories such as the massacres at Oradour and Lidice.
Units of the Waffen-SS were directly involved in the killing of prisoners of war and the atrocities in occupied countries. It supplied personnel for the Einsatzgruppen, and had command over the concentration camp guards after its absorption of the Totenkopf SS, which originally controlled the system. Various SS Police units were also widely used in the atrocities in occupied countries and the extermination of the Jews there. The SS central organization supervised the activities of these various formations and was responsible for such special projects as the human experiments and “final solution” of the Jewish question.
…the SS was instructed that it was designed to assist the Nazi Government in the ultimate domination of Europe and the elimination of all inferior races. This mystic and fanatical belief in the superiority of the Nordic German developed into the studied contempt and even hatred of other races which led to criminal activities of the type outlined above being considered as a matter of course if not a matter of pride. The actions of a soldier in the Waffen-SS who in September 1939, acting entirely on his own initiative, killed 50 Jewish laborers whom he had been guarding, were described by the statement that as an SS man, he was “particularly sensitive to the sight of Jews,” and had acted “quite thoughtlessly in a youthful spirit of adventure,” and a sentence of 3 years imprisonment imposed on him was dropped under an amnesty. Hess wrote with truth that the Waffen-SS were more suitable for the specific tasks to be solved in occupied territory owing to their extensive training in questions of race and nationality. Himmler, in a series of speeches made in 1943, indicated his pride in the ability of the SS to carry out these criminal acts. He encouraged his men to be “tough and ruthless,” he spoke of shooting “thousands of leading Poles,” and thanked them for their co-operation and lack of squeamishness at the sight of hundreds and thousands of corpses of their victims. He extolled ruthlessness in exterminating the Jewish race and later described this process as “delousing.” These speeches show that the general attitude prevailing in the SS was consistent with these criminal acts.
Kip Whittington is a Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Department of State who has served in the Middle East and Latin America. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. government.
Below excerpted from War on the Rocks:
Professional Reflections: The U.S. Foreign Service of Today
I recall day one of my A-100 Foreign Service orientation class, a moment of true excitement and anxiety for any new Foreign Service officer preparing to embark on a journey to an unknown destination. For me, it was a career that would scratch the itch for public service and the fascination with foreign cultures, politics, and cuisine. But as I took a seat and searched the room, I noticed my class consisted of two black officers, including myself, out of 75 (my wife’s class had one, seven years prior). Weeks later, I was pleased to see the subsequent orientation class with substantially more people of color, but I soon learned the majority were hired through fellowship programs designed to increase diversity at the State Department. A monumental step, but I wondered: Why the glaring distinction with non-fellowship hires? It is such a stark one that minority officers are often assumed to be fellows, as if that is the only way racial and ethnic minorities can enter the field. The perception will likely not change soon, as only 7 percent of the U.S. Foreign Service is represented by employees who identify as black, a mere 1 percent increase since 2002.
In 2020, the U.S. diplomatic corps, regrettably, does not represent the true diversity and talent of the United States. And it shows.
It shows every time a visa applicant asks to speak to a “real American” at the interview window, as an Asian-American colleague experienced. The interviewee demanded he speak to a supervisor, looking over my colleague’s shoulder for the “pale, male, and Yale” American who surely must have been around the corner. My colleague granted the request, inviting the consul to the window. The consul was Afghan-American. I relished the satisfaction of imagining the applicant’s facial expression in that moment. But now, six years after the encounter, knowing only 6 percent of Foreign Service employees are of Asian descent, I ponder what assumptions remain about U.S. citizens in the minds of those we interact with abroad.
Currently serving foreign service officer Kip Whittington writes essay on issues of racism and diversity within the State Department https://t.co/2d155fcPEF
— Robbie Gramer (@RobbieGramer) July 31, 2020
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Democratic Staff issued a report ‘Diplomacy in Crisis: The Trump Administration’s Decimation of the State Department’ on July 28. If you’ve been following the goings on at State, there’s not a lot of surprises in this report. Never mind the swagger by the WSOS in modern times, but one has to be living in a parallel universe not to see the sad and distressing state of the Department of State.
Quick excerpts below:
- Vacancies and acting officials at the Department have persisted through two Secretaries of State, despite numerous commitments to fill key positions.
- Three and a half years into the Administration, 11 Assistant Secretary or Under Secretary posts—more than one-third—are vacant or filled by acting officials.
- As of July 2020, more than half of Senate-confirmed Department positions have been filled at least once by someone who had not been confirmed.
- Career public servants report that senior leadership exhibits a sense of disrespect and disdain for their work, prompting many to leave and contributing to a loss of expertise at the Department.
- Senior leadership’s lack of accountability and refusal to defend career employees against attacks has contributed to declining morale and a drop in confidence in leadership.
- From 2016 to 2019, employees in key bureaus reported steep increases in fear of reprisal for reporting suspected violations of law and declining confidence in senior Department leadership.
This report makes 10 recommendations aimed at reversing the downward trends in morale, strengthening protections for employees, and ensuring that the individuals leading our foreign policy are of the caliber that the American people deserve in their diplomats.
- Rebuild and retain expertise in the State Department’s ranks.
- Reduce barriers to restoring lost expertise and for former diplomats and civil servants to return to the Department.
- Promote more career employees to senior positions.
- Increase diversity at senior ranks and throughout the Department.
- Formalize the State Department exit survey process.
- Initiate a review of how the “corridor reputation” system at the Department enables or exacerbates the challenges outlined in the report.
- Restore and commit to minimum vetting standards for nominees.
- Prioritize and fill senior leadership slots.
- Maintain an independent Inspector General.
- Enforce accountability for improper personnel practices and management.
Chapter 4 presents “some of the more concerning trends reported by the Department’s employees—results that are not evident in the aggregated Department-wide data that the State Department has released—which provide critical and troubling insights into the consequences of corrosive and negligent leadership on our diplomatic corps.231”
Some of the trends highlighted by the report are as follows:
- Office of the Legal Adviser (L):
A 34 point increase among those reporting that the Department’s senior leaders did not maintain high levels of honesty and integrity, rising from 0 percent in 2016 to 34 percent in 2019.
- Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM):
An almost ten-fold increase in the percentage of respondents reporting that senior leaders did not maintain high standards of honesty and integrity, rising from 3 percent in 2016 to 29 percent in 2019.
- Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism (CT):
A nearly two-fold increase in the percentage of respondents who reported that their senior leaders did not generate high levels of motivation and commitment, increasing from 28 percent in 2016 to 55 percent in 2019.
- Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR):
An eight-fold increase in the percentage of respondents reporting that the Department’s senior leadership did not maintain high standards of honesty and integrity, rising from 3 percent in 2016 to 24 percent in 2019.
- Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO):
A nearly tripling in the percentage of respondents reporting that senior leaders at the State Department did not maintain high standards of honesty and integrity, increasing from 12 percent in 2016 to 35 percent in 2019.
Note: Indeed the aggregated report publicly available does not include any of that. Click here (PDF) for what the State Department released to the public. Like, what concerning trends, hey?
The DGHR notes that “the results show satisfaction with supervisors and with the work itself remains strong. The results indicate that the Department’s challenge areas relate to performance management, fairness, and perceptions of leadership.” Yay!
Note: Click here (PDF) for the nice Message from Director General Carol Z. Perez Regarding the 2019 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Results and Next Steps.
The report has a section on Measurable Damage to Integrity, Leadership, and Workplace Culture
The mass exodus of senior and mid-level leadership, and a drop in interest of joining the Foreign Service coincides with a large drop in the Department’s ranking of workplace culture and sinking morale levels. After consistently ranking as one of the top five large federal government agencies to work at since 2012, the State Department fell from a ranking of 4 in 2016 to 8 in 2017 after the Trump presidential transition.266 After a year of Trump administration leadership, the Department’s ranking dropped even more in 2018, from 8 to 14.
The Partnership for Public Service’s Best Place to Work historical rankings from 2003 to 2019 is available to download here (see Scores and Rankings) with the State Department ranking as follows for large agencies:
#8 (2017) worse than 2010 at #7 and 2011 at #7
#14 (2018) worse than 2005 at #10 but hey, not as bad 2003 at #19, right?
#13 (2019) one step up the hole, but still worse than 2005 at #10 and not as bad 2003 at #19.
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) July 28, 2020
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 30, 2020
My service was so brief and indistinguished, I always take pains not to overstate it so as not to be accused of stolen valor, and then the worst kind of ringknocker tool pulls this junk https://t.co/by34AgKxXn
— Adam Weinstein (@AdamWeinstein) July 30, 2020
.@timkaine to Pompeo: "You might think is silly. But when someone works for their entire career for the State Dept, & they are slandered with lies … that sends a message that could not be clearer to other State officials. And it may just be all a big joke. Look at you smiling." pic.twitter.com/9PNYfds3FO
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 30, 2020
Forget Putin, it's meddling by America's evangelical enforcer that should scare us | Simon Tisdall https://t.co/2kQCV8qeDj
— Guardian Australia (@GuardianAus) July 26, 2020
OPEN TECHNOLOGY FUND, et al., Plaintiffs, v. MICHAEL PACK, in his official capacity as Chief Executive Officer and Director of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, Defendant
For nearly 80 years, international broadcasting sponsored by the United States has served as a trusted and authoritative global news source, a forum for the expression of diverse viewpoints on the most pressing topics of the day, a model of journalistic excellence and independence, and a beacon of hope for those trapped within authoritarian regimes. Despite being funded by American taxpayers, U.S. international broadcasting has typically remained free of governmental interference. Indeed, its autonomy and its commitment to providing objective news coverage has often been viewed as key to its ability to advance the interests of the United States abroad. Our country’s commitment to this model of cultural export has largely been viewed as a rousing success, helping to undermine and topple some of history’s most oppressive regimes—including Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union—by spreading freedom and democracy around the globe. The current Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of the United States Agency for Global Media (“USAGM”)—the defendant, Michael Pack—is accused of putting this legacy at serious risk. Since taking office less than a month ago, Pack has upended U.S.-sponsored international broadcasting. Most relevant to the current dispute, on June 17, 2020, Pack unilaterally removed the operational heads and directors of four USAGM-funded organizations—Open Technology Fund (“OTF”), Radio Free Europe (“RFE”), Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (collectively, “Networks”)1—and replaced the directors with five members of the current Trump Administration as well as an employee of Liberty Counsel Action, a conservative advocacy organization.
Pack’s actions have global ramifications, and plaintiffs in this case have expressed deep concerns that his tenure as USAGM CEO will damage the independence and integrity of U.S.- sponsored international broadcasting efforts. If they are correct, the result will be to diminish America’s presence on the international stage, impede the distribution around the world of accurate information on important affairs, and strengthen totalitarian governments everywhere. Yet, Congress has decided to concentrate unilateral power in the USAGM CEO, and the Court cannot override that determination. If Pack’s actions turn out to be misguided, his appointment by the President and confirmation by the Senate points to where the accountability rests: at the ballot box. Based on an evaluation of plaintiffs’ likelihood of success on the merits, the solution is likely not in this Court.
Read in full here:
If you vote by mail, think of Election Day as October 20 or sooner. The post office is advising 14 days round trip for ballots and even then no promises on any delivery date. We sent 100 mock ballots thru the mail to see how many actually made it. Watch: https://t.co/VKJXzW8gld
— Tony Dokoupil (@tonydokoupil) July 27, 2020
That's right! We recommend voters register and request their #absentee ballots by August 1 to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Get started here: https://t.co/hkk8htNxBl. https://t.co/Q9RpSMzinX
— FVAP.gov (@FVAP) July 23, 2020
Are you a #USCits abroad voting absentee for the first time or in a long time? Follow this thread with tips on registering and requesting your #absenteeballot. #Election2020 #ProudOverseasVoter (1/5) pic.twitter.com/IRcuQvTZmO
— FVAP.gov (@FVAP) June 30, 2020
It's National Vote By Mail Day. Voting by mail is easy and safe. Take a few minutes to request your vote-by-mail ballot, then get your family and friends to do the same. Request your ballot early, send it back early, and fill it out carefully. Get started: https://t.co/pmWQqs4PbB pic.twitter.com/JlOWmkJG57
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 28, 2020
On July 27, the WH announced the president’s intent to nominate retired US Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Germany. The WH released the following brief bio:
Colonel Douglas Macgregor, United States Army (Retired), of Pennsylvania, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Federal Republic of Germany.
Colonel Douglas Macgregor is a decorated combat veteran, author, and a consultant. Colonel Macgregor is widely recognized as an expert on force design and grand strategy. He is a frequent radio and television commentator on national security affairs and his writings on military affairs have been influential in the transformation of United States ground forces, NATO, and the Israeli Defense Force.
During his military career, Colonel Macgregor worked in support of Ambassador Holbrooke’s team during the Proximity Talks in Dayton, Ohio. Later, he worked closely with senior military and political leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany as the Chief of Strategic Planning and, subsequently, as the Director of the Joint Operations Center at Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe, during the Kosovo Air Campaign.
Colonel Macgregor earned a B.S. degree from the United States Military Academy and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Virginia. He is the recipient of numerous awards from his military service, including the bronze star with “V” device for valor for his leadership under fire.
There are currently 75 nominations pending on the Executive Calendar; with 51 nominations pending in the SFRC. Of the 51 nominations, 17 are currently listed for consideration during the SFRC’s business meeting on July 29, as well as seven FS lists.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens with these nominations.
Senate calendar (PDF) indicates that the Senate will be in session August 3-7; Sept 8-25,30; Oct 1-9, then 2 weeks in November after the elections, and three weeks in December with December 18 as its target date of adjournment.
Even if political appointees get confirmed next week and are able to travel to post immediately, that leaves the new appointees with barely 20 weeks in office. They won’t even have six months to adjust to their new jobs, much less their new host country.
Trump has announced "his intent to nominate" retired Army colonel Douglas Macgregor as the next US ambassador to Germany. One of Macgregor's qualifications: He's a frequent Fox News guest… https://t.co/IttvXVBeKK
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 27, 2020
US President Donald Trump named retired army colonel Douglas Macgregor as ambassador to Germany. https://t.co/F1L39TnHNf
— DW News (@dwnews) July 28, 2020
What does the President’s nominee for Berlin think? Interesting interview with Colonel Douglas Macgregor on Two Failed Wars and Why He Supports Ron Paul for President | The Daily Bell https://t.co/kj5KXZ1z5z
— Wolfgang Ischinger (@ischinger) July 27, 2020
GOP donor/California dermatologist-turned-ambassador wants:
-A stab-resistant vest
-Door-to-door armored vehicle service.
He was in Iceland, one of the safest countries in the world. He left for Calif. and wants to work remotely.https://t.co/ne8ocpKJrF
— David Beard (@dabeard) July 26, 2020
We are United to defeat the Invisible China Virus! 🇺🇸🇮🇸 https://t.co/7X1k5S7dNb
— Ambassador Gunter (@USAmbIceland) July 20, 2020
NEW: Woody Johnson, billionaire NFL owner & US ambassador to UK, was investigated by State OIG after allegations he made racist & sexist comments to staff & sought to use his gov't post to benefit Trump's personal biz in UK
(w. @kylieatwood & @NicoleCNN) https://t.co/1JfZ9S9N3F
— Jennifer Hansler (@jmhansler) July 22, 2020
NEW: Trump asked the US ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson, to see if the British government would steer the British Open to his Turnberry golf resort in Scotland. W/@jakesNYT & @maggieNYT https://t.co/7KVFxQ7df6
— Mark Landler (@MarkLandler) July 21, 2020
US Ambassador to Eswatini, Lisa Peterson, directly criticises king Mswati III and his family for their profligacy when the people of Eswatini are suffering from dire poverty. pic.twitter.com/xMrEsijIt4
— Rejjie Snow Stan Account (@Tioranta) July 26, 2020
The US Ambassador to Swaziland (eSwatini) Lisa Peterson has called for the kingdom's constitution to be changed to stop absolute monarch King Mswati III's lavish spending.https://t.co/00lZqyhDxv
— The African Heralds (@AfricanHeralds) July 28, 2020
Zimbabwe brands US ambassador 'a thug' as crackdown on dissent intensifies https://t.co/nOh3yKtTPe
— The Guardian (@guardian) July 28, 2020
— Tibor Nagy (@AsstSecStateAF) July 28, 2020
Blaming the summer heat, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea lopped off a bit of facial hair that had reminded some of brutal colonial Japan https://t.co/WgtnXhCBve
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) July 27, 2020
Glad I did this. For me it was either keep the 'stache or lose the mask. Summer in Seoul is way too hot & humid for both. #COVID guidelines matter & I'm a masked man! Enjoyed getting to know Mr. Oh & appreciated his heartfelt words about how much he values the #USROKAlliance. https://t.co/ja2WMD49Fr
— Harry Harris (@USAmbROK) July 25, 2020