DCMs in the News

Deputy Chiefs of Mission (DCM) are not as often in the news as ambassadors. In most cases, the top two embassy officials have the outside/inside arrangement, with the ambassador dealing with outside matters (bilateral relations) and the DCM dealing with the inside matters of running the diplomatic mission.

But this past week we have three of them in the news!

In Africa:

U.S. Embassy Khartoum Charge d’Affaires Alberto M. Fernandez and USAID officials traveled to El Fasher, North Darfur, including a visit to Zam Zam Internally Displaced Person (IDP) Camp, and reported that “the arrival of more than 36,000 IDPs fleeing recent fighting in the past two months between armed opposition groups and the Sudanese government in South Darfur has severely strained Zam Zam camp’s limited resources.”

In Central and South Asia:

India’s Business Standard reports that despite the presence of Steven J. White, regarded by many as a competent deputy chief of mission of the US embassy in New Delhi, reports indicate that Ambassador A. Peter Burleigh, is going to “temporarily” fill in as ambassador to India. I could not find an official statement from the State Department but PTI has quoted the Acting Spokesman:

“Ambassador A Peter Burleigh’s temporary appointment as Charge d’Affaires reflects the strong emphasis the US places on highest-level representation and continuity in US-Indian relations,” Gordon Duguid, Acting Deputy Spokesman of the State Department, told PTI.

In Foggy Bottom:

Spencer Ackerman reports on Holbrooke’s Bureaucratic Switches at Foggy Bottom, concerning Paul W. Jones, the former deputy chief of mission in the Philippines. Jones has reportedly been installed about two weeks ago as deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia (SCA) and will be “dual-hatted, still reporting to Holbrooke, but also to Assistant Secretary Richard Boucher.” If true, a couple of folks have not received the memo: in the US Embassy Manila website, Jones is still listed as the deputy chief of mission; the SCA Bureau does not have any Jones listed — yet.

Read Spencer Ackerman’s Holbrooke Emerges as Power Center at State