Diplomatic Security’s Gregory Starr Heads to the UN

On May 6th, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Gregory B. Starr of the United States as chief of United Nations security, replacing David Veness, who resigned last year in the wake of the 2007 terrorist attack against UN facilities in Algiers.

Mr. Starr is currently the State Department’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security and Diplomatic Security Service Director. As Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, he is the number two officer in charge of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), the security and law enforcement arm of the State Department.

According to his State bio, Mr. Starr concurrently serves as Director of the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). In this position, Mr. Starr manages the day-to-day operations of some 32,000 Special Agents, Diplomatic Couriers, Security Engineering Officers, Security Technical Specialists, and other professionals who make up DS’s global security and law enforcement force.

Mr. Starr’s new title is Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security. The UN announcement is here. His State Department official bio is here. No word on who will succeed him as numero dos over at DS.

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Officially In: Ellen Tauscher to “T,” Andrew Shapiro to “PM”

Yesterday, May 5th, President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals for key administration posts at the State Department: Ellen O. Tauscher, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security (T) and Andrew J. Shapiro, Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs (PM).


Ellen O. Tauscher, Nominee for Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security

Ellen O. Tauscher is a seven term member of Congress serving California’s 10th Congressional District. She chairs the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee and the New Democrat Coalition. Throughout her career, Congresswoman Tauscher has been a leader on national security and nonproliferation issues. During her tenure, she has introduced legislation to increase and expand our nation’s nonproliferation programs, strengthen arms control regimes and provide our troops with the support and equipment they deserve. In addition, she has improved our nation’s missile defenses by conducting greater oversight of the Missile Defense Agency and making sure that our military has fully tested and reliable systems. She also represents two of the nation’s nuclear laboratories, Livermore and the California campus of Sandia, as well as Travis Air Force Base. She is a member of the NATO Parliamentary assembly where she serves as the Vice Chair for the Future Security and Defense Capabilities Subcommittee of the Defense and Security Committee.

Before winning a Congressional seat in 1996, she worked as an investment banker. At age 25, she was one of the first women to hold a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood education from Seton Hall University.


Andrew J. Shapiro, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs

Andrew Shapiro is currently a Senior Advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Prior to joining the State Department with the Secretary, he served from 2001 to 2009 as Senator Clinton’s Senior Defense and Foreign Policy Advisor. In this position, he was Senator Clinton’s primary policy advisor on national security issues including Senator Clinton’s work on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Previously, Mr. Shapiro was counsel to the Justice Department’s International Competition Policy Advisory Committee, and was an associate at the Washington, DC law firm Covington & Burling.

He received a B.A. cum laude with honors distinction in Diplomatic History from the University of Pennsylvania and a joint law/master’s in international affairs degree from Columbia University where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Prior to attending law and graduate school, he worked as a senior research assistant at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Andrew Shapiro is recipient of the Gold Star Wives of America Appreciation Award and the National Guard Association’s Patrick Henry Award. He is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies.


Related Item:

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 05-05-09

Quick Update on State Department Nominations – May

Nominations Clear SFRC: Carson, Daalder, de Baca


Not a lot of news update to report from the nomination front. Philip Gordon is still stuck in the Senate (see Philip Gordon: Snared in Senate Hold and More).

Yesterday, May 5th, at the SRFC: Committee ordered favorably reported the following nominations of Johnnie Carson, of Illinois, to be Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ivo Daalder, of Virginia, to be United States Permanent Representative on the Council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Luis C. de Baca, of Virginia, to be Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking. See Congressional Record below:

The above nominations are now items *105, *106 and *107 respectively in the Senate Executive Calendar dated May 6. No info yet on when these nominations will be voted on by the full Senate.

Meanwhile, the Koh and Burk nominations are reportedly on hold in the senate panel, courtesy of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). The SFRC is now scheduled to take up these nominations during its business meeting on May 12th.

Mar 23, 09 PN225 Department of State
Harold Hongju Koh, of Connecticut, to be Legal Adviser of the
Department of State.

Mar 18, 09 PN208 Department of State
Susan Flood Burk, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Executive Service, to be Special Representative of the President, with the rank of Ambassador.

On pending nominations — the following eight nominations are currently pending in the SFRC with no scheduled hearing dates as yet:

Apr 29, 09 PN384 Department of State
Eric P. Goosby
of California, to be Ambassador at Large and Coordinator of United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS Globally.

Apr 27, 09 PN375 Department of State
Robert Orris Blake, Jr.
of Maryland, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs.

Apr 27, 09 PN374 Department of State
Daniel Benjamin
of the District of Columbia, to be Coordinator for Counterterrorism, with the rank and status of Ambassador at Large.

Apr 27, 09 PN373 Department of State
Kurt M. Campbell
of the District of Columbia, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (East Asian and Pacific Affairs).

Apr 20, 09 PN318 Department of State
Philip J. Crowley
of Virginia, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Public Affairs).

Apr 20, 09 PN317 Department of State
Jeffrey D. Feltman, of Ohio, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Near Eastern Affairs).

Apr 20, 09 PN316 Department of State
Bonnie D. Jenkins
of New York, for the rank of Ambassador during her tenure of service as Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs.

Apr 20, 09 PN315 Department of State
Judith A. McHale
of Maryland, to be Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy.

Quote: Who conducted diplomacy during the war?

“Who conducted American diplomacy before and during the war? The answer is: most definitely not Cordell Hull, our longest-serving Secretary of State (1933-1945). Mr. Hull is remembered best for two things: setting policy on trade tariffs and getting out of the way when the White House wanted to make policy. Harry Hopkins, Sumner Wells and other special agents were FDR’s real policy-makers at that time. As Hull himself put it, “If the President wishes to speak to me, all he has to do is pick up that telephone of his, and I’ll come running. But it’s not for me to bother the president.” The State Department was very much out of the loop for much of the diplomacy of World War II. For example, at the Tehran Conference, which decided much of the structure of postwar Germany, no State Department representative was present, only military officers from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This trend has since continued, with growing influence of the military in foreign policy decision-making.”

Jack Zetkulic
Senior Foreign Service Officer
Excerpted from U.S Diplomatic History in Brief – a Foreign Service Perspective
(From Historical Sketches: US Diplomacy)

Condi Rice: In Her Own Words

“No dear, you’re wrong … we did not torture anyone”

Did she really? Did the former National Security Adviser and the 66th Secretary of State really said all those things that are ricochetting around the blogosphere? Let’s see …

Um …that did not go down outstandingly well, did it? It spawned sparks around the net, here, here , here and here. Even former Nixon White House counsel John Dean waded in.

On Sunday, May 3rd at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, Dr. Rice was back on the public sphere, at the podium this time for the Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Lecture (h/t to CQ for the transcript, read it here).


In the Q&A after the lecture, she talked a bit about her professorial skills on that video taken by Stanford student, Reyna Garcia:


Dr. Rice:

“This is really hard, right? This is a very hard issue. And I think the debate about it is appropriate and I don’t have any problem debating it. I was asked this by a Stanford student, famously now, on YouTube. And I thought two things: I thought you know, good, we should be talking about this. I also thought I need to work on my professorial skills a little bit – I think I’ve been in Washington a little too long in the way that I talked to the student.”


Yes, she did say, “We were as deaf and dumb and blind on September 10th as you could possibly be.”

Dr. Rice:

“But I do think that it is important to do this in a context of remembering the times and in giving people the benefit of the doubt that these were people of good will – and I mean everybody who was doing this – who had the hardest possible dilemmas and choices before them. There were second-wave attacks planned. We knew virtually nothing about how al Qaeda operated. We were as deaf and dumb and blind on September 10th as you could possibly be.

Now, the president in that context – in that circumstance – said what more can we do to protect the country? But he was very clear every time I talked to him – every time he talked to any of us – but it has to be within our legal obligations – both our international obligations and our domestic obligations. That is why we saw an opinion from the Justice Department and ultimately, from the attorney general himself, about what our obligations were and what the agency was proposing and how – whether or not this was legal.”


And what she said earlier, this was what she meant, “This was not a Nixon/Frost moment.”

Dr. Rice:

“Now, there’s been another confusing statement – I said at one point that it was, therefore, a given that the president – if the president authorized it, it was legal. This was not a Nixon/Frost moment. What I intended to say or what I meant to say about this is, the president said I won’t authorize anything that is illegal. It’s not that because he authorized it, it was legal. No, that’s a tautology. It was that he said, I won’t authorize anything that’s illegal.

Dong ma?

There’s really not much to add except to say … ya know … the Chinese has a popular saying that goes like this, “More talk more mistakes, less talk less mistakes, no talk no mistake.”

Um … read the whole thing here (pdf), then sit back and wait for the next installment in this series. I’ll go watch Josh Whedon’s Dollhouse.