On June 11, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key administration posts:
The career diplomats:
- Pamela J. H. Slutz, Ambassador to the Republic of Burundi
- Gordon Gray, Ambassador to the Republic of Tunisia
- Richard J. Schmierer, Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman
- Martha L. Campbell, Ambassador to the Republic of the Marshall Islands
- John R. Nay, Ambassador to the Republic of Suriname
The political appointees:
- Alfonso E. Lenhardt , Ambassador to the United Republic of Tanzania
- Mark Gitenstein, Ambassador to Romania
- Howard W. Gutman, Ambassador to Belgium
- Don Beyer, Ambassador to Switzerland and the Principality of Lichtenstein
- Vinai Thummalapally, Ambassador to Belize
The WH folks are actually pretty savvy about rolling out these ambassadorial nominees, I think. The names are released in batches — yeah, like cookies, so the attention is spread around and is not concentrated on a single nominee. So far, except on a couple of individuals, the WH has also mixed a sprinkle of career diplomats with non-career, political appointees with every batch (yesterday’s announcement is half and half, not a sprinkle). And they seem to like making these announcements on late Thursdays; the last batch was announced on June 4th.
AFSA is keeping a tally; I think the FS union is still hoping to bring the non-career appointees down to 10%. I don’t think that’s gonna happen. A more realistic figure after all this is over might be somewhere between 20%-25%. I am betting that President O. would like this mark — beat President Carter’s record of 24%, the lowest political ambassadorship appointments since the Kennedy years.
More on the new appointees later…