Officially In: Judith Ann Stewart Stock to ECA

On December 4, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Judith Ann Stewart Stock to be Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).

Ann Stock is currently the Vice President of Institutional Affairs at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Ms. Stock oversees the Center’s expanded efforts to increase its national and international profile and manages the Center’s International Arts Management Programs. She also supervises the Government Relations Office, Press Office and Office of Institutional Affairs.

From 1993-1997, Ms. Stock was Deputy Assistant to former President Clinton and the Social Secretary at The White House. Prior to that, Ms. Stock served as Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for Bloomingdale’s Department Stores for ten years. Ms. Stock was also Deputy Press Secretary to Vice President Walter F. Mondale during the 1980 Presidential election campaign.

Ms. Stock has a B.A. from Purdue University.

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The Department of State established a Bureau of International Cultural Relations on Jun 1, 1959, and subsequently renamed it the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs on Apr 17, 1960. The following year, the Department elevated the position of Special Assistant for Coordination of International Educational and Cultural Relations, which headed the Bureau, to the rank of Assistant Secretary of State. The Department had first established a Division of Cultural Relations in 1938. Cultural relations was also part of the responsibilities of the first Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs created in 1944. In 1978 the Bureau was abolished and its functions transferred to the International Communications Agency (subsequently the U.S. Information Agency) under Reorganization Plan No. 2 (91 Stat. 1637). On October 1, 1999, pursuant to the integration of the U.S. Information Agency into the Department of State this position was revived. Secion 2305 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1998 and 1999 (112 Stat. 2681-825) increased the number of Assistant Secretaries of State from 20 to 24.

Since 1961, only one career diplomat had been appointed to this position (Lucius Battle of Florida). If confirmed, Ms. Stock would replace Iranian-American politician and businesswoman, Goli Ameri who was appointed Assistant Secretary to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs from 2008-2009.

Brief bio above via Chicago Sun-Times, December 4, 2009. The text of the official nomination does not appear to be posted in the WH website. But the nomination was sent to the Senate and was posted online the same day. Thanks for Rick K. for the poke on this nomination; almost missed this.

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