Confirmed: Meet the New Ambassadors Going to 27 US Embassies Soon

On August 5, the U.S. Senate confirmed the following executive nominations for the State Department:

PN1220 *     NIGER
Bisa Williams, of New Jersey, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Niger.

PN1668 *      PERU
Rose M. Likins, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Peru.

PN1669 *     ICELAND
Luis E. Arreaga-Rodas, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Iceland.

PN1762 *      COTE D’IVORIE
Phillip Carter III, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire.

PN1763 *      YEMEN
Gerald M. Feierstein, of Pennsylvania, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Yemen.

PN1764 *      COLOMBIA
Peter Michael McKinley, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Colombia.

PN1798 *      PALAU
Helen Patricia Reed-Rowe, of Maryland, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Palau.

PN1806 *       BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Patrick S. Moon, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

PN1807 *       REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Christopher W. Murray, of New York, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of the Congo.

PN1826 *      ZAMBIA
Mark Charles Storella, of Maryland, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Zambia.

PN1829 *      BURKINA FASO
J. Thomas Dougherty, of Wyoming, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Burkina Faso.

PN1830 *      GABON and SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE
Eric D. Benjaminson, of Oregon, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Gabonese Republic, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe.

PN1846 *      LEBANON
Maura Connelly, of New Jersey, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of The United States of America to the Republic of Lebanon.

PN1847 *     GREECE
Daniel Bennett Smith, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Greece.

PN1853 *      DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
James Frederick Entwistle, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

PN1864 *      CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Laurence D. Wohlers, of Washington, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Central African Republic.

PN1866 *      TIMOR-LISTE
Judith R. Fergin, of Washington, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.

PN1872 *      SERRA LEONE
Michael S. Owen, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Sierra Leone.

PN1875 *     CAMEROON
Robert Porter Jackson, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Cameroon.

PN1876 *      IRAQ
James Franklin Jeffrey, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Minister, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Iraq.

PN1877 *      CHILE
Alejandro Daniel Wolff, of California, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Chile.

PN1902 *     INDONESIA
Scot Alan Marciel, of California, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Indonesia.

PN1903 *      NIGERIA
Terence Patrick McCulley, of Oregon, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service,  class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

PN1945 *      JAMAICA
Pamela E. Bridgewater Awkard, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Minister, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Jamaica.

PN1946 *      LESOTHO
Michele Thoren Bond, of the District of Columbia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kingdom of Lesotho.

PN1947 *      MALAYSIA
Paul W. Jones, of New York, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Malaysia.

PN1948 *      PANAMA
Phyllis Marie Powers, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Panama.

CONFIRMATIONS — (Senate – August 05, 2010)

 [Page: S6991]  GPO's PDF
The following nominations are pending in the Senate as of August 5 and are currently listed in the Senate’s Executive Calendar for September 13, 2010:

DEPARTMENT OF STATE
  • Raul Yzaguirre, nominee for the Dominican Republic
  • Robert Stephen Ford, nominee for the Syrian Arab Republic
  • Mari Carmen Aponte, nominee for the Republic of El Salvador
  • Francis Joseph Ricciardone, Jr., nominee for the Republic of Turkey

UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
  • Mark Feierstein, of Virginia, to be an Assistant Administrator of USAID
  • Nisha Desai Biswal, of the District of Columbia, to be an Assistant Administrator of USAID
ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK: Robert M. Orr, of Florida

BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS: Richard M. Lobo, of Florida

OVERSEAS PRIVATE INVESTMENT CORPORATION: Mimi E. Alemayehou, of the District of Columbia


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US Sends Help to Pakistan Flooding Disaster

The UNICEF reports that more than 1,400 people are dead and more than a million children are in need of emergency assistance after the worst floods to hit Pakistan since 1929 devastated large parts of the country in recent days. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, located in the mountains of north-western Pakistan, is the province worst affected by the floods. Many of the province’s estimated 3.5 million residents lost their crops and saw their homes flooded, damaged or destroyed.

You can send help by texting the word “SWAT” to telephone number 50555 using your cell phone.  The text will result in a donation of $10 to the U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Pakistan Flood Relief Effort. Every $10 helps provide tents and emergency aid to displaced families.

Members of the Pakistan military help civilians unload from the back of
a U.S. Army (CH-47) helicopter in the town of Khwazahkela, during the
evacuation of civilians, as part of the disaster relief effort to help
the flood victims of Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province
(formerly North West Frontier Province), Pakistan, on August 5, 2010.
[U.S. Army photo/ Public Domain]
More photos here

Here is a map of the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan

Map showing the districts of the Federally Adm...
Image via Wikipedia
According to the US Embassy in Pakistan, the US Government response to the Pakistan flooding includes the following:
  • Six U.S. Army aircraft arrived today at Ghazi Airbase in Pakistan. The four CH-47 Chinook helicopters and two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. They will be operating in partnership with the Pakistan government throughout the flood-impacted areas to deliver much-needed relief supplies and provide transport to people who urgently need emergency assistance. 
  • A second consignment containing four additional water treatment units, 14 Zodiac boats with motors, 18 water storage bladders with distribution systems for drinking water and 30 concrete-cutting saws has been shipped to Peshawar for the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
  • A 25kw generator is being provided to the Frontier Scouts-KPk to support their flood relief efforts.
  • More than 460,000 halal meals from U.S. stocks in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region have been delivered to civilian and military officials in Pakistan. 
  • The U.S. has made an initial pledge of $10 million for humanitarian assistance under the supervision of Pakistan’s National Disaster Relief Authority.
  • U.S. helicopters assigned to Ministry of Interior’s 50th Squadron have airlifted a total of 733 people and transported 11,873 pounds of provisions to flood victims since July 30.
  • Four Zodiac inflatable rescue boats with power motors and two water filtration units– which provide pumping, purification, and distribution of potable water for up to 10,000 persons daily– are being provided for use in the affected area.
  • Twelve pre-fabricated steel bridges have been made available as temporary replacements for highway bridges damaged by flooding in Peshawar and Kurram Agency.
There is not much current news in the US Consulate General Peshawar website.  We did note that the newly arrived Consul General Elizabeth Rood was up and about with the delivery of halal meals to flood victims. The Facebook pages of US Emb Islamabad as well as US ConGen Karachi and US ConGen Lahore all carry the snapshots of US flood relief assistance to Pakistan but only the embassy has posted in its website the Fact Sheet.


A honeymoon in Baghdad and serving at "the tip of the spork"

At Night The Sporks Pick On MeImage by Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr

FSO Aaron Snipe was previously with the PRT in Muthanna (2008/2009). Somewhere in his blog, he writes about what he won’t miss about his PRT experience in Iraq: “Sharing a bathroom trailer with 200 other guys, who might be expert marksmen with a sniper rifle, but possess very little aim in other important areas of life.”  Tee-hee!  He is back in Iraq for a return engagement, this time at the US Embassy in Baghdad as Deputy Spokesman.  He also got married to his “Mrs. Huxtable” and then took his new bride for their honeymoon to where else? Baghdad! That would make a great story for “Huxtable” kids/grand kids later. For now, our best wishes to Aaron and his new bride, Praya.

From FS blog, Wing Tips on the Ground:     

Iraq’s capital would seem an unlikely place for a honeymoon, but we’re here together, and that means everything.  Gone are the days of trying to connect by phone and Skype, only to be denied a connection by a wicked sandstorm or power outage.
[…]
While blogging from Muthanna, I realized that I might have taken a few shots at my pin-striped diplomatic colleagues living the high life at the Embassy in Baghdad.  After having spent a year on a PRT in the middle of the desert, some diplomats (like me) have been known to develop a slight swagger in their step.  I won’t lie: I feel a certain pride in having served at the tip of the spear.  I once joked with a colleague that diplomats on PRTs serve at the tip of the spear, while the diplomats at the embassy serve at the tip of the spork  (my colleague from the Embassy was not amused).  When I volunteered to come back, this time to Baghdad, I knew I’d have to eat my words.

So with a napkin on my lap and utensils in hand, here I go: Working in Baghdad is not service at “the tip of the spork.”  Life in the Embassy is no country club – this is still Iraq (though, admittedly there is a pool and tennis court).  Certainly we enjoy amenities that our PRT and military colleagues don’t have out in the field.  But the diplomats and development professionals working at the embassy are engaged in some of the most important work being done in American diplomacy today.  As the US military draws down its forces, civilians who represent the United States in Iraq now take center-stage to implement the new relationship between our two countries.  Folks here put in long hours and are burning the candle at both ends.  I have a newfound appreciation for my colleagues in Baghdad, and I’m proud to count myself among them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a PRTer at heart and there’s still a little swagger left in my step.  But, I’m happy to be in Baghdad, and Mrs. Huxtable and I plan on having one hell of a year.

Check out Aaron’s old and new blog here.


Getting in bed with Robin Sage ….. no, it’s not what you think….

Description: Social Networking Source: own wor...Image via Wikipedia

I recently posted about that RSO who wanted to know about all your Facebook contacts.  I also mentioned in that post a piece about a fake femme fatale made up by Thomas Ryan to shows the risks of social networking. Well, I did not make it to Las Vegas but was able to find Ryan’s paper at the July BlackHat USA 2010 conference. Excerpts below:

  • Some of Robin’s male connections took a more assertive approach by offering her tickets to security conferences, complimenting her pictures, and presenting available job opportunities. Whether these same reactions would have been elicited towards another male is questionable.
  • With no experience at all, Robin was asked to review papers written by professionals with over 10 years experience. For example, a fellow lecturer at the NASA Ames Research Center sought out Sage’s knowledge and opinions pertaining to some of his papers and presentations.
  • The success of a network is directly tied to the people and connections that one forms. Effectively targeting a person can be done in various indirect ways. For example, one connection messaged Robin, “I’ve never met you, but I saw you had Marty on your Facebook list, so that was good enough for me.” This message encompasses the dangers of social networking when people fail to do their own research and instead, rely on other’s judgment.
  • Sage’s multiple security credentials combined with her occupation would lead one to believe that she had TS/SCI (Top Secret/Sensitive Compartment Information) Clearance with Polygraph. People’s trust in this identity could have very easily led to the sharing of information under the false premise that Robin Sage had expertise in the field.

Bottom line according to Ryan (and we’re most glad this was not the real thing like the one most recently returned to Russia): 

Much of the information revealed to Robin Sage violated OPSEC and PERSEC procedures. The deliberate choice of an attractive young female appears to have exposed the role that sex and appearance plays in trust and people’s eagerness to connect with someone. In conjunction with her look, Robin Sage’s credentials listed on her profile resulted in selection perception; people’s tendency to draw unwarranted conclusions in their attempt to make a quick decision. By acquiring a large number of connections, Robin had the ability to identify the individual who was positioned to provide the most intelligence based on their involvement in multiple government agencies. The false identity combined with carefully chosen false credentials led to a false trust that could have resulted in the breach of multiple security protocols.

Read the whole paper here.

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