On February 17, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Mark A. Pekala as the next Ambassador to the Republic of Latvia. The WH released the following brief bio:
Mark A. Pekala, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, is currently the Director of the Entry-Level Division in the Bureau of Human Resources. Previously, he served as the Deputy Chief of Mission in France (2007-2010), Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (2005-2007), and the Deputy Chief of Mission in Estonia (2002-2005). In 2001, Mr. Pekala was Director for Russian Affairs for the National Security Council. Mr. Pekala’s previous Washington posts have included: Senior Watch Officer in the Department of State Operations Center; Special Assistant to the Ambassador-at-Large for the New Independent States; and Russia Desk Officer. Additional overseas assignments have included: First Secretary to the U.S. Mission to NATO in Belgium; Political Officer in Azerbaijan; and a Consular Officer in Poland.
Mr. Pekala received a B.A. from the University of Michigan, an M.I.A. from Columbia University, and an M.Phil. from Columbia University.
If confirmed, Mr. Pekala would succeed career diplomat, Judith Garber who was appointed by President Obama to the US Embassy in Riga in 2009.