— Domani Spero
Update on 5/7/14: Names of a few more special envoys during the Albright era added.
We were looking into mushrooms one day (problematic backyard lawn) and stumbled upon “The cleverness of mushrooms.” The article says that “exactly how mushrooms proliferate is still poorly understood.” Hey, we thought — isn’t that kind of the same thing when it comes to special advisors, special envoys and special representatives proliferating inside the State Department?
Exactly how it’s done is still poorly understood.
For instance, Secretary Madeleine Albright (1997-2001) had, can you believe it, two. There was Theresa A. Loar, the Coordinator for International Women’s Issues. Then there was Norman Neureiter, the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State. If there were more, they were not listed in the secretary’s archive.
Update on 5/7/14: A few more special envoys during the Albright era, not reflected on the state.gov archive (Thanks Michael T.):
- Rev Jesse Jackson, Special Envoy for the President and the Secretary of State for the Promotion of Democracy in Africa.
- Amb Richard Bogosian, Special Coordinator for Rwanda and Burundi, 1996-1997
- Dr. Howard Wolpe, Special Envoy of the President and the Secretary of State to the Burundi peace negotiations, then Special Envoy of the President and Secretary of State to Africa’s Great Lakes region.
- Amb Howard F. Jeter, Special Envoy for Liberia
- Amb Paul Hare, Special Representative to the Angolan Peace Process, 1993-2001
Also, according to state.gov’s archive, there were fourteen senior folks including “Special Envoys” and “Special Representatives” at the State Department from 2001-2009 encompassing the tenure of Secretary Colin Powell (2001-2005) and Secretary Condoleezza Rice (2005-2009).
- Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary, Dr. Nina V. Fedoroff
- Senior Adviser on Women’s Empowerment: Dr. Shirin Tahir-Kheli
- Senior Adviser, Coordinator for Iraq: David M. Satterfield
- Senior Coordinator for Iraqi Refuee Issues: James B. Foley
- Senior Official for APEC: Patricia M. Haslach
- Senior Represenative to Sudan, Sudan Programs Group: Lauren R. Landis
- Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues: J. Christian Kennedy
- Special Envoy for Human Rights in North Korea: Jay Lefkowitz
- Special Envoy for Organization of the Islamic Conference: Sada Cumber
- Special Envoy for Somalia: John M. Yates
- Special Envoy for Sudan: Richard S. Williamson
- Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks: Sung Kim
- Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism: Gregg Rickman
- Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs: J. Frank Mermoud
During Secretary Hillary Clinton’s tenure (2009-2013) and presently under Secretary Kerry, the number of these special folks has grown by quite a bit. In six years, the State Department went from 14 special folks to something like four dozens. It is quite possible that there are more special and senior folks whose appointments/new desks have not yet made it to the official website. The number of senior advisors as opposed to the special advisors is even more difficult to find.
One example is Tom Perriello, the Special Representative for the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development (QDDR) Review appointed by Secretary Kerry in February 2014. His biography is live but he is not listed here. Another one not listed is Senior Advisor to the Secretary David H. Thorne, former U.S. ambassador to Italy and twin brother of Secretary Kerry’s first wife.
And by the way, we noticed that Special Advisor for Secretary’s Initiative Elizabeth Bagley was appointed on April 20, 2011. According to state.gov, her term of appointment is 04/20/2011 to present. Currently her bio page says “The biography for Special Adviser for Secretary Initiatives Elizabeth Bagley will be posted when available.”
You wait, and wait, and wait …. and nothing happens in three years like what, a turtle carrying the bio page is still circumnavigating the globe to get to Foggy Bottom?
We should note that while it was widely reported last year that the Gitmo Closure office had also been shuttered, Ambassador Daniel Fried was actually succeeded as Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure by Clifford M. Sloan, an attorney who previously served as Publisher of Slate Magazine and as a General Counsel at The Washington Post Company. Ambassador Fried is now the State Department’s Coordinator for Sanctions Policy.
In any case, here they are, the State Department’s Special Advisors, Special Envoys, and Special Representatives:
Civil Society and Emerging Democracies, Senior Advisor
–Civil Society and Emerging Democracies (Coordinator): Tomicah Tillemann
Climate Change, Special Envoy
–Climate Change (Special Envoy): Todd D. Stern
Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, Special Envoy
Great Lakes Region and the D.R.C., Special Envoy
–Great Lakes and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Special Envoy): Russell D. Feingold
In 2016, if you don’t want to compete for the ambassadorial sweeps, don’t forget these gigs. These positions are not advertised through usajobs.gov and more importantly, these jobs do not/do not require senate confirmations.
* * *
- US Sends Envoy to South Sudan (voanews.com)
- SPLM has no objection to individual sanctions on South Sudan, says Itto (sudantribune.com)
- Sec. Kerry Heads to Ethiopia, DR Congo, Angola; Nine Ambassadorial Nominees for Africa Still Stuck in Confirmation Chamber (diplopundit.net)
- Report: US Special Envoy To Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process Resigning (jpupdates.com)
- UN envoy: tough choice for Israel, Palestinians (dailystar.com.lb)