Bureau of Counterterrorism’s Tina Kaidanow Moves to Pol-Mil Affairs, Justin Siberell Now Acting Coordinator

Posted: 1:35 am EDT
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The Bureau of Counterterrorism leads the Department of State in the whole-of-government effort to counter terrorism abroad and to secure the United States against foreign terrorist threats.

Via state.gov:

In 1994, Congress officially mandated the Bureau of Counterterrorism in Public Law 103-236 [H.R. 2333]. In 1998, Congress further defined the role of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism in Public Law 105-277 [H.R. 4328]:

“There is within the office of the Secretary of State a Coordinator for Counterterrorism…who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate…. The principal duty of the coordinator shall be the overall supervision (including policy oversight of resources) of international counterterrorism activities. The Coordinator shall be the principal adviser to the Secretary of State on international counterterrorism matters. The coordinator shall be the principal counterterrorism official within the senior management of the Department of State and shall report directly to the Secretary of State…The Coordinator shall have the rank and status of Ambassador at Large.”

Ambassador Tina Kaidanow who served as Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism (State/CT) since February 2014 has officially moved to the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs where she was designated Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State on February 22, 2016.  It looks like she is dual-hatted and is also the Acting Assistant Secretary for the PM bureau.

We’re not exactly sure when but Justin H. Siberell has also been designated as the Acting Coordinator for Counterterrorism. Mr. Siberell entered the Foreign Service in March 1993, and joined the CT Bureau in July 2012.   He is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and was recently confirmed by the Senate to the rank of Minister-Counselor. Below is a brief bio via state.gov:

Before joining the CT Bureau, Mr. Siberell was Principal Officer in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Other overseas assignments include service at U.S. Embassies and Consulates in Baghdad, Iraq; Amman, Jordan; Alexandria, Egypt; and Panama City, Panama.

In Washington, Mr. Siberell completed tours in the State Department Operations Center and Executive Secretariat; as Desk Officer for Iran in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs; and as Executive Assistant to the National Security Advisor at the White House.

Mr. Siberell was raised in California, and attended the University of California at Berkeley where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History.

Mr. Siberell is a 2002 graduate of the State Department’s Arabic Language Field School in Tunis, Tunisia. Mr. Siberell speaks Arabic and Spanish.

With some ten months left in this administration, we don’t know if there will actually be a new nominee for the counterterrorism bureau. The CT coordinator is ambassador rank and requires a Senate confirmation.  Is there a nominee waiting in the wings?  Even if there is one, it’s hard to say if that individual could even get confirmation, which seems to be worse than pulling an elephant’s teeth these days.  The leadership of the Bureau of Counterterrorism currently includes the following officials:




Burn Bag: Foreign Service Promotion Eligibility Self-Certification and Potential Grievance

Via Burn Bag:

“ALDAC 16 State 27420 sent Mar 15, 2016 on Foreign Service Promotion Eligibility Self-Certification.  Recommend that employees pass on this.  If you complete the process and later discover an error, HR/G will use your electronic OK to deny your grievance.  The cable does not mention AFSA.”

via Doctor Who Tumblr

via Doctor Who Tumblr

Note that the anonymous “Burn Bag” submissions are not verified information. The submissions are provided “as-is” for informational purposes only. Submissions are edited for length as needed. While we typically do not/are not able to follow-up entries, we occasionally attempt to look into the subject of a submission, as we will in this case.  We hope to post something in a bit, email us if you want to share your thoughts.



Joint @StateDept and EPA Embassy Air Quality Fellowship Application Now Open

Posted: 1:22 am EDT
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Via state.gov:

Applications are now being accepted for a joint U.S. Department of State (DOS) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air quality monitoring fellowship program. This fellowship is a vital component of DOS and EPA’s collaborative efforts to help improve the availability of continuous air quality data worldwide.

The fellows will volunteer for one year of collaborative technical and/or policy support for an “adopted” U.S. embassy that is implementing an air quality monitoring program. The fellow is expected to provide 10-20 hours of virtual support monthly to their host embassy. There may be opportunities for paid overseas travel to visit the embassy, collaborate with the host foreign government, and provide training to U.S. staff and other entities.

The ideal candidate is a U.S. citizen who has air quality monitoring expertise and/or an understanding of policy efforts and health impacts. Information about the program is available at http://state.gov/dosair, and the direct link to the application is http://fluidsurveys.com/surveys/state-gdi/fellowship-application/. The application period is now open and will end on April 8, 2016. Please note that this is a separate fellowship from the Embassy Science Fellowship program.

Announced by Secretary of State John Kerry and Administrator Gina McCarthy in February 2015, the DOS/EPA partnership recognizes air pollution as a serious and growing health threat worldwide. Yet, in many areas, real-time air quality data is unavailable. In 2016, the DOS/EPA program will provide data from 24 U.S. missions overseas to EPA’s AirNow platform. This data can help U.S. citizens and government personnel overseas make informed health decisions and mitigate health risks from air pollution, as well as enhance the availability of ambient air quality data and expertise around the world.

For further information, please contact dosair@state.gov and visit state.gov/dosair (all lowercase).