Trump Nominates Career Diplomat Jonathan Cohen to be Deputy Representative at @USUN

Posted: 3:30 am ET

 

On February 8, the White House announced the nomination of career diplomat Jonathan Cohen to be Deputy Representative of the United States of America to the UN and Deputy Representative of the United States of America in the Security Council of the UN. The WH released the following brief bio:

Jonathan R. Cohen of California, to be Deputy Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations and Deputy Representative of the United States of America in the Security Council of the United Nations, with the Rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Representative of the United States of America to the Sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations, during his tenure of service as Deputy Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations.  Mr. Cohen, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, has served as an American diplomat since 1986.  He is currently Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, a position he has held since 2016.  He also served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq (2014-2016), Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France (2013-2014), Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Paris (2011-2013) and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus (2008-2011).  He has served at Embassies or Consulates in Bangkok, Jerusalem, Vienna (OSCE), Stockholm, Ankara and Rome as well as in senior leadership positions at the Department of State.  Mr. Cohen earned an A.B. at Princeton University.  He also studied at Georgetown University and at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.  He speaks French, Swedish and Italian.

This is Mr. Cohen’s first ambassadorial appointment. A longer bio at state.gov has additional details that includes assignments during Operation Northern Watch, and at CPA during the Iraq War, and service at the Secretariat Staff/Advance Teams for Secretaries of State Baker, Eagleburger and Christopher from 1991-1993:

A Foreign Service Officer since 1986, other previous assignments include: Ankara as Political Advisor to Operation Northern Watch, and Embassy Iraq Specialist 2000-2004; Political Advisor to the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance-North, Irbil, and member of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) Governance Team, Baghdad, April-July 2003; Stockholm as Political Officer 1996-2000; Vienna as Liaison to the Hungarian Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Executive Assistant to the Head of the OSCE Bosnia Mission 1995-1996; State Department (Washington, DC) as OSCE Desk Officer/NATO Bosnia Officer 1993-1995, and on Secretariat Staff/Advance Teams for Secretaries of State Baker, Eagleburger and Christopher 1991-1993; Jerusalem as USAID Coordinator and Economic Officer for the West Bank 1989-1991; and Bangkok as Consular/Refugee Affairs Officer 1987-1989.

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Trump Nominates Businessman David B. Cornstein to be U.S. Ambassador to Hungary

Posted: 3:09 am ET

 

On February 13, the White House announced the nomination of David B. Cornstein to be U.S. Ambassador to Hungary. The WH released he following brief bio:

David B. Cornstein of New York, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States to Hungary.  Mr. Cornstein is chairman of Pinnacle Advisors, Ltd and was previously CEO, president, and ultimately chairman emeritus of Finlay Enterprise, a billion-dollar NASDAQ Stock Exchange Company.  A native New Yorker, Mr. Cornstein served as chairman of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation and as vice chair of the city’s Economic Development Corporation.  He was also chair of the New York State Olympic Games commission and a board member of the Battery Park City Authority and of the Jacob Javits Development Corporation.   He has been recognized as Man of the Year by the Chemotherapy Foundation and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.  He earned his B.A. from Lafayette College and M.B.A from New York University.

If confirmed he would succeed Colleen Bradley Bell (1967–) who was appointed to the U.S. Embassy in Budapest from 2015-2017. We have to go back to the 1990’s to find the most recent career diplomat appointed to Hungary and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and that’s Charles H. Thomas (1934–1998) who served from  July 2, 1990–January 11, 1994. Note that career diplomat Mark A. Goodfriend (1957–) served as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim from September 2013–January 2015.  Other appointees who served in Budapest include George H. Walker (1931–)Herbert Claiborne Pell (1884–1961), and Martin Joseph Anthony Hillenbrand (1915–2005)

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Trump Nominates Georgette Mosbacher to be U.S. Ambassador to Poland

Posted: 2:51 am ET

 

On February 13, the WH announced the nomination of Georgette Mosbacher to be U.S. Ambassador to Poland. The WH released the following brief bio:

Georgette Mosbacher of Florida, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Poland. Ms. Mosbacher is President of Georgette Mosbacher Enterprises, Inc., an international business and marketing consulting firm she founded in 1992.  She also sits on the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, to which President Barack Obama appointed her in 2016.  From 2001 to 2015, Ms. Mosbacher served as CEO of Borghese Inc., a global cosmetics manufacturer.  Prior to that, she was CEO of La Prairie Worldwide from 1988 to 1992, and was Marketing Director at Fabregé from 1976 to 1980.  In 1995, she founded the New York Center for Children, which assists children and families in need across New York City.  She sits on the boards of the Atlantic Council, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which supports veterans and military families, and Business Executives for National Security.  Ms. Mosbacher also previously served as a Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee’s Finance Committee, and was the first woman to serve as the General Chairman of the Republican Governors Association.  A published author, she has written two books on female empowerment.  Ms. Mosbacher earned a B.S. from Indiana University Bloomington.

If confirmed, Ms. Mosbacher would succeed career diplomat Paul Wayne Jones (1960–) who was appointed to Warsaw in 2015. Previous appointees to this position include Stephen D. Mull (1958–), the only Career Ambassador ranked diplomat left in active service, and career diplomats Daniel Fried (1952–), and Christopher Robert Hill (1952–).  The most recent political appointee to this position was Lee Andrew Feinstein (1959–) who was appointed to Warsaw from 2009-2012.

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Trump Nominates Campaign Liaison Joseph Cella to be U.S. Ambassador to Fiji

Posted: 2:37 am ET

 

On February 13, the WH announced the nomination of Joseph Cella to be the next Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga and Tuvalu. The WH released the following brief bio:

Joseph Cella of Michigan, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States to the Republic of Fiji, the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of Nauru, the Kingdom of Tonga, and Tuvalu.  Mr. Cella, a respected businessman and committed community leader, has served since 2010 as Principal of the Pontifex Group, a consulting firm whose practice includes strategic and tactical counsel, communications, crisis management, public relations, political consulting, public policy, operational launching and enhancement, donor and investor prospecting and media advocacy.  For nearly two decades, Mr. Cella has worked in the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, political campaigns, and non-profit organizations.  In 2004, he co-founded a leading Catholic advocacy organization, Catholic Vote, a project of Fidelis, which has grown to more than 700,000 members.  He also founded and serves on the board of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast.  Mr. Cella earned a B.A. from Hillsdale College.

If confirmed, Mr. Cella would replace career diplomat Judith Beth Cefkin (1953–) who was appointed chief of mission in 2015. The last political appointee sent to Fiji was M. Osman Siddique (1950–) who served as chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Suva from September 13, 1999–June 30, 2001.

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Consular and Border Security Programs: Increases/Decreases in FY2019

Posted: 3:54 am ET

 

This is a follow-up post on the item we did on consular revenue forecasts last week (see@StateDept Revises Downward Its Consular Revenue Forecasts). The following summarizes projected obligations for Consular and Border Security Programs in FY2019, including increases/decreases from the FY 2018 Request.  These are the areas that get spending allocations from consular revenue generated by Consular Affairs. If the consular revenue continues to shrink, we think that the programs and offices below will see the impact with the decreased funds — from salaries to OBO and MED; and it won’t stop there.

via reactiongifs.com

Domestic Executive Support: $35,430,000

Domestic Executive Support includes $35.4 million in CA leadership and support operations. This amount will maintain core activities and programs, as well as new initiatives to increase operational efficiency, provide necessary staffing, improve customer service, and promote management best practices. The decrease of -$6.8 million from the FY 2018 Request is largely due to a reduction in contract service costs and a decrease in support costs related to the CA Domestic Facilities Planning Board.

Fraud Prevention Programs: $5,768,000

The Office of Fraud Prevention Programs (CA/FPP) strengthens the integrity of the consular process by building skills, developing techniques, and increasing data-sharing to enable consular personnel to detect fraud domestically and overseas. The FY 2019 Request of $5.8 million funds the overall operations required for CA to enhance U.S. border protection and security through fraud prevention work. The decrease of -$0.5 million from the FY 2018 Request is due to reductions in travel, fraud prevention workshops and purchases of equipment for the Counterfeit Deterrence Laboratory.

Visa Processing: $248,397,000

The Visa Services Directorate (VO) administers the visa portion of the U.S. immigration system, supporting overseas posts in visa adjudication. VO considers visa adjudications to be national security decisions and works with other agencies to screen all applicants efficiently and accurately for security threats and other potential ineligibilities. The FY 2019 Request of $248.4 million supports the reduced costs of adjudication for immigrant visas (IVs) and non-immigrant visas (NIVs), FBI fingerprint checks, screening workloads, and other support costs. This includes funding for the Affidavit of Support Program (AoS) and the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Program, as these two fees support overall VO services in the adjudicating and processing of visa requests. The decrease of -$73.6 million from the FY 2018 Request reflects reduced NIV demand and corresponding reductions to the FBI Fingerprint Checks reimbursements, purchase of visa products and consumables and overall costs for general visa operations.

Passport Directorate: $924,480,000

The Passport Services Directorate (PPT) adjudicates U.S. citizenship and nationality, determines entitlement, and issues U.S. passport documents to eligible U.S. citizens and nationals. These efforts help facilitate legitimate U.S. travel, trade, and tourism by providing secure travel documents to those eligible, thereby strengthening U.S. borders and national security. The FY 2019 Request of $924.5 million reflects a decrease of $98.3 million from the FY 2018 Request and includes funding for supplies and overhead costs for the production of U.S. travel documents, and supports the rollout of the Next Generation Passport (NGP) book, which are demand-driven expenses.

American Citizens Services: $17,467,000

The Directorate of Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) is responsible for the protection and safety of U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad, and provides emergency and nonemergency services to U.S. citizens. The FY 2019 Request of $17.5 million allows OCS to meet its protection and safety responsibilities for U.S. citizens residing and traveling abroad, including consular crisis management, protection of children, crime victim assistance, welfare and whereabouts of citizens, voter assistance, and emergency information programs, and emergency support to imprisoned and destitute citizens. This increase of $1.3 million from the FY 2018 Request is attributable to market research contract cost increases.

Consular Affairs Overseas Support: $938,037,000

Overseas consular posts provide the full range of consular services to U.S. citizens abroad and to foreign citizens who want to visit, do business in, or immigrate to the United States. The Request of $938.0 million maintains core programs that are coordinated and administered in Washington, D.C., but support worldwide consular operations. Funding decreases of -$353.1 million from the FY 2018 Request are attributable to revised calculation methods for overseas funding requirements and changing consular workload.

CBSP SUPPORT/DEPARTMENT OF STATE PARTNERS: $536,535,000

Bureau of Diplomatic Security: $66,174,000

The Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) coordinates and facilitates investigations involving U.S. and foreign travel documents. Investigations include fraudulent issuance, acquisition, and use of U.S. passports, and visa fraud cases including fraudulent issuance, procurement, counterfeiting, and forgery of U.S. visas. The FY 2019 Request of $66.2 million reflects a -$0.5 million decrease from the FY 2018 Request and realigns funding from Passport Services to fund security equipment at various passport facilities, and to realign funding from Visa Services to fund renovations at Kentucky Consular Center. It also supports domestic and overseas DS operations that combat fraud and human trafficking, and supports uniformed protection officers assigned to domestic CA facilities.

Foreign Service Institute: $25,921,000

The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) provides training in consular work, language studies, professional development, leadership, information technology, and security. The Request of $25.9 million consists of a -$1.7 million reduction from the FY 2018 Request for Consular and Professional Training due to increased distance learning and a reduction in IT training costs

Bureau of Overseas Building Operations: $264,421,000

The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) directs the worldwide overseas building program for the Department of State. OBO supports the overseas consular facilities, including office space (functional leases) and housing space (residential leases) for consular personnel, CA’s share of new embassy and consulate capital construction projects through the Capital Security Cost-Sharing Program (CSCS), and as necessary, targeted facility infrastructure improvement projects for consular sections overseas. The FY 2019 CBSP Request of $264.4 million, transferred to OBO’s ESCM appropriation, is a $0.4 million decrease from the FY 2018 President’s Request and results from reduced funding needed for functional leases and non-recurral of targeted facility improvement projects. The decrease is offset by a $31.5 million increase for CA’s share of CSCS.

Post Assignment Travel: $47,907,000

Post Assignment Travel (PAT) for overseas consular personnel includes training, travel, and change of station costs, including the shipment of personal effects and baggage. PAT is crucial for staffing worldwide missions with the trained Foreign Service staff needed to meet visa demand overseas. The FY 2019 Request of $47.9 million is a reduction of $0.8 million and refines cost calculations for overseas travel.

Bureau of Human Resources: $14,203,000

The Bureau of Human Resources (HR) provides onboarding and administrative support for domestic and overseas consular employees, to support the staff increases needed to address consular workload changes. The FY 2019 Request of $14.2 million reflects a $1.6 million increase from the FY 2018 Request and funds a new dedicated CA Limited Non-Career Appointments (LNA) subunit in HR related to gateway online testing and other support costs to facilitate the expeditious vetting of Consular Fellow candidates to fill consular staffing gaps overseas.

Bureau of Administration: $54,269,000

The Bureau of Administration (A) supports CA by operating and maintaining facilities at the National Visa Center (NVC) and National Passport Center (NPC) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC), the Charleston Regional Center (RCO), and SA-17, and CA’s headquarters building in Washington, D.C. The Bureau also offers technical expertise and assistance for incoming mail threat detection, ergonomic assessments of office environments, indoor air quality assessments, and other environmental health and safety programs at all CA-occupied facilities throughout the United States. The FY 2019 Request of $54.3 million includes contract cost adjustments. This request is a $1.0 million increase from the FY 2018 Request.

Bureau of Medical Services: $292,000

The Bureau of Medical Services (MED) safeguards and promotes the health and well-being of America’s diplomatic community worldwide. It provides medical clearances for employees filling consular positions, including Foreign Service Officers, LNAs, and Appointment Eligible Family Members (AEFMs).

CBSP STAFF / AMERICAN SALARIES: $644,812,000

Human resources are the most vital component of CBSP-funded programs and activities. The Department devotes a significant amount of effort and resources towards increasing efficiency and capacity in the visa and passport processes, ensuring adequate staffing levels both domestically and overseas. CBSP-funded payroll includes 4,914 funded positions in CA and in Department partner bureaus that receive CBSP funding.

Repatriation Loans: $789,000

The CBSP funds the administrative costs for the Repatriation Loans program, which assists destitute U.S. citizens abroad who have no other source of funds to return to the United States.

Comptroller and Global Financial Services (CGFS): $1,044,000

The Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services (CGFS) provides financial services in support of ongoing consular-related activities, including vouchering, payroll processing, accounts payable, receivables, and refund processing.

Confidential Investigations: $500,000

Confidential Investigations conducts certain law enforcement activities related to visa and passport fraud. The FY 2019 CBSP Request of $0.5 million funds the Office of Emergencies in the Diplomatic and Consular Services.

Bureau of Information Resource Management: $60,686,000

The Bureau of Information Resource Management (IRM) provides systems technology and backbone support for critical visa and passport systems. The FY 2019 Request of $60.7 million reflects a $0.4 million increase from the FY 2018 Request and supports all consular domestic and overseas IT initiatives such as Network Services, Enterprise Server Operations Center (ESOC) Hosting Services, Global IT Modernization (GITM) Program, SharePoint, and SMART. The increase is due to contract cost adjustments.

Office of the Legal Adviser: $329,000

The Office of the Legal Adviser (L) provides legal advice and services to Department of State bureaus and officials on consular-related matters, such as interagency efforts and international negotiations, benefits and services to U.S. citizens abroad, international children’s issues, international judicial assistance, and the performance of other consular functions by U.S. consular officers or U.S. protecting powers abroad.

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Special Rep for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun to Retire This Week

Posted: 2:55 am ET

 

Another senior FSO, a member of the shrinking minister-counselor ranks of the Foreign Service is heading for the exit. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun is stepping down later this week, a decision that he told reporters, “is really my decision.” NBC News says that Yun has “decided to retire for personal reasons,” according to a State Department spokesperson.

Ambassador Yun who was previously U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia (2013-2016) was appointed Special Representative for North Korea Policy and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (State/EAO) in October 2016.

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Suicide Attack With an Explosive Device at U.S. Embassy Podgorica #Montenegro

Posted: 2:37 am ET
Updated: Feb 28, 11:20 pm PT

 

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@StateDept Publishes EPAP Positions Available Now/Summer 2018 #Feb20Lists #EFMs

Posted: 2:30 am ET

 

On February 20, the State Department through its Family Liaison Office published the 2018 Spring/Summer positions available under the Expanded Professional Associates Program (EPAP). EPAP is different from other family member employment opportunities in that it has portfolios similar to Foreign Service entry-level positions. EPAP positions are also centrally funded by the Department of State (not post funded) and are administered by the appropriate Washington regional or functional bureau. Last month, the State Department also released its new qualification standards (PDF), and required previously qualified employees/applicants to re-qualify for these jobs (see @StateDept Releases New Strategery For Diplomatic Spouse Professional Employment #Ugh).

Via State/FLO:

Each of the regional bureaus and IRM are creating a list of EPAP positions that are available now and that are expected to become available through summer 2018. These positions will soon be advertised via a vacancy announcement on USAJOBS.gov. Positions that are not filled through this announcement or that become available in fall/winter 2018 will be advertised at a later date.

Appointment Eligible Family Members (AEFMs) who would like to be considered for one or more positions are required to submit an application. AEFMs may only submit applications for positions that are available at their sponsor’s post of assignment. They must either already be at post or be arriving at post within six months of the EPAP advertisement. AEFMs must be able to work at least one full year in the position from the time of hire.

2018 Spring/Summer Positions

Note: Medical positions for all bureaus outside of NEA and SCA will be added soon. Position lists are subject to change; check back often for updates.

Lists as of February 20, 2018:

Each bureau can only fill up to the number of vacant positions allocated. More positions than the number actually available are advertised to give maximum flexibility to both applicants and bureaus in seeking good matches for the positions.

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Related posts:

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@StateDept FS Promotion Statistics 2014-2017: Counselors (FE-OC) to Minister Counselors (FE-MC)

Posted: 2:20 am ET

 

Below is the comparative look of the State Department Foreign Service promotion statistics from 2014-2017 for Counselors (FE-OC equivalent to One-star rank (O-7)) to Minister Counselors (FE-MC equivalent to Two-star rank (O-8)). The average length of service of FSOs promoted from OC to MC in 2014-2017 is 25 years.

The number of FSOs who competed for promotion annually from 2014-2017 ranges from 215 in 2014 to 246 in 2017.  The number of FSOs promoted to from OC to MC was highest in 2016 at 61 FSOs or 24.3%, and lowest in 2017 at 29 FSOs or 11.8%.

That’s less than half the previous year, and that’s notable.

The FE-OC Counselor rank is the first rung in the Senior Foreign Service. The maximum time-in-class (TIC) limits for career generalist and specialist Senior Foreign Service members in this rank is seven (7) years. If FE-OCs are not getting promoted to FE-MCs because the promotion numbers have been shrunk, and they hit their time-in-class, they become subject to mandatory retirement upon expiration of their TIC and their time-in-service (TIS) limits.

Limiting the promotion numbers has been called a “stealth RIF” by old timers who remember the decimation of the career services in the 1990’s.

Via state.gov 11/24/17  FS Promotion Statistics

Again, please note that these numbers only include State Department Foreign Service numbers, and do not include USAID, Commerce, and Agriculture. For  those not familiar with the FS system, conal competition recognizes potential and competency in the primary career field. Members recommended for functional promotions demonstrate full proficiency across the six core competencies in a breadth of positions in their primary functional field (cone).

Per 3 FAH-1 H 2320 with the 2005 Selection Boards, classwide competition replaced multifunctionality.

The Department’s goal in instituting classwide competition is to assist the Department in expanding the pool of officers with broad vision and deep experience who are prepared to assume leadership positions in the future. Diplomacy in the 21st Century engages issues that are increasingly global in nature and/or scope, rapid changes in technology which are changing the way we do business, crises requiring effective and rapid response, the continuing need to promote actively democracy and respect for human rights, and threats to our safety and security that continue to surface. It needs broad-based and flexible officers, with leadership skills and the demonstrated ability to plan, organize, administer, and evaluate programs in both the members primary career field and across functional lines, who can transform resources and policy into results, while managing people effectively. While conal competition recognizes potential and competency in the primary career field, classwide competition builds on conal expertise by recognizing potential and competency across functional lines. The Board is asked to rate each employee in the classwide competition based on the relative strength of that members Performance Folder and demonstrated ability to perform effectively at the next higher level.

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Foreign Service Promotion Statistics 2014-2017: Minister Counselors (FE-MC) to Career Ministers (FE-CM)

Posted: 3:05 am ET
Updated: 12:37 pm PT

 

Below is the comparative look of the State Department Foreign Service promotion stats from 2014-2017 for Minister Counselors (FE-MC equivalent to Two-star rank (O-8)) to Career Ministers (FE-CM equivalent to Three-star rank (O-9)). FE-CM is the highest regular senior rank in the Foreign Service.  On November 16, 2017, the U.S. Senate confirmed four nominees to the rank of Career Minister (see PN 2100). Promotion stats below (also published annually in State Magazine) only covers the State Department; we don’t have data for USAID, Commerce (Foreign Commercial Service), or Agriculture (Foreign Agricultural Service).

Four FSOs were promoted to this rank in 2017, the same number promoted in 2015. The number of promotions to this rank ranges from 4-6 FSOs in 2014-2017, so there’s nothing that appears particularly striking in these numbers. If you’re seeing something we’re not seeing, email us. We’ll try and do the other ranks; there are notable numbers there.

Via state.gov 11/24/17  FS Promotion Statistics

Note that an extremely limited number of career diplomats attain Career Ambassador rank (FE-CA equivalent to Four-star rank (O-10)). Per 3 FAM 2320, the Secretary may recommend to the President the conferral of the personal rank of Career Ambassador on a limited number of career members of the SFS of the class of Career Minister whose careers have been characterized by especially distinguished service over a sustained period and who meet the requirements of 3 FAM 2324.2.  Conferral of the personal rank of Career Ambassador is made by the President, and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

(click on image for larger view)

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