Posted: 9:52 am PT
Update: 7:24 pm PT
Update: Late on March 20, the White House officially withdrew the nomination of Mr. Akard for DGHR.
On March 19, the White House announced the nomination of former FSO Stephen Akard to be the Director of the Office of Foreign Missions (with the Rank of Ambassador). The WH released the following brief bio:
Stephen Akard of Indiana, to be Director of the Office of Foreign Missions (with the Rank of Ambassador), Department of State. Mr. Akard has served as a senior advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, U.S. Department of State since January, 2017. Previously he was Chief of Staff, Vice President and General Counsel, and Director of International Development for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Indianapolis, Indiana from 2005 -2017. Earlier in his career, Mr. Akard was a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State from 1997 – 2005 and had assignments in India, Belgium, and as a special assistant in the Executive Secretariat of the State Department. He earned his B.A, M.B.A. and J.D. degrees from Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana. Mr. Akard was honored with several awards while serving in the State Department, including two Meritorious Honor awards, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis in 2000.
Akard was previously nominated as Director General of the Foreign Service and personnel chief of the State Department (DGHR). As far as we can tell, the White House has not withdrawn the DGHR nomination. We are, however, hearing that a new DGHR nominee is in the works but we’re still seeking confirmation.
Akard’s OFM nomination was announced on March 19 together with Joseph Mondello, the nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago. Mondello’s nomination was sent to the Senate on March 19 together with five other nominees that does not include Akard’s name, but the public notification is bound to show up at some point.
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