Ops Center Director Robert S. Gilchrist to be U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania

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On July 22, the WH announced the president’s intent to nominate Robert S. Gilchrist, of Florida, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Lithuania. The WH released the following brief bio:

Robert S. Gilchrist is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, and currently serves as the Director of the Operations Center of the Department of State.  Previously, Mr. Gilchrist was Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy in Sweden, Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy in Estonia, and the Director of Nordic and Baltic Affairs in the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.  Among his earlier assignments, Mr. Gilchrist was Deputy Political Counselor at the United States Embassy in Iraq, Chief of the Political Section of the United States Embassy in Romania, and a Special Assistant in the Office of the Deputy Secretary of State.  Mr. Gilchrist earned a B.A. from Wake Forest University, and an M.A. degree from the University of Virginia.  He speaks Spanish, French, Estonian, and Romanian.
If confirmed, Mr. Gilcrist would succeed Anne Hall who served as Ambassador to Vilnius from October 2016 to July 2019.  Lithuania is one of some 40 countries in the world where no political appointee has been appointed since the United States resumed diplomatic relations with Lithuania on September 2, 1991.
Some of the previous appointees to this position includes Ambassadors John F. Tefft (1949–), Stephen D. Mull (1958–) and Deborah Ann McCarthy (1955–).

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Wait, they want an employee to “prove causation” for a mystery illness?

Help Fund the Blog | Diplopundit 2019 — 60-Day Campaign from June 5, 2019 – August 5, 2019

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After Whistleblower Report Citing Questionable Tasks For Family, Secretary Pompeo Issues Message on Ethics in Government

Help Fund the Blog | Diplopundit 2019 — 60-Day Campaign from June 5, 2019 – August 5, 2019

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On July 1st, CNN reported on a whistleblower’s allegations to congressional investigators regarding“multiple issues over a period of months, about special agents being asked to carry out some questionable tasks for the Pompeo family.” (see “UberEats With Guns”, Susan Pompeo, and Don’t Forget Sherman). On July 2nd, the State Department issued a Message from Secretary Pompeo on Ethics.
Message from the Secretary on Ethics in Government
I recently unveiled our new Professional Ethos to the State Department team. This set of shared operating principles and core values reflects the unique spirit and excellence of the U.S. Department of State. The ethos reflects my expectation that every member of our team must act with uncompromising personal and professional integrity. That includes holding ourselves accountable for complying with U.S. government ethics rules and modeling our commitment to a high standard of ethics at all times.
As part of demonstrating our personal and professional integrity, I expect employees to avoid conflicts of interest in our work, to act impartially, and to avoid using our public offices for private gain. Because we serve the American people first and foremost, it must be clear that our conduct of foreign policy is guided solely by the national interest and not by personal considerations or improper motives. I expect employees to file all required financial disclosure reports on time and to take mandatory ethics training. Some of these tasks can be time-consuming, but the values underlying these requirements are central to our professional ethos and underscore our mission orientation: that we are motivated by our commitment to public service and aim to advance the national interest, rather than any personal interest, in everything we do.
We maintain this ethos of integrity and accountability with the support of our Ethics Office and assistance from supervisors, management officers at posts overseas, and our executive offices here in Washington. We each have a personal obligation to comply with our government ethics rules. But, as in every aspect of our work, we support each other as a team. I encourage all Department employees to reach out for guidance when an ethical dilemma comes your way. The Department offers many resources to help employees ensure that they are complying with ethics rules. There are detailed provisions in the Foreign Affairs Manual, a staff of ethics professionals to answer questions, online training courses, and the EthicsAttorneyMailbox@state.gov, which provides rapid responses to specific ethics questions.
Performing our jobs with integrity supports our credibility and makes us more effective at our jobs. We can and should take pride in a culture of ethics at the State Department. I greatly appreciate your commitment to integrity and to serving the American people as we advance our foreign policy mission around the world.
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U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Mrs. Susan Pompeo wave as they depart, Brasila, Brazil, January 2, 2019. Secretary Pompeo is on travel to Brasilia, Brazil, and Cartagena, Colombia, from December 31, 2018, to January 2, 2019. [State Department photo by Ron Pryzsucha/ Public Domain]

U.S. Ambassador to Japan William F. Hagerty IV Resigns to Run For U.S. Senate

Help Fund the Blog | Diplopundit 2019 — 60-Day Campaign from June 5, 2019 – August 5, 2019

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On July 16, the US Embassy in Tokyo issues a statement concerning the expected resignation of Ambassador William F. Hagerty IV:
U.S. Ambassador to Japan William F. Hagerty IV is in the process of resigning as Ambassador. He was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Japan on July 27, 2017 and will have served approximately two years.
Ambassador Hagerty is honored to have represented the President and the American people in his work to advance the U.S.-Japan Alliance, the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the Pacific.
Upon Ambassador Hagerty’s departure, Joseph M. Young will assume duties as the U.S. Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.
Ambassador Hagerty reportedly departed post on July 22, 2019.
According to Embassy Tokyo, CDA Young became Chargé d’Affaires ad interim on July 20, 2019. Below is his brief bio:
CDA Joseph M. Young began his tenure as Deputy Chief of Mission on August 17, 2017. Mr. Young, a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service, previously served as Director for Japanese Affairs at the Department of State from August 2014. From 2012 to 2014, he was Deputy Foreign Policy Advisor for the U.S. Pacific Command. Mr. Young served as Political-Military Unit Chief at U.S. Embassy Tokyo from 2009 to 2012.
Mr. Young’s other assignments include: Political-Economic Section Chief, U.S. Embassy Dublin (2004-2007); Aviation Negotiations Officer in the State Department’s Economics Bureau (2002-2004); Economics Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Beijing (1999-2002); Economics Research at the Foreign Service Institute (1996-1997); Political Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Nairobi (1994-1996); and Consular Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Singapore (1991-1993).
Mr. Young holds a master’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in Classics from Borromeo College. He speaks Japanese and Chinese. Mr. Young is married and has three daughters.

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GFM Campaign Ends on August 5: It looks like we’re coming to the end of the line …

It looks like we’re coming to the end of the line. We’ve purposely limited the fundraising to a 60-day campaign because we don’t want to be distracted by raising funds for the rest of the year. We wanted to get it done and put it behind us. But our campaign is proceeding slowly and running out of time. It is likely that we may not reach our goal by August 5. So … such is life. Either 10,500 readers/subscribers/followers find the blog useful or they don’t.
For the 235 funders who came out to support the blog during this fundraising and during our previous efforts, we thank you. We are grateful for your continued support and your kind words. Below we are sharing some of the notes that we’ve received during this campaign. Sending love to all (no, I’m not crying, just something in my eyes).

 

 

“Diplopundit is a terrific blog that adds value consistently.”
“Thanks for covering the FS world. Not many places cover it with any context.”
“I find your blog informative and entertaining.”
“Please hang in there, you’re irreplaceable in this dire diplomatic age.”
“It’s the correct thing to support independent freedom of speech.”
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“Your independent coverage of news from the State Department is invaluable.”
“Diplopundit keeps us honest and is an indispensable service to public servants”
“The blog continues to report without opining or defaulting to partisan excuses.”
“I donated because it’s important to have accurate information at the appropriate time.”
“I believe in what blog is doing and I feel strongly about need for knowing all we can about what goes on at State. Sadly, these days, there’s not much good, if anything, to cite. All the more reason to watch closely. Huge mistakes are being made. No telling how repairs will be made…or if?”
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“You provide a useful service to the FS community. Keep up the good work.”
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“Diplopundit continues to do a fantastic job providing informed and independent coverage of State Department, USAID goings on. And is the only such source. A rare light in a sea of otherwise darkness. We would feel the loss.”
“I donated because Diplopundit is informative, specially on issues not reported elsewhere.”
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“invaluable service over a long period of time”
“you shine a light on things that need lightin’ up.”
“… it’s totally the right thing to do. Gripe on!!!”
“Diplopundit is a must-read.”
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“Keep up the good work.”
“Democracy dies in darkness.”
“Thank you for all the work you do! I’ve been reading your site since before I started A100 and I very much appreciate your honesty about foreign service and US policy.”
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“Appreciation for your good, long service as Diplopundit for all of us interested in your reporting on State Dept and foreign affairs.”

 

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