On March 11, 2020, the State Department released a statement on the appointment of former White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney as the new Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, a position first created under the Clinton Administration in 1995. Apparently, the formal title is Special Envoy of the President and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. This is the top U.S. diplomat supporting the Northern Ireland peace process.
Mulvaney’s predecessors include former U.S. Senator and former Majority Leader of the United States Senate George Mitchell, former S/P Richard Haass, former S/P Mitchell Reiss, former Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky, and businessman Declan Kelly appointed as economic envoy to Northern Ireland by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. There were two long stretches where no one was appointed to this job; from 2011-2014 and again from 2017-2020.
The most recent appointee to this position was former Colorado Senator Gary Hart who was appointed during the Obama Administration and served from 2014-2017. Special envoy positions do not require Senate confirmations. Some special envoys have offices in Foggy Bottom but we have not been able to find a listing for the Office of the Special Envoy to Northern Ireland in the State Department directory. Any guesses on where they will put his desk?
I welcome President @realDonaldTrump’s appointment of Mick Mulvaney as our Special Envoy to #NorthernIreland. I have full confidence that he will succeed– his experience and commitment to public service will be an asset as he advocates for peace, prosperity, and stability.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) March 11, 2020
Mick Mulvaney is being appointed to a job so important that it's been vacant for the past three years.
When Pompeo was asked in 2018 why the position was vacant, he said: "I don’t know. I’m happy to consider it. I haven’t considered whether to appoint a special envoy or not"
— Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) March 7, 2020
Donald Trump advisor Mick Mulvaney to be Northern Ireland special envoy https://t.co/KbmqjNZg1z
— Belfast News Letter (@News_Letter) March 9, 2020
Really pleased Mick Mulvaney has been appointed as US special envoy to Northern Ireland. He has been a good friend to Ireland and understands all the key issues in detail. He’ll have a hotline to President Trump when it comes to issues affecting Ireland, north and south
— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) March 7, 2020
President Trump ousted Mick Mulvaney, his acting White House chief of staff. Rep. Mark Meadows, a stalwart conservative ally, will replace him.https://t.co/Aa12Pec3QX
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) March 7, 2020