New Arms Control Special Envoy Marshall Billingslea Now Nominated as Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security (T)


On May 1st, the WH announced the president’s intent to nominate Marshall Billingslea to be the next Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security (T). Last month, Mr. Billingslea was appointed Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control. He was previously nominated as Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights (J) in 2018; he had a confirmation hearing in 2019 but that nomination appeared to have gone nowhere.
If the J nomination did not go anywhere in a GOP-controlled Senate, why would this nomination fare any better?
In any case, if confirmed, he would oversee the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance; the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation and the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.  
The immediate predecessor to this position is Andrea L. Thompson who was appointed in 2018 and left her position the following year (see Pompeo Announces Departure of Andrea Thompson as Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security).  With the exception of career diplomats Reginald Bartholomew (1989–1992) and Frank G. Wisner II (1992–1993), all other appointees to the “T” bureau were political appointees. Click here for the names of previous appointees.

Via WH:

Marshall Billingslea, of Virginia, to be Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security

Mr. Billingslea is the Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control at the State Department.  He has also recently served as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing.

A former Managing Director at Deloitte, Mr. Billingslea has also served at the Department of Defense as Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Negotiations Policy.  He was Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, and a Senior Professional Staff Member for National Security Affairs for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Mr. Billingslea received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, the Cross of Merit of the Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic, and the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana of Estonia, among other awards.  Mr. Billingslea earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College, and an M.A. from The Fletcher School, Tufts University.


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Certificate of Demonstrated Competence: Interior Design Executive Barbera Hale Thornhill (Nominee For Singapore)


SUBJECT:            Ambassadorial Nomination:  Certificate of Demonstrated Competence — Foreign Service Act, Section 304(a)(4)

POST:                  Republic of Singapore

CANDIDATE:     Barbera Hale Thornhill

Barbera Hale Thornhill is a successful business executive, civic leader and philanthropist in Los Angeles, California, where she is president of Impact Design, a business-focused interior design firm.  She is an active member of the Getty Research Institute Council, the Getty Paintings Council, the World Affairs Council and the Pacific Council on International Policy, all of Los Angeles.  Ms. Thornhill’s leadership in civic initiatives and philanthropy, her decades of business experience, and active engagement in shaping and achieving the goals of a broad range of organizations, make her a strong candidate for U.S. Ambassador to Singapore.

Much of Ms. Thornhill’s extensive philanthropic work has focused on direct action to address the negative impact on children of poverty, abuse and neglect.  As Secretary of the Board of the Children’s Institute of Los Angeles, California, a nonprofit organization that provides services to children and families affected by family and community violence within Los Angeles’s most challenged neighborhoods, she led successful fund-raising initiatives to finance the Institute’s work.  She was president of The Colleagues, an organization of women that has raised millions of dollars to finance Children’s Institute, Inc (CII) for over 25 years.  She is an active member of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, which sponsors literacy, technology and cultural programs at the city’s libraries.  She is also a long-time board member of the West Los Angeles County Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the National Children’s Chorus of Los Angeles and New York.

Ms. Thornhill attended the University of California at Los Angeles, George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.


Thornhill, Barbara Hale – Republic of Singapore – March 2020

Certificate of Demonstrated Competence: SES William E. Todd (Nominee For Pakistan)


SUBJECT:            Ambassadorial Nomination:  Certificate of Demonstrated Competence — Foreign Service Act, Section 304(a)(4)

POST:                  Islamic Republic of Pakistan

CANDIDATE:     William E. Todd

Mr. Todd, a career member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management.  He previously served in senior leadership roles as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Human Resources and as Acting Director General for Human Resources for the Department of State, and as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.  Overseas, Mr. Todd has twice served as United States Ambassador.  First, as Ambassador to Brunei (2008 – 2010) and subsequently as Ambassador to Cambodia (2012 – 2015).  Mr. Todd was Coordination Director for Development and Economic Affairs, at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan from 2010 – 2011.  Mr. Todd’s distinguished record of experience in senior leadership roles, his substantive knowledge of South Asia policy issues, and his first-hand experience of working at one of the most challenging posts in our diplomatic service, all combine to make him an excellent candidate to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan.

Mr. Todd’s considerable experience is buttressed by his service as a Deputy Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and as Executive Director of the Bureau of Resource Management in the State Department.  Mr. Todd also served in the Department of Transportation as Director of the Office of Security and Administrative Management and in the Department of Commerce in various positions including as Deputy Assistant Inspector-General for Auditing and as Director of Planning and Resource Management.

Mr. Todd earned his B.S. from Longwood College, Farmville, Virginia.    He has won numerous awards over his government career including three Presidential Rank Awards.


Todd, William E. – Islamic Republic of Pakistan – March 2020

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Certificate of Demonstrated Competence: Aldona Wos, M.D (Nominee For Canada)


SUBJECT:            Ambassadorial Nomination:  Certificate of Demonstrated Competence — Foreign Service Act, Section 304(a)(4)

POST:                  Canada

CANDIDATE:     Aldona Wos, M.D.

Aldona Wos is a physician, public policy leader, and philanthropist with broad expertise in public health and global affairs. Dr. Wos currently serves as Vice Chair of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.  Previously, Dr. Wos served as the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, managing 17,000 employees and $20 billion budget.  She was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Estonia under President George W. Bush.  Currently, she serves on the Boards of Directors of the Council of American Ambassadors, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, and The Institute of World Politics.  Dr. Wos was also a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council.  In addition, Dr. Wos has worked on behalf of the United Ways of Greater Greensboro and of Greater High Point for two decades.  She is the Vice President of the Louis DeJoy and Aldona Wos Family Foundation.  Dr. Wos’ diverse leadership and life experience, coupled with her deep commitment to international affairs, diplomacy, and public service, make her an excellent candidate to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Canada.

Earlier in her career, Dr. Wos worked for two decades as a physician specializing in internal medicine and pulmonary care.  She has been active as a Member of the Republican Regents, Republican National Committee.  Among her many other roles in public life, Dr. Wos currently serves on the Duke University Law School Board of Visitors and previously was on the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.  She was also the founder of the Committee for the Preservation of the artwork of Jan Komski, Auschwitz Eyewitness.

Dr. Wos attended Marquette University and then the Warsaw Medical Academy from which she received her Doctor of Medicine degree.  She is the recipient of numerous awards, including one from the Polish Government and several from the Government of Estonia marking her distinguished service there as U.S. Ambassador.


Wos, Aldona, M.D. – Canada – March 2020