Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Rufus Gifford to be @StateDept’s Chief of Protocol

13 Going on 14 — GFM:

On May 28, 2021, President Biden announced his intent to nominate his Deputy Campaign Manager and former US Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford to be the State Department’s Chief of Protocol with the rank of Ambassador during his tenure. The WH released the following brief bio:

Rufus Gifford, Nominee for Chief of Protocol, with the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service, Department of State

Rufus Gifford is a private consultant who left his consultancy work to serve as Deputy Campaign Manager, Biden for President. Earlier, Gifford was the U.S. Ambassador to Denmark.  Prior to that, Gifford was the Finance Chair of the Presidential Inaugural Committee in Washington, D.C., Finance Director, Obama for America, Chicago, Illinois, and Finance Director, Democratic National Committee, Washington, DC.  Earlier he was the California Finance Director, Presidential Inaugural Committee, for President Obama’s first inauguration and was a Political Consultant in Los Angeles, California.  Actively engaged as a civil society leader, Gifford has promoted and sponsored a variety of organizations including UTEC in Lowell, Massachusetts, The LGBT History Museum in New York, NY, Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C. and The Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, MA. Gifford received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 1996. 

According to, the Department first established a Division of Protocol on Feb 4, 1928. All incumbents since 1961 have held the rank of Ambassador. The Protocol Office has been part of the Office of the Secretary of State since July 12, 1965. The Chief of Protocol serves as the protocol officer for the U.S. Government and advises the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of State, and other high-ranking officials on this subject.
If confirmed, Ambassador Gifford would succeed Sean P. Lawler who served from 2017 until 2019. Lawler made news just prior to the G-20 summit in 2019 and left his post shortly after that according to news reports. The Chief of Protocol office has been a hot mess:

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Amb. Julieta Valls Noyes to be Asst Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration (State/J/PRM)

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On June 3, 2021, President Biden announced his intent to nominate  Ambassador Julieta Valls Noyes to be the next Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration (State/J/PRM). The bureau belongs to the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights family of offices.

Julieta Valls Noyes, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration, Department of State

Julieta Valls Noyes, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Career Minister, is Deputy Director of the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute, and a former U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Croatia.  She previously served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs in the Department of State, Deputy Executive Secretary of the Department, and as Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d’Affaires a.i. at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See.  She also was Deputy Director of the Department’s Operations Center, and Director of the Office of Multilateral and Global Affairs in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.  Earlier, Noyes served as Deputy Director, Office of Policy Planning and Coordination, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, as Political Section Chief, U.S. Embassy Panama City, and as Political Officer at U.S. Embassy Madrid.  Noyes earned a B.A. from Wellesley College, and a Master’s from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.  She speaks Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French.  Noyes is a first-generation American whose parents entered the United States as refugees.

According to, the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration was established May 12, 1994. Prior to this date it was called the Bureau of Refugee Programs, and its Directors were designated, not commissioned.
If confirmed, Ambassador Noyes would succeed Anne Claire Richard who served from 2012–2017.  In 2018, Tump nominated Ronald Mortensen to be the Assistant Secretary of State for PRM; that nomination was returned to the WH in 2019. The WH resubmitted the nomination to the Senate in January 2019 and March 2020 but the nomination got stuck in the Senate every time (PN2029 — 115th Congress (2017-2018); PN132 — 116th Congress (2019-2020); PN1612 — 116th Congress (2019-2020).

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President Biden Announces Two Nominees For Deputy Administrators at USAID

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On June 3, 2021, President Biden announced his intent to nominate the following nominees to two deputy administrator positions at USAID:

Paloma Adams-Allen, Nominee for Deputy Administrator for Management and Resources, United States Agency for International Development

Paloma Adams-Allen joined the Inter-American Foundation (IAF), a US agency supporting community-led development in Latin America and the Caribbean, in April 2017 as president and chief executive officer. Prior to joining the IAF, Adams-Allen was Sr. Director for global private sector partnerships initiatives at the international NGO, Winrock International. Before that, she served as deputy assistant administrator for the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Bureau. From 2010 to 2014, Adams-Allen served as Senior Adviser, during which she led the LAC Bureau’s public-private partnerships for development practice. She also spent a decade at the Organization of American States (OAS) in several hemispheric development policy, programming, and leadership roles. Early in her career she did short stints at the international law firm Coudert Brothers, and the advocacy organization Caribbean-Central American Action. Adams-Allen, who was born in Jamaica, spent her childhood between rural Jamaica and rural New England in the U.S. She holds a bachelor’s degree in development studies and African American studies from Brown University, a master’s in international affairs from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. An avid runner and gardener, Adams-Allen lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, their puppy, and two awesome daughters.

Isobel Coleman, Nominee for Deputy Administrator for Policy and Programming, United States Agency for International Development

Ambassador Isobel Coleman is a foreign policy and global development expert with more than 25 years of experience working in government, the private sector and non-profits.  Most recently, she served on the Biden Transition Team, leading the review of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. From 2014-2017, she was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations for Management, Reform and Special Political Affairs.  During that time, she represented the United States in the UN General Assembly on budgetary matters and in the UN Security Council on Africa and peacekeeping issues. From 2018-2020, she was the Chief Operating Officer of GiveDirectly, an international non-profit tackling poverty by providing unconditional cash transfers to the extreme poor.

Previously, Dr. Coleman spent more than a decade as a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations where she directed CFR’s Women and Foreign Policy program and wrote extensively about global development and the advantages of women’s empowerment. Her writings have appeared in many publications, including The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The New York Times and The Washington Post. She is the author and co-author of numerous books including Pathways to Freedom: Political and Economic Lessons from Democratic Transitions (Council on Foreign Relations, 2013), and Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women are Transforming the Middle East (Random House, 2010). She graduated from Princeton University and earned MPhil and DPhil degrees in International Relations from Oxford University, which she attended on a Marshall Scholarship. She started her career at McKinsey & Co. in New York, becoming a partner in the firm’s financial institutions group.


FSGB: Informal Meetings Between Grievant and Rater “Did Not Constitute Counseling”

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Via FSGB Case No. 2020-025
Held – The Board held that grievant has established by a preponderance of the evidence that informal meetings between grievant and her rater did not constitute counseling and that the only formal counseling, which occurred six weeks prior to the end of the appraisal year, in the circumstances of this case, was not timely.
Case Summary:

Grievant, an FS-06 Office Management Specialist, was assigned to a challenging, newly upgraded position with not only the responsibility to support the Consul General (CG), as her predecessor had done, but also to support the Deputy Principal Officer (DPO). The position was upgraded to an FS-05 two months after her July arrival at post.

Grievant appealed the denial of her grievance of her April 2017 EER. She maintained that 1) she had not received timely counseling and 2) certain comments in the EER by her Rater and Reviewer, as well as language in the Developmental Area, were inaccurate and/or falsely prejudicial. She contended that her routine meetings with her rater had been supportive, as the rater admitted, and that the Rater had not advised her that the CG and she were dissatisfied with her progress until six weeks before the end of the appraisal period. At that point, grievant recommended being temporarily relieved of supporting the DPO position to allow her time to establish systems to support both positions. She accomplished that goal shortly after the start of the next appraisal period, but her 2017 EER reflected that she was not fully supporting both positions at the end of that rating period.

The Department contended that her ongoing meetings with her Rater to manage her workload and her acknowledgement of her difficulties in doing so meant that grievant was aware of her deficiencies from the informal counseling. Moreover, the Department contended that six weeks was adequate notice of her need to improve.

The Board held that, in the circumstances of this case, where the job had been greatly expanded, grievant was new at post, and her meetings with her rater were generally to discuss routine aspects of the position, her rater had failed to put her on notice that her progress was deficient. As to the timeliness of the formal counseling, grievant established that she was able to devise a plan to meet the requirements successfully, but she was unable to accomplish it before the end of the rating period. Consequently, six weeks was too short to be timely notice of her deficiency.

Because the Department failed in its obligation to provide counseling mandated under 3 FAH-1 H-2253.2, it was unnecessary for the Board to reach the issue of whether the statements were inaccurate and/or falsely prejudicial. As a remedy, and as requested by the grievant, the Board ordered expungement of the 2017 EER and reconstituted Selection Boards.


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