President Biden Announces Nominees For NATO (Julianne Smith), ICAO (C.B. Sullenberger)

13 Going on 14 — GFM:


On June 15, President Biden announced his intent to nominate Julianne Smith to be U.S. Representative to NATO and C. B. “Sully” Sullenberger, III to be U.S. Representative to ICAO. The WH released the following brief bio:

Julianne Smith, Nominee for the United States Permanent Representative on the Council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, with the rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Julianne “Julie” Smith is currently serving as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State at the Department of State. Previously, she served as the Director of the Asia and Geopolitics Programs at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. From 2014 – 2018, she served as the Director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Prior to joining CNAS, Julie served in the Obama administration. From 2012-2013, she served as both the Acting National Security Advisor and the Deputy National Security Advisor to Vice President Joseph Biden. Before the White House, she served as the Principal Director for European and NATO Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon for three years. In 2012, she was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service. Earlier in her career, Smith directed the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). A native of Michigan, she received her B.A. from Xavier University and her M.A. from American University. She speaks German and French.

If confirmed, Ms. Smith would only be the third woman to served at the helm of USNATO, after Victoria Nuland (2005–2008), and Kay Bailey Hutchison (2017-2021).

C. B. “Sully” Sullenberger, III, Nominee for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as Representative of the United States of America on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization

C. B. “Sully” Sullenberger, III is a former United States Air Force fighter pilot, retired airline pilot, safety expert and keynote speaker.  In 2009, as captain of US Airways flight 1549, he and his crew guided their aircraft to a successful emergency landing in the Hudson River with no fatalities.  He has served as a NASA aviation safety research consultant.  As an Air Line Pilots Association accident investigation committee member, he participated in a National Transportation Safety Board investigation of a major airline accident, leading to improved airline procedures and training for emergency evacuation.  Sullenberger has a B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy, an M.S. from Purdue University and an M.A. from the University of Northern Colorado.

If confirmed for USICAO, Capt. Sullenberger would succeed … wait, Sean Doocey, a Trump appointee who apparently was not nominated to hold an ambassador rank, and skipped the confirmation process. According to Politico at that time, he was “Trump’s top adviser on personnel matters, has no obvious experience in aviation, though an administration official who used to work with him said he “was very involved in aviation-related appointments” and he “has always been very interested in it.”