@StateDept Opens Swastika Incident Investigation in Foggy Bottom



Following reports that a swastika was found etched into the wall of an elevator in Foggy Bottom, the State Department has reportedly opened an investigation into the incident. Axios which broke the news of the incident writes:

“The defacement raises troubling questions about security inside the nation’s foreign policy nerve center, and the potential for antisemitism within an outward-facing element of the United States government.”

While the State Department has over 76,000 employees worldwide, the latest June 2021 data from State/GTM indicates that there are some 15,279 Foreign Service and Civil Service Domestic Employees.  There are also various federal contractors working in Foggy Bottom but we do not have a good estimate for those type of employees.
Axios points out that most employees are working from home and that “All of elevators within “Main State” are within a secure perimeter, and security cameras — and, in many cases, uniformed guards – cover entrances to all secure areas.” The investigation including the availability of camera footage would be under Diplomatic Security’s responsibility.
One unintended consequence of this incident is it has raised further awareness among the State leadership and the general workforce that this scourge exists and should not be tolerated. And that, as one employee told us, “when it’s detected anywhere – domestic or overseas — within our midst and work environments, there needs to be tangible and swift consequences.” It has also been pointed out to us that State has an “occasional propensity” to sweep things under the rug because it’s embarrassing and/or inconvenient.
Well, hopefully, not this time. Too many people are paying attention for that to happen.
When the culprit is caught, what might be the penalty? Where would this offense be in the penalty list for 3 FAM 4540? Or 3 FAM 4370?
There is also 18 U.S. Code § 1361 which says “If the damage or attempted damage to such property exceeds the sum of $1,000, by a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than ten years, or both; if the damage or attempted damage to such property does not exceed the sum of $1,000, by a fine under this title or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.”
And of course, there is always notoriously disgraceful conduct.
Let’s pay close attention to what happens next.


Here is Secretary Blinken’s note:
'Hate Has No Place Here' note, Secretary Blinken, July 27, 2021

‘Hate Has No Place Here’ note, Secretary Blinken, July 27, 2021



Biden Taps @Penn’s Amy Gutmann to be the Next U.S. Ambassador to Germany

President Biden announced his intent to nominate University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Germany. The WH released the following brief bio:

Amy Gutmann, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Federal Republic of Germany

Amy Gutmann is the eighth President of the University of Pennsylvania, serving since 2004.  She is also the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science, and a Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication.  Her focus on global engagement fueled the creation of Penn’s Perry World House on campus, Penn Wharton China Center in Beijing, and the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, D.C.  Previously, at Princeton University, Gutmann was Provost, Dean of the Faculty, Founding Director of The University Center for Human Values, Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics, and Director of the Program in Ethics and Public Affairs.  She also worked at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and at the University of Maryland.  Gutmann is an award-winning author and editor of 17 books, many centered on understanding and defending constitutional democracy and human rights. The daughter of a German Jewish refugee, and first in her family to graduate college, she earned a B.A. at Harvard-Radcliffe College, an M.S. at the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D. at Harvard.  She was named by Fortune in 2018 as one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.”

If confirmed, Ms. Gutmann would succeed Richard Grenell who served from May 2018 – June 2020.  She would also be the first female American ambassador to Berlin. According to AFSA’s tracking, 12 of 17 ambassadors appointed to Germany since 1960 or 70.6% were non-career appointees.


NSC’s Mallory Stewart to be Assistant Secretary of State For Arms Control, Verification and Compliance


President Biden announced his intent to nominate Mallory Stewart to be the next Assistant Secretary for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance (State/AVC). The WH released the following brief bio:

Mallory Stewart, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State (Arms Control, Verification and Compliance)

Mallory Stewart currently serves as a Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation on the National Security Council. Previously, Ms. Stewart was Senior Manager for Global Nuclear Security and Nonproliferation as Sandia National Laboratories.  She also has served as a Nonresident Fellow in the WMD, Nonproliferation and Security Program at the Stimson Center, as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies and as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Emerging Security Challenges and Defense Policy in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance. She worked in the State Department Legal Advisor’s Office on arms control issues and, among other roles, served as the lead lawyer and one of the primary architects of the U.S.-Russia Framework to eliminate Syria’s declared chemical weapons stockpile.

Ms. Stewart earned an A.B degree from Harvard College and her J.D. degree from Stanford Law School.  She has written extensively on issues related to arms control and verification and was the recipient of the Secretary of State’s Award for Excellence in International Security Affairs among other honors.

If confirmed, Ms. Stewart would succeed Yleem D. S. Poblete who served from 2018–2019.
On September 8, 2020, the U.S. Senate received the nomination of Ryan Michael Tully, of New York, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Verification and Compliance) and the nomination was referred to the SRFC. On January 3, 2021, that nomination was returned to the President under the provisions of Senate Rule XXXI, paragraph 6 of the Standing Rules of the Senate.


MacArthur Genius Atul Gawande to be Asst Administrator For USAID’s Bureau for Global Health


President Biden announced his intent to nominate Atul Gawande to be Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Global Health at USAID.  The WH released the following brief bio:

Atul Gawande, Nominee for Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Global Health, United States Agency for International Development

Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, is the Cyndy and John Fish Distinguished Professor of Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Samuel O. Thier Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Gawande is also founder and chair of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and of Lifebox, a nonprofit organization making surgery safer globally. During the coronavirus pandemic, he co-founded CIC Health, which operates COVID-19 testing and vaccination nationally, and served as a member of the Biden transition COVID-19 Advisory Board. From 2018 to 2020, he was CEO of Haven, the Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase health care venture. He previously served as a senior advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services in the Clinton Administration.

In addition, Atul has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine since 1998 and written four New York Times best-selling books: Complications, Better, The Checklist Manifesto, and Being Mortal. He is the winner of two National Magazine Awards, AcademyHealth’s Impact Award for highest research impact on health care, a MacArthur Fellowship, and the Lewis Thomas Award for writing about science.