@StateDept Designates WHA/EX Christopher Del Corso as Chargé d’Affaires at US Embassy Seoul

 

Christopher Del Corso, a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor has assumed his current position as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at U.S. Embassy Seoul on July 16, 2021. Prior to this posting, Mr. Del Corso served in Washington, DC as the Executive Director for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, and before that, he was the Minister Counselor for Management Affairs and acting Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Seoul.
Mr. Del Corso succeeds SFSO Rob Rapson who was Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at U.S. Embassy Seoul since January 20, 2021 (Rapson is retiring after over three decades in the Foreign Service).  Immediately prior to being A/CDA, Mr. Rapson served as Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Seoul, 2018-2021 and was Political Minister Counselor and acting Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Tokyo, 2015-2018.
Also on July 16, Seoul’s Consul General Linda E. Daetwyler was designated as Acting Deputy Chief of Mission.

Related items:

US Mission Japan: SFSO Raymond Greene Assumed Duties as Chargé d’Affaires a.i

Thank you to over 500 readers and supporters who made our continued operation possible this year. Raising funds for a small outlet that is already open and free for all to read has often been the most challenging part of running  this blog. We are grateful for your continued support and well wishes. DS

 

On July 17, SFSO Raymond Greene assumed duties as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at the U.S. Embassy Tokyo. A brief bio below via US Mission Japan:

Raymond Greene assumed duties as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, U.S. Embassy Tokyo on July 17, 2021. Prior to this assignment, he was the Deputy Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). Mr. Greene is a member of the State Department’s Senior Foreign Service and has spent his entire 25-year career advancing U.S. diplomatic, economic, and security engagement with the Indo-Pacific region. In Washington, Mr. Greene was Director for Japan and East Asian Economic Affairs at National Security Council and Director of the Office of Economic Policy in the State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. In the latter capacity, Mr. Greene was elected as Chairman of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum’s Economic Committee.

Overseas, Mr. Greene served as U.S. Consul General in Chengdu, China and Okinawa, Japan. Earlier assignments included Chief of the Political-Military Affairs Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Deputy Chief of the Political Section at AIT Taipei, and as a political officer in Tokyo and Manila. Mr. Greene was the first Baker-Kato Diplomatic Exchange Fellow at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo. He also was assigned as a State Department Faculty Advisor at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Greene holds a B.A. (Government/Japanese) and M.P.M. (International Security and Economic Policy) from the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the recipient of the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, the Ryozo Kato Award for Advancing the U.S.-Japan Alliance, the Friendship Medal of Diplomacy (Taiwan), and several State Department Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards. Before joining the State Department, Mr. Greene was a researcher at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC and spent a year in Yokohama on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program. Mr. Greene speaks Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. Mr. Greene is married to the former Yawen Ko.

According to Politico, Rahm Emanuel, the former congressman, White House chief of staff, political adviser, commentator, author, “sender of revenge fish and controversial two-time Chicago mayor is poised” to be President Biden’s pick as ambassador to Tokyo. A White House official cautioned in late June that, “no one is final until they’re announced.”

 

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Acting EUR A/S Philip Reeker to Serve as Chargé d’Affaires at US Embassy London

Thank you to over 500 readers and supporters who made our continued operation possible this year. Raising funds for a small outlet that is already open and free for all to read has often been the most challenging part of running  this blog. We are grateful for your continued support and well wishes. Grazie — DS

On July 15, the State Department announced the appointment of the Acting Assistant Secretary for EUR Philip Reeker as Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim at the US Embassy in London.

Ambassador Philip T. Reeker will serve as Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim, at the Embassy of the United States of America to the Court of St. James’s, as of August 1, 2021. A career diplomat with the rank of Minister Counselor, Ambassador Reeker is currently the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. Prior to leading the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Ambassador Reeker was Civilian Deputy and Policy Advisor to the Commander of U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, and from 2008-2011 he was the U.S. Ambassador to North Macedonia.

The United States has no closer Ally than the United Kingdom, and Ambassador Reeker is dedicated to continuing to advance this special relationship.

Ambassador Reeker has served as Acting A/S for EUR since March 2019.With him off to London, who will mind the EUR shop? Biden’s nominee for EUR Karen Erika Donfried was announced in spring; her nomination received by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 29, 2021. She is scheduled to have her confirmation hearing on July 20. Calculation must be that Dr. Donfried will get confirmed before the Senate’s August recess.
The current CDA for Embassy London Yael Lempert became Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. in January 2021 when Woody Johnson left post. Lempert previously took up her assignment as Deputy Chief of Mission in London in January 2019.  These are typically three year assignments, so her successor as DCM would not have been expected to arrived in London before January 2022.  Lempert is reportedly leaving post in two weeks.  She previously worked at the National Security Council during President Obama’s second term. She has also been the subject of attacks in the media for that tenure.
During Secretary Blinken’s May visit in London, he said, “…I’m particularly grateful to Yael Lempert for her extraordinary leadership of this mission. We’ve been colleagues for a long time. I’m grateful to have you here at this time.”

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EUR/DAS George Kent Returns to Ukraine as Chargé d’Affaires

Thank you to over 500 readers and supporters who made our continued operation possible this year. Raising funds for a small outlet that is already open and free for all to read has often been the most challenging part of running  this blog. We are grateful for your continued support and well wishes. Grazie — DS

 

We could not locate the announcement but EUR DAS (and Trump Impeachment witness) George Kent is back in Ukraine as Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Kyiv.  Kent has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the European and Eurasian Bureau overseeing policy towards Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan since September 2018. He was also Deputy Chief of Mission in Kyiv from 2015-18.
As of July 12, he is back in Ukraine as CDA per tweet from US Embassy Kyiv. Until recently, Embassy Kyiv’s Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. was Kristina A. Kvien. She is still listed as CDA on embassy’s website as of this writing. This is a tad confusing, unconfuse us, please.
Embassy Kyiv has a new DCM who previously served at post as political counselor.  Alan Purcell became Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine in May 2021. A career Foreign Service Officer, he served most recently as Acting Consul General in Hamilton, Bermuda, from January to May 2021. He was acting DAS at the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor prior to his stint in Bermuda.

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@StateDept Designates Ambassador Atul Keshap as Chargé d’Affaires For US Mission India

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On June 29, 2021, the State Department announced the designation of Ambassador Atul Keshap as CDA for US Mission India:

Ambassador Atul Keshap, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, will be departing for New Delhi to serve as Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim, following the retirement of Ambassador Daniel Smith. Ambassador Keshap will bring a wealth of experience to the role, having served previously at U.S. Embassy New Delhi and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia. He most recently served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and as the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Ambassador Keshap’s appointment will reinforce the close U.S. partnership with the Government and people of India, demonstrated by our collaboration to overcome global challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 30 this year, Ambassador Dan Smith who was then FSI Director  was appointed CDA for US Mission India (Ambassador Daniel Smith to be Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim at US Mission India). Apparently, he has now retired. There are rumors floating around that LA Mayor Eric Garcetti to set to be named  as Biden’s pick for his ambassador to India, but to-date no official announcement has been made. Unless an announcement, and confirmation hearing happens in the next four weeks, it is likely that whoever is the nominee will be stuck in the system while the Senate goes on its August break.
Note that the tentative Senate schedule indicates the recess commencing on August 7.  The Senate will not be back in session until September 13, and then after that, just some 48 more work days before 2021 ends.

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US Embassy Ottawa Announces Arrival of Chargé d’Affaires Arnold Chacon, in Self-Isolation Until 6/29

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On May 28, the State Department announced the designation of Ambassador Arnold Chacon as Chargé d’Affaires at US Mission Canada (see Amb Arnie Chacon Heads to U.S. Mission Canada as Chargé d’Affaires (a.i); What’s going on at U.S. Mission Canada?).
On June 15, the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa announce the arrival of Chargé d’Affaires Arnold Chacon.

“I’m delighted that Secretary of State Blinken selected me to serve as Chargé d’Affaires in Canada and am honored to take on this important role working with the United States’ closest friend, partner, and ally.  We are active across Canada, not only at the Embassy in Ottawa, but also through our seven consulates that stretch from Vancouver to Halifax.  The U.S.-Canada relationship is a priority for the Biden-Harris Administration as we revitalize and strengthen our historic alliance and steadfast friendship. I am committed to continuing the exceptional work already being done by my colleagues and Canadian government officials under the Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership.  We will continue to make progress together in the key areas of trade, climate change, COVID-19 response and recovery, diversity, inclusion, and equity, and global and regional security issues,” said Chargé d’Affaires Chacon.

Chargé d’Affaires Chacon succeeds Katherine Brucker who has been acting in the role since September of 2020.  Ms. Brucker will continue to serve at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa as Deputy Chief of Mission.

In keeping with public health requirements, Chargé d’Affaires Chacon will self-isolate for the next 14 days.

We’re wondering if folks are ready to do the Bhangra dance.

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Belarus Kicks Out US Diplomats With New Limits in US Embassy Minsk Staffing

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According to the June 3 statement from the Belarus Foreign Ministry, the government summoned the Charge d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Minsk and informed him of retaliatory measures against the United States. The measures include the reduction of the diplomatic and administrative-technical personnel of the American diplomatic mission, the tightening of visa procedures, the limitation of the work of American specialists in Belarus on a temporary basis. The government also revoked the work permit for the US Agency for International Development.
In 2008, the Belarusian Government imposed restrictions on the number of U.S. diplomats allowed in Minsk, and the State Department was forced to reduce its embassy staff from 35 to five diplomats as well as withdraw the U.S. Ambassador. The number of U.S. diplomats was later increased to six in July 2014. We are not sure how many were at post prior to this latest development. The current CDA Ruben Harutunian assumed his duties as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Minsk on May 24, 2021.
In April 2020, with improved relations with the dictator in Belarus, the Trump Administration announced the nomination of  career diplomat Julie Fisher as the first U.S. Ambassador to Minsk since 2008. She was confirmed in December 2020. In April this year, the new ambassador was reportedly to reside in Lithuania temporarily as she was not granted a visa for Belarus.

Related posts:

CDA Marc Dillard Dedicates Carl Lutz Room at US Embassy Budapest

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According to US Embassy Budapest:

Carl Lutz was the Swiss Vice-Consul in Budapest from 1942 until the end of World War II in 1945. Together with diplomats of neutral countries, such as the Swedish Raoul Wallenberg, the Apostolic Nuncio Angelo Rotta, the Italian Giorgio Perlasca, and others, Lutz worked relentlessly in his office set up in the U.S. Legation building for many months to prevent the planned death of innocent people. He created safe houses by declaring them annexes of the Swiss legation and eventually extended diplomatic immunity to 72 buildings in Budapest, saving as a result of it more than 62,000 Hungarian Jews. In 1963 a street was named after Lutz in Haifa, Israel, and since 1991 a memorial at the entrance to the old Budapest ghetto remembers him. A memorial room was opened in 2005 in the Glass House in Vadász utca 29, Budapest V. He was also awarded the title of “Righteous Among the Nations.”

There was a memorial unveiled in 2006:

On December 13, 2006, a memorial to Carl Lutz was unveiled in the park adjacent to the U.S. Embassy at Szabadsag tér 12. Then Ambassador April H. Foley in her unveiling speech noted that “few individuals during the dark times of World War II helped so many innocent people escape death,” and added that “through our common work we must ensure that there is never again a crime like the Holocaust.” Swiss Ambassador Marc André-Salamin honoring the memory of his fellow diplomat noted that Lutz had been the designer and leader of the biggest and most successful rescue operation of the 20th century.

The inscription on the memorial reads:

In the building at Szabadság tér 12, Swiss Vice Consul Carl Lutz honorably represented the interests of the United States of America and other countries between 1942 and 1945. He courageously saved the lives of tens of thousands of Hungarian citizens persecuted as Jews.

 

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US Embassy El Salvador: New Charge d’Affaires Jean Manes Arrives in San Salvador

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Amb Arnie Chacon Heads to U.S. Mission Canada as Chargé d’Affaires (a.i)

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So late Friday, the State Department announced the designation of Ambassador Arnie Chacon to be Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at U.S. Embassy Ottawa:

Today, Secretary Blinken designated Ambassador Arnold Chacon to serve as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at U.S. Embassy Ottawa. A career diplomat with the rank of Career Minister, Ambassador Chacon is currently detailed from the Department of State to the National Defense University as Senior Vice President. Ambassador Chacon previously served as the Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources and U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala.

Ambassador Chacon’s appointment underscores the United States’ strong commitment to Canada and the Canadian people. He will lead the U.S. government’s diplomatic engagement in Canada by advancing the Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership, including trade, climate change, COVID-19 response and recovery, and global and regional security issues.

The United States highly values its close partnership with Canada, and Ambassador Chacon is dedicated to advancing the bilateral relationship.

We’ve previously asked What’s going on at U.S. Mission Canada?
The State Department is just now sending out to Ottawa a former Ambassador (Guatemala) but also the former Director General of the Foreign Service to be CDA. He will be responsible for the embassy and its seven constituent posts as well.
👀
A top executive at the cable company Comcast has been rumored to be in the running to be Biden’s top diplomat for Canada. The announcement for the first slew of political ambassadorships is reportedly expected shortly.

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