Ambassador David Hale to be @StateDept’s Under Secretary for Political Affairs

 

On July 10, the WH announced the president’s intent to nominate career diplomat David Hale to be the next Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (State/P). The WH released the following brief bio:

Ambassador David Hale, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career-Minister, is the Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a position he has held since 2015.  He previously served as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Lebanon from 2013 to 2015 and as the United States Ambassador to Jordan from 2005 to 2008.  In Washington, D.C., he has served as the Special Envoy and Deputy Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from 2009 to 2013 and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs from 2008 to 2009.  From 2001 to 2003, Ambassador Hale was Director for Israel-Palestinian Affairs.  He was Executive Assistant to the Secretary of State from 1997 and 1998.  Mr. Hale received a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and he is the recipient of numerous senior State Department awards, including the Distinguished Service Award and the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Service.

The Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (State/P) position is currently encumbered by Ambassador Steve Mull in an acting capacity. An unconfirmed second-hand source informed us that Ambassador Mull is registered for the retirement course at the end of August and will be leaving at the end of the fiscal year – that is, on or about September 30, 2018. With the Hale announcement, Mull’s retirement appears inevitable, the second hand info is likely true than not.  Ambassador Mull is the last remaining career ambassador in active service. His departure will signal the first time in recent memory where the Foreign Service has no career ambassador in active service.

As of this writing, Secretary Pompeo has not released a statement about this nomination. If confirmed, Ambassador Hale would succeed Ambassador Tom Shannon as “P”. He will also become the highest ranking career Foreign Service officer at the State Department. Here are his predecessors via history.state.gov:

Related posts:

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Catching Up on @StateDept Presidential Appointments – Career Officials

We’re just catching up on Presidential career and non-career appointments (separate post) at the State Department. Let us know if we’ve missed anyone.–D

Career Diplomat Francisco Luis Palmieri of Connecticut, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Honduras | Via

Mr. Palmieri currently serves as Acting Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the Department of State and brings over thirty years of experience as an American diplomat to his position. During his three decades of service as an American diplomat, he spent time at five U.S. Missions overseas and held senior leadership positions in within the Department of State domestically.  Mr. Palmieri earned his A.B. from Princeton University and M.S. from the National War College.  He speaks Spanish fluently.

Career Diplomat Kathleen Ann Kavalec of California, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Albania  | Via

Ms. Kavalec currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the Department of State with over three decades of experience as an American diplomat. Previously, she served as the Director of the Office of Russian Affairs, Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Mission to UNESCO in Paris, France, Deputy Coordinator for Assistance in the European Bureau, and Director for Conflict Prevention in the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization. Ms. Kavalec earned her A.B. from the University of California at Berkeley and M.S. from Georgetown University.  She speaks French, Romanian, Ukrainian, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese fluently.

Career Diplomat Stephanie Sanders Sullivan of Maryland, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Ghana  | Via

Ms. Sullivan, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, has served as an American diplomat since 1986.  She is currently Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs in the Department of State, a position she has held since 2017.  Previously, she served as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Congo and Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources in addition to other senior-level leadership positions at the Department of State.  A seasoned Africa-hand, she previously served in Accra, Ghana as political chief.  First-rate leadership and management skills, together with prior collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development and the United States military, will enable her to promote good governance, economic development, and regional security.  Ms. Sullivan earned a B.A. at Brown University and a M.S. at the National Defense University.  She is the recipient of 20 senior Department of State awards and a Sustained Superior Performance Award from the Peace Corps.  Ms. Sullivan speaks French, Lingala, and basic Spanish.

Career Diplomat Karen L. Williams of Missouri, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Suriname  | Via

Ms. Williams, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, has served as an American diplomat since 1991.  She is currently Senior Advisor, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Department of State, a position she has held since 2016.  Previously, she was Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana from 2008 to 2010.  Ms. Williams has held six overseas diplomatic postings in Afghanistan, South America, Central Asia, and Europe as well serving as Deputy Coordinator in the Counterterrorism Bureau and as the Foreign Policy Advisor to United States Special Operations Command, in Tampa, Florida.  She earned a B.A. from Drury College, in Springfield, Missouri and a M.S. from the National War College.  Ms. Williams is the recipient of several notable Department of State awards, including the Senior Executive/Senior Foreign Service Award, the United States Special Operations Command Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, and a National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  Ms. Williams speaks Spanish, Russian, and Bosnian.

Career Diplomat Derek J. Hogan of Virginia, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Moldova | Via

Mr. Derek J. Hogan, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Counselor, has served as an American diplomat since 1997.  He is currently Deputy Executive Secretary of the United States Department of State, a position he has held since 2017.  Mr. Hogan is one of the Department of State’s experts on Eastern Europe, having served five tours working in or on Eastern Europe, including Russia.  He has held senior leadership positions both at United States missions overseas and domestically for the Department of State.  Mr. Hogan most recent overseas tours – as Chargé d’affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission in Azerbaijan from 2013 to 2016 and as the Department of State Representative on the civilian-military Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Southern (Uruzgan Province) and Eastern (Kunar Province) Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009 – have demonstrated that he possesses the leadership, management, innovation, and communication abilities needed to succeed in complex operating environments.  Mr. Hogan earned a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.P.A. from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.  He is the recipient of multiple Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards from the Department of State.  Mr. Hogan speaks Russian and Spanish.

Career Diplomat Michael A. Hammer of Maryland, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Democratic Republic of the Congo | Via 

Mr. Hammer, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, has served as an American diplomat since 1988.  He is currently acting senior vice president of the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., a position he has held since 2017.  He previously served as United States Ambassador to Chile from 2014 to 2016, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Department of State from 2012 to 2013 and Special Assistant to the President as Senior Director for Press and Communications and spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House from 2009 to 2011.  He has served at five U.S. Missions overseas and in several senior leadership positions in Washington.  Mr. Hammer earned a M.S. at the National Defense University National War College, an M.A. from Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a B.S. from Georgetown University.  He is fluent in Spanish, speaks French and Portuguese, and has a working knowledge of Icelandic.

Career Diplomat Alaina B. Teplitz of Colorado, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of the Maldives | Via 

Ambassador Teplitz is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, and is currently serving as American Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.  Previously she served in senior leadership positions as Director of the Office of Management Policy, Rightsizing, and Innovation at the U.S. Department of State and as the Management Minister Counselor of the American Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan.  Ambassador Teplitz is recognized as a talented and experienced manager whose diverse range of Foreign Service assignments have given her a broad-based perspective as a leader and mentor.  Previously, Ambassador Teplitz served as Deputy Executive Director in the Department’s Bureau of Near East and South Asian Affairs and Director of Management Tradecraft Training at the Department’s Foreign Service Institute.  Ambassador Teplitz earned a B.A. from Georgetown University in 1991.  She is the recipient of numerous notable Department of State awards.  Ambassador Teplitz’s languages are Albanian, Chinese-Mandarin, French, and Mongolian.

Career Diplomat Donald Lu of California, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kyrgyz Republic | Via 

Ambassador Lu, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, has served as an American diplomat since 1991.  He is currently Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Tirana, Albania, a position he has held since 2014.  Ambassador Lu has also served the Department of State as Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy New Delhi, India from 2010 to 2013; Chargé d’affaires, U.S. Embassy Baku, Azerbaijan from 2009 to 2010; Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Baku, Azerbaijan from 2007 to 2009; and Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic from 2003 to 2006.  He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone from 1988 to 1990.  Ambassador Lu is known as one of the Department’s most talented leaders, respected for his strong analytical skills, leadership, mentoring and motivational skills, and broad experience in Central Asia.  He has served at six U.S. Missions overseas, some twice, and in senior leadership positions at the Department of State.  Ambassador Lu earned a M.A. and a B.A. from Princeton University.  He is the recipient of seven notable awards from the State Department, including the Rockwell Anthony Schnabel Award for advancing U.S.-European Union relations.  Ambassador Lu speaks and reads Albanian, Russian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, West African Krio, Hindi and Urdu.

Career Civil Servant Daniel N. Rosenblum of Maryland, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Uzbekistan | Via

Mr. Rosenblum, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is currently Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, a position he has held since 2014. For more than two decades, Mr. Rosenblum has served in senior United States Government positions managing people and resources, leading negotiations, building consensus, and communicating publicly about United States Government policy toward the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia.  A Russian-speaker, Mr. Rosenblum has put together billion-dollar aid packages to stabilize and rebuild countries in crisis, organized and led interagency teams in support of counter-terrorism goals, and forged strong diplomatic ties with key United States partners in Central Asia.  Previously, he served as a Senior Program Coordinator for the Free Trade Union Institute, a Legislative Assistant to United States Senator Carl Levin, and a Research Assistant in the House of Lords in London, England.  Mr. Rosenblum earned a B.A. in history, summa cum laude, from Yale University and a M.A. in Soviet Studies and International Economics from the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.  Mr. Rosenblum is the recipient of 8 notable Department of State awards, including a Special Service Award.

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Catching Up on @StateDept Presidential Appointments – NonCareer Officials

STATE DEPARTMENT

Brian J. Bulatao of Texas, to be an Under Secretary of State for Management | Via 

Mr. Bulatao has served as the chief operating officer of the Central Intelligence Agency since 2017 and as a senior advisor to then-CIA Director Pompeo.  Mr. Bulatao also served for seven years as an officer in the United States Army from 1986 to 1993.  Following his honorable discharge from the military, Mr. Bulatao was the president and chief operating officer of a number of private sector companies, including Thayer Aerospace, Wichita, Kansas, Nefab America, Coppel, Texas, and Niteo Products, Dallas, Texas.  Mr. Bulatao was a distinguished graduate of the United States Military Academy, receiving his B.S. in 1986.  He received his master of business administration  from Harvard Business School, in 1995.  Mr. Bulatao was the recipient of the CIA Director’s Award for Distinguished Service and was an honor graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School.

On June 18, the WH sent its withdrawal of the nomination of Eric M. Ueland, of Oregon, to be an Under Secretary of State (Management), vice Patrick Francis Kennedy, which was resubmitted to the Senate on January 8, 2018.

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Tibor Peter Nagy Jr. of Texas, to be an Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs | Via 

Ambassador Tibor Peter Nagy, Jr., a retired career member of the Senior Foreign Service, formerly class of Minister-Counselor, served as an American diplomat from 1978 to 2003.  Twice a U.S. Ambassador—to Ethiopia from 1999 to 2002 and to Guinea from 1996 to 1999—he also served as Deputy Chief of Mission three times—in Nigeria from 1993 to 1995, Cameroon from 1990 to 1993, and Togo from 1987 to 1990.  In all, he served eight tours of duty at U.S. Embassies in Africa.  Ambassador Nagy served as Vice Provost for International Affairs at Texas Tech University from 2003 to 2017.  He currently serves as Ambassador-in-Residence, Institute for Peace and Conflict, and Honors College Adjunct Faculty at Texas Tech University, where he teaches about Africa.  Ambassador Nagy was born in Budapest, Hungary, and arrived in the United States as a political refugee in 1957.  He received a B.A. from Texas Tech University and a M.S.A. from George Washington University.  Ambassador Nagy speaks Hungarian and French, and has received numerous awards from the Department of State.

Ellen E. McCarthy of Virginia, to be an Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research | Via

Ms. McCarthy has been president of Noblis NSP since 2016.  She has experience in the intelligence community including service as the chief operating officer of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency from 2013 to 2016.  Before joining NGA, Ms. McCarthy served as president of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance from 2009 to 2013.  She was also director of the human capital management office from 2005 to 2009 and the acting director of security within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence from 2003 to 2005.  Ms. McCarthy also served as the  Director of Intelligence Operations, Strategy and Policy for the United States Coast Guard from 1998 to 2003 and an intelligence research specialist for the U.S. Atlantic Command from 1991 to 1998.  Ms. McCarthy earned a B.A. from the University of South Carolina, and she holds a Master’s Degree in public policy from the University of Maryland.  She is the recipient of  a Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, a National Intelligence Superior Service Medal, and a Presidential Rank Award, Meritorious.

R. Clarke Cooper of Florida, to be an Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs | Via

Mr. Cooper currently serves as the Director of Intelligence Planning for Joint Special Operations Command’s Joint Inter-Agency Task Force – National Capital Region.  A combat veteran, Mr. Cooper’s active duty assignments include tours with United States Africa Command, Special Operations Command Africa, Joint Special Operations Task Force Trans-Sahara, and Special Operations Command Central.  His background in intergovernmental affairs, foreign policy, counter-terrorism, and rule of law is coupled with his extensive operational experience.  Mr. Cooper’s civilian and military postings include security cooperation and capacity building in Africa, the Levant, and the Middle East.  He served in the Department of State as United States Alternate Representative to the United Nations Security Council and as the United States Delegate to United Nations Budget Committee from 2007 to 2009, Senior Advisor in Near Eastern Affairs Bureau from 2006 to 2007, and Advisor at United States Embassy-Baghdad from 2005 to 2006.  Mr. Cooper earned a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. The WH announcement omits mentioning Cooper’s tenure as head of Log Cabin Republicans from 2010 to 2012. The Washington Blade notes that under Cooper’s tenure at Log Cabin, the organization oversaw a lawsuit challenging “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and assisted with legislative effort to convince Republicans to vote to repeal the military’s gay ban.

Robert A. Destro of Virginia, to be the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor | Via 

Mr. Destro is a human rights advocate and a civil rights attorney with expertise in elections and employment law.  He is also professor of law and director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America.  Mr. Destro has been on the faculty at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law since 1982 and served as its Interim Dean from 1999 to 2001.  He served a six-year term as Commissioner of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.  Mr. Destro’s legal work includes collaboration with the Peace Research Institute Oslo in a fifteen-year dialogue among Muslim, Christian, and Jewish legal, business, and religious leaders in the United States and the Middle East and efforts promoting the release of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in the Middle East.  He has also served as voting rights counsel for the Ohio Secretary of State and advocated for the First Amendment rights of individuals and organizations.  He earned a B.A. from Miami University, Ohio, and a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.  He is an active member of the Bar in Ohio and California.

Denise Natali of the District of Columbia, to be an Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operation | Via

Dr. Denise Natali is the Director for Strategic Research at the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), National Defense University, where she specializes on the Middle East, Iraq, trans-border Kurdish issues, and post-conflict stabilization.  Prior to joining INSS in January of 2011 as the Minerva Chair, Dr. Natali spent more than two decades researching and working in the Kurdish regions of Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Syria, and was also engaged in post-conflict relief and stabilization.  She served as the director of cross-border operations for a non-governmental organization in Peshawar, Pakistan, a specialist for the American Red Cross Gulf Relief Crisis Project in Washington D.C., and an information officer for the Disaster Assistance Relief Team, U.S Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance in northern Iraq.  From 2005 to 2010, Dr. Natali supported a university start-up and taught at public and private universities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, including the American University of Iraq Sulaimania (AUI-S).  She received a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, a M.I.A. from Columbia University and a B. A. from Franklin & Marshall College.  She speaks French and is conversant in Kurdish and Farsi.

John Cotton Richmond of Virginia, to be the Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking at the Department of State | Via

Mr. Richmond is the founder of the Human Trafficking Institute, a nonprofit that works inside criminal justice systems to decimate modern slavery by empowering police and prosecutors to stop traffickers. Previously, he served as the Special Litigation Counsel with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and as a founding member of the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit. Additionally, he served as Field Office Director at the International Justice Mission in Chennai, India and is a two time recipient of the Department of Homeland Security’s Outstanding Investigative Accomplishments in Human Trafficking Award. Mr. Richmond earned his B.A. from the University of Mary Washington and J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law.

Robert Charles O’Brien of California, to be the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs | Via 

Robert C. O’Brien, an attorney, diplomat, and author, is a founding partner of Larson O’Brien LLP.  His practice focuses on complex litigation and international arbitration.  Mr. O’Brien has extensive government and private sector experience in national security and foreign policy matters.  He has served as an arbitrator in over twenty international proceedings and been appointed by the Federal courts to serve as a Special Master in over a dozen complex cases.  Mr. O’Brien has been named one of the top 100 lawyers in California and one of the top 500 lawyers in America. Mr. O’Brien was appointed as a Representative to the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2005, served as Co-Chairman of the Department of State’s Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan from 2007 to 2011 and was appointed to serve as a member of the U.S. Cultural Property Advisory Committee in 2008.  He was a senior legal officer with the United Nations Security Council in Geneva, Switzerland from 1996 to 1998.  Mr. O’Brien served as a major in the JAG Corps of the U.S. Army Reserve.  Mr. O’Brien received a B.A. degree from UCLA and a J.D. degree from Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley School of Law.

CHIEFS OF MISSION

Harry B. Harris Jr. of Florida, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Korea | Via 

Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr. currently serves as the 24th commander of U.S. Pacific Command.  A highly decorated, combat proven Naval officer with extensive knowledge, leadership, and geopolitical expertise in the Indo-Pacific region, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978 and was designated a naval flight officer in 1979.  He earned a M.P.A. from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, a M.A. from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and attended Oxford University.  During his 40-year career, he served in every geographic combatant command region, and he has held seven command assignments, including the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the U.S. Sixth Fleet, and VP-46.  He and his wife, Bruni, live in Hawaii.

On May 23, the WH sent to the Senate its withdrawal of Admiral Harris’ nomination to be Ambassador  to the Commonwealth of Australia, which was sent to the Senate on February 13, 2018.

Lynda Blanchard of Alabama, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Slovenia | Via 

Ms. Blanchard co-founded 100X Development Foundation in 2004, an organization dedicated to fostering creative solutions to eradicate poverty and improve the lives of children around the world.  Concurrently, she co-founded and is currently senior advisor at B & M Management Company, a real estate investment management company.  Ms. Blanchard has worked in Africa, Asia, and South America, engaging with local partners to further 100X Development Foundation’s mission.  As an advocate for people with special needs for more than 20 years, Ms. Blanchard has voluntarily served on boards of non-profit organizations and supported numerous education programs in Alabama, as well as helped families who are interested in adoption.  She is the mother of seven children, four of which were adopted internationally.  Ms. Blanchard earned a B.S. in mathematics and a minor in computer science from Auburn University.

Christine J. Toretti of Pennsylvania, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Malta | Via

Ms. Toretti is an accomplished businesswoman, philanthropist and civic leader.  She was President and CEO of the S.W. Jack Drilling Company for over two decades.  She has served as vice chair of the Rural Telephone Bank, U.S. Department of Agriculture, as a member of the National Petroleum Council, and on the advisory board for the U.S. Secretary of Energy.  Ms. Toretti was also a director of the Pittsburgh branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.  Ms. Toretti has been Republican National Committeewoman from Pennsylvania since 1997 and founded the Anne Anstine Excellence in Public Service Series and the Dodie Londen Excellence in Public Service Series, to educate, empower and advance women in politics.  She received her B.S. from the University of Virginia.

Ronald Gidwitz of Illinois, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kingdom of Belgium  | Via 

Mr. Gidwitz is a partner in GCG Partners and previously led Helene Curtis Industries as President and Chief Executive Officer.  Mr. Gidwitz is also Chicago regional chair of the Business Executives for National Security and, for almost thirty consecutive years, and led three important public institutions; the Chicago Economic Development Commission, the City Colleges of Chicago, and the Illinois State Board of Education.  In addition, Mr. Gidwitz chaired the Illinois Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Workforce Development and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.  Mr. Gidwitz earned a B.A. from Brown University, Providence Rhode Island.  He has received numerous honors and awards including the Bertha Palmer Distinguished Civic Leadership Award from the Chicago Historical Society and been named Laureate by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.

Donald Ray Tapia of Arizona, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Jamaica | Via 

Mr. Tapia served as Chairman and CEO of Essco Group Management, the largest Hispanic owned business in Arizona, for over three decades. Mr. Tapia’s philanthropic efforts include serving on the Board of Directors for the Sun Angel Foundation and Endowment at Arizona State University, the Tau Kappa Epsilon Educational Foundation Board of Indianapolis, Indiana, and as Chairman of Board and Trustee at Saint Leo University. Additionally, he served on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix, Teen LifeLine Phoenix, the Advisory Council of the Arizona Animal Welfare League, and the Advisory Board for the Foundation for Blind Children in Phoenix, Arizona. Mr. Tapia is a U.S. Army veteran and received his B.A. and M.B.A. from Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, Florida, where he was later awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Gordon D. Sondland, of Washington, to be Representative of the United States of America to the European Union, with the rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary | Via 

Gordon D. Sondland is the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Aspen Lodging Group, LLC, d.b.a. Provenance Hotels, in Portland, Oregon.  For almost 15 years Mr. Sondland managed the Aspen Group, an investment fund and he has served on the Advisory Board of U.S. Bancorp for more than a decade.  Additionally, Mr. Sondland was the Senior Republican advisor to the Democratic Governor of Oregon.  He also served as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Portland Art Museum.  Mr. Sondland attended the University of Washington in Seattle, and has maintained an Airline Transport Pilot License since 1978.

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GOP Fundraiser John Rakolta Jr. to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates

Posted: 4:41 am  ET

 

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Trump Formally Nominates Pompeo to be 70th Secretary of State as Tillerson Exits

Posted: 3:14 am  ET

 

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DGHR Nominee Stephen Akard Now Nominated as Director of the Office of Foreign Missions

Posted: 9:52 am  PT
Update: 7:24 pm PT

 

Update: Late on March 20, the White House officially withdrew the nomination of Mr. Akard for DGHR. 

On March 19, the White House announced the nomination of former FSO Stephen Akard to be the Director of the Office of Foreign Missions (with the Rank of Ambassador). The WH released the following brief bio:

Stephen Akard of Indiana, to be Director of the Office of Foreign Missions (with the Rank of Ambassador), Department of State.  Mr. Akard has served as a senior advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, U.S. Department of State since January, 2017.  Previously he was Chief of Staff, Vice President and General Counsel, and Director of International Development for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Indianapolis, Indiana from 2005 -2017.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Akard was a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State from 1997 – 2005 and had assignments in India, Belgium, and as a special assistant in the Executive Secretariat of the State Department.  He earned his B.A, M.B.A. and J.D. degrees from Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana.  Mr. Akard was honored with several awards while serving in the State Department, including two Meritorious Honor awards, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis in 2000.

Akard was previously nominated as Director General of the Foreign Service and personnel chief of the State Department (DGHR). As far as we can tell, the White House has not withdrawn the DGHR nomination. We are, however, hearing that a new DGHR nominee is in the works but we’re still seeking confirmation.

Akard’s OFM nomination was announced on March 19 together with Joseph Mondello, the nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago. Mondello’s nomination was sent to the Senate on March 19 together with five other nominees that does not include Akard’s name, but the public notification is bound to show up at some point.

 

 

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S/P Staffer Kimberly Breier to be Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs

Posted: 3:37 am  ET

 

On March 5, The WH announced the nomination of S/P staffer Kimberly Breier to be the next Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

Kimberly Breier of Virginia, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Western Hemisphere Affairs), vice Mari Carmen Aponte and to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Foundation (Government Rep), vice Roberta Jacobson. Ms. Breier has served as a member of the Secretary’s policy planning staff at the Department of State since 2017.  She previously served as the Director of the U.S.-Mexico Futures Initiative, Deputy Director of the Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and as Vice President of Peschard Sverdrup International.  Formerly, she served as an analyst and manager in the United States intelligence community for more than a decade and as director for North America and as director for Brazil and the Southern Cone on the National Security Council staff at the White House.  Prior to government service, Ms. Breier served as a senior fellow and director of the National Policy Association’s North American Committee.

She earned a B.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College and a M.A. in Latin American studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.  She has traveled extensively in the Western Hemisphere and speaks Spanish.

According to history.state.gov, the Department of State had first established a Division of Latin American Affairs in 1909. The Department created the position of Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs during the general reorganization of Dec 20, 1944, after Congress had authorized an increase in the number of Assistant Secretaries of State from four to six (Dec 8, 1944; P.L. 78-472; 58 Stat. 798). This reorganization was the first to assign substantive designations to specific Assistant Secretary positions. The position was temporarily discontinued between Jun 1947 and Jun 1949, when American Republic Affairs were handled by an Assistant Secretary for Political Affairs. The Department re-established the position in June 1949 after the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government (Hoover Commission) recommended that certain offices be upgraded to bureau level. On Oct 3, 1949, the Department by administrative action changed the incumbent’s designation to Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs.

On January 12, 1999, the Bureau assumed responsibility for Canada and was renamed the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.  If confirmed, Ms Breier would succeed career civil servant Roberta S. Jacobson who served from 2012 until 2016 when she was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. Other recent appointees to this position include Otto Juan Reich (2002); Roger Francisco Noriega (2003–2005); Thomas Alfred Shannon Jr. (2005–2009); and Arturo Valenzuela (2009–2011).

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Certificates of Competency for Nominees to be Chiefs of Mission (As of 2/2018)

Posted: 3:38 am ET

 

Per Section 304 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, Certificates of Competency must be presented to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for presidential nominees to be Chief of Mission that demonstrate the competence of [a] nominee to perform the duties of the position in which he or she is to serve. Section 712 of the Department of State Authorities Act, Fiscal Year 2017, Certificates of Competency are supposed to be posted here within seven days of transmittal to the Senate.

The following are the certificates posted by state.gov from January-February 2018. The nominee for Colombia, Joseph Macmanus is the only career diplomat on this list. To see the certificates of the nominees from 2017, click here.

Cella, Joseph James – Republic of Fiji, Republic of Kiribati, Republic of Nauru, Kingdom of Tonga, and Tuvalu – February 2018
Cornstein, David B. – Hungary – February 2018
Fischer, Davit T. – Kingdom of Morocco – January 2018
Gellert, Andrew Michael – Republic of Chile – January 2018
Harris, Harry B, Jr. – Commonwealth of Australia – February 2018
Macmanus, Joseph Estey – Republic of Colombia – January 2018
Mosbacher, Georgette Paulsin – Republic of Poland – February 2018
Prado, Edward Charles – Argentine Republic – February 2018
Rizzuto, Leandro – Barbados – January 2018
Traina, Trevor D. – Republic of Austria – February 2018
Wolcott, Jackie – Rep of the US to the UNVIE of the UN and Rep of the US to International Atomic Energy Agency – February 2018

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Trump Nominates Career Diplomat Jonathan Cohen to be Deputy Representative at @USUN

Posted: 3:30 am ET

 

On February 8, the White House announced the nomination of career diplomat Jonathan Cohen to be Deputy Representative of the United States of America to the UN and Deputy Representative of the United States of America in the Security Council of the UN. The WH released the following brief bio:

Jonathan R. Cohen of California, to be Deputy Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations and Deputy Representative of the United States of America in the Security Council of the United Nations, with the Rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Representative of the United States of America to the Sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations, during his tenure of service as Deputy Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations.  Mr. Cohen, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, has served as an American diplomat since 1986.  He is currently Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, a position he has held since 2016.  He also served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq (2014-2016), Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France (2013-2014), Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Paris (2011-2013) and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus (2008-2011).  He has served at Embassies or Consulates in Bangkok, Jerusalem, Vienna (OSCE), Stockholm, Ankara and Rome as well as in senior leadership positions at the Department of State.  Mr. Cohen earned an A.B. at Princeton University.  He also studied at Georgetown University and at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.  He speaks French, Swedish and Italian.

This is Mr. Cohen’s first ambassadorial appointment. A longer bio at state.gov has additional details that includes assignments during Operation Northern Watch, and at CPA during the Iraq War, and service at the Secretariat Staff/Advance Teams for Secretaries of State Baker, Eagleburger and Christopher from 1991-1993:

A Foreign Service Officer since 1986, other previous assignments include: Ankara as Political Advisor to Operation Northern Watch, and Embassy Iraq Specialist 2000-2004; Political Advisor to the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance-North, Irbil, and member of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) Governance Team, Baghdad, April-July 2003; Stockholm as Political Officer 1996-2000; Vienna as Liaison to the Hungarian Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Executive Assistant to the Head of the OSCE Bosnia Mission 1995-1996; State Department (Washington, DC) as OSCE Desk Officer/NATO Bosnia Officer 1993-1995, and on Secretariat Staff/Advance Teams for Secretaries of State Baker, Eagleburger and Christopher 1991-1993; Jerusalem as USAID Coordinator and Economic Officer for the West Bank 1989-1991; and Bangkok as Consular/Refugee Affairs Officer 1987-1989.

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Trump Nominates Businessman David B. Cornstein to be U.S. Ambassador to Hungary

Posted: 3:09 am ET

 

On February 13, the White House announced the nomination of David B. Cornstein to be U.S. Ambassador to Hungary. The WH released he following brief bio:

David B. Cornstein of New York, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States to Hungary.  Mr. Cornstein is chairman of Pinnacle Advisors, Ltd and was previously CEO, president, and ultimately chairman emeritus of Finlay Enterprise, a billion-dollar NASDAQ Stock Exchange Company.  A native New Yorker, Mr. Cornstein served as chairman of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation and as vice chair of the city’s Economic Development Corporation.  He was also chair of the New York State Olympic Games commission and a board member of the Battery Park City Authority and of the Jacob Javits Development Corporation.   He has been recognized as Man of the Year by the Chemotherapy Foundation and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.  He earned his B.A. from Lafayette College and M.B.A from New York University.

If confirmed he would succeed Colleen Bradley Bell (1967–) who was appointed to the U.S. Embassy in Budapest from 2015-2017. We have to go back to the 1990’s to find the most recent career diplomat appointed to Hungary and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and that’s Charles H. Thomas (1934–1998) who served from  July 2, 1990–January 11, 1994. Note that career diplomat Mark A. Goodfriend (1957–) served as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim from September 2013–January 2015.  Other appointees who served in Budapest include George H. Walker (1931–)Herbert Claiborne Pell (1884–1961), and Martin Joseph Anthony Hillenbrand (1915–2005)

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