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Retired Navy Rear Admiral Edward Masso to be Ambassador to Estonia

Posted: 2:23 am ET

 

On September 2, President Trump announced his intent to nominate retired Admiral Edward Masso to be Ambassador to Estonia. The WH released the following brief bio:

Admiral Edward Masso to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Estonia. Mr. Masso is a highly decorated Naval Officer who is the founder and president of Flagship Connection, a consulting company focused on business development, strategic planning, and operations analysis in the areas of missile defense, cyber security, and data analytics. During his distinguished 32-year career in the U.S. Navy, he held nine command assignments, including Commander, Navy Personnel Command/Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel. He has served in NATO and the United States European Command. Mr. Masso is a Senior Fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Cyber Security. He graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1977.

JINSA has a detailed bio of Admiral Masso here.

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Jennifer Gillian Newstead to be @StateDept’s Legal Adviser

Posted: 1:42 am ET

 

On September 2, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Jennifer Gillian Newstead to be Legal Adviser at the State Department. The WH released the following brief bio:

Jennifer Gillian Newstead of New York to be Legal Adviser at the Department of State.Ms. Newstead is a partner in the law firm of Davis, Polk & Wardwell LLP, where she has a global practice representing clients in cross-border regulatory, enforcement and litigation matters. Ms. Newstead previously served in several senior government positions, including as General Counsel of the Office of Management and Budget, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Policy, and Associate Counsel to the President. Ms. Newstead previously served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C and earlier in her career clerked for Justice Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court and for Judge Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She is a 1994 graduate of Yale Law School, and a 1991 graduate magna cum laude of Harvard University.

Her law firm has a more detailed bio:

Ms. Newstead is a partner in Davis Polk’s Litigation Department. She has a global practice representing leading international corporations, financial institutions and Boards of Directors in white collar criminal defense, regulatory and securities enforcement matters, internal investigations and related civil litigation. She advises clients in high-profile, cross-border investigations involving alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, U.S. economic sanctions and anti-money laundering laws, securities and accounting laws, and other financial regulations. She represents clients before regulatory and law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Department of Justice, the SEC, the Federal Reserve Board, Treasury/OFAC, the NY Department of Financial Services, and other authorities. She has conducted investigations related to business in numerous countries in Asia, the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin and South America. Ms. Newstead frequently advises clients on the design and implementation of global compliance programs to mitigate risk.

Ms. Newstead joined Davis Polk after a U.S. Supreme Court clerkship. She left the firm in 2001 to serve as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service. She served as an Associate White House Counsel from 2002 to 2003 and as General Counsel of the White House Office of Management and Budget from 2003 to 2005. She rejoined the firm in 2005.

Back in June, BuzzFeed reported that Ms. Newstead, a former George W. Bush administration official and architect of the Patriot Act was slated be the top lawyer at the State Department. See A Lawyer Who Helped Write The Patriot Act Is Trump’s Pick For A Top State Department Job.

The White House sent her nomination to the Senate on September 5, and it has been referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. As of this writing, the SFRC has yet to schedule this nomination for a hearing.

Former Legal Adviser John B. Bellinger III (2005–2009) notes that if confirmed, Ms. Newstead would be the first woman to serve as Legal Adviser of the State Department. He writes that this position was created by statute in 1931, replacing the Solicitor, which had been the chief legal officer of the State Department since 1891.

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SFRC Clears Bass (AFG), Manchester (Bahamas), King (Croatia), McFarland (Singapore), Gingrich (Holy See), and More

Posted: 1:30 pm PT

 

On September 19, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee cleared the following nominees. The nominations will now go to the full Senate for a vote:

John R. Bass, of New York, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Doug Manchester, of California, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

Stephen B. King, of Wisconsin, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Czech Republic.

Kathleen Troia McFarland, of New York, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Singapore.

The panel also cleared Steve Mnuchin as U.S. Goveror for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the IMF:

Steven T. Mnuchin, of California, to be United States Governor of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, United States Governor of the African Development Fund, and United States Governor of the Asian Development Bank, vice Jacob Joseph Lew, resigned.

Steven T. Mnuchin, of California, to be United States Governor of the International Monetary Fund, United States Governor of the African Development Bank, United States Governor of the Inter-American Development Bank, and United States Governor of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development for a term of five years, vice Jacob Joseph Lew, resigned.

The following nominees for UNGA were also cleared:

Barbara Lee, of California, to be Representative of the United States of America to the Seventy-second Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Christopher Smith, of New Jersey, to be Representative of the United States of America to the Seventy-second Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Previously, the Senate panel also cleared the following nominees. As far as we can tell, these nominees are pending on the Executive Calendar and the full Senate has yet to put these nominations to a vote:

Callista L. Gingrich, of Virginia, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Holy See. Jul 27, 2017 Reported by Mr. Corker, Committee on Foreign Relations, without printed report.

Jay Patrick Murray, of Virginia, to be Alternate Representative of the United States of America for Special Political Affairs in the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador. Aug 03, 2017 Reported by Mr. Corker, Committee on Foreign Relations, without printed report.

Jay Patrick Murray, of Virginia, to be an Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations, during his tenure of service as Alternate Representative of the United States of America for Special Political Affairs in the United Nations. Aug 03, 2017 Reported by Mr. Corker, Committee on Foreign Relations, without printed report.

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9/19 SFRC Hearings: Jon Huntsman Jr. (Russia), Wess Mitchell (State/EUR)

Posted: 12:47 am ET

 

The SFRC is holding two hearings today, one for Ambassador Huntsman’s nomination to be the next Ambassador to Russia, and the second, Wess Mitchell’s nomination to be Assistant Secretary of State for the EUR Bureau.

Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: SD-419
Presiding: Senator Corker

Panel One

The Honorable Jon M. Huntsman, Jr.
Of Utah, To Be Ambassador Extraordinary And Plenipotentiary Of The United States Of America To The Russian Federation
His Certificate of Demonstrated Competence per Foreign Service Act, Section 304(a)(4) is available here.

Panel Two

Mr. A. Wess Mitchell
Of Virginia, To Be An Assistant Secretary Of State (European And Eurasian Affairs)

The prepared statements and live video of the hearing will be available here.

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Trump Economic Adviser Carla Sands to be U.S. Ambassador to Denmark

Posted: 1:16 am ET

 

On September 7, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Carla Sands as the next U.S. Ambassador to Denmark. The WH released the following brief bio:

Carla Sands of California to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Denmark. Ms. Sands has been the Chairman of Vintage Capital Group, L.L.C in Los Angeles since 2015; a company recognized by real estate industry as a professional, ethical and highly successful real estate firm. She is also a doctor of chiropractic and has been a television and film actress. Ms. Sands is a leader in the non-profit sector, working with organizations to improve the lives of children and the underprivileged. Demonstrating her commitment to improving education, she has served as a Board Member of Pepperdine University. In addition, Ms. Sands has served on the boards of organizations supporting the arts and culture. Ms. Sands earned a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic College, Marietta, Georgia.

A mored detailed biography is available here via Vintage Capital Group.

Ballotpedia notes that Carla Sands was a district-level delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention from California.  In summer 2016, she was named as one of Trump’s economic advisers. OpenSecrets.org lists her as one of Trump’s 250 donors who shelled out $100k or more for Trump’s inauguration.

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Career Diplomat Rebecca E. Gonzales to be U.S. Ambassador to Lesotho

Posted: 12:47 am ET

 

On September 7, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Rebecca Eliza Gonzales to be the U.S. Ambassador to Lesotho. The WH released the following brief bio:

Rebecca Eliza Gonzales of Texas to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kingdom of Lesotho.Ms. Gonzales, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, has served as an American diplomat since 1992. She is currently the Chief of Staff of the Bureau of Administration at the Department of State. In previous positions as a Management Officer and senior official at the State Department, she is known for her leadership, crisis management skills and knowledge of Africa. She earned a M.S. from the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy at Fort McNair and both a M.B.A. and B.A from The George Washington University. She speaks Spanish and Greek.

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View of Maseru, Lesotho via US Embassy Maseru/FB

NYC Marketing Executive Steven Goldstein to be Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (R)

Posted: 1:02 am ET

 

On September 15, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Irwin Steven Goldstein to be Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy. The title is actually Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (R). The WH released the following brief bio:

Irwin Steven Goldstein of New York to be the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy, Department of State. Mr. Goldstein has been a Senior Vice President at BP Global Solutions, a consulting firm in New York City, since 2012. His recent work includes serving as a senior advisor to Winning Algorithms, a data science start-up. In his four-decade career, Mr. Goldstein has led communications, branding, and social media efforts at several large private sector companies, including as senior vice president and chief communications officer at AllianceBernstein; executive vice president and chief communications officer at TIAA-CREF; and vice president, corporate communications at Dow Jones & Company. In the public sector, he was Assistant to the Secretary and Director of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior and served five members of the U.S. House of Representatives, primarily as Chief of Staff or Press Secretary. Mr. Goldstein earned a B.A. at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

The nominee is also known as I. Steven Goldstein and his BP Global Solutions bio notes his prior service at the Department of Interior:

Steve’s experience includes seven years as Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for TIAA, a Fortune 100 financial services firm providing retirement security to individuals in the not-for-profit sector. As Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal, Steve helped guide one of the world’s premier newspapers through a major redesign and through the tumultuous period following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In the administration of President George H.W. Bush, Steve served as an Assistant Secretary and the Director of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior.  He previously was a press secretary and chief of staff on Capitol Hill.

There’s also another potential connection to the current denizens of Foggy Bottom. The nominee was EVP and Chief Communications Officer  for TIAA.  Maliz Beams, the former CEO of Retirement Solutions at Voya Financial recently hired as State Department Counselor was also previously the Chief Executive Officer of TIAA-CREF Individual and Institutional Services, LLC (see Former Voya Financial CEO Maliz Beams Appointed @StateDept Counselor).

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Ex-DAS Manisha Singh to be Asst Secretary For Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB)

Posted: 12:53 am ET

 

On September 9, President Trump announced his intent to nominate former EB Bureau DAS Manisha Singh to be Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB). The WH released the following bio:

Manisha Singh of Florida to be Assistant Secretary of State, Economic and Business Affairs. Ms. Singh is Chief Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor to U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan. She is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs and has served as a senior aide to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Ms. Singh’s private sector experience includes practicing law at multinational law firms and working in-house at an investment bank. She earned an LL.M. in International Legal Studies from the American University Washington College of Law, a J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law and a B.A. from the University of Miami at the age of 19. In addition, she studied at the University of Leiden Law School in the Netherlands. She is licensed to practice law in Florida, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia and speaks fluent Hindi.

The nominee was previously the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Trade Policy and Programs at the State Department.  Her archived 2001-2009 state.gov bio includes more details:

She supervises four offices in the Bureau: Multilateral Trade Affairs; Bilateral Trade Affairs; Agriculture, Biotechnology and Textile Trade Affairs; and Intellectual Property Enforcement, with staff totaling over 50 people. She is responsible for developing and promoting trade policy within the foreign policy context. Her prior Department experience includes serving as a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs. In this position, she was the key liaison on various issues to U.S. international organization missions in New York, Geneva, Paris, Vienna and Rome.

Before joining the Administration, she served as Deputy Chief Counsel to the Republican staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (2003-2007), working for Chairman/Ranking Member Senator Richard Lugar. There, she was responsible for international trade, economic and development matters, including treaties, free trade agreements, OPIC and WTO issues. Her duties also included confirmations of U.S. ambassadors and administration officials as well as oversight of U.S. government participation in entities such as the OECD and APEC. Examples of her work include several tax treaties, bilateral investment treaties and trade legislation including the bill granting PNTR to Ukraine, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which created a platform for trade and capacity building in sub-Saharan Africa, the United States Direct Investment Act, which was designed to promote the U.S. as a destination for foreign investment, and the Sanctions Policy Reform Act, which provided guidelines for the imposition of unilateral economic sanctions. She also managed passage of Senator Lugar’s World Intellectual Property Day resolution, and was responsible for global IP and pharmaceutical issues.

Her prior Capitol Hill experience includes serving as counsel to the Republican staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, where she managed the committee’s international commerce jurisdiction. Before working for the U.S. Congress, she was a practicing attorney at the law firms of Squire Sanders & Dempsey L.L.P. in the Corporate and Capital Markets group and Reed Smith LLP, where she represented privately held and publicly listed clients in domestic and cross border transactions. She also spent time at Stewart and Smith, Inc., where she advised financial investment firms regarding domestic and international legal issues impacting the market price of publicly held securities.

Ms. Singh completed a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Legal Studies, with concentration in international trade, at the American University Washington College of Law. While completing this degree, she worked in the Office of General Counsel at the United States International Trade Commission. After law school, she served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Edward F. Threadgill, Jr., then Chief Judge of the State of Florida Second District Court of Appeal. Her educational background includes earning a Juris Doctor (JD) from the University of Florida College of Law at the age of 22, and completing a Certificate at the University of Leiden in The Netherlands. She earned a Bachelor of Arts (BA) with honors at the University of Miami at the age of 19. She speaks fluent Hindi and conversational Spanish. She is admitted to practice law in Florida, the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania. She is a member of the South Asian Bar Association and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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U.S. Navy Vet Sean P. Lawler to Move From NSC to @StateDept to be Chief of Protocol

Posted: 12:51 am ET

 

On September 9, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Sean P. Lawler to be Chief of Protocol. The WH released the following bio:

Sean P. Lawler of Maryland to be Chief of Protocol and to have the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service. Mr. Lawler is the Director for Visits, Planning, and Diplomatic Affairs at the National Security Council. Prior to that, Mr. Lawler was the Chief, Office of Visits and Protocol at the U.S. Cyber Command in Fort Meade, Maryland. A veteran with more than 20 years of service in the U.S Navy, Mr. Lawler capped his military service as the Director of Administration at the Naval Support Facility Thurmont (Camp David) in Thurmont, Maryland. Earlier, he was the Administrative Department Leading Chief Petty Officer and Ship’s Secretary on the USS John C. Stennis and he was an Executive Assistant to the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

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Trump’s 2016 SC Campaign Director Edward T. McMullen, Jr. to be Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein

Posted: 12:49 am ET

 

On September, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Edward T. McMullen, Jr. to be U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The WH released the following brief bio:

Edward T. McMullen, Jr. of South Carolina to be to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Swiss Confederation, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Principality of Liechtenstein. Mr. McMullen has served in public policy, political, and business positions for 31 years. Currently, he is President of McMullen Public Affairs with offices in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina and Washington, D.C. The firm is a full service advertising and corporate public affairs company that implements advertising, alliance development, corporate communications, predictive data analytics, and strategic consulting solutions for challenging business and public policy environments. Clients have included several fortune 100 companies. Mr. McMullen has been appointed by South Carolina state leaders to serve on key statewide boards and commissions. He earned a B.A. from Hampden Sydney College in Hampden Sydney, Virginia.

The Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce in Zurich sent a note to its members about the nominee. Excerpt below:

“Ed McMullen has close connections to Switzerland. He was elected a Young Leader by the American Swiss Foundation and participated in the Young Leaders program in 1995, spending a week in Switzerland with other Young Leaders from Switzerland and the USA, visiting many top governemt and political leaders and getting to know the country, its people and its values. Ed McMullen has since traveled in Switzerland many times. Rumors have it that his clear favorites included the Jungfraujoch and the Unspunnenfest in Interlaken, where he apparently even donated to the prizes of the Schwing competition.”

According to Ballotpedia, Ed McMullen was the South Carolina state director for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. McMullen previously worked for the Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)(3) policy think tank, as well as the South Carolina Policy Council. McMullen is the president of McMullen Public Affairs, a campaign communications firm located in Columbia, S.C. Read more here.

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