Nomination: FSO Elizabeth Anne Noseworthy Fitzsimmons to be Ambassador to the Togolese Republic

 

President Biden announced his intent to nominate Elizabeth Anne Noseworthy Fitzsimmons to be Ambassador to the Republic of Togo. The WH released the following brief bio:

Elizabeth Anne Noseworthy Fitzsimmons, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, is the Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs.  From 2018-2021, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central Africa and Public Diplomacy.  Prior to that, she was Acting Deputy Spokesperson for the Department.  Previous assignments include Deputy Executive Secretary to Secretaries Kerry and Tillerson, Senior Advisor at the Foreign Service Institute, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, and the Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Fitzsimmons has served overseas in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Cambodia, India and Bulgaria.  She has also worked in the State Department’s Operations Center and as Deputy Director of the State Department’s Executive Secretariat.  She earned a B.A. from the University of Virginia.  Fitzsimmons speaks Bulgarian, French and Chinese.

 

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US Amb to Rwanda Peter Vrooman to be Ambassador to Mozambique

 

President Biden recently announced his intent to nominate Peter Hendrick Vrooman to be the next Ambassador to Mozambique. The WH released the following brief bio:

Peter Hendrick Vrooman, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Mozambique

Peter Hendrick Vrooman, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, is the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Rwanda.  Ambassador Vrooman recently served as the Chargé d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Prior to that he served as the spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi; Director for Iraq on the staff of the National Security Council in Washington, D.C.; and Deputy Political Counselor in Tel Aviv and at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.  He also worked at the U.S. embassies in Baghdad, Beirut, and Djibouti, as well as the U.S. Liaison Office in Mogadishu, Somalia.  In Washington, he was a Watch Officer in the Department of State’s Operations Center and the Desk Officer for Algeria in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.  A native of New York, Ambassador Vrooman graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. in Social Studies and earned an M.S. in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces, now known as the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy.  Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he worked as the special assistant to the President of the American University in Cairo.

If confirmed, Ambassador Vrooman would succeed Ambassador Dennis Walter Hearne, a career diplomat who was served in Maputo since January 2019.

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Biden Nominates John Bass to be Under Secretary of State For Management

 

President Biden announced his intent to nominate former Ambassador John Bass to be the next Under Secretary of State for Management. The WH released the following brief bio:

John R. Bass, Nominee for Under Secretary of State for Management

John R. Bass, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Career Minister, currently is a Senior Advisor at the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute. He has served as Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, and Ambassador to the Republic of Georgia.  Previously, Bass focused, among other things, on supporting U.S. government efforts to mobilize allies and marshal resources to combat terrorism and instability in Iraq, Syria and Southwest Asia.  He served at seven U.S. Missions overseas including as Team Leader of Provincial Reconstruction Team – Baghdad at the American Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.  In addition, he was the Executive Secretary of the State Department and held other senior leadership positions at the Department of State.  Bass earned an A.B. Cum Laude from Syracuse University. 

According to his online bios, Ambassador Bass began his diplomatic career in 1988 with early postings reportedly in Chad, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Italy.
In 1992, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for appointment as Foreign Service Officers of Class Four, Consular Officers and Secretaries in the Diplomatic Service of the United States of America.
In 1998, he went to work for Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott (1994-2001) first as a special assistant for Europe and Eurasia and later as Talbott’s chief of staff in 2000 (presumably until Talbott’s departure from Foggy Bottom in 2001).
He served at the U.S. Embassy in Rome from 2002 to 2004.
From 2004 to 2005, Bass was a special advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney for Europe and Eurasia.
From 2005-2008, Bass was director of the State Department Operations Center during Condoleezza Rice’s tenure as secretary of state.
About 19 years after joining the Foreign Service, he was promoted into the Senior Foreign Service (SFS). In 2007, he was confirmed as a Career Members of the Senior Foreign Service of the United States of America, Class of Counselor.
He led the Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) from 2008-2009.
President Obama nominated him as Ambassador to Georgia where he served from August 2009 to 2012.
In 2011, he was promoted within the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor
He served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of State and Executive Secretary from 2012–2014, partly during Clinton’s tenure (2009-2013), and during Kerry’s tenure (2013-2017).
He served as Obama’s Ambassador to Turkey from 2014-2017
He served as  Trump’s Ambassador to Afghanistan from December 2017-January 2020.
Some 10 years after his promotion into the SFS, he was promoted within the Senior Foreign Service of the United States of America, Class of Career Minister in 2017.
In January 2020, he stepped down from a two-year tenure as Ambassador to Afghanistan.
We’re not sure where he went after Kabul but 18 months later, he was back in the news.
On July 21, 2021, President Biden announced his intent to nominate him as Under Secretary for Management at the State Department.
On August 18, the State Department sent him to Kabul to help with the evacuation (see @StateDept Sends M Nominee John Bass to Kabul to Leverage “Logistics Experience” in Evacuation).
As of this writing, his nomination (PN922 ) is pending at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
There is no/no other position in Foggy Bottom that has a more significant impact on the lives of employees and family members than the Under Secretary of State for Management. Now, we know that press clips say this appointment is part of the Biden’s administration’s “efforts to revive a demoralized diplomatic corps.”   We’ve also heard some quarters argue that the nominee is a 7th floor denizen who has never served in the Bureau of Administration or any of the functional bureaus under M, etc. etc. Remains to be seen either way what impact he makes once he is in office; he will be facing not just morale issues but also a host of internal management challenges.
Some added perspective –Ambassador Bass is not the secretary of state’s BFF unlike his predecessor; one could consider that good news. Also, he’s been in the service for 33 years, so with few exceptions, he knows more than most people appointed as State/M. He won’t need six months getting to know the institution and learning all the acronyms! If confirmed, he would only be the third career diplomat appointed as Under Secretary for Management (the others being Ronald Ian Spiers who served as “M” from 1983–1989 and Patrick F. Kennedy  who served from 2007–2017).
Hey, three career appointees out of the total 16 appointees since 1953 is a record!
Also good news, Ambassador Bass doesn’t have an Operation Anvil baggage coming into the job currently encumbered by …. ah, what were they thinking?!

Related posts:

Biden Taps Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon as Ambassador to Spain and Andorra

 

President Biden recently announced his intent to nominate Julissa Reynoso to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Spain and Andorra. The WH released the following brief bio:

Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Spain and to the Principality of Andorra

Julissa Reynoso is an Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Dr. Jill Biden, and the Co-Chair of the Gender Policy Council at the White House.  A former U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay, Reynoso also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.  She is a former partner at the international law firm of Winston & Strawn LLP, in New York, and served on the faculty of Columbia University School of Law and School of International and Public Affairs.  Reynoso is widely published in English and Spanish on an array of issues including comparative law, regulatory reform, community organizing, immigration policy, and Latin American politics for both popular press and academic journals.  She holds a B.A. in Government from Harvard University, a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.  She clerked for the Honorable Federal Judge Laura Taylor Swain.  She is fluent in Spanish.

If confirmed, the former Ambassador to Uruguay Julissa Reynoso would succeed political appointee Richard D. Buchan III who served as Ambassador to Spain from January 18, 2018–January 2021. According to AFSA’s ambassador tracker, all but five of 19 ambassadors to Spain (73.7%) since 1960 were political appointees.

Biden to Nominate @ColumbiaLaw’s Sarah H. Cleveland to be @StateDept Legal Adviser

 

President Biden recently announced his intent to nominate Sarah H. Cleveland to be the next Legal Adviser of the State Department. The WH released the following brief bio:

Sarah H. Cleveland, Nominee for Legal Adviser of the Department of State

Sarah H. Cleveland is an American law professor and expert in international law and the constitutional law of U.S. foreign relations.  A native of Alabama, she holds the Louis Henkin Chair in Human and Constitutional Rights and is Faculty Co-Director of the Human Rights Institute at Columbia Law School. She previously served as the Co-Coordinating Reporter of the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States (2018), and as Counselor on International Law to the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State.  She was nominated by the U.S. government and served as an independent expert on the United Nations Human Rights Committee (2015-18) and the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe (2013-19). Cleveland began her career as a Skadden Fellow representing migrant farmworkers with Florida Legal Services, and then joined the faculty at the University of Texas School of Law. The author of numerous publications, she also has taught at Oxford, Harvard, Michigan, Sciences Po Paris, Paris II Panthéon-Assas, and the European University Institute, Florence.  She earned a Bachelor’s Degree with honors at Brown University (Junior Phi Beta Kappa); a Master’s Degree at Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar; and a J.D. at Yale University Law School.  She clerked for Judge Louis F. Oberdorfer on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and then for Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun.

Related posts:

Nomination: Amb David R. Gilmour to be U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea

President Biden recently announced his intent to nominate David R. Gilmour to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea. The WH released the following brief bio:

David R. Gilmour, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea

David R. Gilmour, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, is the Chargé d’Affaires a.i. at the U.S. Embassy in N’Djamena, Chad.  He is a former U.S. Ambassador to the Togolese Republic.  He has served in the Bureau of African Affairs at the Department of State as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central Africa, Director of East African Affairs, and Director of Public Diplomacy for Africa.  He was Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassies in Panama and Malawi, and Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Mission in Geneva.  Other overseas assignments include Australia, Costa Rica, South Africa and Cameroon.  He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Partnership Excellence Award from the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Partnerships.  Gilmour received a B.A. from Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan, and an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.  He speaks French and Spanish.

If confirmed, Ambassador Gilmour would succeed career diplomat Susan Stevenson who was appointed to the US Embassy in Malabo in 2019.

Biden Taps Former “P” Nicholas Burns to be the Next Ambassador to Beijing

 

 

President Biden announced his intent to nominate former Ambassador Nicholas Burns as his Ambassador to China. The WH released the following brief bio:

R. Nicholas Burns, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the People’s Republic of China

Ambassador (ret.) Nicholas Burns, a respected former career member of the Foreign Service, currently serves as Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He is also Executive Director of the Aspen Strategy Group and Security Forum and Senior Counselor at the Cohen Group. During his State Department career, Burns served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Ambassador to NATO and to Greece, State Department Spokesman, and on the National Security Council staff on Soviet and Russian Affairs. As Under Secretary, he worked with the Chinese government on issues as diverse as Afghanistan, United Nations Sanctions against Iran, North Korea ,and U.S. policy in the Indo-Pacific. At the Aspen Strategy Group, he organized a policy dialogue with the Chinese government’s Central Party School.  He has taught, written, and spoken on current U.S.-China relations. Burns earned his B.A. degree from Boston College and an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. His numerous awards include a Presidential Distinguished Service Award and the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award. He speaks fluent French and has familiarity with Arabic and Greek.

The WH somehow forgot to include the nominee’s Entegris bio. Click here for a longer bio via the George W. Bush White House archive, and  the Policy Planning bio from 2009-2017 via state.gov. His Cohen Group bio where he is senior counselor is available here.
After the announcement, China expressed hope that Ambassador Burns would “play a constructive role” in China-US relations and “make constructive contributions to the stable development of bilateral ties.”
If confirmed, Ambassador Burns would succeed Terry E. Branstad who served in Beijing from July 12, 2017–October 4, 2020. A previous appointee to this position once announced that “The ambassador doesn’t work for the State Department.” That one managed to work at the US Embassy in Beijing from March 20, 2014–January 16, 2017 presumably without working for the State Department.

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Biden Taps Rahm Emanuel as Ambassador to Japan

 

On August 20, President Biden announced his intent to nominate the controversial former Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel to be the next Ambassador to Japan. The WH released the following brief bio:

Rahm Emanuel, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Japan

Rahm Emanuel, former Mayor of the City of Chicago and White House Chief of Staff to President Obama, has had a distinguished career in public service. As Mayor, he oversaw increased economic development that revitalized the city and helped solidify its status as a global hub of culture and commerce. He ensured Chicago was a leader on the global stage, hosting the 2012 NATO summit, leading the continent in foreign direct investment for six consecutive years, convening mayors worldwide to commit to the Chicago Climate Charter of 2017 and helping establish the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Mayors Forum on Global Cities. He previously served as Chief of Staff to President Obama, where he helped secure the passage of landmark legislation, including Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act, and advised President Obama on all key national security decisions during the President’s first two years. From 2003 to 2009, Mr. Emanuel served in the U.S. House of Representatives where he held a number of leadership positions. Mr. Emanuel also served President Clinton as Assistant to the President for Political Affairs and Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy. He is currently national chair of the Advisory Council of Youth Guidance’s Becoming a Man (BAM) mentoring program. He graduated with a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Northwestern University. 

If confirmed, Emanuel would succeed William F. Hagerty IV who served at the US Embassy in Tokyo from August 31, 2017–July 22, 2019. Ambassador Hagerty was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2020 and now represents the state of Tennessee.
Prior appointees to this position includes, Caroline Bouvier Kennedy (1957–), Howard Henry Baker Jr. (1925–2014), Thomas Stephen Foley (1929–2013), Walter F. Mondale (1928–), Michael Joseph Mansfield (1903–2001) to name a few.
There’s an organized group that’s running a “No to Rahm” campaign. There are also  members of the House who are voicing publicly their opposition to this nomination. In the end though, only the votes in the Senate really counts. It is not  very often that a Senate confirmation gets derailed; it does happen from time to time, but this nominee has friends in the high places, so more likely than not, this nomination will get confirmed despite the opposition.
Of course, given that Senator Cruz, one of the heroes of the January 6 insurrection has already gummed up the confirmation process, who knows when nominees may actually start packing.

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Biden Taps Confidant Mark Gitenstein to be Ambassador to the European Union

 

President Biden announced his intent to nominate his former Senate aide and confidant Mark Gitenstein to be the next Ambassador to the European Union. The WH released the following brief bio:

Mark Gitenstein, Nominee for Representative of the United States of America to the European Union, with rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Mark Gitenstein is Senior Counsel at Mayer Brown LLP, and a former U.S. Ambassador to Romania. He has spent most of the last decade working on projects in Central and Eastern Europe.  As Ambassador, he focused on fighting corruption and preserving democratic institutions, issues he continued to focus on through his work as a lawyer and with NGOs. Since his term as ambassador ended in 2012, he has returned to the region over two dozen times since then.

Earlier in his career, Gitenstein worked for 17 years in the U.S. Senate as Chief Counsel or Minority Chief Counsel of the Judiciary Committee, Chief Counsel of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, and Counsel for the Intelligence Committee.  In 2008 he co-chaired then Senator Biden’s transition to the vice presidency. In 2021 he served as a senior advisor to and member of the advisory committee to the Biden presidential transition.

Gitenstein earned an A.B. at Duke University and a J.D. at Georgetown University Law School.  He was awarded the Star of Romania, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by the President of Romania in 2012.

Ambassador Gitenstein previously served as chief of mission at the US Embassy in Bucharest. Unlike most political ambassadors, his post was inspected by the Inspector General in 2012, the last year of his tenure in Romania. The report indicated a well-run embassy and had very good things to say about the chief of mission: “The Ambassador has led the mission to notable political, political-military, public outreach, and economic-commercial successes.” Also that “the Ambassador thinks strategically and has a clear set of goals.”
If confirmed, Ambassador Gitenstein would succeed Trump Impeachment I witness Gordon Sonland who served as Ambassador to the European Union from 2018 until he was fired by Trump on February 7, 2020, two days after the conclusion of Trump’s impeachment trial.

Related posts:

Ambassador Patricia Mahoney: From Benin to the Central African Republic

 

 

President Biden announced his intent to nominate Ambassador Patricia Mahoney to be the next U.S. Ambassador to the Central African Republic. The WH released the following brief bio:

Patricia Mahoney, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Central African Republic

Patricia Mahoney, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Benin. Previously she was an Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and the Office Director of the Office of Mainland Southeast Asia, also in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Earlier, Mahoney was the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Kampala, Uganda, and before that the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal. Mahoney also served as Director for South Asia at the National Security Council. Mahoney earned her B.A. cum laude from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts and her M.A. from the University of Hawaii.  She is a Distinguished Graduate of the National War College in Washington, D.C., receiving an M.S. degree in 2009.  Ms. Mahoney speaks French, Thai, Nepali and Lao.

If confirmed, Ambassador Mahoney would succeed career diplomat Lucy Tamlyn who was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Central African Republic on January 11, 2019.

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