Private Wealth Manager William Ellison Grayson to be U.S. Ambassador to Estonia

 

On Sept 30, 2019, the WH announced the president’s intent to nominate William Ellison Grayson of California to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Estonia. The WH released a brief bio:

William E. Grayson is the National Director of the Family Offices of Bernstein Private Wealth Management in San Francisco, California.  In a long career of public service, Mr. Grayson has served four Presidents.  He was appointed by President Donald J. Trump to the Presidio Trust Board of Directors in San Francisco, California, where he was elected Board Chair by his fellow directors.  During the Obama Administration he served as a Regional Panelist for the White House Fellows Commission.  President George W. Bush appointed Mr. Grayson as a Commissioner on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships and nominated him to the Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board.  As Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Army under President George H.W. Bush, Mr. Grayson oversaw the Army’s 2,700 lawyers.  Mr. Grayson received his B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his J.D. degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law.  He is the recipient of the Outstanding Civilian Service Award from the Secretary of the Army.

The Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California Berkeley has a more extensive bio here. If confirmed, Mr. Grayson would succeed career diplomat James Desmond Melville Jr. (1957–) who served as Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Tallinn from December 8, 2015–July 29, 2018 (also see Ex-Amb. to Estonia James D. Melville Writes Why He Quit). Career FSO Elizabeth K. Horst (?–) served as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at the US Embassy Tallinn from July 29, 2018–August 2, 2019. Post is currently headed by career FSO Brian Roraff as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.
Trump previously nominated Retired Navy Rear Admiral Edward Masso to be Ambassador to Estonia in September 2017.  The nomination for Edward Masso was withdrawn on May 24, 2018.
Grayson’s nomination is currently pending in Committee: 2019-10-15 PN1160 Department of State

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US Embassy Cairo DCM Dorothy Shea to be U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon

 

On October 11, the WH announced the president’s intent to nominate Dorothy Shea of North Carolina, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Lebanese Republic. The WH released the following brief bio:

Dorothy Shea, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. Previously, she had served as Deputy Principal Officer at the United States Consulate General in Jerusalem, as Director of the Office of Assistance for Asia and the Near East in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and as a Pearson Fellow with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Ms. Shea was also the Political/Economic Counselor at the United States Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia, a Political Officer at the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, a Director for Democracy and Human Rights at the National Security Council, and a Special Assistant to the Special Envoy for War Crimes Issues in the Department of State. Ms. Shea earned a B.A. from the University of Virginia, M.S. from Georgetown University, and M.S. from the National War College. She speaks French and Arabic.

If confirmed, Ms. Shea would succeed career diplomat Elizabeth H. Richard (?–) who was confirmed U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon by the U.S. Senate on May 17, 2016.

US Embassy Canberra PolCouns John Hennessey-Niland to be U.S. Ambassador to Palau

 

On Sept 30, 2019, the WH announced the president’s intent to nominate John Hennessey-Niland of Illinois, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Palau. The WH released the following brief bio:

Mr. Hennessey-Niland, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, currently serves as Political Counselor at the United States Embassy in Canberra, Australia.  Previously he was the Foreign Policy Advisor to United States Marine Corps Forces Pacific at Camp Smith, Hawaii, and the Political-Economic Chief at the United States Embassy in Suva, Fiji.  Other diplomatic assignments include Deputy Chief of Mission and later Chargé d’Affaires at the United States Embassy in Dublin, Ireland; Director at the National Security Council for the G-20/G-7; and Director of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement at the United States Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.  Mr. Hennessey-Niland received his B.A. at Tufts University, a MALD at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a Diplome at France’s École Nationale d’Administration.  He speaks French and Dutch.  His awards include the Department of State Foreign Policy Advisors (POLAD) of the Year Award and the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Medal.

If confirmed, Mr. Hennessey-Niland would succeed Ambassador Amy Jane Hyatt (1955–), a career diplomat who has been Chief of Mission to Palau since March 10, 2015.

Interior Design Businesswoman Barbera Hale Thornhill to be U.S. Ambassador to Singapore

 

The WH recently announced the president’s intent to nominate Barbera Hale Thornhill of California, to be U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore. The WH released the following brief bio:

Barbera Hale Thornhill currently serves as president of Impact Design, a business-focused interior design firm in Los Angeles, California.  She is an active member of the Getty Research Institute Council, the Getty Paintings Council, the World Affairs Council, and the Pacific Council on International Policy.  Ms. Thornhill’s extensive philanthropic work has address the needs of children affected by poverty, abuse and neglect, especially as Secretary of the Board of the Children’s Institute of Los Angeles.  She has promoted literacy, technology, and cultural programs through the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, as a board member of the West Los Angeles County Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and as a leader of the National Children’s Chorus of Los Angeles and New York.  Ms. Thornhill attended the University of California at Los Angeles, George Washington University, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

The US Embassy in Singapore was headed for a time by Chargé d’Affaires ad interim  Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath  who served from January 20, 2017–July 26, 2019. On July 30, 2019, she was succeeded by senior U.S. diplomat Rafik Mansour  to be Chargé d’Affaires, a.i.
If confirmed, Ms. Thornhill would succeed Ambassador Kirk W.B. Wagar (1969–) who was appointed during the second term of the Obama Administration and served in Singapore from September 25, 2013–January 20, 2017.
The last career diplomat appointed U.S. Ambassador to Singapore was J. Stapleton Roy (1935–) . who served from October 26, 1984–October 4, 1986. Yes, a very long time ago, though not the career service’s fault, of course.
Other appointees to this position include politicians Jon M. Huntsman Jr. (September 22, 1992–June 15, 1993), David Adelman (April 29, 2010–September 1, 2013), Patricia Louise Herbold (1940–) (December 29, 2005–January 20, 2009).
Given the GOP majority in the U.S. Senate, and the body’s underwhelming performance as the world’s greatest deliberative body, particularly when it comes to political and judicial nominees, it is likely that Ms. Thornhill will get confirmation at some point between now and election day.

U.S. Embassy Eritrea CDA Natalie E. Brown to be U.S. Ambassador to Uganda

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On July 30, 2019, the WH announced the president’s intent to nominate Natalie E. Brown of Nebraska, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Uganda. The WH released the following brief bio:
Ms. Brown, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, currently serves as the Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy in Eritrea.  She previously served as Deputy Permanent Representative and Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Mission to the United Nations Agencies in Rome, Italy, and as Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia.  Ms. Brown also served overseas at the United States embassies in Jordan, Kuwait, Ethiopia, and Guinea.  In Washington, she served as Senior Watch Officer in the State Department Executive Secretariat’s Operations Center, International Affairs Officer in the Office of United Nations Political Affairs in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, and Desk Officer for the Office of West African Affairs in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger.  Ms. Brown earned her B.S. from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and M.S. from the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College.  She speaks French and Arabic, and has studied Italian, German, Amharic, and Tigrinya.

If confirmed, Ms. Brown would succeed Deborah Ruth Malac (1955–) who was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Kampala from May 2015 until the present. Previous appointees to this position includes Scott H. DeLisi (1953–), Nancy Jo Powell (1947–) who later became DGHR, and Johnnie Carson (1943–) who later served as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

 

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Principal Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism Alina L. Romanowski to be to U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait

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On July 25, the WH announced the president’s intent to nominate Alina L. Romanowski, of Illinois, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the State of Kuwait. The WH released the following brief bio:
Ms. Romanowski, a career member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Principal Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the Department of State. Previously, she served as the Coordinator for United States Assistance to Europe and Eurasia in the Department’s Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs, and the Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Middle East Bureau of the United States Agency for International Development.  Ms. Romanowski was twice a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.  At the Defense Department, she was the founding Director of the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs.
Ms. Romanowski earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Chicago.  She is the recipient of a Presidential Distinguished Rank Award and two Presidential Meritorious Rank Awards.  She speaks French and has studied Arabic and Hebrew.

If confirmed, Ms. Romanowski would succeed Ambassador Lawrence R. Silverman who assumed his post as U.S. Ambassador  to Kuwait on September 19, 2016. Previous appointees  to this position includes Deborah Kay Jones (1956–)  who served from April 28, 2008–June 30, 2011; Matthew Haywood Tueller (1957–) who served from September 28, 2011–April 28, 2014 and is now U.S. Ambassador to Iraq; and Douglas Alan Silliman (1960–) who served from  September 15, 2014–August 3, 2016, and was previously the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq prior to retiring from the Foreign Service in 2019. He is now president of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.

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US Embassy Khartoum’s CDA Steven Christopher Koutsis to be U.S. Ambassador to Chad

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On July 24, 2019, the WH announced the president’s intent to nominate  Steven Christopher Koutsis, of Massachusetts, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Chad. The WH released the following brief info:
Steven Koutsis, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister Counselor, currently serves as Charge d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan.  Previously, he served as Director of the Office of the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Deputy Chief of Mission in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and Deputy Director in the Office of Central African Affairs.  Earlier assignments include service as Team Leader of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Diyala Province, Iraq, Political and Economic Counselor in Monrovia, Liberia, and Deputy Chief of Mission in Nouakchott, Mauritania.  Mr. Koutsis earned a B.A. from Boston University in 1979.  He is the recipient of the Department of Army Superior Civilian Service Award for his service in Iraq.  Mr. Koutsis speaks French and Arabic.
If confirmed, Mr.Koutsis would succeed Ambassador Geeta Pasi (1962–) who was appointed U.S. Ambasasdor to Chad from October 6, 2016–September 20, 2018.
According to AFSA, 21 career diplomats have been appointed as ambassador to Chad since 1960.  Chad is one of 41 Foreign Service posts with no history of political appointments.

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Former Condi Rice Advisor Carrie Beth Cabelka to be Asst Secretary For Administration

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On July 22, 2019, the WH announced the appointment of  Carrie Beth Cabelka, of Michigan, to be an Assistant Secretary of State for Administration. The WH released the following brief bio:

Carrie Beth Cabelka currently serves as the White House Liaison to the Department of State.  She previously served as White House Liaison and Senior Advisor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from 2007 to 2009, and White House Liaison at the Office of Personnel Management from 2003 to 2007.  Ms. Cabelka began her career working for Senator Spencer Abraham of Michigan, followed by roles in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel and the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.  While in the private sector, Ms. Cabelka oversaw multimillion-dollar contracts for the Department of Defense, managing public awareness campaigns on health issues that impact service members, veterans and their families, including a special focus on the prevention, treatment, and recovery from traumatic brain injury.  Ms. Cabelka earned a B.A. from Miami University (Ohio).

According to history.state.gov, the Department of State created the position of Assistant Secretary of State for Administration during a general reorganization in December 1944, after Congress authorized an increase in the number of Assistant Secretaries in the Department from four to six (Dec 8, 1944; P.L. 78-472; 58 Stat. 798). The reorganization was the first to designate substantive designations for specific Assistant Secretary positions.

Bureau of Administration Offices

If confirmed, Ms. Cabelka would replace Nicole Nason who was appointed as “A” in December 2017  and apparently served until March 2019 (see Trump to Nominate Ex-NHTSA Admin Nicole R. Nason to be Asst Secretary For Administration). 
Previous appointees to this position include career diplomats William A. Eaton (2001–2005), Patrick Francis Kennedy (1993–2001), and Joyce A. Barr (2011–2017).

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Ops Center Director Robert S. Gilchrist to be U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania

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On July 22, the WH announced the president’s intent to nominate Robert S. Gilchrist, of Florida, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Lithuania. The WH released the following brief bio:

Robert S. Gilchrist is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, and currently serves as the Director of the Operations Center of the Department of State.  Previously, Mr. Gilchrist was Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy in Sweden, Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy in Estonia, and the Director of Nordic and Baltic Affairs in the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.  Among his earlier assignments, Mr. Gilchrist was Deputy Political Counselor at the United States Embassy in Iraq, Chief of the Political Section of the United States Embassy in Romania, and a Special Assistant in the Office of the Deputy Secretary of State.  Mr. Gilchrist earned a B.A. from Wake Forest University, and an M.A. degree from the University of Virginia.  He speaks Spanish, French, Estonian, and Romanian.
If confirmed, Mr. Gilcrist would succeed Anne Hall who served as Ambassador to Vilnius from October 2016 to July 2019.  Lithuania is one of some 40 countries in the world where no political appointee has been appointed since the United States resumed diplomatic relations with Lithuania on September 2, 1991.
Some of the previous appointees to this position includes Ambassadors John F. Tefft (1949–), Stephen D. Mull (1958–) and Deborah Ann McCarthy (1955–).

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Career Diplomat Roxanne Cabral to be U.S. Ambassador to the Marshall Islands

 

On April 29, the White House announced the President’s intent to nominate senior career diplomat Roxanne Cabral to be the next U.S. Ambassador to the Marshall Islands.The WH released the following brief bio:

Roxanne Cabral of Virginia, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Ms. Cabral, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires at the United States Embassy in Panama. Previously, she was Director of the Office of Policy, Planning, and Resources in the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the Department of State. Ms. Cabral served as Public Affairs Officer at the United States Consulate General Guangzhou, China, and at the United States Embassy Tirana, Albania. She also served in the Office of South-Central Europe in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs in the Department of State, the United States Embassy Mexico City, Mexico, and the United States Embassy Kyiv. Ms. Cabral has a B.A. from Vanderbilt University and Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University.

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U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo poses for a photo with U.S. Embassy Panama Chargé d’Affaires Roxanne Cabral at U.S. Embassy Panama in Panama City on October 18, 2018. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]