DHS PDAS John Barsa to be Asst Administrator for USAID/Latin America and the Caribbean

The WH announced the president’s intent to nominate John Barsa, currently with DHS to be the next USAID Assistant Administrator for Latin American and the Caribbean. The WH released the following brief bio:

John Barsa of Florida, to be an Assistant Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean).

Mr. Barsa currently serves as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Partnership and Engagement (DHS OPE).  Previously, he served as the Acting Assistant Secretary for OPE. Mr. Barsa served with the United States Army Reserves for nearly a decade and was a member of the 11th Special Forces Group and the 450th Civil Affairs Battalion. In the U.S. Congress, he worked for Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart, focusing on foreign policy and national security issues.  During the Bush Administration, Mr. Barsa served in external engagement roles within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Homeland Security. He is a graduate of Florida International University and is a native Spanish speaker.

Reax:

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Trump to Nominate Ohio Businessman Edward Crawford to be Ambassador to Ireland

On October 22, the White House announced the President’s intent to nominate Ohio businessman Edward F. Crawford to be the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. The WH released the following brief bio:

Edward F. Crawford of Ohio, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Ireland.

Mr. Crawford currently serves as Chairman and CEO of The Edward Crawford Group and Park-Ohio Industries, Inc.  He is the recipient of the Northeast Ohio Business Hall of Fame Entrepreneurial Award, Small Business News Master Innovator Award, Ernst & Young Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the Small Business Administration Man of the Year-Ohio Award.  He served in the Specialist Aviation Company, 107th Armored Cavalry, Army National Guard, and attended John Carroll University.

More details from the Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland here: https://clevelandmayosociety.org/edward-f-crawford/

If confirmed, he would succeed another political appointee Kevin F. O’Malley who served from  2014-2017.  Career diplomat Reece Smyth who was assigned as Deputy Chief of Mission to Dublin in 2016 assumed duties as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at the U.S. Embassy on January 20th, 2017 after the departure of Ambassador O’Malley.

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Trump to Nominate Retired Air Force General David Stilwell to be Asst Secretary For East Asian & Pacific Affairs

On October 17, the WH announced the President’s intent to nominate Air Force veteran David Stilwell to be the next Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP). The WH released the following brief bio:

David Stilwell of Hawaii, to be an Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State.

Mr. Stilwell is an Air Force veteran with more than 35 years of experience as a pilot, commander, and Korean linguist. He retired in 2015 with the rank of Brigadier General. Currently, Mr. Stilwell is the Director of the China Strategic Focus Group at the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Headquarters in Hawaii and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Previously, he served as Staff Officer for Joint Staff Plans and Policy (Asia) at the Pentagon and Defense Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Mr. Stillwell earned his B.S. from the U.S. Air Force Academy, and M.A. degrees from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, U.S. Air Command and Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College. He is the recipient of the Department of Defense Superior Service Award and speaks Korean, Chinese, and limited Japanese.

In December 2017, WH nominated career diplomat Susan Thorton to be A/S for EAP (see Career Diplomat Susan A. Thornton to be Asst Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP)). Her nomination became one more casualty of politics, particularly following the departure of former Secretary Tillerson. In July this year, she announced her retirement after a 27-year career with the U.S. Foreign Service (see Former State Department diplomat settles on historic Maine farm).

If confirmed, General Stilwell would succeed Daniel R. Russel who served from 2013 to 2017. Other prior appointees to this position include Winston Lord (1993–1997); Paul D. Wolfowitz (1982–1986); Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke (1977–1981); William Averell Harriman (1961–1963), and David Dean Rusk (1950–1951) to name a few.

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Trump to Nominate Career Diplomat Mary Catherine Phee to be Ambassador to Qatar

On October 17, the WH announced the President’s intent to nominate career diplomat and former ambassador to South Sudan Mary Catherine Phee as the next U.S. Ambassador to Qatar. The WH released the following brief bio:

Mary Catherine Phee of Illinois, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the State of Qatar.

Ms. Phee, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as the Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation at the Department of State. Previously, she served as Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Additionally, she served on the National Security Council as Director for Iraq and was the Senior Civilian Representative of the Coalition Provisional Authority to Maysan Province, al-Amarah, Iraq. Ms. Phee earned her B.A. from Indiana University and M.A.L.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She is the recipient the State Department’s Robert C. Frasure Memorial Award and the Baker-Wilkins Award for Outstanding Deputy Chief of Mission. She also received the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award and the Order of the British Empire. Ms. Phee speaks Arabic.

If confirmed, this would be Ambassador Phee’s second ambassadorial appointment. She was appointed and confirmed U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan in 2015.  She would succeed career diplomat Dana Shell Smith (1970–) who served as chief of mission to the US Embassy in Doha from 2014-2017.

Since 1960 when AFSA started tracking ambassadorial appointments, the U.S. Ambassador to Qatar appointees have been largely career diplomats. Only two appointees (Joseph Ghougassian (1944–) and Chase Untermeyer (1946–)) were political appointees.

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Trump to Nominate PayPal Co-Founder Ken Howery to be Ambassador to Sweden

The WH announced the President’s intent to nominate venture capitalist and PaPal co-founder Kenneth Howery to be his ambassador to Sweden. The WH release a brief bio:

Kenneth A. Howery of Texas, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kingdom of Sweden.

Mr. Howery is a venture capitalist and entrepreneur specializing in creating and funding technology companies. He is a co-founder of and partner at Founders Fund, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm. Prior to Founders Fund, Mr. Howery co-founded PayPal, where he served as the company’s first Chief Financial Officer. Additionally, he is a founding advisor to Kiva.org, a non-profit group that helps develop the next generation of global entrepreneurs. Mr. Howery earned his B.A. in Economics from Stanford University.

His official bio from the Founders Fund is here. You might also want to check out this 2016 piece from Ivy Magazine, Behind the Scenes With PayPal Co-Founder Ken Howery.

If confirmed, Mr. Howery would succeed banker and philanthropist, Azita Raji who served as chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy Stockholm from March 2016 to January 2017. Previous appointees to the U.S. Embassy in Sweden includes lawyer, Mark Brzezinski and business executive, Matthew Barzun.  According to AFSA’s tracker, only three ambassadors appointed as chief of mission to Sweden had been career diplomats; 83.3% of ambassadors appointed to Stockholm (15 in actual number) since 1960 were non-career appointees.

Trump’s Second Nominee For @StateDept Personnel Chief Has Some #INL Baggage

Posted: 2:58 pm PT

 

In October 2017, President Trump announced his intent to nominate former FSO Stephen Akard to be the Director General of the Foreign Service (see Trump’s Pick For @StateDept Personnel Chief Gets the Ultimate “Stretch” Assignment). After fierce opposition, the White House officially withdrew the nomination of Mr. Akard on March 20, 2018 (see DGHR Nominee Stephen Akard Now Nominated as Director of the Office of Foreign Missions).

On July 31, contrary to the widely circulated rumors about the next DGHR nomination, the WH announced the president’s intent to nominate career diplomat Carol Z. Perez of Virginia, to be the next Director General of the Foreign Service .  The WH released the following brief bio:

Ambassador Perez, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, has served as the Ambassador to the Republic of Chile since 2016. Previously, she was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Human Resources and was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, both at the Department of State. Over the course of her three decades of service in the Department of State, Ambassador Perez has also served as Principal Officer and Consul General at U.S. Consulate General Milan, Italy, Executive Director and Deputy Executive Secretary of the Department of State, and Principal Officer and Consul General at U.S. Consulate General Barcelona, Spain. She earned her B.A. from Hiram College and M.A. from George Washington University. Ambassador Perez is the recipient of a Presidential Rank Award and multiple senior State Department Awards, including the Distinguished Service Award and Distinguished Honor Award.

Click here (PDF) for her most recent testimony at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during her confirmation hearing as U.S. Ambassador to Chile in 2016.

The Director General of the U.S. Foreign Service is equivalent in rank to an Assistant Secretary of State. He/She is responsible for all personnel matters affecting the Foreign Service and the Civil Service at the State Department, including appointments, promotions, worldwide assignments, disciplinary actions, etc. Click here for the previous appointees to this position.

In May 2017, State/OIG released A Special Joint Review of Post-Incident Responses by the Department of State and Drug Enforcement Administration to Three Deadly Force Incidents in Honduras (PDF).

Stick with us here. This joint report relates to three drug interdiction missions in Honduras on May 11, June 23, and July 3, 2012, under a program known as Operation Anvil which resulted in four people killed (including two pregnant women) and four others injured after a helicopter with DEA personnel confused cargo in a passenger boat for bales of drugs and opened fire.  No evidence of narcotics was ever found on the passenger boat. In a second incident, a suspect was killed in a firefight that did not actually happen, and in a third incident that involved a plane crash, a Honduran police officer planted a gun in evidence and reported it as a weapon found at the scene.

At the time of these incidents, Ambassador Carol Perez was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS) at the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), the second highest ranking official in the bureau.

One of the report’s findings has to do with INL failure to comply with Chief of Mission Authority which undermined the U.S. Ambassador’s exercise of her authority at post. The U.S. Ambassador to Honduras at that time was Lisa Kubiske. Excerpt from the report (see p.323-324 for more):

As a bureau within the Department of State, INL should understand the importance of Chief of Mission authority. However, INL senior officials repeatedly undermined Ambassador Kubiske’s authority and failed to cooperate with the investigations she authorized.

Within a day of the Ambassador authorizing DS to investigate the June and July shooting incidents, INL Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Carol Perez began to raise objections to DS involvement. She communicated these objections to both DS and DEA officials, and although she told the OIGs that she did not intend to obstruct the investigation of the shooting incidents, INL’s support bolstered DEA’s unwillingness to cooperate.
[…]
In addition, INL failed to comply with Chief of Mission authority by refusing to assist DS in its attempt to interview the helicopter crews. As noted in Chapter Ten, the SID agent requested to speak with the pilots and gunners, but INL denied this request. The request was forwarded up to the highest levels of INL, and AS Brownfield instructed his staff not to cooperate. Although he recognized that the request fell under the Chief of Mission authority, he instructed that INL was not to produce the crew for DS to interview. Senior DS and INL officials also discussed the request at a September 2012 meeting, but AS Brownfield remained opposed to providing DS access to the crews. In fact, INL was not even focused on the circumstances of the helicopter opening fire on the passenger boat, because they believed the helicopter fire was suppressive only and not intended as a use of deadly force.

The failure of DEA and INL to provide any cooperation with the investigation requested by the Ambassador resulted in the inability of the SID Agent to complete his investigations and develop conclusive findings regarding the three shooting incidents. DEA’s refusal to follow the Ambassador’s written request for information,supported by INL, not only violated their duties under the Foreign Service Act, but prevented a complete and comprehensive understanding of the three incidents. Ambassador Kubiske and other State officials had grave concerns over the methodology and findings of the various Honduran investigations, so she requested the DS investigation to better understand what could quickly become a diplomatic problem. However, her intentions were never realized because of the failure of DEA and INL to abide by Chief of Mission authority.

Tsk! Tsk! Another part of the report notes that INL sided with DEA in jurisdictional dispute, and also specifically names Ambassador Perez:

On June 28, 2012, INL Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS) Carol Perez sent an e-mail communication to INL Assistant Secretary (AS) William Brownfield stating that DEA had “squawked” to INL about the DS investigation in Honduras and that she thought the “DS Office of Special Investigations got out a bit too far on this.”

On the same day, PDAS Perez sent another e-mail communication stating that she had been provided good informationto “buttress our arguments that DS has no role in this except at post at the direction of the COM.”

An e-mail communication the same day from another INL official to the INL Director at the U.S. Embassy stated that DS had launched an investigation of the June 23 shooting but that “INL/FO called DS to turn the investigation off.”

On June 29, after Wallace provided Heinemann with DEA’s position at that time on the DS investigation, noting that “INL shares some of our concerns and that INL is in contact with DS senior management” on the issue, Heinemann contacted a DS attorney requesting information on “what has been happening between INL and DS.” In response, the DS attorney told Heinemann:

I learned that Carol Perez in INL contacted DS Director Bultrowicz about this and said that INL’s position is that DS doesn’t have the authority to conduct an investigation of this DEA shooting.

[…] When we asked AS Brownfield and PDAS Perez about these discussions in late June 2012, they told us that INL had not attempted to stop the DS investigation. They did, however, acknowledge raising some concerns about the authority of DS to investigate and their belief that the investigation should be handled by the Embassy rather than DS Headquarters in Washington, and stated that they were simply trying to resolve the dispute without it becoming a problem for INL.
[…]
Several DS officials told us that it was obvious to them that INL was hostile to the DS investigations and voiced frustration that it was much harder to convince DEA to come to an agreement with DS when DS lacked support from other State bureaus on this matter.

The report also has something to say about then INL A/S Bill Brownfield but he is now retired, and he is not currently under consideration to be top personnel chief of the Foreign Service (see our old post So who told Congress the real story about the deadly force incidents in Honduras in 2012? #OperationAnvil

Ambassador Perez is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. If confirmed, she would be one of the few top ranking female career employees at the State Department, but we believe there are appropriate questions to ask related to her role in the aftermath of the Operation Anvil given the leadership role she will take on as head of a global workforce of over 75,000 employees.

For starters – what are the exceptions for ignoring/undermining Chief of Mission Authority? Click the link to read more about Chief of Mission Authority.  Also what’s the deal with throwing Diplomatic Security under the bus and taking DEA’s side in a jurisdictional dispute overseas? Those were DEA deadly force incidents and these top INL officials somehow thought that DEA should investigate itself instead of Diplomatic Security? Why would INL offer DEA to push the DS investigation“back into the box”?  It was DS not/not DEA, by the way, “who found no evidence indicative of gunfire from the passenger boat.” We look forward to the senators asking relevant questions during the DGHR nominee’s  confirmation hearing.

We should also note that between 2003-2007, Ambassador Perez served as Executive Director at the Executive Secretariat of the State Department; this would have been during the Powell-Rice tenures in Foggy Bottom. State OIG’s ISP-I-07-38 inspection of the office includes the following:

The Executive Director, who has been in the job since 2003, is recognized by her customer offices as a highly professional, competent, and dedicated manager. She has as her twin priorities the overall direction of the office, dealing with the major management issues that arise, and personally assuring that the Secretary gets the pri- ority attention needed to support her mission. […] Having served previously in S/ES-EX, the Executive Director brings a wealth of background and sound judgment in dealing with varied and sensitive management issues ranging from office space, personnel, and travel demands down to who gets parking passes.  Those issues involve a senior level clientele who, by definition, have a high personal sensitivity to anything viewed as impinging on their status. She and her deputy also have to deal with the major resource issues and battle with the Department management offices on the ever increasing space demands emanating from F, S/CT, and the smaller new offices set up under the aegis of S.

Beyond those demands, the Executive Director takes personal responsibility for dealing with support issues involving the Secretary, most visibly the Secretary’s travel. She is responsible for managing the military airlift logistical requirements for the Sec- retary’s foreign travel and accompanies the Secretary on all international trips. That absorbs up to 50 percent of her work time. The Secretary’s staff has only praise for the Executive Director’s performance and her ability to manage logistical crises, large and small, during these trips. They also give her high marks for overall management support of the Secretary’s office.

So there, the links to the two reports are included here and here just in time for your weekend reading.

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Opposition For Trump’s Nominee as @StateDept’s Refugee Chief Gets Louder

Posted: 2:26 pm PT

 

On May 24, the White House announced the nomination of former FSO Ronald Mortensen to be the Assistant Secretary of State for the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).

The WH released a brief bio:

Dr. Mortensen is a retired Foreign Service Officer.  For the past 15 years, he has worked with the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA).  Dr. Mortensen served at U.S. diplomatic missions in France, Australia, Canada, Gabon, Mauritania and Chad.  He has worked on humanitarian responses that saved lives and alleviated the suffering of millions of people in Iraq, Syria, Mali, Libya, Haiti, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and many other countries in West Africa.  Most recently, Dr. Mortensen served as Disaster Assistance Response Team leader in Iraq.  Dr. Mortensen is the recipient of numerous Department of State (State) and USAID awards including the Una Chapman Cox Fellowship.  He is a Vietnam era, Air Force veteran.  Dr. Mortensen earned two B.S. degrees and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah and an M.A. from the University of Oklahoma.  He speaks French.

According to the brief bio released, Mr. Mortensen is a retired Foreign Service Officer who also did work for USAID/OFDA.  A source told us he was an FSO from 1977 to 1996. The Una Chapman website confirms that he was one of the two recipients of the Una Chapman Cox Sabbatical Leave Fellowship in 1991. This fellowship is available to Foreign Service employees (Generalists and Specialists), for Grade FS-01 and FS-02 in any career track. There is speculation that he was on the administrative career track given the work that he did for USAID following his retirement from the Foreign Service. Click here for more of that from Jeremy Konyndyk who led USAID’s  Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance from 2013 to 2017.

In September 2017, the State Department’s blog, DipNote reblogged a USAID post highlighting “a few of the amazing humanitarians who are this year’s winners of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal in the category of National Security and International Affairs.” The blogpost includes Mr. Mortensen who it says “served as the DART Leader in Iraq five times over the past two-and-a-half years.”  USAID’s original post is here: And the Oscar for Public Service goes to…USAID!

The Utah Standard News where Mr. Mortensen is described as “an earlier supporter and long-time columnist” has a more detailed background and links to the nominee’s position as a “a staunch advocate against illegal immigration.

The Mortensen nomination was submitted  to the Senate on May 24 and is still pending in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as of this writing.  We do not expect this administration known for doubling down on controversial issues to withdraw this controversial nomination. Even if this nomination manages to make it through the SFRC, where the split is 11 v. 10, it may end up not going anywhere. The GOP currently has a slim Senate majority at GOP 51 v. 49 (Dems 47, Ind 2); one GOP senator (McCain) has already asked for the withdrawal of this nomination, and a second one (Flake) is on the record for not supporting this nominee.  That said, strange things are happening these days, so we can’t really say when a nomination is dead until it is dead. And even then, some nominations will presumably come back as zombies next January if the President renominates them.

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Trump Nominates Goldberg, Hale, Sison, and Smith For Personal Rank of Career Ambassador

Posted: 2:45 pm PT

 

On July 18, President Trump sent the nomination of four career diplomats for the personal rank of Career Ambassador to the U.S. Senate. The nominations have been placed on the Senate Executive Calendar on July 26. As of this writing, the nominations are awaiting full confirmation by the U.S. Senate. We believe these are the first career ambassador nominations made under this administration.

The following-named Career Members of the Senior Foreign Service of the Department of State for the personal rank of Career Ambassador in recognition of especially distinguished service over a sustained period:

  • Philip S. Goldberg, of DC
  • David M. Hale, of NJ
  • Michele Jeanne Sison, of MD
  • Daniel Bennett Smith, of VA

Ambassador Goldberg was recently sent to US Embassy Havana to be its chargé d’affaires (see New head of U.S. embassy in Cuba, Philip Goldberg, faces critical road ahead, Feb 2018).

Ambassador Hale has been nominated as the next Under Secretary for Political Affairs. As of July 30, 2018, the nomination is pending in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Ambassador Sison was nominated as U.S. Ambassador to Haiti in July 2017. She was confirmed by voice vote on November 2, 2017.

Ambassador Smith is the current Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (INR). He was confirmed to that position in 2014 and serving in that capacity to-date, presumably pending the confirmation of this successor Ellen E. McCarthy who was nominated on June 18, 2018.  He has been widely rumored as the next Director General of the Foreign Service but no official announcement has been made to date.

 

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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:

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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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