Posted: 12:19 PT
We’re days late on this but the United States opened the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on May 14. The event sparked protests at the Gaza border which resulted in the deaths of over 50 Palestinians and hundreds of wounded protesters.
With the Embassy officially moved to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv has not been designated as a consulate general but as a “Branch Office”. The State Department did update its 2 FAM 440 on Changing Post Status on May 18, four days late and it does not enlightened us on what happens to the Tel Aviv post, the consular districts, the role of the chief of mission to USCG Jerusalem or for that matter, what happens to place of birth names on passports as 7 FAM 1300 Appendix D has not been updated. Note that previous to this move, USCG Jerusalem’s consular districts include the West Bank, Gaza, and the municipality of Jerusalem while Embassy Tel Aviv’s consular district includes all other territory in Israel.
We understand that the Consul General in Jerusalem will continue to live in the chief of mission residence (CMR) on the Agron Road consulate site. It is also our understanding that USCGJerusalem — a separate post with its own chief of mission that reports directly to the bureau and was never a constituent post of then Embassy Tel Aviv — “will go on as usual” even after the ambassador and mission to the State of Israel move to Jerusalem. So the USG will have two posts in Jerusalem, each with a different mission? Are there going to be one or two separate consular sections? What’s bidding going to be like? We’re having a moment with FAM confusion, help would be appreciated from folks in the know.
Last December, @POTUS acknowledged Israel’s capital is Jerusalem. He directed @StateDept to move our embassy to Jerusalem as recognition of that reality. I'm incredibly proud that today, on Israel's 70th anniversary of independence, #USEmbassyJerusalem is open.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 14, 2018
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) May 14, 2018
Son-in-law Jared Kushner speaks at US Embassy opening in Jerusalem: "The US stands with Israel because we both believe in freedom… in human rights… that democracy is worth defending." So far, 41 Palestinians protesters have been killed at the border. pic.twitter.com/whbk8bnBEF
— Paula Chertok🗽 (@PaulaChertok) May 14, 2018
US @statedeptspox says State had no role in picking the controversial pastor Robert Jeffress for opening ceremony for US Embassy in Jerusalem. Says Ambo Friedman picked him. Said of pastors views "we would certainly not agree with his remarks about some religious groups."
— Paul Danahar (@pdanahar) May 15, 2018
Robert Jeffress says “you can’t be saved by being a Jew,“ and “Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell.” He’s said the same about Islam. Such a religious bigot should not be giving the prayer that opens the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) May 14, 2018
BREAKING: Israeli soldiers shot and killed at least 41 Palestinians at the Gaza border pic.twitter.com/VNyUGshmSe
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) May 14, 2018
At least 41 Palestinians killed by Israeli troops in clashes on the Gaza border, as US opens embassy in Jerusalem
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) May 14, 2018
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) May 14, 2018
Opinion: Under Trump, the U.S. has abandoned the last shred of balance on Israel https://t.co/dqKdBxC6OP
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 14, 2018
— Jason D. Greenblatt (@jdgreenblatt45) May 7, 2018
— USEmbassyJerusalem (@usembassyjlm) May 7, 2018
First road sign for the new US embassy in Jerusalem.
It’s happening, folks. pic.twitter.com/VagUCK8dZH
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) May 7, 2018
New US Embassy building in Jerusalem plan unveiled. The new US Embassy will be inaugurated in Jerusalem next week, then construction works to be completed on coming years by American, Israeli firms. 🇺🇸 🇮🇱 pic.twitter.com/vabYO3Yjtd
— Michael Dickson (@michaeldickson) May 7, 2018
Posted: 1:45 am ET
In response to last year’s congressional request, USAID/OIG reviewed “USAID’s process in developing its reform plans and its compliance with congressional notification requirements.” We believe this is the first official accounting available on what transpired during Tillerson’s Redesign project, but primarily on the USAID side. We’re looking forward to State/OIG’s review of the project on its side.
The March 8, 2018 USAID/OIG report titled “USAID’s Redesign Efforts Have Shifted Over Time” was publicly posted on March 9, 2018. This report was originally marked “Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU)” and when publicly released, some of the appendices were redacted apparently at the assertion of the State Department and USAID that these be withheld from public view (see Appendix D, E and F. “USAID and the State Department have asserted that these appendixes should be withheld from public release in their entirety under exemption (b)(5) of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(5). OIG has marked this material SBU in accordance with 22 CFR 212.7(c)(2), which states that the originator of a record is best able to make a determination regarding whether information in that record should be withheld”).
USAID/OIG’s task was to determine (1) how USAID developed its redesign plans pursuant to Executive Order 13781, which were addressed by describing both the events and actions taken by USAID to develop its reform plans and the assessments of USAID’s actions by those involved in the process, and (2) whether USAID complied to date with fiscal year 2017 appropriation requirements.
USAID/OIG interviewed 42 officials from across USAID. Interviewees included USAID employees from the Administrator’s Office, members of the Transformation Task Team, employees across every bureau and independent office, and overseas mission directors. The report says that these individuals were selected because of their knowledge of specific portions of the redesign process. There was also a survey that includes all 83 USAID mission directors worldwide (27 of whom responded). USAID/OIG also interviewed six senior officials from the State Department involved in the joint redesign process “to corroborate USAID testimony and portray a more balanced, objective sequence of events leading to the reform plan submissions.”
“Results of our point-in-time review indicate good intentions by USAID as well as the State Department. However, USAID’s limited involvement in the design of the listening survey, uncertainty about redesign direction and end goals, and disagreement and limited transparency on decisions related to the consolidation of functions and services raise questions about what has been achieved thus far and what is deemed actionable. Given the concerns raised by USAID personnel, transparency—as well as compliance with congressional notification requirements—could prove challenging as redesign plans turn into actions.”
The details below are excerpted from the report:
(NOTE: A source previously informed us that only 5-6 individuals have access to the raw data; and that the survey data is in a proprietary system run by Insigniam. Data collected paid for by taxpayer money is in a proprietary system. We were also told that if we want the data, we have to make an FOIA request to the Transformation Management Office, but our source doubts that State will just hand over the data).
Courtesy of Amazon Kindle/Preview:
Also this –following 14 months of Hurricane Rex, Tillerson apparently finally admitted to “maybe I was just too inexperienced” thingy.
What did former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tell @RonanFarrow? "For the first time in this interview, [Tillerson] really did say, 'Look, maybe I was just too inexperienced,'" Farrow tells @JudyWoodruff.
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) May 1, 2018
“You don’t fucking know us.” Inside Rex Tillerson’s war with the State Department, the White House’s war with Tillerson and the threat the destruction of diplomacy poses to America’s future. Read my latest in @newyorker, drawn from my new book #WARONPEACE: https://t.co/YqQmP6NVwr
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) April 19, 2018
The Accountabilty Review Board Cuba report is getting ready to drop. Some top folks may look like shit, justifiably, and a few others may as well though so far every senior person in the department is using the whole “I couldn’t do anything because Tillerson and Margaret centralized everything.”#
Posted: 4:28 am PT
A day after the 70th Secretary of State is formally sworn into office in Foggy Bottom, the State Department announced the appointment of Secretary Pompeo’s old friend from West Point, Ulrich Brechbuhl (Class 1986) as State Department Counselor. Another old buddy from West Point, Brian Bulatao, joined then Director Pompeo at the CIA as chief operating officer following his appointment there in 2017.
This position does not require Senate confirmation. Given the existing relationship between the new secretary of state and the new counselor, it is highly likely that this appointment would last more than the three- month tenure of his predecessor, Maliz Beams who was appointed Counselor to Rex Tillerson back when the State Department was drowning in bad Redesign juju (history.state.gov has not even bothered to update its list of counselors).
History.state.gov notes that the Counselor, who currently under law holds rank equivalent to an Under Secretary of State (P.L. 98-164; 97 Stat. 1017), serves as an adviser to the Secretary of State. The Counselor’s specific responsibilities have also varied over time. After career diplomat Kristie Kenney stepped down following Tillerson’s arrival at State, there were loud signals that the Counselor position would not be filled; only for it to be filled months later by a non-career appointee who was tasked with managing the redesign efforts that eventually fizzled.
Recent appointees to the Counselor position includes the following:
— Department of State (@StateDept) May 3, 2018
The Waldorf School of Garden City has a detailed undated bio of its alumnus, Ulrich Brechbuhl who the website says currently serves as the President of Appenseller Point, LLC a family investing and consulting business.
From 1994-1998, Ulrich was a consultant and manager with Bain & Company, a strategic management consulting firm. During his time at Bain, he led teams in a variety of industries (including high tech, aerospace and defense, construction etc.) that developed business unit as well as corporate level growth strategies, valued new business opportunities, designed and implemented reorganizations, and led cost cutting and profit enhancement projects.
Having been born in Switzerland, Ulrich hails from Garden City, New York and is fluent in four languages. He attended the Waldorf School of Garden City from Nursery through Grade 12. Upon reflecting on his years at Waldorf, he writes, “The variety of people I met and experiences I had during my formative years at Waldorf helped prepare me for the extremely disparate situations I have found myself in, both in the military as well as in civilian life.” He then attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, earning a Bachelor of Science degree with distinction in 1986. During his six and one-half years of active duty service as a cavalry officer, Ulrich experienced a myriad of assignments from leading troops patrolling the Iron Curtain with the Second Calvary, to serving as a general’s aide, to working as an operations officer during the Persian Gulf War with 1-7 Cavalry, First Cavalry Division. Ulrich’s service culminated with the successful command of an armored cavalry troop at Fort Hood, Texas.
Ulrich left the military in 1992 to attend Harvard Business School, from which he received his MBA in 1994. He currently serves on the Board of Alcentra Capital Corporation, a publicly traded business development company, and is an active member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta, the West Point Society of Atlanta, of which he is a past president, and the HBS Club of Atlanta. He and his wife, Michelle, have three sons, Hans (17), Jacob (16) and Pirmin (14) and are very active in their church, the North Atlanta Church of Christ. He is also involved in a number of other civic organizations including serving on the Greater Atlanta Christian School Foundation Board, serving as an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 379, Atlanta Area Council, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Area Council, BSA.
Read more below:
Wichita Business Journal’s profile of Thayer Aerospace in December 1998 highlights the relationship of the new secretary of state and the new counselor, and the origin/capital of their company.
Pompeo is the chief executive officer of Thayer Aerospace, a new player in Wichita’s rapidly changing machine shop industry.
Only 21 months old, Thayer is using the powerful force of new capital to buy established companies and consolidate them under one umbrella. […] The company’s capital base is drawn in part from Wichita’s Koch Venture Capital, a division of Koch Industries Inc., the nation’s second largest private company. Thayer also has capital flowing from two Dallas-based private equity groups: Cardinal Investment Co. and Bain & Co. […] Pompeo’s team is basically a reunion of a quartet of West Point buddies from the United States Military Academy class of 1986.
Also included are Brian Bulatao, chief operating officer; Ulrich Brechbuhl, chief financial officer; and Michael Stradinger, who is in charge of mergers and acquisitions. At West Point, the quartet’s members were no academic sloths. Pompeo graduated first in his class, Brechbuhl was fourth in the class and Bulatao was in the top 5 percent.
Like Pompeo, most enjoyed their time in the military after graduation, but were looking for new challenges. And they feared endless assignments to a series of desk jobs, a standard requirement to ascend in the military chain of command.
With backgrounds in engineering as well as management, they got together and discussed a possible future in a business entity. Out of that discussion came the birth of Thayer Aerospace (named after Col. Sylvanus Thayer, the founder of the U.S. Military Academy).
Read more here.
Posted: 4:21 am PT
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 2, 2018
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 2, 2018
Trump: Mike Pompeo "ended up graduating first in his class. I heard that rumor a long time ago. I thought it was a rumor … I also heard I was first in my class at the Wharton School of Finance." pic.twitter.com/oB5QfP3orC
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 2, 2018
— POLITICO (@politico) May 2, 2018
Trump to State Department workers at Pompeo swearing-in: “You’ll be doing things that you don’t even know about."
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) May 2, 2018
— Department of State (@StateDept) May 1, 2018
.@SecPompeo will deliver the keynote address at the @StateDept’s Foreign Affairs Day for Active and Retired Employees of the Department of State and other Foreign Affairs Agencies, and attend the @afsatweets Memorial Plaque Ceremony on May 4. https://t.co/yuR4RIXT4N
— Department of State (@StateDept) May 3, 2018
Posted: 10:38 pm PT
Confirmed, 57-42: Exec. Cal. #788, Mike Pompeo, of KS, to be Secretary of State.
— Floor Monitor (@senategopfloor) April 26, 2018
Today, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito swore in Mike Pompeo as America’s 70th Secretary of State in the West Conference Room of the Supreme Court. pic.twitter.com/E8xV03CSKv
— Department of State (@StateDept) April 26, 2018
Mike Pompeo has been sworn in today as the 70th U.S. Secretary of State. pic.twitter.com/hJVQnV27Po
— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) April 26, 2018
📸 Newly confirmed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo en route to Brussels for @NATO #ForMin. The Secretary met with @StateDept team & traveling press pool on the plane. Learn more about his first trip as Secretary of State: https://t.co/0KwTw3LZn6 pic.twitter.com/z2xACDDywp
— Department of State (@StateDept) April 27, 2018
AND NOW THIS —
JUST RELEASED: Photos of Secretary of State Pompeo in North Korea. Secretary Pompeo will do an excellent job helping President Trump lead our efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. pic.twitter.com/pQ0P8hbMTN
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 26, 2018
Posted: 1:58 pm ET
Thank you, State Department employees, for granting Secretary Tillerson a measure of dignity in his departure, and reminding us what a classy and cohesive public institution looks like. https://t.co/luTH8lXGoK
— Heather Hurlburt (@natsecHeather) March 22, 2018
Secretary TIllerson comments on three important values — ensuring the safety and security of yourselves, loved ones, and colleagues; maintaining a commitment to accountability and integrity; and treating each other with respect. pic.twitter.com/JVqbyRjD0M
— Department of State (@StateDept) March 22, 2018
“This can be a very mean-spirited town,” Tillerson says to laughs and applause from State Department employees. “But you don’t have to choose to participate in that.” pic.twitter.com/fnQTsvAA9O
— Josh Lederman (@joshledermanAP) March 22, 2018
Tillerson's farewell remarks:
"This can be a very mean-spirited town. But you don't have to choose to participate in that. Each of us get to choose the person we want to be, and the way we want to be treated, and the way we will treat others." pic.twitter.com/Lj81BvEK8e
— Katie Watson (@kathrynw5) March 22, 2018
I guess I’d feel better about Rex Tillerson calling for people to "undertake to ensure one act of kindness each day towards another person,” and "treat each other with respect,” if he and his staff had, you know, been kind or treated others with respect. Even once.
— Danielle Pletka (@dpletka) March 22, 2018
— Josh Lederman (@joshledermanAP) March 22, 2018
Fired March 13 by Pres Trump, Tillerson left the State Department through a throng of applauding personnel, many anxious to shake his hand. pic.twitter.com/A8fRxYEP4T
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) March 22, 2018
Despite widespread frustration with his leadership, hundreds of @StateDept staff showed class filling lobby to wish Rex Tillerson well and give him a dignified exit- part respect for SecState office and part sympathy with him for the way he was fired.
— Elise Labott (@eliselabottcnn) March 22, 2018
The gang’s all back together: @rchammond, Margaret Peterlin, Steve Goldstein, other aides spotted at Tillerson’s farewell remarks in State Department lobby
— Josh Lederman (@joshledermanAP) March 22, 2018
Tillerson has left the building
— Josh Lederman (@joshledermanAP) March 22, 2018
Posted: 2:30 pm PT
With vacant offices and multiple departures from members of the Foreign Service and the State Department, it is hard to keep track sometimes of what’s happening amidst the opportunities and chaos in Foggy Bottom.
Bill Todd, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary & Acting Director General of the Foreign Service & Acting Director of Human Resources apparently has a fresh new title to add to his Twitter profile: Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management, a position discontinued by Congress in 1978.
How did that happen?
Apparently somebody convinced the now outgoing Secretary of State to sign a memo reconstituting this title on March 4. Did anyone bother to inform Secretary Tillerson that the position of Deputy Under Secretary for Management was discontinued specifically since Congress established the permanent position of Under Secretary of State for Management in 1978? And if nobody informed him …
Yo. This is sad.
Since the discontinued title/position was made “live” again a couple of weeks ago, there were people wondering why this title was resurrected now, and without any official announcement. Today, of course, a day before Tillerson is set to exit Foggy Bottom, the first memo sent under this office is out, so it’s not a secret anymore (bland, routine memo with A Message From Deputy Under Secretary for Management Regarding Planning for a Potential Lapse in Appropriations). And our inbox lighted up from folks with “Whoa, did you see this?” or “State has a Deputy M? or “When was the last time the State Department had a Deputy Under Secretary for Management?”
Whoa, indeed! Not since 1978, my dears.
What we want to know is if Congress is okay with this given that it purposely killed this position when it created the permanent”M” by legislation decades ago.
Trump’s nominee as the next Under Secretary of State for Management Eric Ueland was nominated last year, renominated earlier this year and was cleared by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in February. The last Senate-confirmed “M” Patrick Kennedy retired in 2017 in the mass departures of top officials following the arrival of Secretary Tillerson and his aides in Foggy Bottom. If Mr. Ueland’s nomination survives the current churn, he would be wise to seek assistance from Kennedy during his transition. Whether you like Patrick Kennedy or not, he was the longest serving M at State and no one who knows him questions his dedication to the institution. He also made Foggy Bottom run. The new secretary of state cannot focus his attention on the business of diplomacy if his own building and the people in it are in disarray.
In related news —
Stephen Akard, the nominee to be the next Director General of the Foreign Service has now been withdrawn. We are hearing that a career nominee for DGHR is forthcoming but we don’t have a timeframe for when the announcement might happen. We are guessing that the DGHR position could be among the first that will be announced in the next few weeks leading to Secretary-Designate Pompeo’s confirmation hearing.
Although Akard was a former FSO, his nomination as DGHR was fairly unpopular in the career service and even among retirees, and we understand that the State Department leadership, particularly the Deputy Secretary is aware of this. We think that the withdrawal of the Akard nomination and the announcement of a respected career diplomat as the new DGHR nominee could give the new secretary of state and the career service a fresh start without the baggage of bad feelings casting a shadow over Pompeo’s transition as the country’s top diplomat.
And for those not too familiar with State, DGHR is one of the bureaus and offices that report to the Under Secretary of State for Management. We have to point out that when the next DGHR is nominated and confirmed, the Acting DGHR right now would presumably be overseeing the Senate-confirmed DGHR in his capacity as the new Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management.
Oh, lordy! We can’t wait to read all your oral histories!
The Department of State by administrative action created the position of Deputy Under Secretary of State for Administration, after Congress authorized ten Assistant Secretary of State positions (two of which could be at the Deputy Under Secretary of State level) in the Department of State Organization Act of 1949 (May 26, 1949; P.L. 81-73; 63 Stat. 111). Between 1953 and 1955, the ranking officer in the Department handling administrative matters was the Under Secretary of State for Administration. The Department re-established the position of Deputy Under Secretary for Administration in 1955, after Congress authorized three Deputy Under Secretary positions in the State Department Organization Act of Aug 5, 1955 (P.L. 84-250; 69 Stat. 536). The Department of State by administrative action changed the title of the position to Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management on Jul 12, 1971.
The position of Deputy Under Secretary for Management was discontinued when an Act of Congress of Oct 7, 1978, established the permanent position of Under Secretary of State for Management (P.L. 85-426; 92 Stat. 968).