Zalmay Khalilzad Out, Thomas West In as Special Representative for Afghanistan

 

Via state.gov:
As Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad steps down from his role, I extend my gratitude for his decades of service to the American people. 
Thomas West, who previously served as the Deputy Special Representative, will be the Special Representative for Afghanistan.  Special Representative West, who served on then-Vice President Biden’s national security team and on the National Security Council staff, will lead diplomatic efforts, advise the Secretary and Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, and coordinate closely with the U.S. Embassy Kabul presence in Doha on America’s interests in Afghanistan.  
I thank Ambassador Khalilzad for his service and welcome Special Representative West to the role.
Below is a longer bio via Carnegie where Thomas West previously served as a Nonresident Scholar for the South Asia Program:
Tom West was a nonresident scholar in the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and an associate vice president at the Cohen Group.
West served for ten years in the U.S. Department of State and at the White House, working on South Asia and Middle East issues. From 2012 to 2015, he served on the National Security Council (NSC) as director for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and as a special adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden. He served a concurrent stint as the NSC’s director for Yemen. From 2011 to 2012, West served as the State Department’s senior diplomat in the Kunar province of Afghanistan, where he managed the civilian staff of a U.S.-led provincial reconstruction team. He worked at the State Department in Washington on a variety of issues, including the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Initiative, Washington’s response to the 2008 Mumbai attacks, and U.S.-Pakistan relations. He also served as a political officer in Islamabad and Karachi.
West received his BA in international studies from the Johns Hopkins University and an MA in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). 

Around the World in Tweets: Special Envoys

 

U.S. Special Envoy and Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland Visits Tripoli

 

On July 26, the State Department announced U.S. Special Envoy and Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland’s visit to Tripoli:

U.S. Special Envoy and Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland visited Tripoli, Libya July 26 where he met with interim Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dabaiba, attended a signing ceremony for a new 5G telecommunications contract between Libyan company Hatif and U.S. company Infinera, and held other meetings with Libyan and international representatives.  Ambassador Norland underscored the need for Libya’s leaders to make key preparations to ensure successful nationwide elections in December, including determining a constitutional basis and the election law that will govern them.  He emphasized that Libya’s leaders must make the necessary compromises to meet the Libyan peoples’ expectation of free and fair elections, an essential step towards a stable, unified, and democratic Libya.  Ambassador Norland also reaffirmed that stability and continued progress on the political and security track will lead to greater economic opportunities, foreign investments, and prosperity for Libyans.  Ambassador Norland was accompanied by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury Eric Meyer.

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@StateDept Appoints Ambassador Daniel Foote as Special Envoy For Haiti

 

 

This is a follow-up to our July 8 post @USEmbassyHaiti Remains Closed Following President Moïse’s Assassination (Updated). On July 22, the State Department announced the appointment of Ambassador Daniel Foote as Special Envoy for Haiti:

The Department of State is pleased to announce that Ambassador Daniel Foote, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, will serve as its Special Envoy for Haiti. The Special Envoy will engage with Haitian and international partners to facilitate long-term peace and stability and support efforts to hold free and fair presidential and legislative elections. He will also work with partners to coordinate assistance efforts in several areas, including humanitarian, security, and investigative assistance. Additionally, the Special Envoy will engage stakeholders in civil society and the private sector as we pursue Haitian-led solutions to the many pressing challenges facing Haiti.

The Special Envoy will, along with the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, lead U.S. diplomatic efforts and coordinate the effort of U.S. federal agencies in Haiti from Washington, advise the Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, and coordinate closely with the National Security Council staff on the administration’s efforts to support the Haitian people and Haiti’s democratic institutions in the aftermath of the tragic assassination of Jovenel Moïse.

Special Envoy Foote brings extensive diplomatic experience to this role – including as Deputy Chief of Mission in Haiti and as the U.S. Ambassador to Zambia. The Department congratulates Special Envoy Foote as he takes on his new role and thanks him for his continued service to his country.

Related posts:

 

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President Biden Appoints Jessica Stern as U.S. Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons

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On June 25, President Biden announced his appointment of Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International as Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons:

WASHINGTON – Today, ahead of his remarks at the White House for Pride Month, President Joe Biden announced that he will appoint Jessica Stern to be the U.S. Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons at the Department of State – a role critical to ensuring that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world. The Special Envoy will play a vital role in leading implementation of the Presidential Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons Around the World. At a time when the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons are increasingly threatened in all regions of the world, the Special Envoy will bring together like-minded governments, civil society organizations, corporations and international organizations to uphold  dignity and equality for all.

Jessica Stern, United States Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons, Department of State

Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International, is based in New York. Jessica specializes in gender, sexuality and human rights globally. At OutRight, she has supported the legal registration of LGBTIQ organizations globally, helped secure the mandate of the United Nations Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, expanded the UN General Assembly resolution to include gender identity, and co-founded the UN LGBTI Core Group. She has provided expert opinions to governments globally, regional human rights institutions, and UN mechanisms, including UN Women where she serves as a member of multiple leadership bodies. Her writing has been cited by the Indian Supreme Court in its seminal judgment decriminalizing same-sex relations and been featured in The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Security (2019). She is frequently quoted by the media, including by The New York Times, Al Jazeera, The Washington Post, BBC News, and The Guardian. She is an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs.

 

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POTUS Joe Biden Appoints Amb. Sung Kim to be U.S. Special Envoy to North Korea

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Ambassador Sung Y. Kim is currently the senior official for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs pending the confirmation of Ambassador Daniel J. Kritenbrink as Assistant Secretary of State for EAP bureau. On May 21, President Biden announced that Ambassador Kim will serve as the new U.S. special envoy for North Korea.
Below is his official bio from US Embassy Jakarta:

Ambassador Sung Y. Kim was nominated to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia on July 17, 2019 and confirmed by the full Senate on August 6, 2020.

Ambassador Sung Y. Kim most recently served as Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines from November 2016 until October 2020. From 2011 to 2014, he was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea. In between the two ambassadorships, Ambassador Kim served as Special Representative for North Korea Policy in Washington.

Earlier, Ambassador Kim also served as the Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks with the rank of Ambassador. His previous overseas diplomatic assignments have included Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, and Hong Kong. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he worked as a prosecutor in Los Angeles, California.

Ambassador Kim was born in Seoul, Korea, and grew up in Los Angeles. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and completed a degree in law from Loyola University. He also holds a Master of Laws degree from the London School of Economics and honorary doctorates from the Catholic University of Korea and the Holy Name University of the Philippines. Ambassador Kim is married and has two daughters.

 

 

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Libya: U.S. Officials on Highest Level Diplomatic Visit to Tripoli Since 2014

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Via state.gov:

Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Joey Hood and Special Envoy for Libya Richard Norland visited Libya May 18 and underscored U.S. support for Libya’s December 2021 elections. This is the highest level diplomatic visit to Tripoli since 2014. Acting Assistant Secretary Hood and Ambassador Norland met with Libyan interim Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dabaiba, Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush, Head of the Presidential Council Mohamed Menfi, and President of the High National Electoral Commission Dr. Emad al-Sayah and also discussed areas of mutual interest, including a Libyan-led, inclusive, and negotiated political solution to the conflict, facilitated through the UN and full implementation of the October 23 Libyan ceasefire agreement.

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@StateDept Appoints Amb. Jeffrey Feltman as U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa

Once a year, we ask for your support to keep this blog and your dedicated blogger going. So here we are on Week #7 of our eight-week annual fundraising. Our previous funding ran out in August 2020. We recognize that blogging life has no certainty, and this year is no exception.  If you care what we do here, please see GFM: https://gofund.me/32671a27.  We could use your help. Grazie!  Merci! Gracias!

 


On April 23, 2021, Secretary Blinken announced the appointment of former U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman as the U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa:

Today, I am announcing that Jeffrey Feltman will serve as the U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa.  This appointment underscores the Administration’s commitment to lead an international diplomatic effort to address the interlinked political, security, and humanitarian crises in the Horn of Africa.  Having held senior positions in both the State Department and the United Nations, Special Envoy Feltman is uniquely suited to bring decades of experience in Africa and the Middle East, in multilateral diplomacy, and in negotiation and mediation to develop and execute an integrated U.S. strategy to address these complex regional issues.

Of particular concern are the volatile situation in Ethiopia, including the conflict in Tigray; escalating tensions between Ethiopia and Sudan; and the dispute around the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.  At a moment of profound change for this strategic region, high-level U.S. engagement is vital to mitigate the risks posed by escalating conflict while providing support to once-in-a-generation opportunities for reform.

 

Related item:

Statement by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on the appointment of Ambassador Jeff Feltman as U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa

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@StateDept Appoints Career Sr. Diplomat Ricardo Zúñiga as Special Envoy for the Northern Triangle

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Earlier this week, the State Department announced the appointment of career senior diplomat Ricardo Zúñiga to be the Special Envoy for the Northern Triangle. 

The Department of State is pleased to announce that Ricardo Zúñiga, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, will serve as its Special Envoy for the Northern Triangle. The Special Envoy will lead U.S. diplomatic efforts, advise the Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, and coordinate closely with the National Security Council staff on the administration’s comprehensive efforts to stem irregular migration to the United States and implement President Biden’s multi-year, $4 billion to address root causes of migration in Central America.

The Special Envoy will engage with regional governments, including but not limited to Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, on a range of issues in order to seek to improve conditions in Central America. He also will hold our partners accountable for their commitments to address root causes of migration and the increase in arrivals of unaccompanied children at the U.S. southern border. Additionally, the Special Envoy will engage stakeholders in civil society and the private sector as we work toward building better futures in these countries.

As such, he will accompany White House senior officials to Mexico and Guatemala March 22-25.

The Special Envoy will also keep Congress apprised of our efforts.

The Department congratulates U.S. Special Envoy Zúñiga as he takes on his new role and thanks him for his continued service to his country.

In May 2015, Mr. Zuniga completed a three-year detail with the National Security Council Staff, where he served as a Special Assistant to then President Obama and was Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs.  In July that year, he assumed charged as Consul General of the U.S. Consulate General in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Also see Secretary Kerry With U.S. Delegation Set For Ceremonial Reopening of U.S. Embassy Cuba. According to his Wilson Center bio, until March 15, 2021, he was the Interim Director of the Brazil Institute and a Senior Diplomatic Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center Latin America Program, on detail from the U.S. Department of State.


 

 

Pompeo Reportedly Pushing to Declare Top Human Rights Groups “Anti-Semitic”