— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) November 15, 2018
Meet Ambassador-at-Large John Cotton Richmond who will lead the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. Read his bio: https://t.co/POWOglg2qt #EndTrafficking. pic.twitter.com/nhtuiMTa5V
— DOS TIP Office (@JTIP_State) November 14, 2018
Congratulations to John Richmond! We look forward to working with him in this new role. https://t.co/IHjJkjUFXJ
— Polaris (@Polaris_Project) October 12, 2018
Confirmed by Voice Vote: Exec. Cal. #1057 John Richmond to be Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking, with the rank of Ambassador at Large
— Senate Cloakroom (@SenateCloakroom) October 12, 2018
Today Ambassador Alaina Teplitz was sworn in as the next U.S. Ambassador to #SriLanka and #Maldives. Here, she takes an oath administered by Under Secretary David Hale. Congrats and safe travels, Ambassador! pic.twitter.com/Y8KRMhYD9R
— State_SCA (@State_SCA) October 22, 2018
The American Senate has confirmed appointment of Alaina B. Teplitz as the new US Ambassador to #SriLanka, @USEmbSL announced. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service with rank of Minister Counselor, Teplitz was previously Amb to #Nepal & will now replace Atul Keshap in #lka pic.twitter.com/5RIFhIaxPL
— Sunday Observer (@observerlk) September 7, 2018
— Caroline Hurford (@CarolineHurford) September 20, 2016
The U.S. Senate adjourned on Thursday, October 11, to reconvene on November 13. Before leaving town, it confirmed three assistant secretaries for the State Department (WHA, CSO, H), four ambassadors (all career diplomats), and one ambassador at large. In late September, the Senate also confirmed two nominees for the United Nations.
The list below includes ten other nominees who already had their confirmation hearings and are pending on the Executive Calendar. There is no schedule for a full Senate vote for them at this time, although that could still happen after the Senate reconvenes next month.
Note that there are only 19 work days left for the year in the Senate’s tentative schedule (PDF). There are approximately 60 nominees pending in the Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and “currently undergoing committee consideration” as of October 14, 2018; at least three have been nominated in 2017 and renominated in January 2018. Tick-tock.
Under the provisions of SRes684, the Senate stands adjourned and will next convene for legislative business at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 13, and does so as a further mark of respect for the late former Sen. Joseph D. Tidings of Maryland.
— Floor Monitor (@senategopfloor) October 12, 2018
The Senate will convene for pro forma sessions only on 10/12, 10/16, 10/19, 10/23, 10/26, 10/30, 11/2, 11/6, and 11/9.
— Senate D Floor Watch (@DSenFloor) October 12, 2018
2018-10-11 PN1708 Department of State | Kimberly Breier, of Virginia, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Western Hemisphere Affairs)
2018-10-11 PN2030 Department of State | Denise Natali, of New Jersey, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Conflict and Stabilization Operations)
2018-10-11 PN2386 Department of State | Mary Elizabeth Taylor, of the District of Columbia, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Legislative Affairs).
2018-10-11 PN2239 SURINAME | Karen L. Williams, of Missouri, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Suriname.
2018-10-11 PN2267 NICARAGUA |Kevin K. Sullivan, of Ohio, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Nicaragua.
2018-10-11 PN2278 SOMALIA | Donald Y. Yamamoto, of Washington, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Minister, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Federal Republic of Somalia.
2018-10-11 PN2324 BANGLADESH | Earl Robert Miller, of Michigan, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
AMBASSADOR AT LARGE
2018-10-11 PN2236 Department of State | John Cotton Richmond, of Virginia, to be Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking, with the rank of Ambassador at Large.
2018-09-24 PN1448 United Nations | Jackie Wolcott, of Virginia, to be Representative of the United States of America to the Vienna Office of the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador.
2018-09-12 PN2019 Department of State | Cherith Norman Chalet, of New Jersey, to be Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations for U.N. Management and Reform, with the rank of Ambassador.
2018-09-12 PN2020 Department of State | Cherith Norman Chalet, of New Jersey, to be an Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations, during her tenure of service as Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations for U.N. Management and Reform.
PENDING NOMINATIONS ON THE EXECUTIVE CALENDAR
2018-05-22 PN1280 Joseph E. Macmanus, of New York, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Colombia.
2018-06-26 PN1768 Kenneth S. George, of Texas, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Oriental Republic of Uruguay.
2018-06-26 PN1762 Stephen Akard, of Indiana, to be Director of the Office of Foreign Missions, with the rank of Ambassador.
2018-07-26 PN1638 Joseph Cella, of Michigan, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Fiji, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of Nauru, the Kingdom of Tonga, and Tuvalu.
2018-07-31 PN2140 Ellen E. McCarthy, of Virginia, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Intelligence and Research).
2018-08-22 PN2022 Donald R. Tapia, of Arizona, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Jamaica.
2018-09-18 PN2206 Lynda Blanchard, of Alabama, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Slovenia.
2018-09-18 PN2237 Daniel N. Rosenblum, of Maryland, a Career Member of the Senior Executive Service, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Uzbekistan
2018-09-18 PN2277 Kip Tom, of Indiana, for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as U.S. Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture.
2018-09-26 PN2235 Francisco Luis Palmieri, of Connecticut, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Honduras.
Mike Pompeo made decision after being warned that a cutoff could jeopardize $2 billion in weapons sales to America’s Gulf allies https://t.co/dbIJZrdyPs
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) September 20, 2018
'Mike Pompeo is said to have recently decided to continue America’s increasingly controversial involvement, after being told if it stopped it could threaten $2bn of sales of US-manufactured weapons to Washington’s allies in the Gulf.' https://t.co/8YxhE0d1sP
— Borzou Daragahi 🖊🗒 (@borzou) September 20, 2018
#Yemen : Pompeo Certifies to Congress that Saudi & UAE taking actions to reduce casualties in Yemen.
Pompeo, Coats, Mattis headed to Congress to brief on subject. Statement: pic.twitter.com/8UGCZMYevZ
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) September 12, 2018
AND NOW THIS, the English version though the original one requires no translation:
Comics mocks the US Secretary of State "Pompeo" statement in which he claimed that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are using the necessary measures to avoid targeting civilians in #Yemen #كريكاتير_شهاب_قاسم pic.twitter.com/KVP25Y0eDi
— كريكاتير شهاب قاسم (@shehab_yemeni) September 19, 2018
TPM reports that the State Department spokesperson argued on Twitter that “The assertion that @StateDept is ‘racist’ is disgusting and false—a brazen attempt to create division for domestic political gain,” an apparent reaction to a letter from House Democrats and a CNN editorial arguing that a senior department official had improperly worked to remove anti-racism rhetoric from a UN document.
.@StateDept hires and empowers those who represent diversity of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation and opinion to advance US Foreign Policy.
— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) September 16, 2018
Now, Ms. Nauert claimed that “State is among the most diverse of government agencies, employing a workforce from every part of America and every region of the globe.” First, it’s really nice to see that local employees from around the globe are considered employees when necessary but not really when it comes to EEO regulations (see Baloun v. Kerry: U.S. Equal Employment Protection Do Not Cover Foreign Employees of U.S. Embassies). Second, the official word is (since it’s from the spox) that the State Department is among the most diverse of government agencies. Yo, is it? Really, really, really?
CRS report dated May 2018 states that “senior officials at the Department of State, some Members of Congress, and others have long maintained that the demographic makeup of the Foreign Service is not sufficiently representative of the American people with respect to race, gender, socioeconomic background, and regional origin.” That report also notes that Secretary Pompeo has not commented on former Secretary Tillerson’s diversity-related priorities or indicated what diversity-related priorities he may pursue.110
CRS report R45168 dated August 2018 on State Ops and FY2019 Budget and Appropriations notes the following about diversity at State:
Former Secretary Tillerson prioritized efforts to promote diversity in the Foreign Service.16 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who replaced Tillerson in April 2018, has commented that “the State Department’s work force must be diverse … in every sense of the word” and indicated that he will be engaged on diversity matters.17
The Human Resources funding category within D&CP provides funding for the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs and Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs fellowship programs to promote greater diversity in the Foreign Service, as authorized by Section 47 of the Department of State Basic Authorities Act (P.L. 84-885). While Congress required the State Department to expand the number of fellows participating in the Rangel and Pickering programs by 10 apiece pursuant to Section 706 of the Department of State Authorities Act, 2017 (P.L. 114-323), it has provided the department the discretion to fund these programs at levels it deems appropriate from monies appropriated for Human Resources. The House and Senate committee bills would continue to provide such discretion. The House committee report indicates support for department efforts to increase diversity in hiring, including through the Rangel and Pickering programs. It also encourages the Secretary of State to explore more opportunities to further the goal of increasing workforce diversity.18 The Senate committee report recommends the continued expansion of the department’s workforce diversity programs and directs that qualified graduates of the Rangel and Pickering programs shall be inducted into the Foreign Service.19
Take a look at the agency’s diversity stats as of June 30, 2018 below (the original document is available here via state.gov).
Amb. Tina Kaidanow, acting assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, is retiring from the foreign service to take up a new job at the Pentagon as the next director of international cooperation. @AaronMehta has the story: https://t.co/v8YVulxoEF
— Robbie Gramer (@RobbieGramer) September 6, 2018
In Push For Arms Exports, Top State Official Moves To DoD https://t.co/LDK8jUyRfx
— Breaking Defense (@BreakingDefense) September 5, 2018
The U.S. was responsible for 34 percent of the entire world’s arms exports from 2013 to 2017. https://t.co/drAzzg6VeG
— The Intercept (@theintercept) March 15, 2018
— Reuters Politics (@ReutersPolitics) April 17, 2018
The U.S. and Russia are the world's largest weapons dealers. I mapped the flows of arms exports leaving the U.S. and USSR/Russia from 1950 to 2017. Full video (with audio) available here: https://t.co/1Yg1mTA8uV pic.twitter.com/OQM6Q9CGdL
— Will Geary (@wgeary) August 27, 2018
This is demonstrably false, particularly with regard to missiles with a range in excess of 2,000 km. These programs slowed once negotiations began, now appear to be accelerating again. https://t.co/RbQBJn4Jhn
— Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) September 20, 2018
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 19, 2018
Watch this! I'd hate to have this happen at one of my talks, but think I agree with every word she said. Especially that the administration is following the Iraq War playbook, paving the way for military action against Iran with cherry-picked intel and threat inflation. https://t.co/NcIo2N9kJI
— Joe Cirincione (@Cirincione) September 19, 2018
The protester tells Brian Hook, State Dep. point man on #Iran: “Do you think the sanctions are hurting the regime or the Iranian people? They are hurting the Iranian people….you are making a case for war with #Iran.” Mr. Hook’s reaction: I think she had her coffee this morning. https://t.co/xZSxJaIxbQ
— Bahman Kalbasi (@BahmanKalbasi) September 19, 2018
Been warning as many people as I can about this: Hawks are replaying the Iraq War Playbook, this time with Iran. https://t.co/1qnZcHc5yS
— Joe Cirincione (@Cirincione) September 21, 2018
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 17, 2018
Ambassador Nagy, a retired career Foreign Service Officer, spent 32 years in government service, including over 20 years in assignments across Africa. He served as the United States Ambassador to Ethiopia (1999-2002), United States Ambassador to Guinea (1996-1999) as well as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Nigeria (1993-1995), Cameroon (1990-1993), and Togo (1987-1990). Previous assignments include Zambia, the Seychelles, Ethiopia, and Washington, DC.
Ambassador Nagy has received numerous awards from the U.S. Department of State in recognition of his service, including commendations for helping prevent famine in Ethiopia; supporting the evacuation of Americans from Sierra Leone during a violent insurrection; supporting efforts to end the Ethiopian-Eritrean War; and managing the United States Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria during political and economic crises.
Following his retirement from the Foreign Service, Ambassador Nagy served as Vice Provost for International Affairs at Texas Tech University from 2003 – 2018. During that time he lectured nationally on Africa, foreign policy, international development, and U.S. diplomacy, in addition to serving as a regular op-ed contributor to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal newspaper on global events. He co-authored “Kiss Your Latte Goodbye: Managing Overseas Operations,” nonfiction winner of the 2014 Paris Book Festival.
Ambassador Nagy arrived in the United States in 1957 as a political refugee from Hungary; he received his B.A. from Texas Tech University and M.S.A. from George Washington University.
Ambassador Tibor Nagy was sworn in today as Asst Secretary of State for Africa. The ceremony was at the State Department and many of those in attendance were from Texas Tech. Tibor was head of our International Students. Great person. pic.twitter.com/oZKH5zPFCR
— Kent R. Hance (@KentRHance) September 17, 2018
— Tibor Nagy (@AsstSecStateAF) August 30, 2018
Career diplomat Uzra Zeya previously served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Paris. Previous to that, she was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL). She has over two decades of policy experience in the Department, where she has focused on the Near East and South Asia regions and multilateral affairs. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1990, Ms. Zeya’s overseas assignments have included Paris, Muscat, Damascus, Cairo, and Kingston. Ms. Zeya also served as Chief of Staff to Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns, where she supported a range of policy initiatives, ranging from the U.S. response to transitions in the Middle East to deepening engagement with emerging global powers. Other assignments include serving as Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, Deputy Executive Secretary to Secretaries Rice and Clinton, Director of the Executive Secretariat Staff, and as UNGA coordinator for the International Organizations bureau. Below is an except from the piece she wrote for Politico.
In 2017, as the media ran out of synonyms for “implosion” in describing Rex Tillerson’s tenure as secretary of state, a quieter trend unfolded in parallel: the exclusion of minorities from top leadership positions in the State Department and embassies abroad.
This shift quickly became apparent in the department’s upper ranks. In the first five months of the Trump administration, the department’s three most senior African-American career officials and the top-ranking Latino career officer were removed or resigned abruptly from their positions, with white successors named in their places. In the months that followed, I observed top-performing minority diplomats be disinvited from the secretary’s senior staff meeting, relegated to FOIA duty (well below their abilities), and passed over for bureau leadership roles and key ambassadorships.
Although the department did not dispute the decline in minority and female ambassador nominees, an official said the percentage of African Americans, Hispanics and women hired as Foreign Service officers had increased from 2016 to 2017. That’s an encouraging sign at the entry level, but it does not address reduced minority representation at the senior level. With dozens of ambassadorial and other senior positions vacant, there is still time for Secretary Pompeo to reverse the slide in diversity among the department’s leadership; it’s worth noting that the Trump administration is not even two years in, while Obama and Bush each had eight years to shape the department’s top ranks. But up to now, Foggy Bottom’s upper echelons are looking whiter, more male and less like America.
In my own case, I hit the buzz saw that Team Trump wielded against career professionals after leading the U.S. Embassy in Paris through three major terrorist attacks over three years and after planning President Trump’s Bastille Day visit. Upon returning to Washington, as accolades for the president’s visit poured in, I was blocked from a series of senior-level jobs, with no explanation. In two separate incidents, however, colleagues told me that a senior State official opposed candidates for leadership positions—myself and an African-American female officer—on the basis that we would not pass the “Breitbart test.” One year into an administration that repudiated the very notion of America I had defended abroad for 27 years, I knew I could no longer be a part of it, and I left government earlier this year.
[I]t is difficult to leverage diversity with a Senior Foreign Service that remains 88.8 percent white and more than two-thirds male. If the State Department is not going to acknowledge this problem, Congress should insist on a serious commitment to diversity in American diplomacy from Secretary Pompeo—by demanding answers for the slide in minority and female senior representation at State, accountability if any officials have violated equal opportunity laws, prohibitions on political retaliation and protections for employees who report wrongdoing.
“Colleagues told me that a senior State official opposed candidates for leadership positions—myself and an African-American female officer—on the basis that we would not pass the ‘Breitbart test.’” cc: @statedeptspox @SecPompeo https://t.co/Aas7T2yuQV
— Nahal Toosi (@nahaltoosi) September 17, 2018
Author Uzra Zeya was a senior career diplomat at the @StateDept.
— Diplopundit (@Diplopundit) September 17, 2018