Senate Confirms Amb. Daniel Kritenbrink as Asst Secretary For East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP)

 

 

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Confirmations: Donald Lu (SCA), Brian Nichols (WHA), Brett M. Holmgren (INR)

The U.S. Senate confirmed by voice vote two nominees for the State Department’s geographic bureau and one nominee for the functional bureau.
2021-09-13 PN551 Department of State | Donald Lu, of California, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs (SCA).
2021-09-13 PN268 Department of State | Brian A. Nichols, of Rhode Island, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Minister, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Western Hemisphere Affairs).
2021-09-13 PN273 Department of State | Brett M. Holmgren, of Minnesota, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Intelligence and Research).

 

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WaPo: Surprise, Panic and Fateful Choices, the Fall of Kabul

 

Tuesday before the fall of Kabul, the U.S. Senate had just confirmed the nominations of Consular Affairs Assistant Secretary Rena Bitter and Diplomatic Security Assistant Secretary Gentry Smith. There is no Senate confirmed official for the Bureau of Administration, the agency’s logistics arm. There is no Senate confirmed official for the Under Secretary for Management, the umbrella office that provides leadership to 10 bureaus; a post currently encumbered by an Acting/M.
On August 18, three days after the fall of Kabul, the State Department announced that President Biden’s “M” nominee will be sent to Kabul (@StateDept Sends M Nominee John Bass to Kabul to Leverage “Logistics Experience” in Evacuation). In the coming days, there will likely be a louder push to examine the evacuation from Kabul. Some will be politically-motivated; we’re already seeing shades of Benghazi in online rhetoric.  For people living in the rational  universe, it would still be important to understand what happened there, how it happened, and why.
WaPo has a ‘must-read’ account on the fall of Kabul.  We would like to see the tic-toc inside Foggy Bottom during these fateful days. As P/Nuland was frantically calling foreign ministers to ask them to help with evacuation efforts, what was happening elsewhere?

On the Friday afternoon before Kabul fell, the White House was starting to empty out, as many of the senior staff prepared to take their first vacations of Biden’s young presidency. Earlier in the day, Biden had arrived at Camp David, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken was already in the Hamptons.

But by Saturday, the fall of Mazar-e Sharif — site of furious battles between pro and anti-Taliban forces in the 1990s — convinced U.S. officials that they needed to scramble. How quickly was a subject of dispute between the Pentagon and State Department.

In a conference call with Biden and his top security aides that day, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called for the immediate relocation of all U.S. Embassy personnel to the Kabul airport, according to a U.S. official familiar with the call.

Wilson’s embassy colleagues had been racing to destroy classified documents and equipment in the compound since Friday. An internal memo, obtained by The Washington Post, implored staff to destroy sensitive materials using incinerators, disintegrators and “burn bins.” The directive also called for the destruction of “American flags, or items which could be misused in propaganda efforts.”

Wilson said U.S. personnel needed more time to complete their work. But Austin insisted time had run out, the official said.
[…]
Within the palace, too, the illusion of calm was being punctured. Around midday, much of the staff had been dismissed for lunch. While they were gone, according to officials, a top adviser informed the president that militants had entered the palace and were going room to room looking for him.

That does not appear to have been true. The Taliban had announced that while its fighters were at the edges of Kabul, having entered through the city’s main checkpoints after security forces withdrew, it did not intend to take over violently. There was an agreement in place for a peaceful transition, and the group intended to honor it.

Yet that wasn’t the message that was being delivered to Ghani. The president was told by his closest aides that he needed to get out — fast.
[…]
For the United States, the scope of defeat was total — and was vividly rendered as helicopters evacuated embassy personnel to the airport. Before the American flag was lowered one last time, diplomats engaged in a frenzy of destruction, burning documents and smashing sensitive equipment.

“It was extremely loud,” said a senior U.S. official. “There were controlled fires, the shredding of classified paper documents, and a constant pounding noise from the destruction of hard drives and weapons.”
[…]
At the State Department, top brass, including Wendy Sherman, Blinken’s deputy, and Victoria Nuland, undersecretary of state for political affairs, were frantically calling foreign ministers to ask them to help with evacuation efforts and to coordinate a statement signed by 114 countries urging the Taliban to allow safe passage for evacuees. This, they realized, would be a historic evacuation effort.

Nominations Caught in Cancún Cruz’s Senate Confirmation Blockage

 

The U.S. Senate is now adjourned until Monday, September 13th. Before the adjournment, it managed to confirm one (1), that’s right, one ambassador’s nomination out of over twenty State Department nominees pending on the Executive Calendar.
Below are the nominees caught in Ted Cruz’s blockage of State Department nominees. Yes, that’s the same a senator who will forever be remembered as one of the twisted tool of the January 6 insurrection. Also as Cancún Cruz, that one who fled to Mexico while his state froze.
It is unfortunate that the nominees are used as pawns when senators do not get their way. This isn’t going to change anytime soon. This has been the way of the Senate for years now. Some suggestions. We should fix the Senate by electing reasonable people who are not multiuseless. Or we should reduced the number of people requiring Senate confirmation to minimized the chaos brought about by the actions of people of multiple uselessness in the “world’s greatest deliberative body”. Oh, let’s throw in term limits, why don’t we?
DEPARTMENT OF STATE -14

Brett M. Holmgren, of Minnesota, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Intelligence and Research), vice Ellen E. McCarthy.

Michele Jeanne Sison, of Maryland, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Ambassador, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (International Organization Affairs), vice Kevin Edward Moley, resigned.

Todd D. Robinson, of New Jersey, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Minister, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs), vice Kirsten Dawn Madison

Daniel J. Kritenbrink, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (East Asian and Pacific Affairs), vice David Stilwell.

Christopher P. Lu, of Virginia, to be Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations for U.N. Management and Reform, with the rank of Ambassador.

Christopher P. Lu, of Virginia, to be an Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations, during his tenure of service as Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations for U.N. Management and Reform.

Rufus Gifford, of Massachusetts, to be Chief of Protocol, and to have the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service, vice Sean P. Lawler, resigned.

Brian A. Nichols, of Rhode Island, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Minister, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Western Hemisphere Affairs), vice Kimberly Breier, resigned

Monica P. Medina, of Maryland, to be Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, vice Kerri-Ann Jones, resigned.

Anne A. Witkowsky, of Maryland, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Conflict and Stabilization Operations), vice Denise Natali.

Anne A. Witkowsky, of Maryland, to be Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, vice David Malcolm Robinson.

Mary Catherine Phee, of Illinois, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (African Affairs), vice Tibor Peter Nagy, Jr

Lee Satterfield, of South Carolina, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Educational and Cultural Affairs), vice Marie Royce.

Karen Erika Donfried, of the District of Columbia, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (European Affairs and Eurasian Affairs), vice A. Wess Mitchell, resigned.

Jessica Lewis, of Ohio, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Political-Military Affairs), vice R. Clarke Cooper.

Donald Lu, of California, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of MinisterCounselor, to be Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs, vice Nisha Desai Biswal.

AMBASSADORS – 7

Somalia – Larry Edward Andre, Jr., of Texas, 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 Federal Republic of Somalia

Algeria – Elizabeth Moore Aubin, of Virginia, 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 People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria.

Lesotho – Maria E. Brewer, of Virginia, 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 Kingdom of Lesotho.

Cameroon – Christopher John Lamora, of Rhode Island, 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 Cameroon.

Angola/Sao Tome and Principe – Tulinabo S. Mushingi, of Virginia, 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 Republic of Angola, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe.

Congo – Eugene S. Young, 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 the Congo.

Vietnam- Marc Evans Knapper, of California, 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 Socialist Republic of Vietnam

USAID – 3

Marcela Escobari, of Massachusetts, to be an Assistant Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, vice John Barsa.

Paloma Adams-Allen, of the District of Columbia, to be a Deputy Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, vice Bonnie Glick.

Isobel Coleman, of New York, to be a Deputy Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, vice Jenny A. McGee

 

Click to access xcalv.pdf

 

 

Related posts:

Senate Confirms Ex-Senator Ken Salazar as Ambassador to Mexico, Then Left Town

 

 

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Confirmations: 64 FS Nominations From Six Foreign Service Lists

 

On July 29, the U.S. Senate confirmed the nominations of 64 officers from six Foreign Service lists pending from April and June of this year. Click on links to see the names:
2021-07-29 PN359 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning Jeanne Frances Bailey, and ending Bruce J. Zanin, which 2 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on April 13, 2021.
2021-07-29 PN477 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning Russell Anthony Duncan, and ending Mark Clayton Prescott, which 2 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on April 27, 2021.
2021-07-29 PN478 Foreign Service | Nomination for Marc Clayton Gilkey, which nomination was received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on April 27, 2021.
2021-07-29 PN479 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning Susannah Holmes, and ending Aaron Rodgers, which 4 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on April 27, 2021.
2021-07-29 PN724 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning Gabriel J. Allison, and ending Amanda M. Zeidan, which 41 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on June 22, 2021.
2021-07-29 PN727 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning Wade C. Martin, and ending Fernando Ospina, which 14 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on June 22, 2021.

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Nominee: Former Senator Tom Udall to be Ambassador to New Zealand and to the Independent State of Samoa

Thank you to over 500 readers and supporters who made our continued operation possible this year. Raising funds for a small outlet that is already open and free for all to read has often been the most challenging part of running  this blog. We are grateful for your continued support and well wishes. Gracias — DS

President Biden announced his intent to nominate former NM Democratic Senator Tom Udall to be the next Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. The WH released the following brief bio:

Tom Udall, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to New Zealand and to the Independent State of Samoa

Tom Udall has a long and distinguished career in public service.  He most recently served two terms as United States Senator from New Mexico (2009-2021) and served five terms as United States Representative from New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District (1999-2009).  While in office, Udall was a notable champion for the environment, for Native Americans, for government and election reform and for resolving international disputes peacefully, if possible.  Earlier in his career, Udall was elected twice as Attorney General of New Mexico (1991-1999) and also served as an Assistant United States Attorney.  His Senate Committee assignments included the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the Committee on Indian Affairs, the Committee on Rules and Administration, the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the International Narcotics Control Caucus.  Udall has a B.A. degree from Prescott College, a Bachelor of Law from Cambridge University, and a J.D. from the University of New Mexico.

As pointed out elsewhere, there are now three former senators nominated for ambassadorships: Udall, Flake, and Salazar.
When confirmed, Senator Udall would succeed former Senator Scott P. Brown who served from 2017-2021. Since the 1960s, we could only identify three career diplomats appointed as chief of mission to New Zealand:

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Biden Taps Former AZ Republican Senator Jeff Flake as U.S. Ambassador to Turkey

Thank you to over 500 readers and supporters who made our continued operation possible this year. Raising funds for a small outlet that is already open and free for all to read has often been the most challenging part of running  this blog. We are grateful for your continued support and well wishes. Gracias — DS

 

President Biden announced his intent to nominate former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake to be his Ambassador to Turkey. The WH released the following brief bio:

Jeff Lane Flake, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Turkey

Jeff L. Flake is currently a Distinguished Fellow at Arizona State University and a Distinguished Fellow at the Sorensen Center for Moral and Ethical Leadership at Brigham Young University.  He also serves on the Senior Advisory Committee at Harvard’s Institute of Politics.  Flake was a Member of Congress for 18 years, representing Arizona in the U.S. Senate (2013-2019) and the U.S. House of Representatives (2001-2013), where he served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  A frequent public speaker, he is also a former contributor for CNN and CBS News.  Flake is a Director of Taylor Morrison, a home builder in Scottsdale, Arizona, and a former Executive Director of the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix, Arizona.  Early in his career, he was Executive Director of the Foundation for Democracy in Namibia.  He speaks Afrikaans.  He earned a B.A. in International Relations, and an M.A. in Political Science, at Brigham Young University.  He is a recipient of the Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage from the University Philosophical Society, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is reportedly  supporting “close Senate scrutiny of President Biden’s controversial nomination this week of former Arizona legislator Jeff Flake … Over the coming weeks, the US Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations will consider Flake’s nomination. The ANCA will be working in a bipartisan manner to ensure that Flake’s complicity in Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide is carefully scrutinized by members of this powerful committee.”
We can’t imagine the U.S. Senate not confirming one of its own or dragging this process long.  Senators have already offered statements of support and tweets of congratulations. This will be quick. It only took about a month for Max Baucus to be confirmed by the Senate for China in 2014; Yea-Nay Vote. 96 – 0. It took about five weeks for Scott Brown’s confirmation for New Zealand in 2017; Yea-Nay Vote. 94 – 4.  And about five weeks for Kay Bailey Hutchison to be confirmed for USNATO in 2017 (confirmed by voice vote). (See list of senators who served as ambassadors/or held diplomatic posts).
When confirmed, Senator Flake would succeed career diplomat David Satterfield who arrived in Ankara in 2019. The last non-career appointee sent to Turkey was Robert Strausz-Hupé (1903–2002). He served from 1981–1989 during the Reagan years. Before him, there was William Macomber Jr.; he served from May 16, 1973–June 15, 1977 during Nixon/Ford’s tenures.

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Related posts:

 

Senate Confirms Uzra Zeya as Under Secretary of State/J (Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights)

Thank you to over 500 readers and supporters who made our continued operation possible this year. Raising funds for a small outlet that is already open and free for all to read has often been the most challenging part of running  this blog. We are grateful for your continued support and well wishes. Thanks — DS

 

 

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Related posts:

SFRC Clears Several @StateDept Nominees, Multiple AF/NEA Ambassadorships

Thank you to over 500 readers and supporters who made our continued operation possible this year. Raising funds for a small outlet that is already open and free for all to read has often been the most challenging part of running  this blog. We are grateful for your continued support and well wishes. Merci — DS

On June 24, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee cleared the nominations of several ambassadorships to posts in Africa (AF) and Near Eastern Affairs (NEA):
State/AF Posts

Larry Edward Andre, Jr., of Texas, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of MinisterCounselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Federal Republic of Somalia

Maria E. Brewer, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of MinisterCounselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Christopher John Lamora, of Rhode Island, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of MinisterCounselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Cameroon.

Tulinabo S. Mushingi, of Virginia, 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 Republic of Angola, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe.

Eugene S. Young, of New York, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of MinisterCounselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of the Congo.

State/NEA Post

Elizabeth Moore Aubin, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of MinisterCounselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria.

STATE DEPARTMENT

June 24, 2021

Michele Jeanne Sison, of Maryland, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Ambassador, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (International Organization Affairs), vice Kevin Edward Moley, resigned.

Todd D. Robinson, of New Jersey, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Minister, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs), vice Kirsten Dawn Madison.

Daniel J. Kritenbrink, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of MinisterCounselor, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (East Asian and Pacific Affairs), vice David Stilwell.

Other nominees who were previously cleared by the Senate panel and are also awaiting the full Senate vote:
May 26, 2021 (Reported by Mr. Warner, Select Committee on Intelligence):

Brett M. Holmgren, of Minnesota, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Intelligence and Research), vice Ellen E. McCarthy.

May 25, 2021

Bonnie D. Jenkins, of New York, to be Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, vice Andrea L. Thompson, resigned.

Jose W. Fernandez, of New York, to be an Under Secretary of State (Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment), vice Keith Krach.

Apr 21, 2021

Uzra Zeya, of Virginia, to be an Under Secretary of State (Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights), vice Sarah Sewall, resigned.

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