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Posted: 12:05 am ET
On Thursday, August 3, the U.S. Senate confirmed a slew of nominees for the State Department, including 11 new ambassadors. Also confirmed was Ambassador Mark Green as USAID Administrator and nominees for OPIC, and the United Nations.
The Senate will adjourned on Friday to convene for pro forma sessions only with no business conducted between now and September 1. Hey, that means no recess appointments. The Senate will next convene at 3:00pm on Tuesday, September 5, 2017.
Executive Calendar #229 – Nathan Alexander Sales to be Coordinator for Counterterrorism
Executive Calendar #239 – Carl Risch to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Consular Affairs)
Executive Calendar #291 – John P. Desrocher to be Ambassador to the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
Executive Calendar #227 – Kelly Knight Craft to be Ambassador of the United States to Canada
Executive Calendar #228 – Sharon Day to be Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of Costa Rica
Executive Calendar #289 – Michael Arthur Raynor to be Ambassador to Ethiopia
Executive Calendar #232 – Luis Arreaga to be Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of Guatemala
Executive Calendar #233 – Krishna Urs to be Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of Peru
Executive Calendar #230 – George Edward Glass to be Ambassador of the United States to the Portuguese Republic
Executive Calendar #231 – Robert Wood Johnson IV to be Ambassador of the United States to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Executive Calendar #235 – Lewis Eisenberg to be Ambassador to the Italian Republic, and to serve concurrently as Ambassador to the Republic of San Marino
Executive Calendar #290 – Maria E. Brewer to be Ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone
Executive Calendar #166 – Mark Andrew Green to be Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.
Executive Calendar #234 – Kay Bailey Hutchison to be United States Permanent Representative on the Council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Executive Calendar #237 – Kelley Eckels Currie to be Representative of the United States on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC)
Executive Calendar #238 – Kelley Eckels Currie to be an Alternate Representative of the United States to the Sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA)
Executive Calendar #236 – Ray Washburne to be President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Executive Calendar #245 – David Steele Bohigian to be Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Posted: 1:25 am ET
On July 20, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Ambassador Michele Sison to be the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti. The WH released a brief bio:
Michele Jeanne Sison of Maryland to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Haiti. Ms. Sison, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Career Minister, has served as an American diplomat since 1982. She currently serves as Deputy Permanent Representative at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York, a position she has held since 2014. A three-time Ambassador, Ms. Sison has been a leader, policymaker, and manager of complex programs in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and in Washington, D.C. She has served at eleven U.S. Missions overseas and in senior leadership positions at the Department of State. Ms. Sison earned a B.A. from Wellesley College. She speaks fluent French and basic Haitian Creole and Arabic.
Posted: 2:36 am ET
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day. (via)
The UN says that World Press Freedom Day is an opportunity to:
Read more about this year’s themes in the Concept note. Meanwhile, around the world, press freedom has deteriorated, and has declined to the lowest point in 13 years.
Posted: 12:44 am ET
On November 23, then President-elect Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate SC Governor Nikki Haley as his Ambassador to the United Nations (see Trump to Nominate SC Governor Nicki Haley as U.N. Ambassador). She had her confirmation hearing on January 18 and was confirmed by the Senate in a 96-4 vote on January 24. The following day, she was sworn into office by Vice President Pence. She made her first appearance before the press as USUN ambassador on January 27 prior to presenting her credentials. She made a huge splash with her opening salvo: “For those who don’t have our back, we’re taking names – we will make points to respond to that accordingly.” A short while later, a diplomatic dustup.
This round-up is a bit late, but we want this up for future reference. It’s not even a month yet, stuff could happen here, there, everywhere … tonight, tomorrow … heck, there’s “breaking news” every 5 minutes!
Posted: 5:34 pm PT
The following are civilian nominations submitted by the President to the Senate for confirmation during the current 114th Congress and have not made it out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) when the Senate adjourned on December 10, 2016. Senate rules provide that “nominations neither confirmed nor rejected during the session at which they are made shall not be acted upon at any succeeding session without being again made to the Senate by the President…” These nominations have sometimes been returned to the President at the end of the first session and are always returned to the President at the end of the Congress.
The Senate will convene at noon on January 3, 2017, for the 115th Congress. We expect that the career nominations in the Foreign Service lists will be resubmitted in January. All other nominations are dead at this point; the incoming Trump Administration will make its own nominations for ambassadorships, as well as the top ranks at State, USAID, BBG and related posts.
2016-09-28 PN1802 Department of State | Jeffrey DeLaurentis, 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 Cuba.
2016-09-22 PN1763 Department of State | Tulinabo Salama 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 Senegal, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
2016-09-19 PN1758 Department of State | Justin H. Siberell, of Maryland, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Coordinator for Counterterrorism, with the rank and status of Ambassador at Large.
2016-09-19 PN1757 Department of State | Tina S. Kaidanow, of Maryland, a career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Political-Military Affairs).
2015-07-08 PN628 Department of State | Mari Carmen Aponte, of the District of Columbia, to be Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the Organization of American States, with the rank of Ambassador.
2015-01-08 PN48 Department of State | Jennifer Ann Haverkamp, of Indiana, to be Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.
2016-11-15 PN1810 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning Jim Nelson Barnhart, Jr., and ending Anne N. Williams, which 20 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on November 15, 2016.
2016-11-15 PN1809 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning Jeanne F. Bailey, and ending Robert Henry Hanson, which 9 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on November 15, 2016.
2016-11-15 PN1807 Foreign Service | Nomination for Alexander Dickie IV, which nomination was received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on November 15, 2016.
2016-11-15 PN1806 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning David Charles Miller, and ending Scott S. Sindelar, which 2 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on November 15, 2016.
2016-09-06 PN1704-1 Foreign Service | Nomination for Leslie L. Johnson, which nomination was received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on September 6, 2016.
2016-07-13 PN1643-1 Foreign Service | Nomination for Edward Peay, which nomination was received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on July 13, 2016.
2016-07-13 PN1642-1 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning Michael Ashkouri, and ending Ethan N. Takahashi, which 4 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on July 13, 2016.
2015-06-10 PN573-6 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning Jeffries Blunt de Graffenried, Jr., and ending Debbie Patrice Jackson, which 2 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on June 10, 2015.
2015-02-26 PN230-3 Foreign Service | Nomination for David Elliott Horton III, which nomination was received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on February 26, 2015.
2015-01-13 PN72-8 Foreign Service | Nomination for Daniel Menco Hirsch, which nomination was received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on January 13, 2015.
2015-01-13 PN71-2 Foreign Service | Nominations beginning David J. Barth, and ending R. Douglass Arbuckle, which 2 nominations were received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on January 13, 2015.
2016-11-29 PN1918 Broadcasting Board of Governors | Richard Stengel, of the District of Columbia, to be Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
2016-11-29 PN1917 Broadcasting Board of Governors | Richard Stengel, of the District of Columbia, to be a Member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors for a term expiring August 13, 2017.
2016-09-13 PN1751 United Nations | Cynthia Ryan, of the District of Columbia, to be an Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Seventy-first Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
2016-09-13 PN1750 United Nations | Valerie Biden Owens, of Delaware, to be an Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Seventy-first Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
2015-02-26 PN229 African Development Bank | Marcia Denise Occomy, of the District of Columbia, to be United States Director of the African Development Bank for a term of five years.
2015-02-26 PN228 Inter-American Development Bank | Mileydi Guilarte, of the District of Columbia, to be United States Alternate Executive Director of the Inter-American Development Bank.
Posted: 3:20 am ET
John Bolton is reportedly the front-runner to be deputy secretary of state if Rex Tillerman is selected as secretary of state. According to Brian Urquhart’s 2008 piece, One Angry Man, this is not the first time that Bolton has aspired to be deputy secretary of state.
“At the outset of the second Bush term, the new secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, asked Bolton what job might interest him in the new term. Bolton’s mention of his interest in being deputy secretary of state was received with no enthusiasm, and two months later, in March 2005, Rice announced his nomination as ambassador to the UN, thus appointing to this unique post the US official most publicly contemptuous of the world organization. Bolton’s long and abrasive confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee were, in his own words, not so much about the UN or his opinions, but about “whether I was a nice person, thereby inviting every person in government whom I had ever defeated in a policy battle, of whom there were many, to turn the issue into one of personal disparagement….” Even though Republicans held a majority at the time, his confirmation failed by four votes in the Senate. The President finally announced his recess appointment on August 1, 2005.”
Prior to his assignment in the UN, Bolton was Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security from May 2001 to May 2005. So with the exception of the top position, there are only two other jobs that he could potentially be interested in — the Deputy Secretary (D) position, or the Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources (DMR).
On Saturday, Rex Tillerson made news when NBC News reported that Trump was expected to name the Exxon CEO as secretary of state (see Trump Expected to Name Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State; ‘Stop Rex’ Petition Already Up). During a Sunday morning show, Reince Priebus did say that the secretary of state pick was not a “done deal.”
In an interview with Fox News’ Eric Shawn on Sunday, John Bolton also made news when he talked about the Russian hack, false flag, and the Obama administration. Text below via TPM:
BOLTON: It’s not at all clear to me just viewing this from the outside that this hacking into the DNC and the RNC computers was not a false flag operation. Let’s remember what FBI director James Comey said dealing with Hillary’s home brew server. He said we found no direct evidence of foreign intelligence service penetration, but given the nature of this, we didn’t expect to. Meaning, a really sophisticated foreign intelligence service would not leave any cyber fingerprints. And yet people say they did leave cyber fingerprints in the hacks regarding our election. So the question that has to be asked is why did the Russians run their smart intelligence service against Hillary’s server but their dumb intelligence services against the election —
SHAWN: When you say false flag, that’s a very serious charge. False flag by whom? Here is “The Washington post.” The Post reported the CIA has concluded individuals with close ties to the Russian government hacked the e-mails. Intelligence officials have determined that Russia’s goal was to help trump win rather than simply undermine confidence in the election. Are you actually accusing someone here in this administration of trying — in the intelligence community of trying to throw something?
BOLTON: We just don’t know, but I believe that intelligence has been politicized in the Obama administration to a very significant degree.
Here’s a clip:
A couple of old clips down the John Bolton memory lane:
One writer called “his obsession with the United Nations is as serious as Ted Haggard’s with sin.” After he announced his resignation as U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in December 2006, the Heritage Foundation released In Their Own Words: Ambassador Bolton’s Record of Effectiveness at the U.N., a collection of quotes from media clips, senators, foreign officials and a few fans. Here he is with one of his greatest hits talking about the United Nations.
And then here’s Senator Rand Paul who sits in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and says John Bolton “should get nowhere close” to the State Department.
Posted: 2:58 am ET
On November 23, President-elect Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate SC Governor Nikki Haley as his Ambassador to the United Nations:
(New York, NY) — President-elect Donald J. Trump today announced his intent to nominate Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC) as the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, a cabinet-level position in the Trump-Pence Administration.
Governor Haley is one of the most universally respected governors in the country. After working at her family’s business, Governor Haley turned her focus to economic development and has traveled abroad to negotiate with international companies on behalf of South Carolina. As governor, she has led seven overseas trade missions and successfully attracted jobs and investment through negotiations with foreign companies.
“Governor Haley has a proven track record of bringing people together regardless of background or party affiliation to move critical policies forward for the betterment of her state and our country,” said President-elect Trump. “She is also a proven dealmaker, and we look to be making plenty of deals. She will be a great leader representing us on the world stage.”
“Our country faces enormous challenges here at home and internationally, and I am honored that the President-elect has asked me to join his team and serve the country we love as the next Ambassador to the United Nations,” said Governor Haley.
Born in Bamberg, South Carolina, the daughter of Indian immigrants, Governor Haley became the first female governor of her home state in 2011 and is currently the youngest governor in the country. Prior to becoming governor, she represented Lexington County in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2005 to 2011.
A true fiscal conservative and savvy businesswoman, Governor Haley’s leadership drove down South Carolina’s unemployment to a 15 year low by adding more than 82,000 jobs in each of South Carolina’s 46 counties.
Prior to dedicating her life to public service, Governor Haley worked at her family business. In 1998, Governor Haley was named to the board of directors of the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce and named to the board of directors of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce in 2003. She also became treasurer of the National Association of Women Business Owners in 2003 and president in 2004.
Governor Haley is a proud graduate of Clemson University where she earned a degree in accounting. Governor Haley and her husband, Michael, a Captain in the Army National Guard and combat veteran who was deployed to Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, have two children, Rena, 18, and Nalin, 15.
The Chief of Mission has the title of Representative of the U.S.A. to the United Nations, with the rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, and Representative of the U.S.A. in the Security Council of the United Nations. The U.S. Mission to the United Nations was formally established with that title, by E.O. 9844 of April 28, 1947.
If confirmed, Governor Haley will succeed Samantha Power who was appointed by President Obama in 2013. She will be the fifth woman to occupy this UN position after Power (2013-2017), Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick (1981–1985); Madeleine Korbel Albright (1993–1997) and Susan Rice (2009–2013). Some of her predecessors to this position includes former U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush (1971–1973), six time ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. (1953–1960), eight time ambassador Thomas Reeve Pickering (1989–1992), five time ambassador John Dimitri Negroponte (2001–2004) and John R. Bolton (2005–2006) who was commissioned during a recess of the Senate in 2005 and reportedly in the running for the secretary of state position in the Trump administration.
Here are some clips to read:
Posted: 12:25 am ET
A diplomat from the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations in New York is accused of punching his wife but is shielded from arrest by diplomatic immunity according to media reports. NYPost says that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. wants the diplomatic immunity revoked for the German diplomat. State Department representatives have reportedly declined to discus the specifics of the case, except to say that the agency is “aware and concerned” of the incident — and that if Germany declines to waive immunity, they can require that the diplomat leave the US. See more below:
An NYPD spokesperson said that there is no situation in which it is acceptable for an officer to apprehend someone with diplomatic immunity.
The mayor’s office has urged her to go to a shelter for domestic violence victims, said Johnson, who is resistant of the idea.
“Other than a shelter, I don’t have any other options and I’m not willing to go to a shelter,” she said. “I don’t think I’m made for that stuff. All my life, my husband has been providing for me. He has been keeping me secure. So I don’t really know the world outside.”
Johnson, a native of Pakistan who does not work, met Haubrichs in her homeland when he was working in the German embassy there.
But she still loves her man and doesn’t want any consequences to rain down on him. “I’m concerned for him. I don’t want him to lose his job or his title,” Johnson said. “I do want to have a respected life — of course, nothing like this — but I love him very much, I don’t want to compromise his career or position.”
“He’s a very caring person. It’s just sometimes the anger gets out of hand and things happen,” she said.
Posted: 1:36 am ET
The U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg is the largest of the three consulates general in Russia. It is the nearest to Moscow and is the site for many high-level bilateral and multilateral meetings. According to the 2013 OIG report on US Mission Russia, employees face intensified pressure by the Russian security services at a level not seen since the days of the Cold War. The mission employs 1,279 staff, including 301 U.S. direct-hire positions and 934 locally employed (LE) staff positions from 35 U.S. Government agencies (2013 OIG report).
Two U.S. officials traveling with diplomatic passports were drugged while attending a conference in Russia last year, and one of them was hospitalized, in what officials have concluded was part of a wider, escalating pattern of harassment of U.S. diplomats by Russia.
The incident at a hotel bar during a UN anticorruption conference in St. Petersburg in November 2015 caused concern in the U.S. State Department, which quietly protested to Moscow, according to a U.S. government official with direct knowledge of what occurred.
But it wasn’t until a dramatic event in June, when an accredited U.S. diplomat was tackled outside the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, that officials in Washington reexamined the November drugging and concluded they were part of a definite pattern.
The U.S. government official told RFE/RL that U.S. investigators concluded that the two Americans — a man and a woman — were slipped a so-called date rape drug, most likely at a bar in the St. Petersburg hotel where they were staying.
One of the Americans was incapacitated and brought to a Western medical clinic in the city for treatment, and to have blood and tissue samples taken in order to determine precisely what caused the sudden illness. However, while the person was at the clinic, the electricity suddenly went out and the staff was unable to obtain the necessary tissue samples, the official said.
The individual was then flown out of the country for further medical treatment, but by then it was too late to gather proper samples, the official said.
Because the U.S. officials in attendance at the conference were not top-level State or Justice officials, the State Department decided to take a quiet approach to the incident.A formal note of protest was lodged, the official said, but Russian authorities asked for evidence that the person had been drugged, and the Americans lacked samples.
Read in full below: