State/P Toria Nuland Swears-In New SCA Asst Secretary Donald Lu

 

 

Biden Nominates John Bass to be Under Secretary of State For Management

 

President Biden announced his intent to nominate former Ambassador John Bass to be the next Under Secretary of State for Management. The WH released the following brief bio:

John R. Bass, Nominee for Under Secretary of State for Management

John R. Bass, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Career Minister, currently is a Senior Advisor at the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute. He has served as Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, and Ambassador to the Republic of Georgia.  Previously, Bass focused, among other things, on supporting U.S. government efforts to mobilize allies and marshal resources to combat terrorism and instability in Iraq, Syria and Southwest Asia.  He served at seven U.S. Missions overseas including as Team Leader of Provincial Reconstruction Team – Baghdad at the American Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.  In addition, he was the Executive Secretary of the State Department and held other senior leadership positions at the Department of State.  Bass earned an A.B. Cum Laude from Syracuse University. 

According to his online bios, Ambassador Bass began his diplomatic career in 1988 with early postings reportedly in Chad, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Italy.
In 1992, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for appointment as Foreign Service Officers of Class Four, Consular Officers and Secretaries in the Diplomatic Service of the United States of America.
In 1998, he went to work for Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott (1994-2001) first as a special assistant for Europe and Eurasia and later as Talbott’s chief of staff in 2000 (presumably until Talbott’s departure from Foggy Bottom in 2001).
He served at the U.S. Embassy in Rome from 2002 to 2004.
From 2004 to 2005, Bass was a special advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney for Europe and Eurasia.
From 2005-2008, Bass was director of the State Department Operations Center during Condoleezza Rice’s tenure as secretary of state.
About 19 years after joining the Foreign Service, he was promoted into the Senior Foreign Service (SFS). In 2007, he was confirmed as a Career Members of the Senior Foreign Service of the United States of America, Class of Counselor.
He led the Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) from 2008-2009.
President Obama nominated him as Ambassador to Georgia where he served from August 2009 to 2012.
In 2011, he was promoted within the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor
He served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of State and Executive Secretary from 2012–2014, partly during Clinton’s tenure (2009-2013), and during Kerry’s tenure (2013-2017).
He served as Obama’s Ambassador to Turkey from 2014-2017
He served as  Trump’s Ambassador to Afghanistan from December 2017-January 2020.
Some 10 years after his promotion into the SFS, he was promoted within the Senior Foreign Service of the United States of America, Class of Career Minister in 2017.
In January 2020, he stepped down from a two-year tenure as Ambassador to Afghanistan.
We’re not sure where he went after Kabul but 18 months later, he was back in the news.
On July 21, 2021, President Biden announced his intent to nominate him as Under Secretary for Management at the State Department.
On August 18, the State Department sent him to Kabul to help with the evacuation (see @StateDept Sends M Nominee John Bass to Kabul to Leverage “Logistics Experience” in Evacuation).
As of this writing, his nomination (PN922 ) is pending at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
There is no/no other position in Foggy Bottom that has a more significant impact on the lives of employees and family members than the Under Secretary of State for Management. Now, we know that press clips say this appointment is part of the Biden’s administration’s “efforts to revive a demoralized diplomatic corps.”   We’ve also heard some quarters argue that the nominee is a 7th floor denizen who has never served in the Bureau of Administration or any of the functional bureaus under M, etc. etc. Remains to be seen either way what impact he makes once he is in office; he will be facing not just morale issues but also a host of internal management challenges.
Some added perspective –Ambassador Bass is not the secretary of state’s BFF unlike his predecessor; one could consider that good news. Also, he’s been in the service for 33 years, so with few exceptions, he knows more than most people appointed as State/M. He won’t need six months getting to know the institution and learning all the acronyms! If confirmed, he would only be the third career diplomat appointed as Under Secretary for Management (the others being Ronald Ian Spiers who served as “M” from 1983–1989 and Patrick F. Kennedy  who served from 2007–2017).
Hey, three career appointees out of the total 16 appointees since 1953 is a record!
Also good news, Ambassador Bass doesn’t have an Operation Anvil baggage coming into the job currently encumbered by …. ah, what were they thinking?!

Related posts:

How soon before somebody needs to spend more time with the family?

 

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

 

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D/Secretary Sherman Swears-in Jose Fernandez as Under Secretary For State/E

 

 

 

Confirmations: Bitter (State/M/CA), Smith (State/M/DS), Fernandez (State/E), FS Lists

 

The following nominations were confirmed by voice vote on August 9, 2021.
2021-08-09 PN493 Department of State | Rena Bitter, of the District of Columbia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Consular Affairs).
2021-08-09 PN495 Department of State | Gentry O. Smith, of Virginia, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Diplomatic Security).
2021-08-06 PN251 International Bank for Reconstruction and Development | Jose W. Fernandez, of New York, to be United States Alternate Governor of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development for a term of five years; United States Alternate Governor of the Inter-American Development Bank for a term of five years.
2021-08-06 PN252 European Bank for Reconstruction and Development | Jose W. Fernandez, of New York, to be United States Alternate Governor of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
2021-08-06 PN253 Department of State | Jose W. Fernandez, of New York, to be an Under Secretary of State (Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment).
FS LISTS:
2021-08-09 PN357-2 Foreign Service | Nomination for Mark W. Libby, which nomination was received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on April 13, 2021.
2021-08-09 PN358-2 Foreign Service | Nomination for Maureen E. Cormack, which nomination was received by the Senate and appeared in the Congressional Record on April 13, 2021.

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The Senate’s tentative schedule indicates August 9 – September 10 as “State Work Period”.
There are at least 25 State Department (14), USAID (3), and ambassador nominations (8) listed on the Executive Calendar (PDF) waiting for full Senate confirmation. With the Senate still wrestling with the Infrastructure and Jobs Act, it remains to be seen if the body would confirm the rest of the names on their Calendar before heading home for the summer break.

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Senate Confirms Bonnie D. Jenkins as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security (State/T)

 

 

The U.S. Senate finally confirmed the nomination of Bonnie D. Jenkins to be the State Department’s Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security (State/T). Her nomination was received by the Senate on March 15, and she had her confirmation hearing in late April . It took the Senate until July 21st to have a full vote for this nomination. She was confirmed by the Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 52 – 48. Record Vote Number: 275. Senators Collins (R-ME), and Paul (R-KY) joined the Democrats in confirming this nominee.
Ambassador Jenkins succeeds Andrea L. Thompson who was appointed in 2018 and left her position the following year (see Pompeo Announces Departure of Andrea Thompson as Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security).  With the exception of career diplomats Reginald Bartholomew (1989–1992) and Frank G. Wisner II (1992–1993), all other appointees to the “T” bureau were political appointees. Click here for the names of previous appointees.
In May 2020, the Trump WH announced the nomination of Marshall Billingslea to State/T but that nomination was returned to the president in January 2021. (see New Arms Control Special Envoy Marshall Billingslea Now Nominated as Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security (T).

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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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