Secretary Pompeo Will Not Take Second Job as National Security Advisor #nodualswagger

 

 

American Academy of Diplomacy’s Sisco Memorial Forum: “Why Diplomats Need to Accept More Risk,” Friday, Sept 13

 

On Friday, September 13, the American Academy of Diplomacy (AAD) and Foreign Policy for America (FPA) will convene two similar discussions with four former U.S. ambassadors on how critically important it is for diplomacy that diplomats posted overseas are empowered to take a certain amount of risk. The forum is part of AAD’s Joseph J. Sisco Memorial Forum. “Joseph J. Sisco was the Chairman of the American Academy of Diplomacy from 1999-2004. When he passed away in the fall of 2004, he requested that gifts in his honor be made to the Academy. The Academy decided that the best use of the generous donations made by his friends and family was to stimulate public discussion on the foreign policy themes to which Dr. Sisco dedicated his career.”
This two-part event is free and open to the general public. The following former diplomats will be at the Forum:
Ambassador Anne Patterson, former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and North African Affairs, and former Ambassador to El Salvador, Colombia, Pakistan, Egypt, and the United Nations
Ambassador Charles Ray, former Ambassador to Cambodia and Zimbabwe,
Ambassador Richard Olson, former U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and former Ambassador to Pakistan, and United Arab Emirates
Ambassador Ronald Neumann, former Ambassador to Algeria, Bahrain and Afghanistan.

 

Part I
SENATE BRIEFING
Friday, September 13, 2019
10:00 am – 11:00 am
Dirksen 124

Coffee and light refreshments will be served.
RSVP FOR SENATE BRIEFING 

Part II
HOUSE BRIEFING
Friday, September 2019
12:30 pm – 2:15 pm
Rayburn 2075

Lunch will be served at 12:30 pm
Panel discussion at 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

Sponsored by:
Rep. Gil Cisneros and Rep. Michael Waltz
RSVP FOR HOUSE BRIEFING

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Season Finale: Trump Breaks Up With His Third National Security Advisor

 

 

 

Pompeo: “I’m flattered when people say Mike will be a good United States senator representing Kansas.”

 

Secretary Pompeo returned to Kansas last week to deliver the 190th Landon Lecture in the McCain Auditorium at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. He also did at least seven local interviews; all asked him about a potential senate run.  See his response below, particularly the part about what flattered him, and spending “every waking moment” … “to try and achieve good diplomatic outcomes for the  people of Kansas.”
He said that he’s been “unambiguous” about the senate run but that he “continue to get asked.”
Especially as he kept going back to Kansas.

Via: SECRETARY POMPEO:  Steve, that’s why I always love coming on your show.  Look, I’m focused on my mission.  I’m serving America and working on President Trump’s team to deliver America’s foreign policy.  That’s what I’m focused on.  I do see the noise.  I’m flattered when people say Mike will be a good United States senator representing Kansas.  Susan and I love this place.  We miss our Shockers.  We miss our church there in Wichita and all our family and friends.  But I’m doing something that I consider an incredible privilege, an opportunity of a lifetime to lead the State Department, and I’m focused on doing that each and every day.

Via:  SECRETARY POMPEO:  Oh, goodness.  I’m so focused on what I’m doing.  We just ripped through half a dozen topics.  There’s another 20 we could’ve gone through.  I spend every waking moment working to try and achieve good diplomatic outcomes for the people of Kansas.  That’s my mission set; it’s what I’m focused onAs for what happens tomorrow, a week from now, or two years from now, goodness only knows.

Via:  SECRETARY POMPEO:  Every day I am focused on my mission as the Secretary of State, America’s most senior diplomat.  It’s what I think about.  It’s what I’m focused on.  I kind of miss following Kansas politics as closely as it sounds like you are, but I have a very clear mission from President Trump and from the American people to deliver on his America First foreign policy, and me and the team that I have the privilege to lead here for a little bit are going to continue to do that.

Via:    SECRETARY POMPEO:  I have no Earthly idea.  I’m so focused on what I’m doing each and every day and so proud to represent the great people at the State Department every day.  I haven’t spent a heck of a lot of time thinking about my future.  I think there’s a lot of other people thinking about my future an awful lot more than Susan and I think about it.

Via: SECRETARY POMPEO:  Yeah.  I’m very focused on what I’m doing.  You just heard me recount half a dozen opportunities for America around the world.  I get the privilege to serve as President Trump’s Secretary of State, and I’m focused on that every day and plan to continue that.

Via: SECRETARY POMPEO:  Well, Pete, I always want to come back to Kansas.  Susan and I love it here.  We miss it.  When I flew in last night, it certainly feels like home.  But I’ve seen the speculation. I’ve been unambiguous, but I continue to get asked.  I’m focused on what I’m doing every day.  I want to be the Secretary of State as long as President Trump wants me to continue to do this.  That’s my focus.  What comes next, goodness knows.  But every day my sole focus is ensuring that I’m doing my best to deliver American diplomacy, and leading my team to successfully protect American people all around the world.

Via: SECRETARY POMPEO:  I’m still focused on what I’m doing, Lily.  I see the noise, I hear it, but my mission set every day is very clear.  I intend to stay in this current role just as long as President Trump says, “I want you to be my most senior diplomat.”  That’s the mission set. I came back to Kansas for this incredible privilege to give a lecture at K-State as part of the Landon Lecture Series where amazing people – presidents and all kinds of great leaders – have had the opportunity to come.  Mikhail Gorbachev – he had this opportunity to speak to K-Staters and people of this community.  And I’m really looking forward to it.

 

Related posts:

Massive Turn-Out as Pro-Democracy Protesters March to U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong

 

On Sunday, September 8, a massive crowd of pro-democracy protesters  marched to the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong seeking support from the U.S. Congress to pass H.R.3289 – Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019.
On June 13, 2019, the house bill was introduced by Rep. Smith, Christopher H. [R-NJ-4]. It has 21 co-sponsors and was “referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committees on the Judiciary, and Financial Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.”
There is also related bill in the U.S. Senate, the S.1838  Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, introduced on June 13, 2019 by Sen. Rubio, Marco [R-FL].  The bill with nine co-sponsors has been read twice and referred to the Foreign Committee on Foreign Relations (SFRC).
A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law. GovTrack gave the house bill a 20% chance of being enacted citing Skopos Labs (details); and the Senate bill a 41% chance of being enacted citing Skopos Labs (details).
As for the U.S. Consulate General, due to the unique status of the Hong Kong and Macau SARs under the “one country, two systems” frameworks, U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau reports directly to the State Department in Washington, D.C. It is not part of U.S. Mission China.
Post is currently headed by Consul General Hanscom Smith who assumed his duties as the Consul General representing the United States to Hong Kong and Macau in July, 2019. According to his bio, Mr. Smith is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, most recently acting as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for China affairs. Mr. Smith previously served as Consul General in Shanghai and as Director of the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs at the Department of State. His foreign languages are Mandarin Chinese, French, Danish, and Khmer.
Post’s Deputy Consul General is DCM Paul Horowitz, a career member of the U.S. Department of State Senior Foreign Service assumed his duties in June 2019. According to his bio, Mr. Horowitz has spent much of his career in East Asia, focused primarily on economic and trade issues, including assignments in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, and Hong Kong. He speaks Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, and Bosnian.

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Venezuela Affairs Unit (VAU) With CDA James Story Opens at US Embassy Bogota

 

The State Department recently announced the opening of its Venezuela Affairs Unit (VAU) under the leadership of Charge d’Affaires James Story at the US Embassy in Bogota, Colombia:

The VAU is the interim diplomatic office of the U.S. Government to Venezuela, located at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota‎, Colombia, and has been established with bipartisan support from the U.S. Congress.  The VAU is continuing the U.S. mission to the legitimate Government of Venezuela and to the Venezuelan people.  The VAU will continue to work for the restoration of democracy and the constitutional order in that country, and the security and well-being of the Venezuelan people.

The VAU interacts with the government of interim president Juan Guaido, the democratically elected National Assembly, Venezuelan civil society, and the people of Venezuela.  The United States welcomes the support of the Government of Colombia, which is a further demonstration of its steadfast commitment to democracy and peace in the region.

The United States stands with interim President Juan Guaido, the National Assembly, and the people of Venezuela as they seek to regain their democracy.

Media inquiries about the VAU should be sent to VAUMediaUnit@state.gov.

Related posts:

Report: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Lacks Authority to Fire a Political Appointee #DeptofSwagger

 

Foreign Policy recently reported on a State Department town hall meeting where Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan “acknowledged having failed to act more vigorously to shield State Department staffers from retaliation by the Trump administration for their perceived political views” and reportedly said that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lacked the authority to fire a top Trump political appointee accused of inflicting, or abetting, the alleged harassment. (See State Department Failed to Shield Its Diplomats From Political Reprisals, Officials Concede; also Workplace Horror Award Goes to the IO Bureau, @StateDept Offers Counseling in Uppercase Voice).
Most notable items from the report:
— Deputy Secretary Sullivan and P’s David Hale “acknowledged shortcomings in their response and pledged to make amends for staffers whose careers were upended in a long-running controversy that triggered an investigation by the department’s inspector general.”
— “I will be the first to admit the failure on my part to have done more to address the situation,” Sullivan told the gathering, according to an account of the meeting relayed to Foreign Policy
— Hale encouraged staffers whose careers were damaged as a result of political retaliation to come to him to seek some sort of professional remedy or, if they preferred, to pursue a formal grievance against the department. “I’d like to help; I’d also like people to know they can come to me,” Hale said. He pledged to take their case to the undersecretary of state for management, the director general, or human resources “to make amends.”
— “There’s absolutely no doubt that what was going on was completely unacceptable,” Hale said. “Misconduct is a soft word, frankly, to use for what has occurred.” 
–[M]any of the questions revolved around the fate of Moley and why action had not been taken sooner to discipline him. And some noted that officials in other bureaus of the State Department have been subject to similar mistreatment. […] And other staffers privately expressed skepticism that the State Department’s leadership would hold Moley accountable, noting that Foggy Bottom’s top brass had known about the allegations of political targeting for well over a year and had failed to act swiftly to stop it.
— The “general vibe after the meeting was a mix of bitter disappointment and depression,” one State Department official told Foreign Policy, who was skeptical about assurances that Moley would be reprimanded. “Bottom line here is that there will be NO action taken on Kevin Moley.”
— “The decision to ignore the IG report is devastating,” said another staffer in the bureau. “Ultimately, it renders this kind of vicious political targeting acceptable.”
Perhaps the most shocking thing reportedly said by Deputy Secretary Sullivan:
“The secretary can’t fire an assistant secretary appointed by a president, so it adds a layer of complexity there,” Sullivan said.
*
Well, first, this individual is not the only non-career official appointed by the president.  According to AFSA, the State Department has 74 political ambassadors (or 45.4% ) appointed by Trump, and confirmed by the Senate. In addition, there are 55 senior officials in Foggy Bottom where 50 of them (or 90.9%) are also political appointees; almost all of them were presidentially appointed and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
So, we’d like to understand what Sullivan told State Department employees actually means. If Secretary Pompeo cannot fire an assistant secretary appointed by a president, does this mean, he cannot fire any of the politically appointed senior officials and political ambassadors working for him? Those are his highest ranking officials. They are appointed by the president but they do not report to the president or the White House but to the secretary of state.  How can the secretary manage his agency without authority to, as the FAM likes to put it, “promote the efficiency of the Service?”
Good gracious! Who, pray tell, can the Secretary of State fire?
Second, when Sullivan says “The secretary can’t fire an assistant secretary appointed by a president” does this mean Pompeo is not allowed to do so, or was told not to do it (base on what law or regulations exactly?). Or is it that the secretary is using his discretion as agency head not to fire this one individual?
As often the case these days, we’re quite perplexed about this reported excuse. The deputy secretary appears to be making a rather sweeping statement here, not just with this secretary, and not just with this assistant secretary or this president: “The secretary can’t fire an assistant secretary appointed by a president.”
Remember Elizabeth Tamposi?  She was Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs  from 1989 – 1992 during the George H. W. Bush Administration.  She was a political appointee. Her tenure is noted for the scandal related to the search of passport records of then presidential candidates Bill Clinton and Ross Perot  (see Throwback Thursday: An Election, an FOIA, and @StateDept in the Eye of the Storm). She was dismissed by acting Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger.
An acting Secretary of State fired an assistant secretary of state appointed by a president, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Remember Secretary Colin Powell and Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Mary Ryan? She was a widely respected career employee, and the “only U.S. government official to be fired as a consequence of the worst attack ever on U.S. soil” (see Remembering Mary Ryan, FSJ, June 2010)? The secretary of state fired a Senate-confirmed appointee of President George W. Bush. There was apparently another assistant secretary fired by Secretary Powell but we could not find a publicly available citation, so we’re leaving that out.
During the fallout from the Benghazi attack, the assistant secretary, principal deputy, and deputy assistant secretary all lost their jobs in Diplomatic Security. In the NEA bureau, one deputy assistant secretary lost his job; his firing reportedly ordered by the State Department counselor. This report says that then Secretary Clinton accepted the resignation of the DS assistant secretary. Whether “S” or “M” made the decision concerning the departure of the DS assistant secretary is not clear, but somebody in Foggy Bottom had the authority to do it.
In recent years, there were also very public departures by political ambassadors to Luxembourg, Kenya, and Malta; all were presidentially nominated and Senate confirmed.
Now, we have the Deputy Secretary of State telling employees that their agency head lacks this authority; an authority which has clearly been exercised by previous secretaries of state several times in the past, in very public ways. So this is mighty confusing for your poor blogger who can’t make sense of the goings on there.
We do want to know where does Sullivan’s “The secretary can’t fire an assistant secretary appointed by a president” excuse come from. We think this has implications not just for this secretary and the agency going forward but potentially for future secretaries of state. 

Related items:

@StateDept’s New “One Team” Award For Employees Includes $10,000 Prize, Certificate, and a Glass Statuette

 

We recently posted about the new ‘One Team’ four-day pilot course at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute (See Foreign Service Institute Rolls Out Pompeo’s Pursuit – A ‘One Team’ Four-Day Pilot Course For “Everyone”). Early last month, DGHR Carol Perez also tweeted about the new ‘One Team’ Award (sorry, the nominations were due on August 29).
In mid-July, the ‘One Team’ Award was official added to the Foreign Affairs Manual. The FAM says that “This annual award recognizes a current employee or contractor who exemplifies the Departments Professional Ethos, a true champion of American diplomacy and servant of the American people.”
This award is open to employees who are in the Foreign Service, the Civil Service, locally employed staff, non-Senate confirmed political appointees, and contractors. It carries a prize money of $10,000 USD, a certificate signed by the Secretary of State, and a glass statuette. Please note that if the awardee is a contractor, he/she will only receive a certificate and letter of recognition both signed by the Secretary of State and provided to the individual’s company, but no monetary award.
A lucky runner-up will also receive a letter from the Secretary of State. The Department employee recipient will have that letter placed into his/her personnel file.
The Foreign Affairs Manual says that the winning nominee will be chosen by a Selection Committee chaired by the Deputy Secretary or his/her representative and including three other committee members designated by the Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources (Director General). We’ve asked DGHR Carol Perez for the names of the Selection Committee members. Easy question, nothing sensitive, it’s a Pompeo project, and we’ve used please and thanks, you guys. But some folks, you know, pretend we’re just a ghost in space, and can’t hear us. That’s all right, somebody please use a ghost whisperer and let us know who gets the $10K and the glass statuette this year. 

3 FAM 4832.25 The One Team Award

3 FAM 4832.25-1 Description

(CT:PER-952; 07-18-2019)
(State Department)
(Applies to Foreign Service, Civil Service, Locally Employed Staff, non-Senate confirmed political appointees, and Contractors)

a. This annual award recognizes a current employee or contractor who exemplifies the Departments Professional Ethos, a true champion of American diplomacy and servant of the American people. The award recognizes an employee or contractor whose exceptional professionalism, integrity, responsibility and leadership enabled results-producing teamwork, particularly in the face of challenging circumstances.

b. Department employee recipients will receive $10,000, a certificate signed by the Secretary of State, a glass statuette which is a miniature of the large One Team Award, and a letter from the Secretary of State for his/her official personnel file.

c. Contractor recipients will receive a certificate and letter of recognition, both signed by the Secretary of State and provided to the individuals company in appreciation of the contractors performance, in coordination with the contracting officer.

d. A runner up will be selected and will receive a letter from the Secretary of State. For Department employee recipients, the letter will be placed into his/her personnel file.

3 FAM 4832.25-2 Eligibility

(CT:PER-952; 07-18-2019)
(State Department)
(Applies to Foreign Service, Civil Service, Locally Employed Staff, non-Senate confirmed political appointees, and Contractors)

All current Department of State employees serving in the Foreign Service, Civil Service, as Locally Employed staff, or as non-Senate confirmed political appointees, and current contractors are eligible for nomination and consideration. Only employees are eligible to receive the monetary award and statuette. Contractors are not Department employees.

3 FAM 4832.25-3 Criteria

(CT:PER-952; 07-18-2019)
(State Department)
(Applies to Foreign Service, Civil Service, Locally Employed Staff, non-Senate confirmed political appointees, and Contractors)

Selection is based on exceptional leadership by an individual who:

(1) Demonstrates and communicates a clear understanding of the link between individual and team contributions, and the importance of working together with a shared mission and sense of purpose;

(2) Takes ownership and accepts responsibility for his/her actions and decisions, and projects uncompromising personal and professional integrity, as exemplified in the Departments Professional Ethos Statement;

(3) Fosters effective collaboration within and across office, Bureau, and mission lines that produces outstanding results; and

(4) Respectfully guides and supports teams to enable them to overcome challenging circumstances and achieve Department objectives.

3 FAM 4832.25-4 Nominating and Approval Procedures

(CT:PER-952; 07-18-2019)
(State Department)
(Applies to Foreign Service, Civil Service, Locally Employed Staff, non-Senate confirmed political appointees, and Contractors)

a. Any current employee may nominate an eligible individual who they think meets the award criteria.

b. Nominations do not require endorsement or supervisory approval.

c. Nominations should be submitted using the one-page nomination submission form available on the HR/PE website.

d. The winning nominee will be chosen by a selection committee chaired by the Deputy Secretary or his/her representative and including three other committee members designated by the Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources (Director General). Members of the selection committee must recuse themselves if they have any financial interest in or personal ties to any nominated contractor or contracting company under consideration for the award.

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MidEast Envoy Jason D. Greenblatt Resigns, Kushner Aide to Take Expanded Role in ‘Deal of the Century’

 

 

The president announced via tweet the departure of Jason D. Greenblatt, his former real estate lawyer and Special Representative for International Negotiations since December 2016. Together with Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, Greenblatt is credited as co-author of the Trump Middle East peace plan. According to Reuters, Greenblatt is one of only four senior officials with access to Trump’s plan for Middle East peace, alongside Jared Kushner, Ambassador David Friedman and Kushner aide Avi Berkowitz.
Politico reports that with Greenblatt’s departure, Kushner aide, Avi Berkowitz, a 30-year old, 2016 Harvard graduate  will take on an expanded role in the talks (as will as the State Department’s special representative to Iran, Brian Hook). Berkowitz previously worked for Kushner Companies and  later as Assistant Director of Data Analytics in early 2016 for the Trump campaign. This is really going very well don’t you think?

John Lansing Resigns From USAGM to be CEO For National Public Radio (NPR)

 

The U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM, @USAGMgov) will soon be without a chief executive officer. USAGM released a statement on the departure of its CEO John Lansing. He joined USAGM (then known as BBG) as CEO and Director in September 2015. Excerpt below:

After four years serving as the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), John F. Lansing will be leaving USAGM—an independent federal agency providing accurate, objective, and professional news and information worldwide—at the end of this month to start the next chapter of his career as the President and CEO of National Public Radio (NPR).

Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs also released a statement. Excerpt below:

“It’s important that when John steps down, there is continuity of leadership at USAGM. Changes in the law adopted in 2016 provided for a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed CEO to lead the agency. But the Senate has not confirmed such a nominee and until it does so, the existing Board of Governors retains the power to name a replacement. I urge the Board to do so immediately, as we can’t predict when the Senate may act on the President’s nominee. This is too important a job to be left vacant for even a day.”