Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was previously scheduled to appear for a deposition in Congress on Wednesday, October 2. Reports indicate that she is now scheduled to appear before the oversight body on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.
In the meantime, the American Academy of Diplomacy has issued a joint statement signed by AAD Chairman Thomas R. Pickering and AAD President Ronald E. Neumann supporting Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch Must Be Supported
Washington, D.C. – The American Academy of Diplomacy calls on the Administration to make clear that it will not act against career diplomat Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch for doing her duty and working to support long established US policies and values. The Administration removed Ambassador Yovanovitch from her post in Ukraine prematurely. Now, we note with great concern the statement by President Donald Trump in the recently released memorandum of conversation with Ukraine’s president, in which the President said of Ambassador Yovanovitch, “Well, she’s going to go through some things.” The threatening tone of this statement is deeply troubling. It suggests actions outside of and contrary to the procedures and standards of a professional service whose officers, like their military counterparts, take an oath to uphold the Constitution. Whatever views the Administration has of Ambassador Yovanovitch’s performance, we call on the Administration to make clear that retaliation for political reasons will not be tolerated.
The Academy is a non-partisan organization of former senior U.S. diplomats, career and political appointees, who have served over decades. Our mission is strengthening American diplomacy. In our careers, we have worked around the world and under Republican and Democratic administrations alike and frequently acted publicly and privately against foreign corruption. Speaking out against foreign corruption is consistent also with the Foreign Anti-Corruption Act that binds U.S. business.
The American Foreign Service Association, the “voice of the Foreign Service” has also issued a statement on The Importance of a Non-Partisan Career Foreign Service but made no specific mention of Ambassador Yovanovitch’s case.
On October 1, NBC News reports that more than 50 former female U.S. ambassadors are calling on President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a letter to protect foreign service officers from political retaliation in the wake of the ousting of the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. The signatories of the letter are members of an organization of current and former ambassadors, Women Ambassadors Serving America.
The report notes that “Only one current U.S. ambassador signed the letter: Catherine Ebert-Gray, a career foreign service officers who serves as the U.S. envoy to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Her signature comes with a notable caveat; She adds that “The views expressed are my own and not necessarily those of the U.S. government. Signing a public letter critical of the Trump administration could put current ambassadors at professional risk, which likely explains why Ebert-Gray is the only one to sign the letter.”
.@washingtonpost cites our press release in an article regarding the #whistleblower, featuring Amb. Thomas Pickering and Amb. Ron Neumann's statement of “great concern” over President Trump's comments about Amb. Yovanovitch. https://t.co/wMmD3gw9W4
— Academy of Diplomacy (@AcadofDiplomacy) September 27, 2019
Ambassador Masha Yovanovich is one of our finest Senior Foreign Service Officers. She was treated deplorably by the Trump Administration and by Rudy Giuliani. https://t.co/36L82UzT9J
— Nicholas Burns (@RNicholasBurns) September 25, 2019
Someone, e.g., @SecPompeo or @statedeptspox, should stand up for Amb. Masha Yovanovich. Absent their sense of professional duty or moral fibre, I will state categorically that she is a public servant of the highest integrity who places her country's interests above all others.
— Amb. Adam Ereli (@erelija) September 25, 2019