President Biden Appoints Jessica Stern as U.S. Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons

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On June 25, President Biden announced his appointment of Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International as Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons:

WASHINGTON – Today, ahead of his remarks at the White House for Pride Month, President Joe Biden announced that he will appoint Jessica Stern to be the U.S. Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons at the Department of State – a role critical to ensuring that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world. The Special Envoy will play a vital role in leading implementation of the Presidential Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons Around the World. At a time when the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons are increasingly threatened in all regions of the world, the Special Envoy will bring together like-minded governments, civil society organizations, corporations and international organizations to uphold  dignity and equality for all.

Jessica Stern, United States Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons, Department of State

Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International, is based in New York. Jessica specializes in gender, sexuality and human rights globally. At OutRight, she has supported the legal registration of LGBTIQ organizations globally, helped secure the mandate of the United Nations Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, expanded the UN General Assembly resolution to include gender identity, and co-founded the UN LGBTI Core Group. She has provided expert opinions to governments globally, regional human rights institutions, and UN mechanisms, including UN Women where she serves as a member of multiple leadership bodies. Her writing has been cited by the Indian Supreme Court in its seminal judgment decriminalizing same-sex relations and been featured in The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Security (2019). She is frequently quoted by the media, including by The New York Times, Al Jazeera, The Washington Post, BBC News, and The Guardian. She is an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs.

 

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Thomas R. Nides to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel

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On June 15, President Biden announced his intent to nominate Thomas R. Nides to be the next U.S. Ambassador  to the State of Israel. The WH released the following brief bio:

Thomas Nides is a distinguished public servant and business leader. Nides was the State Department’s Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources from 2010 – 2013. Earlier, Nides was Morgan Stanley’s Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Secretary of the Board, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Burson-Marsteller, in New York and the Chief Administrative Officer of Credit Suisse First Boston in Washington, D.C. Nides was Chief of Staff to the U.S. Trade Representative Micky Kantor, was Senior Advisor to Speaker of the House Thomas S. Foley, and earlier to House Majority Whip Tony Coelho. He currently serves on the boards of the Partnership for Public Service, the International Rescue Committee, the Atlantic Council and the Urban Alliance Foundation, and currently serves as the Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley. He is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the former Chairman of the Board of the Woodrow Wilson Center appointed by President Obama. Nides received his B.A. degree from the University of Minnesota. He is the recipient of the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award.

If confirmed, Mr. Nides would succeed the bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman who was U.S. Ambassador from 2017-2021.

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POTUS Joe Biden Appoints Amb. Sung Kim to be U.S. Special Envoy to North Korea

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Ambassador Sung Y. Kim is currently the senior official for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs pending the confirmation of Ambassador Daniel J. Kritenbrink as Assistant Secretary of State for EAP bureau. On May 21, President Biden announced that Ambassador Kim will serve as the new U.S. special envoy for North Korea.
Below is his official bio from US Embassy Jakarta:

Ambassador Sung Y. Kim was nominated to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia on July 17, 2019 and confirmed by the full Senate on August 6, 2020.

Ambassador Sung Y. Kim most recently served as Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines from November 2016 until October 2020. From 2011 to 2014, he was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea. In between the two ambassadorships, Ambassador Kim served as Special Representative for North Korea Policy in Washington.

Earlier, Ambassador Kim also served as the Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks with the rank of Ambassador. His previous overseas diplomatic assignments have included Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, and Hong Kong. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he worked as a prosecutor in Los Angeles, California.

Ambassador Kim was born in Seoul, Korea, and grew up in Los Angeles. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and completed a degree in law from Loyola University. He also holds a Master of Laws degree from the London School of Economics and honorary doctorates from the Catholic University of Korea and the Holy Name University of the Philippines. Ambassador Kim is married and has two daughters.

 

 

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@StateDept Appoints Career Sr. Diplomat Ricardo Zúñiga as Special Envoy for the Northern Triangle

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Earlier this week, the State Department announced the appointment of career senior diplomat Ricardo Zúñiga to be the Special Envoy for the Northern Triangle. 

The Department of State is pleased to announce that Ricardo Zúñiga, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, will serve as its Special Envoy for the Northern Triangle. The Special Envoy will lead U.S. diplomatic efforts, advise the Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, and coordinate closely with the National Security Council staff on the administration’s comprehensive efforts to stem irregular migration to the United States and implement President Biden’s multi-year, $4 billion to address root causes of migration in Central America.

The Special Envoy will engage with regional governments, including but not limited to Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, on a range of issues in order to seek to improve conditions in Central America. He also will hold our partners accountable for their commitments to address root causes of migration and the increase in arrivals of unaccompanied children at the U.S. southern border. Additionally, the Special Envoy will engage stakeholders in civil society and the private sector as we work toward building better futures in these countries.

As such, he will accompany White House senior officials to Mexico and Guatemala March 22-25.

The Special Envoy will also keep Congress apprised of our efforts.

The Department congratulates U.S. Special Envoy Zúñiga as he takes on his new role and thanks him for his continued service to his country.

In May 2015, Mr. Zuniga completed a three-year detail with the National Security Council Staff, where he served as a Special Assistant to then President Obama and was Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs.  In July that year, he assumed charged as Consul General of the U.S. Consulate General in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Also see Secretary Kerry With U.S. Delegation Set For Ceremonial Reopening of U.S. Embassy Cuba. According to his Wilson Center bio, until March 15, 2021, he was the Interim Director of the Brazil Institute and a Senior Diplomatic Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center Latin America Program, on detail from the U.S. Department of State.