SFRC Clears Victoria Nuland For State/P, Uzra Zeya For State/J

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PN120 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) — Victoria Nuland — Department of State
Victoria Nuland, of Virginia, to be an Under Secretary of State (Political Affairs), vice David Hale.
Date Received from President: 02/13/2021
Committee: Foreign Relations
Latest Action: 04/21/2021 – Placed on Senate Executive Calendar.
Calendar No. 66. (All Actions)
 PN241 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) — Uzra Zeya— Department of State
Uzra Zeya, of Virginia, to be an Under Secretary of State (Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights), vice Sarah Sewall, resigned.
Date Received from President: 03/09/2021
Committee: Foreign Relations
Latest Action: 04/21/2021 – Placed on Senate Executive Calendar.
Calendar No. 67. (All Actions)

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Amb. Rena Bitter to be Asst Secretary of State for Consular Affairs

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On April 21, President Biden announced his intent to nominate SFSO and former Ambassador Rena Bitter to be the next Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs. The WH released the following brief bio:
Rena Bitter, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State, Consular Affairs, Department of State
Rena Bitter, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, is Dean of the Leadership and Management School at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute and a former U.S. Ambassador to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.  Previously, she was the U.S. Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and chief of the consular section in Amman, Jordan.  She also served in London, Bogota, and Mexico City.  In Washington, she was Director of the State Department’s Operations Center, and a Special Assistant to the Secretary of State.  Bitter has a Bachelor’s Degree from Northwestern University, and a J.D. from Southern Methodist University.  She is a recipient of American Citizens Abroad’s Thomas Jefferson Award for outstanding service to the American community abroad.  She speaks Spanish, Arabic and Vietnamese.

CG Rena Bitter with Ambassador Ted Osius | Via FB (2016)

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (Jun 27, 1952; P.L. 82-414; 66 Stat. 174) established within the Department of State a Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs, headed by an Administrator designated by the Secretary of State with rank equal to that of an Assistant Secretary. In 1962, this position became a Presidential appointee subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. In 1977, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1978 changed the Administrator’s title to “Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs.”
All appointees to the Consular Affairs bureau from 1953 to 1980 were non-career appointees. This trend was interrupted by the appointments of career FSOs Diego Asencio in 1980, and again in 1983 with  Joan Clark. Political appointees assumed charged of the bureau in 1989 when Elizabeth Tamposi was appointed, and more recently in 2017 with Carl Risch’s appointment. If confirmed Ambassador Bitter would only be the seventh career FSO to lead the most public facing bureau of the State Department.

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Amb. Todd Robinson to be Asst Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

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On April 12, President Biden announced his intent to nominate former Ambassador Todd Robinson to be the next Assistant Secretary of State for INL. The WH released the following brief bio:
Todd Robinson, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Department of State
Todd Robinson, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Career Minister, currently serves as Director of the International Student Management Office, National Defense University.  He was a Senior Advisor for Central America in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs in Washington. D.C.  Robinson also served as Chargé d’Affaires a.i. in Caracas, Venezuela.  Previously, Robinson was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Guatemala from 2014 to 2017.  Prior to that, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.  Robinson also served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala; as Consul General and Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Barcelona, Spain; and as Chief of the Political and Economic Section in the U.S. Embassy in Tirana, Albania.  Other overseas postings include the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Vatican City, Italy, El Salvador, and Colombia.  Earlier in his career, Robinson served in the Department’s Operations Center and as a Special Assistant to former Secretary of State Albright.  He is the recipient of a Presidential Rank Award.  A native of New Jersey, he is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and speaks Spanish, Italian, and Albanian.
According to history.state.gov,  Congress, in the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for fiscal Year 1979 (P.L. 95-426; 92 Stat. 969), authorized the position of Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics Matters, to be responsible for the overall coordination of the role of the Department of State in the international aspects of narcotics problems in 1978.  The Department of State first supported the Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Narcotics in 1909. The title of this position was changed from International Narcotics Matters to International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Feb 10, 1995.
If confirmed, Ambassador Robinson would succeed Kirsten Madison who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2018. Previous career appointees to this position include Anne Woods Patterson (2005–2007); David Timothy Johnson (2007–2011); and William R. Brownfield (2011–2017).

 

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New Biden Nominations: DGHR, EUR, NEA, AF, IO, DS and CSO

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On April 15, President Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals for top positions in the geographic and functional bureaus of the State Department.
  • Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat to be Director General of the Foreign Service and the Chair of the Board of the Foreign Service (DGHR)
  • Karen Erika Donfried to be Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR)
  • Barbara A. Leaf to be Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs (NEA)
  • Mary Catherine Phee to be Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (AF) and Member of the Board of Directors of the African Development Foundation (AFD)
  • Michele Jeanne Sison to be Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (IO)
  • Gentry O. Smith to be Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security (DS)
  • Anne A. Witkowsky to be Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) and Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization
For the geographic bureaus, President Biden previously nominated Ambassador Brian Nichols to be A/S for Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA) and Ambassador Daniel J. Kritenbrink for  the East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP). With these new nominees for EUR, NEA, AF and IO, we are now waiting for just SCA to complete the line up under the Under Secretary for Political Affairs (P). The nominee for “P”, Victoria Nuland had her confirmation hearing before the SFRC on 4/15/21.
If all these nominees are confirmed, it looks like at the regional bureaus, Foggy Bottom will have  one non-career appointee (EUR), one retired FS (NEA), four active career FS (WHA, EAP, AF, IO) , and one as yet unknown for SCA. During the previous administration, these top geographic bureau positions were all filled with non-career appointees (the assistant secretary for the AF bureau was a retired FS). This is a hopeful start.
The WH released the following brief bio:
Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat, Nominee for Director General of the Foreign Service and the Chair of the Board of the Foreign Service

Marcia Bernicat, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as the Senior Official for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment and as Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs of the Department of State.  Previously, she was the U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh, U.S. Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea Bissau, and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Human Resources at the State Department.  She also served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassies in Barbados and Malawi and as Principal Officer of the U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca, Morocco. Bernicat earned a Master of Science in Foreign Service Degree at Georgetown University and a Bachelor’s Degree at Lafayette College.  Her foreign languages are French, Hindi and Russian and she is a recipient of the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award.

Karen Erika Donfried, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs

Dr. Karen Donfried currently serves as President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF).  Before assuming this position in April 2014, Donfried was the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council.  Prior to that, she served as the National Intelligence Officer for Europe on the National Intelligence Council.  She first joined GMF in 2001 after having served for ten years as a European specialist at the Congressional Research Service.  When she was at GMF from 2005 to 2010, she first served as senior director of policy programs and then as executive vice president.  From 2003-2005, she worked in the Policy Planning office at the U.S. Department of State, handling the Europe portfolio.  Donfried has written and spoken extensively on German foreign policy, European integration, and transatlantic relations.  She is a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies.  The King of the Belgians awarded the Commander of the Order of the Crown to her in 2020 and she became an Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2018.  Additionally, she received the Cross of the Order of Merit from the German Government in 2011 and a Superior Service Medal from the National Intelligence Community in 2014.  She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Council on Germany.  Donfried has a Ph.D. and MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, a Magister from the University of Munich, Germany and holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University.  She is fluent in German. 

Barbara A. Leaf, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs

Barbara A. Leaf is the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Middle East and North Africa Affairs on the National Security Council.  Prior to this, she was the Ruth and Sid Lapidus Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Director of the Beth and David Geduld Program on Arab Politics.  She previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Arabian Peninsula in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq at the State Department.  She directed the U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team in Basrah, Iraq and was the Department’s first Director of the Office of Iranian Affairs.  Leaf also has served in Rome, Sarajevo, Paris, Cairo, Tunis, Jerusalem and Port-au-Prince.  She speaks Arabic, French, Italian and Serbo-Croatian.  Leaf has a Bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and a Master’s degree from the University of Virginia. 

Mary Catherine Phee, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the African Development Foundation

Mary Catherine Phee, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor, currently serves as Principal Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation at the State Department.  She was U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan from 2015 to 2017.  Previously, she served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and as Chief of Staff in the Office of the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan.  She also was the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs and Deputy Security Council Coordinator at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, handling UN engagement in Africa for both portfolios.  Earlier in her career, Phee served as Director for Iraq at the National Security Council and as Senior Civilian Representative of the Coalition Provisional Authority to Maysan Province, Iraq.  She began her career in Amman, Jordan and also worked at U.S. Embassies in Cairo, Egypt and Kuwait City, Kuwait.  She received the Robert C. Frasure Memorial Award for conflict resolution and peacemaking, the James A. Baker, III-C. Howard Wilkins, Jr. Award for Outstanding Deputy Chief of Mission, the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the Order of the British Empire Award, and a Presidential Rank Award.  She speaks Arabic.  A native of Chicago, she is a graduate of Indiana University and holds a Master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. 

Michele Jeanne Sison, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs

Michele Jeanne Sison, a five-time Ambassador, has extensive experience in advancing U.S. interests through multilateral diplomacy.  Sison has served as U.S. Ambassador to Haiti since 2018.   She also served as Deputy Representative of the United States to the United Nations (with the rank of Ambassador) from 2014 to 2018, where she helped build global coalitions to counter transnational threats to peace and security and advocated for a more effective, efficient, and accountable UN and multilateral system.  She also has long experience with UN peacekeeping and the UN entities responsible for development, humanitarian relief, and human rights in the field.  Previously, she served as U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Assistant Chief of Mission in Iraq, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs, and Deputy Chief of Mission in Pakistan.  Her earlier tours include India, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Benin, Togo, Haiti, and Washington.  Sison received a B.A. from Wellesley College and is the recipient of numerous State Department awards, including the Distinguished Service Award and the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Service.  She holds the personal rank of Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service.

Gentry O. Smith, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security

Gentry O. Smith leads The Gentry Group, LLC, a security consulting firm.  A former career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, he served as the Director of the Office of Foreign Missions, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Countermeasures in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and the Director of Physical Security Programs in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security at the State Department.  Other State Department postings include assignments as Regional Security Officer at the U.S.  Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, Deputy Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, and Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon, Burma.  Smith also served as a Special Agent in the Criminal Investigative Liaison Division, Special Agent on the Secretary of State Protection Detail, and Assistant Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.  He earned a B.A. in political science from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Anne A. Witkowsky, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations and Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization

Anne A. Witkowsky most recently served as the Co-Director of the Task Force on U.S. Strategy to Support Democracy and Counter Authoritarianism, a partnership of Freedom House, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the McCain Institute.  She has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Stability and Humanitarian Affairs in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon and as the Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Coordinator, and Deputy Assistant Coordinator, in the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism.  Witkowsky was a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC and earlier served as Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control on the National Security Council Staff at the White House.  She earned a Master in Public Administration degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree from Yale. She has been recognized with a number of awards including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service and the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service.

 

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Biden Announces Nominations of Nine Ambassadors to Countries in Africa, East Asia, Middle East/North African Region

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On April 15, 2021, President Biden announced his intent to nominate nine career members of the Senior Foreign Service as ambassadors to countries in Africa, East Asia, and in the Middle East/North Africa region:
  • Larry Edward André, Jr. – Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Somalia
  • Maria E. Brewer – Ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho
  • Christopher John Lamora – Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon
  • Tulinabo S. Mushingi – Ambassador to the Republic of Angola and the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome & Principe
  • Michael Raynor – Ambassador to the Republic of Senegal and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador to the Republic of Guinea-Bissau
  • Eugene S. Young – Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo

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  • Marc Evans Knapper – Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

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  • Elizabeth Moore Aubin – Ambassador to the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
  • Steven C. Bondy – Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain

State/AF – AFRICA

Larry Edward André, Jr., Nominee for Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Somalia

Larry André, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, is the United States Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at U.S. Embassy Juba, South Sudan.  He is a former Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.  He has served as Director of the Office of the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, and as Deputy Executive Director  in the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs, and was the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  André earned an MBA from Arizona State University/American Graduate School of International Management and a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College.  He is the recipient of numerous State Department Awards, including the Director General Award for Reporting, and was recently recognized by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with the Joint Distinguished Civilian Award.  He speaks French fluently.

Maria E. Brewer, Nominee for Ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho

Maria E. Brewer, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, recently served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone.  Prior to that, Brewer served as the Deputy Director in the Office of Career Development and Assignments for the State Department; as the Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé of the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria; and as the leader of the management team at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.   Earlier in her career, Brewer’s assignments include service as the Management Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka and Management Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai, India.  She also was Deputy Executive Director and Supervisory Post Management Officer in the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs; Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Management; and Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Administration.  She earned a B.A. from Valparaiso University and an M.S. from the National Defense University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces.  She speaks Spanish, Krio and Hindi.

Christopher John Lamora, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon

Christopher Lamora, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, is the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana. He was previously the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central Africa and African Security Affairs in the Bureau of African Affairs at the State Department and he also served as Director of the Office of Central African Affairs, Deputy Director of the Bureau’s Office of Economic and Regional Affairs, and desk officer for the Democratic Republic of Congo.  He served overseas at the U.S. embassies in Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Greece and the Central African Republic, and the U.S. Consulate General in Douala, Cameroon. Lamora earned a B.S. at Georgetown University and speaks French, Spanish, and Modern Greek.

Tulinabo S. Mushingi, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Angola and the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome & Principe

Tulinabo Mushingi, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Counselor, is currently U.S. Ambassador to Senegal and the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.  Mushingi also served previously as the U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso and as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Mushingi was the Deputy Executive Secretary and Executive Director in Executive Office of the Secretary in the Department of State.  Earlier in his career, Mushingi served at the U.S. Embassy Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; the U.S. Consulate in Casablanca, Morocco; and the U.S. Embassies in Mozambique and Malaysia as well as in various assignments at the State Department in Washington, D.C.  Mushingi earned a Ph.D. from Georgetown University, an M.A. from Howard University, and both “Graduat and Licence” degrees from the Higher Institute of Education in Bukavu, Congo.  He is a recipient of the Palmer Award for the Advancement of Democracy.  He speaks Portuguese, French, and Swahili.

Michael Raynor, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of Senegal and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador to the Republic of Guinea-Bissau

Michael Raynor is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service who most recently served as the U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia.  Earlier, he held positions as the Assistant Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan and the U.S. Ambassador to Benin.  Raynor also was the Director of the Office of Career Development and Assignments in the Bureau of Global Talent Management and the Executive Director in the Bureau of African Affairs at the State Department.  Raynor’s earlier experience includes service at the U.S. Embassies in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Guinea and Djibouti.  He earned his B.A. from Lafayette College and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University.  He is the recipient of the State Department’s Leamon R. Hunt Award for Management Excellence.  He speaks fluent French.

Eugene S. Young, Nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo

Eugene Young is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service who currently serves as the Economic Counselor of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel.  Previously,  Young was the Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, Austria; the Consul and Senior Civilian Representative of the U.S. Consulate in Herat, Afghanistan; and the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  Among his other assignments,  Young served as the Economic Counselor of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, the Consul General of the U.S. Consulate General in Durban, South Africa, and as a Special Assistant in the Office of the Deputy Secretary of State.   Young earned his B.A. degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and an M.A. degree from The George Washington University, in Washington, D.C.  His foreign languages are German, French, Slovene, Slovak, and Serbo-Croatian.

State/EAP – EAST ASIA PACIFIC

Marc Evans Knapper, Nominee for Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Marc Evans Knapper, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Japan and Korea in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State.  Before assuming that position, Knapper was the Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea and, prior to that, was the Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission.  Earlier, Knapper was Director of the State Department’s Office of India Affairs and Director of the State Department’s Office of Japanese Affairs.  His other assignments include leadership positions in the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.  Knapper earned his B.A. from Princeton University and his M.A. from the Army War College.  He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, the State Department’s Linguist of the Year Award, and a Presidential Rank Award.  He speaks Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese.

State/NEA – Middle East and North Africa

Elizabeth Moore Aubin, Nominee for Ambassador to the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria

Elizabeth Moore Aubin, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, is the Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, in the Department of State.  Other senior leadership roles held by Aubin during her three decades of service are Executive Director of the Joint Executive Office of the Bureaus of Near Eastern Affairs and South and Central Asian Affairs, Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada; Executive Director of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs; and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Algiers, Algeria.  Aubin earned her B.A. degree from Barnard College of Columbia University and did graduate work at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School.  She speaks French and Italian.

Steven C. Bondy, Nominee for Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain

Steven C. Bondy, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, is a Senior Advisor in the Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.  In 2017-2020 he was Charge d’Affaires a.i. and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  He previously served as the Assistant Chief of Mission in Kabul, Afghanistan and as the Foreign Policy Advisor to the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command.  Mr. Bondy earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Delaware.  The recipient of numerous U.S. government awards, including a Presidential Rank Award, he speaks Arabic, French, Farsi, Turkish and Spanish.

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@StateDept Nominations Pending at the SFRC as of 4/12

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The following State Department nominations are currently pending at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
2021-02-04 PN114 United States Agency for International Development | Samantha Power, of Massachusetts, to be Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.
Confirmation hearing on 3/23/21. Nomination expected to be taken up during the Business Meeting on 4/15/21. 
2021-03-09 PN241 Department of State | Uzra Zeya, of Virginia, to be an Under Secretary of State (Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights).
SFRC Confirmation Hearing scheduled for April 15, time TBD
2021-02-13 PN120 Department of State | Victoria Nuland, of Virginia, to be an Under Secretary of State (Political Affairs).
SFRC Confirmation Hearing scheduled for April 15, time TBD

2021-04-12 PN268 Department of State | Brian A. Nichols, of Rhode Island, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Minister, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Western Hemisphere Affairs).
2021-03-17 PN253 Department of State | Jose W. Fernandez, of New York, to be an Under Secretary of State (Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment).
2021-03-17 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.
2021-03-17 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
2021-03-15 PN242 Department of State | Bonnie D. Jenkins, of New York, to be Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.

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Jose W. Fernandez to be Under Secretary of State/E (Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment)

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On March 17, 2021, The WH announced President Biden’s intent to nominate Jose W. Fernandez to be Under Secretary of State (Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment):

Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Jose W. Fernandez to serve in the following positions: Under Secretary of State (Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment), United States Alternate Governor of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, United States Alternate Governor to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and United States Alternate Governor to the Inter-American Development Bank.

Jose W. Fernandez

Jose Fernandez is a partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, in New York.  A former Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs, his accomplishments in the private sector have been recognized in several legal and business publications. Fernandez is Director of the Partnership for Inner City Education in New York and WBGO-FM, a former Commissioner of the New York City Latin Media and Entertainment Commission, and co-founder and former chairman of the board of the Latino International Theater Festival of New York, among many civic activities.  He received a Bachelor’s Degree magna cum laude from Dartmouth College, where he later served as trustee, and earned a J.D. and the Parker School Certificate of International Law from Columbia University.  He speaks Spanish, Portuguese and French. 

According to history.state.gov, Congress first authorized an Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs on Aug 1, 1946, for a 2-year period as the third-ranking officer in the Department (P.L. 79-590; 60 Stat. 789). The position was not renewed, however, and between 1947 and 1958 the ranking officer in the Department handling foreign economic matters was either a Deputy Under Secretary or an Assistant Secretary of State. Changes were made to this position in the intervening years. On May 12, 1994, the title was changed to “Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs.” On December 8, 2011, the title was changed to “Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment.” See more here.
Only two career diplomats were appointed to this position since it was created: Alan Philip Larson who served from 1999–2005 and Thomas Clifton Mann who served from 1965–1966.  The last four appointees to this position were all political appointees:

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Career Diplomat Daniel J. Kritenbrink to be Asst Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP)

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On March 26, 2021, President Biden announced his intent to nominate senior career diplomat Daniel J. Kritenbrink to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP). The WH released the following brief bio:

Daniel J. Kritenbrink, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, has been U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam since 2017.  He was previously the Senior Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council, and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.  In earlier tours in Beijing, he served as Political Minister Counselor, and as a Political Officer.  Kritenbrink was Director of the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs at the Department of State.  He also served as a Political-Military officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.  Kritenbrink earned a Masters Degree at the University of Virginia, and a Bachelors Degree at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.  He speaks fluent Chinese and Japanese.

According to history.state.gov, the Division of Far Eastern Affairs, established in 1908, was the first geographical division to be established in the Department of State. The Department of State established the position of Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs in 1949, after the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government (Hoover Commission) recommended that certain offices be upgraded to bureau level and after Congress increased the number of Assistant Secretaries of State from six to ten (May 26, 1949; P.L. 81-73; 63 Stat. 111). On Nov 1, 1966, the Department by administrative action changed the incumbent’s designation to Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
The last three appointments to this position were political appointees.  We have to go back all the way to 2005 to find a career appointee for EAP; that’s Christopher Robert Hill who served from 2005–2009.
Previous appointees to this position include Philip Charles Habib (1974–1976); Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke (1977–1981); William Averell Harriman (1961–1963); and Winston Lord (1993–1997). The complete list is here.

 

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Career Diplomat Brian A. Nichols to be Asst. Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA)

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On March 26, 2021, President Biden announced his intent to nominate senior career diplomat Brian A. Nichols to be Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA). The WH released the following brief bio:

Brian A. Nichols, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Career Minister, currently serves as U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe.  He was U.S. Ambassador to Perú from 2014 to 2017.  Previously, Nichols served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).  Prior to that he was a Deputy Assistant Secretary in INL.  He also served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, Colombia, Director of the Office of Caribbean Affairs, and Counselor for Political Affairs at the American Embassy in Indonesia.  Earlier in his career, Nichols served as Deputy Political Counselor in Mexico.  He also worked in the Office of UN Political Affairs, the Office of Central American Affairs, and the Executive Secretariat. Nichols began his Foreign Service career as a Consular Officer in Perú and then as a Political Officer in El Salvador.  He received the 2016 Charles E. Cobb, Jr. Award for Initiative and Success in Trade Development, two Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, and 13 Senior Performance Awards.  He speaks Spanish.  A native of Rhode Island, he is a graduate of Tufts University.

According to history.state.gov, the Department had first established a Division of Latin American Affairs in 1909. The Department of State created the position of Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs during the general reorganization of Dec 20, 1944, after Congress had authorized an increase in the number of Assistant Secretaries of State from four to six (Dec 8, 1944; P.L. 78-472; 58 Stat. 798). On January 12, 1999, the Bureau assumed responsibility for Canada and was renamed the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. More here.
The most recent career diplomat confirmed by the U.S. Senate to lead the Western Hemisphere bureau was Thomas Alfred Shannon Jr. who served from 2005–2009. He was succeeded by political appointees: Arturo Valenzuela (2009–2011), Roberta S. Jacobson (2012–2016) under the Obama Administration and Kimberly Breier (2018-2019) under the Trump Administration. At least four designates have also served in an acting capacity: political appointee Mari Carmen Aponte; SES Michael Kozak, career diplomats Francisco “Paco” Palmieri and Julie J. Chung .
According to AFSA’s appointment tracker going back to 1975, the Western Hemisphere bureau has a 50 percent split between career and political/other appointees.
The AP notes that Ambassador Nichols would be the first Black assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs since Terence Todman in the late 1970s (see Terence Alphonso Todman ).

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Brett M. Holmgren to be Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (INR)

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On March 26, 2021, President Biden announced his intent to nominate Brett M. Holmgren to serve as  Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (INR). The WH released the following brief bio:

Brett M. Holmgren served as the Deputy for Nominations for the Biden-Harris Transition Team, and as Co-Chair of the Intelligence Working Group for Biden for President.  Earlier, Holmgren was Vice President for Technology Risk Management at Capital One Financial.  Prior to that, he was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Intelligence Programs at the National Security Council, where he also previously served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.  Earlier, Holmgren was Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Director for Counterterrorism at the National Security Council, and a political analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency.  Holmgren began his government service as a counterterrorism analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency.   Holmgren is the recipient of numerous performance awards, including the Director of National Intelligence Superior Service Award, the Central Intelligence Agency Director’s award, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Civilian Service Award.  He received a Bachelor’s Degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s Degree, summa cum laude, from Johns Hopkins University.

According to history.state.gov, on Oct 10, 1957, the Department of State elevated the position of Special Assistant to the Secretary for Intelligence and Research to that of Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, with rank equivalent to that of an Assistant Secretary of State. Since 1947, the Special Assistant had been in charge of intelligence functions that the Department of State first received after the abolition of the wartime Office of Strategic Services in 1945. An Act of Congress (P.L. 99-93) of Aug 16, 1985, authorized the appointment of an Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research. Prior to this date, the Secretary of State designated all Directors of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Since Aug 1986, all incumbents have served as Assistant Secretaries of State and been commissioned by the President.
The most recent career diplomat to head INR was Ambassador Daniel Bennett Smith who served from 2014–2018, and then was sent to oversee the Foreign Service Institute. Ambassador Smith was  INR Assistant Secretary for two years at the end of the Obama administration and two years at the beginning of the Trump administration.
According to AFSA’s appointment tracker, 57.1% of INR appointees were career appointments. Four of the career appointees to INR since 1986, also have the personal rank of career ambassador: Morton Isaac Abramowitz (1985–1989); J. Stapleton Roy (1999–2001); Philip S. Goldberg (2010–2013); and Daniel Bennett Smith (2014–2018).
If confirmed, Mr. Holmgreen would succeed Ellen McCarthy who served at INR from January 2019 until January 2020.
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March 2019: Secretary Mike Pompeo Swears-In New INR Assistant Secretary Ellen E. McCarthy