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Meet Newt, Soon to be @StateDept’s Newest Eligible Family Member

Posted: 12:54 am ET

 

Via Politico:  Last week, Newt Gingrich sat in a classroom surrounded by 11 women and one other man, furiously jotting notes. In the weeklong intensive, where classes ran from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with only a short cafeteria lunch break in between, the former House speaker and onetime presidential candidate received a crash course in a new role: invisible spouse.  When he moves to Rome with his wife, Callista Gingrich, to become husband of the ambassador to the Holy See, the ubiquitous Fox News talking head will have no official diplomatic role abroad, beyond being generally presentable and essentially not heard from.

When Callista Gingrich is confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Ambassador to the Vatican, Newt Gingrich, the 50th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and Fox News talking head will officially become a diplomatic spouse or an eligible family member (EFM). He has to be listed on Form OF-126, Foreign Service Residence and Dependency Report of the sponsoring employee, and be on Mrs. Gingrich travel orders. If they place their household effects in storage in Hagerstown, we’re fairly sure, it will be in Mrs. Gingrich’s name because she is the employee. Will he need to go to the Community Liaison Office to logon to OpenNet? Will they let him make his own request for house repairs or does the employee have to do that? Who will he need permission from to pursue outside employment?

And for every bureau, post, COM, etc. whoever slapped a diplomatic spouse’s hands or threatened his/her employee-spouse’s career for blogging or writing articles that has nothing to do with policy or privileged information, get ready. This should be interesting, huh?!

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Photo of the Day: Chargé d’Affaires Louis Bono with Pope Francis at the Vatican

Posted: 1:17 am ET

 

US Embassy to the Holy See Chargé d’Affaires, Louis Bono, having a brief chat with Pope Francis following a general audience. US Embassy /FB)

Louis L. Bono is the Chargé d’Affaires to the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See.  He previously served on the National Security Council and as an advisor to the Deputy Secretary of State and to the Under Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs. Mr. Bono has received several State Department awards, including two for heroism and the Secretary’s Expeditionary Service Award.  He earned an M.S. from the National Defense University, a J.D. from Pace University School of Law, and a B.A. from Manhattanville College.  Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he was an assistant attorney general in New York and served in the Army.  He is currently a member of the Army Reserves and serves as an instructor at West Point, where he teaches international economics and international relations.

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Trump Expected to Nominate Callista Gingrich as the Next Ambassador to the Holy See (Updated)

Posted: 2:50 am ET
Updated: June 22, 2017

 

On May 19, President Trump officially announced his intent to nominate Callista Gingrich, the  to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy. The WH released the following brief bio:

Callista L. Gingrich of Virginia, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Holy See. Ms. Gingrich has been the President and CEO of Gingrich Productions, a multimedia production and consulting company in Arlington, Virginia, since 2007. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling “Ellis the Elephant” children’s series and co-author of “Rediscovering God in America.” Ms. Gingrich also produces and hosts historical and public policy documentary films. She served as a congressional aide in the U.S. House of Representatives and is President of The Gingrich Foundation, which supports charitable causes. Ms. Gingrich has sung for two decades with the Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. She earned a BA cum laude from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

According to history.state.gov, the United States maintained a presence in Rome throughout the nineteenth century. The United States at different times had a Minister to the Papal States, Minister to the Pontifical States, and finally, a Minister to Rome from 1848 until Kingdom of Italy conquered Rome in 1870. Throughout much of the twentieth century, successive U.S. Presidents sent a Personal Representative to the Holy See, the diplomatic representative of the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope with its headquarters in Vatican City.

The United States and the Holy See established diplomatic relations by agreement between President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II on January 10, 1984, when William A. Wilson presented his credentials to the Pope, elevating his position from Personal Representative of the President to U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.

Callista Gingrich, the wife of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is widely reported as the expected nominee to be the next ambassador to the Vatican. No official announcement has been made as of this writing. President Trump is scheduled to leave this week for his first trip overseas with stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel, The Vatican, Belgium, and Italy (May 26-27) for the 43rd G7 summit in Taormina, Sicily.

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