Posted: 3:12 am ET
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President Obama designated Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez as lead in the Presidential Delegation to the Dominican Republic to attend the inauguration of President Danilo Medina on August 16, 2016 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The other members of the delegation include, Ambassador James W. Brewster Jr., U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, and AA/S Mari Carmen Aponte, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs.
Hoy la delegación encabezada por el Secretario de Trabajo de los Estados Unidos, Tomás Pérez, también conformada por la secretaria de Estado adjunta para Latinoamérica, Mari Carmen Aponte y por el Embajador James W. Brewster, está en la #JuramentaciónDanilo2016 en representación del Presidente de los Estados Unidos de América, Barack Obama. (Via FB)
On November 14, the U.S. Senate confirmed the following nominations for the Department of State:
Gregory B. Starr – to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Diplomatic Security)
James Walter Brewster, Jr. – to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Dominican Republic
Philip S. Goldberg – to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of the Philippines
A/S Gregory Starr is not a stranger to Diplomatic Security, of course. From July 2004 through March 2007, Mr. Starr served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Countermeasures where he was responsible for “formulating security policy and plans for countermeasures in the areas of physical security, technical security, and Diplomatic Courier operations for the Department’s overseas and domestic operations and facilities.” He previously served as Director of the Diplomatic Security Service from April 2007 until his retirement in May 2009. From May 2009 until January 2013, Mr. Starr served as United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security. But he was soon back to the fold. On February 1, 2013, he was named acting Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security. Mr. Starr succeedsEric J. Boswellwho held the Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security job from 2008 until 2012, when the later was snared by Benghazi. But it looks like not everyone is happy to welcome Mr. Starr back. In September, current and former State Department officials dished to The Cable’s John Hudson that “confirming Starr could be a mistake and raised a string of fresh allegations against him.” (See Allegations Swirl Around Obama’s Pick for State Department Security Chief). That made a brief splash but State stood behind the nominee, including the State Department Chief of Staff David Wade. And Mr. Starr is now officially the Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security.
Philip S. Goldberg until recently was A/S to State/INR. He was previously ambassador to Bolivia in 2006 and in 2008, Evo Knievel’s government gave him 72 hours to leave the country, after declaring him persona non grata. He succeeds Ambassador Harry Thomas who departed the Philippines in October 2014. With the departure of Ambassador Thomas, Deputy Chief of Mission Brian L. Goldbeck assumed duties as the Chargé d’Affaires. US Embassy Manila’s presser saysthat “Chargé d’Affaires Brian L. Goldbeck led a joint U.S. government team to areas affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda to assess the damage and review relief operations with the Government of the Philippines.” Sorry, no photos or videos available.
Currently unfolding in Ambassador Goldberg’s new host country is Operation Damayan, the U.S. humanitarian aid and disaster relief effort in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. Below is BGEN Paul Kennedy, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade commander, talking to a Rueters reporter about his mission in the Philipines with Operation Damayan.
The aircraft carrier USS George Washington and support vessels arrived in the Philippines Nov. 14, 2013, to aid assistance efforts. USNS Charles Drew, USS Emory S. Land, USS Bowditch, USS Lassen and USNS Yukon are now in the Philippines to provide relief efforts. The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet on November 13 also directed the activation of USNS Mercy to prepare the hospital ship for possible deployment to the Philippines. If deployed, the ship currently berthed in San Diego will arrive in the island nation in December.
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