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President Biden announced his intent to nominate former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake to be his Ambassador to Turkey. The WH released the following brief bio:
Jeff Lane Flake, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Turkey
Jeff L. Flake is currently a Distinguished Fellow at Arizona State University and a Distinguished Fellow at the Sorensen Center for Moral and Ethical Leadership at Brigham Young University. He also serves on the Senior Advisory Committee at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. Flake was a Member of Congress for 18 years, representing Arizona in the U.S. Senate (2013-2019) and the U.S. House of Representatives (2001-2013), where he served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. A frequent public speaker, he is also a former contributor for CNN and CBS News. Flake is a Director of Taylor Morrison, a home builder in Scottsdale, Arizona, and a former Executive Director of the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. Early in his career, he was Executive Director of the Foundation for Democracy in Namibia. He speaks Afrikaans. He earned a B.A. in International Relations, and an M.A. in Political Science, at Brigham Young University. He is a recipient of the Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage from the University Philosophical Society, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is reportedly supporting “close Senate scrutiny of President Biden’s controversial nomination this week of former Arizona legislator Jeff Flake … Over the coming weeks, the US Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations will consider Flake’s nomination. The ANCA will be working in a bipartisan manner to ensure that Flake’s complicity in Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide is carefully scrutinized by members of this powerful committee.”
We can’t imagine the U.S. Senate not confirming one of its own or dragging this process long. Senators have already offered statements of support and tweets of congratulations. This will be quick. It only took about a month for Max Baucus to be confirmed by the Senate for China in 2014; Yea-Nay Vote. 96 – 0. It took about five weeks for Scott Brown’s confirmation for New Zealand in 2017; Yea-Nay Vote. 94 – 4. And about five weeks for Kay Bailey Hutchison to be confirmed for USNATO in 2017 (confirmed by voice vote). (See list of senators who served as ambassadors/or held diplomatic posts).
When confirmed, Senator Flake would succeed career diplomat David Satterfield who arrived in Ankara in 2019. The last non-career appointee sent to Turkey was Robert Strausz-Hupé (1903–2002). He served from 1981–1989 during the Reagan years. Before him, there was William Macomber Jr.; he served from May 16, 1973–June 15, 1977 during Nixon/Ford’s tenures.