Posted: 3:37 am ET
On March 5, The WH announced the nomination of S/P staffer Kimberly Breier to be the next Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs.
Kimberly Breier of Virginia, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Western Hemisphere Affairs), vice Mari Carmen Aponte and to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Foundation (Government Rep), vice Roberta Jacobson. Ms. Breier has served as a member of the Secretary’s policy planning staff at the Department of State since 2017. She previously served as the Director of the U.S.-Mexico Futures Initiative, Deputy Director of the Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and as Vice President of Peschard Sverdrup International. Formerly, she served as an analyst and manager in the United States intelligence community for more than a decade and as director for North America and as director for Brazil and the Southern Cone on the National Security Council staff at the White House. Prior to government service, Ms. Breier served as a senior fellow and director of the National Policy Association’s North American Committee.
She earned a B.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College and a M.A. in Latin American studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She has traveled extensively in the Western Hemisphere and speaks Spanish.
According to history.state.gov, the Department of State had first established a Division of Latin American Affairs in 1909. The Department 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). This reorganization was the first to assign substantive designations to specific Assistant Secretary positions. The position was temporarily discontinued between Jun 1947 and Jun 1949, when American Republic Affairs were handled by an Assistant Secretary for Political Affairs. The Department re-established the position in June 1949 after the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government (Hoover Commission) recommended that certain offices be upgraded to bureau level. On Oct 3, 1949, the Department by administrative action changed the incumbent’s designation to Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs.
On January 12, 1999, the Bureau assumed responsibility for Canada and was renamed the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. If confirmed, Ms Breier would succeed career civil servant Roberta S. Jacobson who served from 2012 until 2016 when she was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. Other recent appointees to this position include Otto Juan Reich (2002); Roger Francisco Noriega (2003–2005); Thomas Alfred Shannon Jr. (2005–2009); and Arturo Valenzuela (2009–2011).