Confirmations: Cunningham, Cretz, Malac, Armbruster, Wharton, Holtz, Laskaris, Ries, Koenig, Kirby

On August 2nd, the United States Senate confirmed the following ambassadorial nominees:

PN1826 – James B. Cunningham, of New York, to be Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Executive Calendar #858 Gene Allan Cretz, of New York, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Ghana.

Executive Calendar #859 Deborah Ruth Malac, of Virginia, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Liberia.

Executive Calendar #860 Thomas Hart Armbruster, of New York, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Executive Calendar #861 David Bruce Wharton, of Virginia, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Zimbabwe.

Executive Calendar #862 Greta Christine Holtz, of Maryland, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Sultanate of Oman.

Executive Calendar #863 Alexander Mark Laskaris, of Maryland, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Guinea.

Executive Calendar #864 Marcie B. Ries, of the District of Columbia to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Bulgaria.

Executive Calendar #865 John M. Koenig, of Washington, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Cyprus.

Executive Calendar #866 Michael David Kirby, of Virginia, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Serbia.

That leaves Carlos Pascual, of the District of Columbia, nominated to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Energy Resources) as the only State Department nominee stuck in the Senate.  This nomination has been on the Executive Calendar since March 2012.  We are guessing that there is a senate hold on this but cannot find the tale of that hold as of this writing.

Also, the nominee for US Ambassador to Pakistan, Ambassador Richard Olson had his SFRC hearing on July 31st but it does not look like his nomination made it out of committee.

The Senate will have pro forma sessions starting Friday, August 3rd until Friday, September 7th and reconvenes on September 10 at 2:00 p.m.

Domani Spero

SFRC Clears Cretz, Malac, Wharton, Laskaris, Ries, Koenig, Kirby, Armbruster, Holtz

The Hill reports that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) on Thursday unanimously approved the following nominees for ambassadorships, setting up their possible approval by the full Senate before the August recess.

  • The Honorable Gene Allan Cretz, of New York, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana
  • Ms. Deborah Ruth Malac, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Liberia
  • Mr. David Bruce Wharton, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Zimbabwe
  • Mr. Alexander Mark Laskaris, of Maryland, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Guinea
  • The Honorable Marcie B. Ries, of the District of Columbia, to be an Ambassador to the Republic of Bulgaria
  • Mr. John M. Koenig, of Washington, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Cyprus
  • The Honorable Michael David Kirby, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia
  • Mr. Thomas Hart Armbruster, of New York, to be Ambassador to the Republic of the Marshall Islands
  • Ms. Greta Christine Holtz, of Maryland, to be Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman

The nine nominees will now join Carlos Pascual in the wait for the confirmation of the full senate. Mr. Pascual who was nominated to be the State Department’s first Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources was cleared by the SFRC in March 2012.

Domani Spero

Officially In: Marcie B. Ries – from Arms Control Bureau (AVC) to Bulgaria

On May 24, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Ambassador Marcie B. Ries as the next Ambassador to the Republic of Bulgaria. The WH released the following brief bio:

Ambassador Marcie B. Ries, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Career-Minister, is

English: Marcie Berman Ries, U.S. Ambassador t...

Marcie Berman Ries. Ries, Marcie Berman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

currently Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance.  From 2008 to 2009, she was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.  Previously, she served as Minister-Counselor for Political-Military Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad (2007-2008), U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Albania (2004-2007), and Chief of Mission at the U.S. Office in Pristina, Kosovo (2003-2004).  She has also served as Director of the Office of United Nations Political Affairs in the Bureau of International Organizations (2001-2003) and as Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in London (1996-2000).  Other overseas assignments include posts to the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels; Ankara, Turkey; and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  

She received a B.A. from Oberlin College and an M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

If confirmed, Ambassador Ries would succeed career diplomat James B. Warlick, Jr. who was appointed to the US Embassy in Sofia in 2009.

On April 12, New Europe Online citing local media reported that Sofia has received a request for agrément for a new Ambassador to Bulgaria.

According to the television sources, it is very probable that Ambassador Warlick will leave the country before the end of his mandate of three years. BTV also announces that the person to fill the post of US Ambassador in Bulgaria is expected to be a former representative of the States in Albania who is now a civil servant. The Bulgarian television also clarified that according to the webpage of the American Embassy in Teheran, there were only two women to hold the position of Ambassador in the last 10 years, namely Marisa Lino (1996-1999) and Marcie Ries (2004-2007).

Looks like these folks have excellent sources. Last week, Ambassador Warlick tweeted this:

Ambassador Warlick assumed charge of the embassy on January 21, 2010. By the time the new ambassador is confirmed by the Senate, his tenure in Sofia will be closer to 36 months.

A side note on this appointment – Ambassador Marcie B. Ries is one half of a former tandem couple who went on to become ambassadors: Ambassador Ries as then US Ambassador to Albania (2004-2007), and her husband, Charles Ries as then US Ambassador to Greece (2004-2007). Ambassador James Warlick is also one half of a current tandem couple serving as ambassadors. His wife, Mary Burce Warlick is the current US Ambassador to Serbia.

Domani Spero

Related item:
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts | May 24, 2012