Bureau of Counterterrorism’s Tina Kaidanow Moves to Pol-Mil Affairs, Justin Siberell Now Acting Coordinator

Posted: 1:35 am EDT
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The Bureau of Counterterrorism leads the Department of State in the whole-of-government effort to counter terrorism abroad and to secure the United States against foreign terrorist threats.

Via state.gov:

In 1994, Congress officially mandated the Bureau of Counterterrorism in Public Law 103-236 [H.R. 2333]. In 1998, Congress further defined the role of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism in Public Law 105-277 [H.R. 4328]:

“There is within the office of the Secretary of State a Coordinator for Counterterrorism…who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate…. The principal duty of the coordinator shall be the overall supervision (including policy oversight of resources) of international counterterrorism activities. The Coordinator shall be the principal adviser to the Secretary of State on international counterterrorism matters. The coordinator shall be the principal counterterrorism official within the senior management of the Department of State and shall report directly to the Secretary of State…The Coordinator shall have the rank and status of Ambassador at Large.”

Ambassador Tina Kaidanow who served as Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism (State/CT) since February 2014 has officially moved to the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs where she was designated Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State on February 22, 2016.  It looks like she is dual-hatted and is also the Acting Assistant Secretary for the PM bureau.

We’re not exactly sure when but Justin H. Siberell has also been designated as the Acting Coordinator for Counterterrorism. Mr. Siberell entered the Foreign Service in March 1993, and joined the CT Bureau in July 2012.   He is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and was recently confirmed by the Senate to the rank of Minister-Counselor. Below is a brief bio via state.gov:

Before joining the CT Bureau, Mr. Siberell was Principal Officer in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Other overseas assignments include service at U.S. Embassies and Consulates in Baghdad, Iraq; Amman, Jordan; Alexandria, Egypt; and Panama City, Panama.

In Washington, Mr. Siberell completed tours in the State Department Operations Center and Executive Secretariat; as Desk Officer for Iran in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs; and as Executive Assistant to the National Security Advisor at the White House.

Mr. Siberell was raised in California, and attended the University of California at Berkeley where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History.

Mr. Siberell is a 2002 graduate of the State Department’s Arabic Language Field School in Tunis, Tunisia. Mr. Siberell speaks Arabic and Spanish.

With some ten months left in this administration, we don’t know if there will actually be a new nominee for the counterterrorism bureau. The CT coordinator is ambassador rank and requires a Senate confirmation.  Is there a nominee waiting in the wings?  Even if there is one, it’s hard to say if that individual could even get confirmation, which seems to be worse than pulling an elephant’s teeth these days.  The leadership of the Bureau of Counterterrorism currently includes the following officials:




US Mission Pakistan Gets New Consul Generals for Karachi and for Peshawar

On July 22, USCG Karachi announced the arrival of the new Consul General Michael Dodman to Karachi:

CG Dodman’s prior State Department assignments include Economic Counselor at the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and Political and Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Prague. He has also served in Ankara and Warsaw, as well as in Washington, DC.

“I am very pleased to be here in Karachi,” CG Dodman said. “I look forward to getting to know this vibrant city and the people of Sindh and Balochistan provinces as I work to strengthen the relationship between our two countries.”

CG Dodman graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and has Masters degrees from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and Boston University.

William Martin, the previous Consul General, recently departed Karachi after a successful two year posting and is en route to his next diplomatic assignment.

Here is CG Dodman asking, “What should I know about Pakistani culture?”

USCG Peshawar, still considered the most dangerous assignment in the Foreign Service is also undergoing change. No announcement was made of the departure of Dr. Marie Richards, who was the Consul General since last year. But she did pin this note on FB last June.

As many of you know, I will be leaving Peshawar very soon.  My time here was always meant to be for only one year due to family responsibilities back home.  The people I have met here in the past year have impressed me deeply with their openness, generosity, and commitment to making Peshawar and KP/FATA what it should once again be: a crossroads of civilizations marked by tolerance, trade and respect for diversity of cultures.  I am grateful for the kindness shown to me by our many contacts and friends, and am confident that my successor will enjoy a similar welcome.

Outgoing USCG Peshawar Consul General Marie Richards visited Khyber Pakhtunkhwa industrial estate in Peshawar, touring Frontier Foundry (Pvt) Ltd and Khyber Match (Pvt) Ltd.
(Photo via USCG Peshawar)

And her successor the interim Consul General has released a Ramadan message via YouTube on July 18, 2012. Below is a video message from Consul General Stephen Engelken who was formerly DCM at the US Mission to UNESCO.

It’s summer so we will see a lot more rotation and staffing changes particularly in the AIP posts where assignments are mostly one year rotations (although sometimes two years for senior folks).

Correction: US Mission Pakistan tells me that Steve Engleken is the interim CG in Peshawar.  The new Consul General assigned to Peshawar is Robert Reed who is scheduled to arrive shortly.
Domani Spero