Nomination: Career Diplomat Michael Dodman to be U.S. Ambassador to Mauritania

Posted: 1:22 am ET
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On July 20, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Michael Dodman to be the U.S. Ambassador to Mauritania.  The WH released a brief bio:

Michael James Dodman of New York to be the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.  Mr. Dodman, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, is currently Executive Assistant in the Office of the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment at the Department of State.  A career diplomat since 1987, Mr. Dodman’s previous assignments include Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Karachi, Pakistan; Economic Counselor at the U.S. Mission to the European Union; and Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.  Mr. Dodman received a B.S. from Georgetown University, an M.A. from Boston University, and an M.P.P. from Princeton University.

USCG Michael Dodman, U.S. Consulate General Karachi, Pakistan














FSO Michael Dodman: No use complaining about the “10,000-mile screwdriver”

Posted: 12:02 am EDT
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Michael Dodman, a Foreign Service officer since 1988, was consul general in Karachi from July 2012 to August 2014. He was the recipient of the 2014 Ryan C. Crocker Award for Outstanding Leadership in Expeditionary Diplomacy for his work there. He is currently director of the entry-level career development and assignments section of the Bureau of Human Resources.

Michael Dodman_karachi

Photo via USCG Karachi

Below is an excerpt from a piece he wrote for the Foreign Service Journal:

The most important thing I learned from my two years leading Consulate General Karachi is this: Successful diplomacy in a high-threat post depends on understanding Washington—and, for a constituent post, the embassy as well.

There is no use complaining about the “10,000-mile screwdriver.” Today’s technology guarantees that no overseas post will ever operate with the sense of autonomy and distance from the flagpole that we once did. The key to managing and succeeding is constantly taking the pulse of Washington, and anticipating information demands—both to avoid surprises and (hopefully) head off directives you disagree with.

I thought I had done a good job meeting the key Washington players during consultations before I went to post. But events in September 2012 and later, particularly the spring 2014 attack on Karachi Airport, made me realize I hadn’t even scratched the surface in terms of everyone who had a say in operations at my post.

Success in navigating the shifting waters of Washington, particularly from a constituent post, required:

  • Regular and open communication with the desk;
  • Understanding the State Department and interagency decision points, and the importance of EAC cables and other channels of communication;
  • Earning the trust of Washington decision-makers; and
  • Building and maintaining a close partnership with the embassy front office and country team, including spending a few days every month in the capital.

Read in full here.


Recognizing Excellence: State Department Annual Awards 2014

Posted: 01:26 EST

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Ryan C. Crocker Award for Outstanding Leadership in Expeditionary Diplomacy | USCG Michael Dodman

For leadership at the U.S. Consul General in Karachi, “where he advanced U.S. goals in Pakistan while ensuring the safety and morale of his team.”

Michael Dodman_karachi

Michael Dodman, USCG Karachi, Pakistan | Photo by USCG Karachi/Flickr


Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy | William B. Stevens

For “outstanding leadership and unwavering commitment in leading the Department’s Ukraine Communications Task Force to stem the tide of Russian propaganda.”

Will Stevens_Moscow

US Embassy Moscow Spokesman – Will Stevens | Photo via American Center Moscow


Sue M. Cobb Award for Exemplary Diplomatic Service | Ambassador Susan D. Page

For “leading the U.S. Mission to South Sudan under extremely challenging circumstances” and advancing the president’s goal of a South Sudan “as a viable state at peace with itself and its neighbors.”

Ambassador Susan D. Page visited a water point and purification facility set up by Samaritan’s Purse, as part of a U.S government supported project to assist IDPs in Nimule. the water point is for the use of the host community in Nimule town and the IDPs who are living among them.  | Photo via US Embassy Juba/Flickr


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USCG Karachi: Goodbye Michael Dodman, Hello Brian Heath

— Domani Spero
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USCG Karachi’s Consul General Michael Dodman recently concluded his 2-year tour in Pakistan.  Here is a memorable photo of Mr. Dodman showing his dance moves at the historic Kot Diji Fort in the Khairpur District of Pakistan’s southeastern province of Sindh.

Photo via USCG Karachi/Flickr

Photo via USCG Karachi/Flickr

Brian Heath assumed charge as the U.S. Consul General in Karachi on August 20, 2014. USCG Karachi released the following official bio:
 A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Mr. Heath most recently served as the Minister-Counselor for Management Affairs at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York.
Since joining the Foreign Service in 1998, Mr. Heath’s overseas assignments have included Director of the U.S. Regional Embassy Office in Al Hillah, Iraq; Consul General at the U.S. Consulate in Lahore, Pakistan; Management Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Karachi, Pakistan; General Services and Human Resources officers at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany; and Consular Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai (Bombay), India.
In the course of several assignments in Washington, DC, Mr. Heath has studied at the National War College; worked as a Senior Advisor in the Under Secretary of State for Management’s Office of Management Policy; and served as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Administration. Mr. Heath is the recipient of multiple Department of State Superior and Meritorious honor awards.
Mr. Heath graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelor’s degree in political economics, earned a law degree from Rutgers University, and received his Master’s degree in national security studies from the National War College. He is a member of the New Jersey and New York State bars.

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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