Credentials Ceremony: Nides (Israel), Cohen (Canada), Udall (New Zealand), Carpenter (OSCE)

 

 

 

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Confirmations: Nides (Israel), Cohen (Canada), Carpenter (OSCE), Coleman (USAID)

 

President Biden Announces Nominees For OSCE (Carpenter), OECD (Markell), UN/FAO (McCain)

13 Going on 14 — GFM: https://gofund.me/32671a27

 

 

On June 23, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate 17 individuals to serve in key roles in his administration. Among those announced were three nominees for U.S. Representatives to international organizations:
  • Michael Carpenter, Nominee for U.S. Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), with rank of Ambassador
  • Jack Markell, Nominee for Representative of the United States of America to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, with rank of Ambassador
  • Cindy Hensley McCain, Nominee for U.S. Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, with rank of Ambassador

Michael Carpenter, Nominee for U.S. Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), with rank of Ambassador

Michael Carpenter is the Managing Director of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, and previously was Special Advisor for Europe and Eurasia in the Office of the Vice President.   He also served as Director for Russia in the National Security Council.  A former Foreign Service officer, Carpenter served in the Department of State as Deputy Director of the Office of Russian Affairs, Special Assistant for the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Political-Military officer in the Office of European Security and Political Affairs, and Advisor on Regional Conflicts in the Office of Caucasus Affairs and Regional Conflicts.  He served overseas in Barbados, Slovenia and Poland.   He has received numerous professional distinctions, including the Jamestown Foundation Distinguished Service Award and fellowships from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the International Research & Exchanges Board.  Carpenter earned a B.A. at Stanford University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley.  He speaks Polish, Slovenian, Czech, French and German.

Jack Markell, Nominee for Representative of the United States of America to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, with rank of Ambassador

Jack Markell, a former Governor and State Treasurer of Delaware, is the President of Jack Markell Consulting, LLC.  He is a former Senior Vice President of Comcast Corporation and Nextel Communications.  He also has served as Chair of the National Governors Association, President of the Council of State Governments, and Chair of the Democratic Governors Association.  Markell earned a Bachelors Degree in Development Studies and Economics at Brown University and an M.B.A. at the University of Chicago.

Cindy Hensley McCain, Nominee for U.S. Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, with rank of Ambassador

Cindy Hensley McCain is Chairman and Director of the Hensley Beverage Company in Phoenix, Arizona.  She chairs the Board of Trustees and is a member of the Human Trafficking Council at the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University.  She is a Member of the Leadership Council at the Too Small to Fail Initiative in New York City, in addition to leadership roles in numerous other civic and philanthropic organizations. McCain is also Co-Chair of the Arizona Human Trafficking Council, and a member of the Phoenix Mayor’s Human Trafficking Task Force. McCain received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Southern California.

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D/Secretary John Sullivan Swears-in New U.S. Ambassador to OSCE James Gilmore

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OSCE via Creative Commons Attribution – No Derivative Works

 

Former Virginia Gov James Gilmore to be U.S. Ambassador to the OSCE

The White House announced the president’s intent to nominate James Gilmore, the former Governor of Virginia to be the next Ambassador to the OSCE. The WH released a brief bio:

James S. Gilmore of Virginia, to be the Representative of the United States to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe with the Rank of Ambassador.

Mr. Gilmore currently serves as President and CEO of American Opportunity Foundation. Previously, he served as Governor of Virginia, Attorney General of Virginia, and as Chairman of the Congressional Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction, a national panel established by Congress to assess Federal, State, and local government capabilities to respond to the consequences of a terrorist attack. Mr. Gilmore served in the United States Army for three years, where he was assigned to United States Army Intelligence in West Germany. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Virginia School of Law. Mr. Gilmore is the recipient of the Air Force Exceptional Service Award and the Joint Service Commendation Medal for Service to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

 

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How many people should be put through a wringer before, oh you know ….

Posted: 3:48 am EDT
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We’ve previously blogged about Foreign Service assignments to international organizations. FSOs who take up assignments in some of these organizations are excluded from promotion consideration in the Foreign Service (see Secondments to international organizations and promotions? Here comes the boo!).

We’ve been able to locate the FSGB case here (PDF), and the appeal case here (PDF).

Grievant filed his initial grievance with the Department on August 7, 2012,1 claiming that he was improperly excluded from promotion consideration by the 2008-2012 Selection Boards, during which time he was encumbering a position at the REDACTED. His assignment to REDACTED was effected by separation/transfer (“secondment,” according to Department usage) in the spring of 2007, and he exercised re-employment rights to return to agency rolls in 2012. Grievant claimed he believed he would remain eligible for promotion consideration during the REDACTED assignment, based on information contained in the Information Sheet that accompanied his Separation Agreement and on alleged assurances he received from Department Human Resources (HR) personnel. He claimed that shortly after he took the REDACTED assignment, he became aware that the Promotion Precepts exclude from review employees who have been separated/transferred to international organizations. Nonetheless, he claimed that the official notification of his assignment (SF-50 Personnel Action) assigned him to a status (the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai (MFO)) that specifically permits officers so assigned to remain eligible for promotion  consideration. He argued that instead of using the separation/transfer mechanism, the Department should have detailed him to REDACTED leaving him on Department rolls and eligible for promotion consideration during the assignment. Grievant argued that Department errors in documentation of his assignment, and its different explanations of its own regulations, amount to bad faith on the part of the Department.

The Department acknowledged inaccuracies in the original Department documentation and in its decision on grievant’s appeal, in which it claimed that grievant’s separation/transfer instead of a detail was “standard protocol” for cases such as grievant’s. […] Notwithstanding the inaccuracies in documentation, the Department argued that separating/transferring grievant to the was not a clear violation of agency policy in effect at the time, and there was no impediment to taking that action.[…] The agency argued, therefore, that its actions were not contrary to law, regulation or collective bargaining agreement, and that neither the SF-50 errors, nor the errors contained in the Information Sheet, alter grievant’s status. Finally, the agency claimed it is an established fact that grievant did not serve in the Sinai in the MFO, and he is not entitled to benefits afforded to officers who serve there.

The FSGB ruled that “Regardless of the reason(s) why an “incorrect” SF-50 was issued in the first place, the preponderance of the evidence supports the conclusion that the only SF-50 in the record was issued containing several errors, not the least of which is that grievant was assigned to the MFO in the Sinai – where we know he did not serve. We fail to see the manifest injustice based on grievant’s arguments in this respect that would constitute grounds for reconsideration of our March 19, 2014, decision.”

We understand that this grievant was actually assigned to OSCE but his SF-50 says he was assigned to MFO. No, the grievant did not prepare his own SF-50, silly :-).  Wondering why the SF-50 says MFO, and was never corrected. Was it intended as a work-around? If not, why was it never corrected the entire time the FSO was on assignment at an organization that was obviously not the MFO in the Sinai?

Standard Form 50, is the official form the government uses to calculate your retirement. Your SF-50s determine your retirement eligibility, your federal pension, and in this case, it also impacts promotion eligibility.

In any case, this is an expanding case not just in the Foreign Service Grievance Board (FSGB), but also with the  Office of Special Counsel and now in federal court.

The individual would not discuss his ongoing court case but here is what we got:

“I decided to raise this issue with the new AFSA Board, which came into office with much fanfare as the “Strong Diplomacy” slate. After more than a month of non-response, I finally received the following this morning from an AFSA Board member:

“With limited resources, AFSA is unable to pursue each and every dispute with management and must focus on those issues that have the greatest impact on our membership and most benefit the Foreign Service as a whole. I understand you have already pursued this issue with private counsel through the grievance process. Given other competing priorities, this is not an issue AFSA is going to pursue with management.”

In other words, although AFSA is aware of an ongoing and systematic violation of federal law on the part of Department management, it is choosing not to pursue the issue with management due to more pressing priorities, thus leaving dues-paying members to fend for themselves in the courts, at their own expense.”

It’s worth noting that the promotion precepts are negotiated and agreed annually between the State Department and AFSA. We’re not sure what to make of this. If an employee is not able to rely on its union for disputes like this, who can he/she rely on? Is there a threshold on how many people should be put through the wringer before AFSA takes it up with management?

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@StateDept’s Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs: Doug Frantz Out, John Kirby In

Posted: 12:28  pm PDT
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In our Burn Bag mail today:

“Kirby in as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. Will that most bureaucratic of bureaus finally be fixed?”

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State Department Spokesperson John Kirby watches as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses reporters on August 6, 2015, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, during a news conference following two days of meetings at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting. [State Department Photo/Public Domain]

Douglas Frantz was a newspaper reporter and editor for more than 35 years before joining the State Department in September 2013 as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. He previously worked for then-Senator John Kerry as deputy staff director and chief investigator of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC).  We understand that Frantz is slated to move to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

John Kirby was appointed as the Spokesperson for the Department of State on May 12, 2015. Kirby previously served as Pentagon Press Secretary, serving for more than a year as the chief spokesman for the Department of Defense and for former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. He retired from the Navy in May 2015 with the rank of Rear Admiral.

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Tweet of the Day: “So, I got married this morning.”

— Domani Spero
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Dan Baer is the U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).  HRC notes that Ambassador Baer is the seventh openly LGBT person appointed by President Obama and the first to a multilateral institution.

Best wishes to the happy couple!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OSCE Ambassador Dan Baer on The Colbert Report: “From Russia With Love (But No Gay Stuff)

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— Domani Spero

On The Colbert Report on February 10, parody correspondent Buddy Cole met with our Ambassador to the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Daniel Baer for the show’s   “From Russia With Love (But No Gay Stuff)” segment.  “How did they take it when they found that you work for the government?” Are buttons gayer than zippers?” Congratulations to Ambassador Baer for successfully passing the straight face test.

[gigya src=”http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:video:colbertnation.com:432977″ width=”500″ height=”376″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” wmode=”window” allowFullscreen=”true” flashvars=”autoPlay=false” allowscriptaccess=”always” allownetworking=”all” bgcolor=“#000000″ ]

According to Human Rights Watch, LGBT people face stigma, harassment, and violence in their everyday lives in Russia, and LGBT victims of violence and groups told HRW that these problems intensified in 2013.  Earlier this month, HRW released a video of Russian men beaten on camera (be warned, it is horrible and disturbing to watch).

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Today at the SFRC: Nuland, Lute, Baer

â—‰ By Domani Spero

 

Today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold confirmation hearings for the following State Department nominees:

Presiding: Senator Murphy

Date: Thursday, July 11, 2013

Time: 02:15 PM

Location: Senate Dirksen 419

Nominees:

  • The Honorable Victoria Nuland of Virginia, to be Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
  • Mr. Douglas Edward Lute of Indiana, to be United States Permanent Representative on the Council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • Mr. Daniel Brooks Baer of Colorado, to be U.S. Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in EuropeClick here to view the  scheduled live webcast and prepared testimonies.

 

A live webcast and the prepared testimonies of the nominees will be posted here when available.

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