SFRC Clears Villarosa, Liberi, Mull, North, Olson, Macmanus with Looming Senate Holds

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee(SFRC)  cleared the following ambassadorial nominations on September 19, 2012.

  • Sharon English Woods Villarosa, of Texas, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Mauritius, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Seychelles.
  • Dawn M. Liberi, of Florida, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Minister, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Burundi.
  • Stephen D. Mull, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Minister, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Poland.
  • Walter North, of Washington, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Minister, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Papua New Guinea, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Solomon Islands and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Vanuatu.
  • Richard G. Olson, of New Mexico, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
  • Joseph E. Macmanus, of New York, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Representative of the United States of America to the Vienna Office of the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador.
  • Joseph E. Macmanus, of New York, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Representative of the United States of America to the International Atomic Energy Agency, with the rank of Ambassador

Two nominees for UNGA were also cleared:

The Honorable John Hardy Isakson, of Georgia, to be a Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-seventh Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations

The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy, of Vermont, to be a Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-seventh Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations

The nominations will now go to the Senate for the full vote.

The SFRC, by the way,  just held its confirmation hearing for Ambassador Robert Beecroft (US Embassy Iraq) on September 19, so he was not included in the cleared nominees on Wednesday.  The Cable says that according to committee aides, “there was broad support for dispatching the Beecroft nomination out of committee without a formal vote so he could be confirmed this week before the Senate leaves town.”

However, all these nominees could get entangled in Senator Rand Paul’s hold.  He has reportedly placed a hold on the Olson nomination over Pakistan’s Afridi case. And according to The Cable, there is also the the ongoing dispute between Senate leadership and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) over Paul’s demand for a floor vote on his amendment to cut off all U.S. aid to Pakistan, Libya, and Egypt.

We don’t think Dr. Afridi should be in jail, but taking away what, $33 million from over a billion US aid to Pakistan, and a very public congressional pressure to released the good doctor — is not going to help much. No country, particularly one like Pakistan would like to be seen as publicly relenting to such foreign pressure, especially one coming from the United States, a perceived enemy by a great number of its population. To do so is contrary to the laws of political self preservation.  Can you imagine any US President acceding to a foreign senator’s demand to release a prisoner from one of our jails?  Of course not.

Senator Paul says, “If Pakistan wants to be our ally — and receive foreign aid — then they should act like it, and they must start by releasing Dr. Afridi.” He has more here.

Even if the elected Government of Pakistan may be amendable to releasing Dr. Afridi, it would be foolish to do so now, in the most public way. Or if it does, and it falls, who would we have next to deal with?

If screaming from the Senate chamber works perfectly in conducting foreign relations, why the heck do we have a diplomatic corps?  More congressional shock and awe is not going to help the cause of Dr. Afridi, it just drags it longer.  Senator Paul should understand this.  It’s not about him, it’s about them.  He should lift his hold so Ambassador Olson can join his embassy in Islamabad and our diplomats can do the work they need to do.

 

 

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Pending State Department Nominations as of August 2012

Below is a list of nominees submitted by the President to the Senate for confirmation during the current congress and was still undergoing SFRC consideration when the Senate took its break on August 2, 2012:

Aug 02, 12     PN1876    United Nations
Patrick J. Leahy, of Vermont, to be a Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-seventh Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Aug 02, 12     PN1875    United Nations
John Hardy Isakson, of Georgia, to be a Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-seventh Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Jul 18, 12     PN1827    Department of State
Richard G. Olson, of New Mexico, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. (reportedly discharged from committee but still listed as “pending” in the SFRC)

Jul 11, 12     PN1802    Department of State
Walter North, of Washington, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Minister, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Papua New Guinea, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Solomon Islands and  Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Vanuatu.

Jul 11, 12     PN1801    Department of State
Stephen D. Mull, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Minister, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Poland.

Jul 11, 12     PN1800    Department of State
Dawn M. Liberi, of Florida, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Career Minister, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Burundi.

Dec 05, 11     PN1171    Department of State
Joseph E. Macmanus, of New York, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Representative of the United States of America to the International Atomic Energy Agency,
with the rank of Ambassador.

Dec 05, 11     PN1170    Department of State
Joseph E. Macmanus, of New York, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Representative of the United States of America to the Vienna Office of the United Nations,
with the rank of Ambassador.

Oct 17, 11     PN1047    Department of State
Sharon English Woods Villarosa, of Texas, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of  Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Mauritius, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador  Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Seychelles.

Shari Villarosa‘s nomination for Mauritius has been pending in committee since October 2011. And then there’s also Joseph Macmanus for IAEA and UNVIE, pending since December 2011.  Ms. Villarosa was Deputy Coordinator for Regional Affairs in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism when she was nominated last year.  Mr. Macmanus on the other hand was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs when his nomination was announced last year.

Don’t know why these two nominees have been stuck in committee for the last 8-10 months. Mr. Macmanus is heading to IAEA and the UN, the later, of course a favorite pet peeve for some folks in Congress.  Could be that.  Mauritius as you may already know is an island in the Indian Ocean (also the only known habitat of the extinct Dodo bird). Nothing controversial there. She’s a career diplomat who was previously chargé d’affaires for the US Embassy in Rangoon from August 2005 to September 2008.  There was that OIG report while she was CDA in Burma (mostly redacted, of course!).   But that’s not it, is it?

I don’t think these two even had their confirmation hearings put on the calendar at the SFRC.  Interesting, huh? Anybody know why these two nominations have been glued to the SFRC welcome mat for months without action?

Domani Spero

Senator Rand Paul Blocks Olson Nomination Over Pakistani Doctor, Shakil Afridi

In our blog post on the recent confirmation of ten ambassadors (see Confirmations: Cunningham, Cretz, Malac, Armbruster, Wharton, Holtz, Laskaris, Ries, Koenig, Kirby) , we noted that it did not look like Ambassador Richard Olson’s nomination made it out of the SFRC.

In fact, his nomination did make it out of the SFRC. But according to The Cable’s Josh Rogin, there was no SFRC business meeting on the Olson and Cunningham nominations, and both were discharged from the committee and sent to the floor without the committee weighing in.

Apparently, two GOP Senate aides told The Cable that some Senate Foreign Relations Committee members were upset that the Cunningham and Olson nominations were rushed through the process and they didn’t have time to submit questions for the record and get answers. The good news is — it’s not personal, so there usually is a resolution. Excerpt below:

The concerns about Olson, who previously served as ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, aren’t personal, but committee members want more detail on the would-be envoy’s proposed approach to the Haqqani network, the militant group that has been waging cross-border attacks on U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Olson promised to make the issue a priority at his July 31 confirmation hearing, but multiple senators want to use the opportunity to gauge if the administration plans to include the Haqqani network in any effort to negotiate an end to the Afghanistan war.

So the Olson nomination is on the floor but now Senator Rand Paul has placed a hold on it. More from The Cable:

For Paul, his hold on the Olson nomination is part of his overall effort to pressure the Pakistani government to release Shakil Afridi, the doctor who worked with the CIA to help positively identify Osama bin Laden. Afridi was sentenced in June to 33 years in jail for treason. Paul is not only holding up the confirmation of the U.S. ambassador, he is also threatening to force a vote to cut all U.S. aid to Pakistan over the issue, the aides said.

Paul’s office did not respond to our request for comment, but The Cable caught up with the senator himself in the hallways of the Capitol Thursday. He said he had met with the State Department and with Pakistani Ambassador Sherry Rehman, and told them that he will keep pressing the issue unless Afridi is released. Afridi’s next hearing is Aug. 29.

Senate leadership is dead-set against letting Paul have a vote on his amendment, out of concern that senators won’t want to publicly stand up in defense of sending more American taxpayer money to Pakistan. But Paul said he plans to use Senate Rule 14 to force a vote. It’s not clear if this legislative tactic will work, but Paul is confident.

Read in full here.

The Cable surmises that there is little chance the Pakistani courts will respond to Senator Paul’s demand, “so his hold will prove useless and will probably be lifted under pressure next month.”

As to the Senate hold on Carlos Pascual’s nomination to be Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Energy Resources (ENR), that one is reportedly related to the “Fast and Furious scandal,” which unfolded while he was ambassador to Mexico.  This report did not indicate who placed a hold on this nomination.  But he can be Acting A/S for ENR while awaiting confirmation; Ambassador Olson cannot be in an acting capacity for US Mission Pakistan while stuck in WashDC.

We’ll see what happens after the August break.

Domani Spero

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

Officially In: Richard Olson – from Afghanistan to Pakistan

Ending weeks of rumors and speculation, on July 17, President Obama finally announced his intent to nominate Ambassador Richard G. Olson as the next Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The WH released the following brief bio:

Ambassador Richard G. Olson, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, served as the Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul from June 2011 to June 2012. He previously served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates from 2008 to 2011 and as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels from 2006 to 2008.  Additional overseas assignments include posts in Mexico, Uganda, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Najaf, Iraq.  Additional Washington assignments with the State Department include posts in the State Department Operations Center, NATO Desk, the Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs, and the Office of Iraqi Affairs.

Ambassador Olson joined the Department of State in 1982.  He received an A.B. from Brown University.

If confirmed, Ambassador Olson would succeed career diplomat Cameron Munter who not only presided the US Mission in Pakistan during one of the most turbulent phase of US-Pakistan relation but also became a casualty in the policy debate over covert actions in Pakistan. Press reports say that Ambassador Munter will depart Islamabad shortly and will retire from the Foreign Service.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Deborah Jones, U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait, Richard Olsen, U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and Brig. Gen. Bryan Benson, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander walk through the Department of Defense static displays at the Dubai Air Show Nov. 15, 2009. Ambassador Jones, Ambassador Olsen and General Benson took the opportunity to greet some of the Airmen assigned to the Department of Defense static display aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Charles Larkin Sr) (Released)

The good news for US Mission Pakistan —

  • Ambassador Olson is the father of two daughters but there is no mention of a wife in his biography; which probably means, there will be no question on, as the OIG report puts it, “whether she (Ambassador Munter’s wife) is overly tasking and taxing parts of the mission.”
  • Prior to his assignment to Pakistan, Ambassador Olson was the chief of mission at our embassy at the United Arab Emirates.  Apparently, those wealthy and cosmopolitan Emiratis tend to be unimpressed by the U.S. Government-sponsored exchange and other cultural programs, so his new host country where roughly three-in-four Pakistanis (74%) consider the U.S. an enemy, up from 69% last year and 64% three years ago will be a lot tougher but will not be so totally foreign. Of course, they don’t just ignore us in Pakistan, they actually hate us. And he would have to deal with the Pakistani relatives of Michele Bachmann in the conspiracy theory department like this university vice chancellor who sees nothing good coming out of five huge cranes!
  • US Mission Pakistan is undergoing an expansion; during part of his tenure at US Embassy Abu Dhabi staffing there had increased by 54%. The Pakistan mission will be much bigger but he will not be overseeing a large expansion for the first time.
  • After heavy VIP visitor traffic to and though the U.A.E. and US Mission Afghanistan, the VIP traffic to US Mission Pakistan should not be a shocker to the new mission chief.
  • While the OIG reports about official harassment in Pakistan (blog pal says harassment hasn’t been bad at all), Ambassador Olson’s embassy in Abu Dhabi had to deal with Emirate harassment on classified and unclassified diplomatic pouches, including airport confrontations.
  • According to the OIG report, Ambassador Olson and his DCM both scored a perfect five (on a scale of one to five) on the OIG “leadership qualities” confidential survey among non-Department agency heads before the inspection. Even the Department officers ranked the Ambassador and DCM favorably (averaging a score of four on the same scale). The report also says  that “Section chiefs and experienced agency heads unanimously called this the finest embassy country team experience they have had, and voted full confidence in the leadership.”  Perhaps this should bode well for the inter-agency cooperation at US Mission Pakistan?
  • Ambassador Olson also did a “a good deal of public diplomacy work and is seen as an effective and visible advocate by the U.S. business community.”

Finally, and our blog readers might like this — Ambassador Olson is, or was, a blogger. In fact, the IG report says that the ambassador’s classified blog is required reading among the Persian Gulf ’s policymakers, because “it is engaged, energetic, and current.”

Maybe we should pin a note like ? – Dear Ambassador Olson, when are you coming to WordPress?

Domani Spero

Related Items:
July 17, 2012 | President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

OIG Report No. ISP-I-10-62A – Inspection of Embassy Abu Dhabi & CG Dubai, United Arab Emirates – June 2010

Relates posts:

Related articles

Talk Getting Louder – Ambassador Richard G. Olson Heading to Pakistan

We have previously posted here about Ambassador Richard Olson, currently of US Embassy Kabul but may not be for long (see US Mission Pakistan: Ambassador Munter’s Summer Departure and Is This Our Next Man in Islamabad?). The talk that he’s heading to Islamabad is getting louder.  The Cable’s Josh Rogin is reporting based on three sources that President Barack Obama intends to nominate Ambassador Richard Olson (not Olsen as reported) to be the next U.S. ambassador to Pakistan.  Three sources with direct knowledge of the pending appointment apparently told The Cable.

Olsen, a senior member of the foreign service, has been serving as the coordinating director for development and economic affairs at U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, since June 2011. If confirmed, he will replace Ambassador Cameron Munter, who announced in May that he would step down from his post after only 18 months on the job. Munter, who presided over the Islamabad embassy during perhaps the worst period in U.S.-Pakistan relations in over a decade, resigned of his own accord and will retire from the foreign service and join the private sector, these sources said.

Before going to Kabul, Olsen was U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates from 2008-2011. He previously served abroad in Mexico, Uganda, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Iraq, and as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. mission to the NATO.

Read in full here.

The US Embassy Kabul now has Hilda M. Arellano as its Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs (CDDEA), a post previously held by Ambassador Olson.

Below is Ambassador Olson when he was the COM in Abu Dhabi; and that’s no ordinary bird, that’s a falcon:

U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson during a visit to the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital (ADFH), the largest such facility in the world. (Photo from US Embassy Abu Dhabi)

We’ll just wait here for the official announcement. In the meantime, click on image above for more photos of our dashing Ambassador Olson during his time in Afghanistan.

Domani Spero

US Mission Pakistan: Ambassador Munter’s Summer Departure and Is This Our Next Man in Islamabad?

The rumor mill is working fast and furious about Ambassador Cameron Munter‘s reported departure this summer from US Embassy Islamabad after a 2-year tenure.  Although his immediate two predecessors, Anne Patterson (2007-2010) and Ryan Crocker (2004–2007) both served 3-year terms in Islamabad, Nancy Powell who is now ambassador to India only served for two years (2002-2004). And previous to her, Wendy Jean Chamberlin served for less than 12 months.

The news made it to the May 8 Daily Press Briefing:

QUESTION: And on Pakistan itself, has the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan offered to resign? He is leaving the post by the end of the summer?

MR. TONER: He did, in a staff meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, announce that he’d made the personal decision to depart Pakistan this summer. This is at the conclusion of his tenure, I believe, at the end of two years, which is a perfectly normal period for an ambassador to Pakistan. I do note that Secretary Clinton did praise his efforts and his performance earlier today in an interview that she did in New Delhi and also noted that she understood his decision.

Meanwhile, CBS News citing an unnamed Pakistani foreign ministry official reports that “Pakistani authorities have been informally told that a senior diplomat from the U.S. Embassy in neighboring Afghanistan will likely take the position. […]  We understand that Richard Olson, who is a senior U.S. diplomat in Kabul and is looking after U.S. aid and economy related matters, is being actively considered for the job,” added the Pakistani foreign ministry official.

Richard Olson is US Embassy Kabul’s Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs (CDDEA) since June 2011. His bio is here. No official announcement has yet come out of the White House.

You may remember Ambassador Olson wearing a lungei during a visit to Paktika, Afghanistan  in our Headgears in the Foreign Service Round-up. That’s a perfectly nice photo; unfortunately, that photo has now been deleted from the photostream of US Embassy Kabul.

So instead, we’ll bring you a compendium of sartorial good taste. With Ambassador Olson, who may or may not be our next ambassador to Pakistan.

click on image to view the slideshow

Oh, and if you wonder how he wears his suits so well, we know the answer — he is an avid cyclist who competed in last year’s Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.

Domani Spero

Round-Up: Headgears in the Foreign Service

Headgear, headwear or headdress is the term for any element of clothing worn on one’s head for a variety of purposes — for protection, fashion, social convention or religious purposes.  And our foreign service has bunches of this:

US Embassy India

Former US Ambassador to India, Tim Roemer wearing a colorful turban during a visit to Jodhpur
(Photo from US Embassy India/Flickr)

US Mission Japan

FSO Margot Carrington (aka “Amerikan Omaru“) during her Kabuki Diplomacy in Fukuoka, Japan. Wearing her hair in a yakkoshimada.
(Photo screen grab from YouTube)

US Mission Afghanistan

Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry during a provincial trip. Shown in the photo wearing a Lungei
(Photo by Brian H Neely/Department of State)

Unidentified woman in a red scarf included in a photo set of Ambassador Olson’s trip to Paktika Province.
(Photo by Brian H Neely/Department of State)

Dr. Laura Tedesco, archaeologist, U.S. Embassy Kabul, checks out the ongoing excavation at the Towers of Ghazni (Bahlan Shah Minar) in Ghazni, Afghanistan on Wednesday, October 26, 2011. She’s shown in the photo wearing a bullet proof vest and what looks like a black Kevlar bullet proof ballistic helmet
(Photo from US Embassy Kabul/Flickr)

U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker checks on construction at the new U.S. Consulate in Herat, Afghanistan on Thursday, August 25, 2011. Shown here wearing a construction hard hat.
(S.K. Vemmer/Department of State)

Public Affairs Officer Donna Welton wearing a gorgeous headscarf listens to the speakers during inauguration of the LLC in Maimana on January 31, 2012.
(Photo from US Embassy Kabul/Flickr)

Ambassador Richard Olson, the Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy Kabul wearing a Lungei (or headdress that is worn by men) during a visit to Paktika, Afghanistan. The Turban is a symbol of honor and is respected everywhere it is worn; it is a common practice to honor important guests by offering them one to wear.
(Photo from US Embassy Kabul/Flickr)

US Mission Pakistan

Dr. Marilyn Wyatt, with her husband, US Ambassador to Pakistann Cameron Munter participated in an interfaith dialogue on at Faisal Mosque’s International Islamic University. She’s shown above wearing a long, multi-purpose scarf (a dupatta?) that is essential to many South Asian women.
(Photo from US Embassy Pakistan/Flickr)

Ambassador Cameron Munter during a tour of a complex of three newly-inaugurated schools in KP Province. The schools were rebuilt with U.S. government support after their destruction in the 2005 earthquake. He is shown here wearing a pakol, a soft, round-topped men’s hat, typically of wool worn by many all over Pakistan and Afghanistan. (Screen grab from YouTube video)

William Martin, US Consul General in Karachi wearing a traditional Sindhi Cap and Ajrak cloth. A Cap and Arjak Day is celebrated by the people of Sindh, province of Pakistan to express their loyalty to the Sindhi culture and it’s cultural symbols.
(Photo from USCG Karachi/FB)

U.S. Consul General Carmela Conroy gets ready to enter the vulture compound for feeding time, complete with head and dress cover. (Photo taken during the Earth Day Celebration in April 2011 at the ‘Vulture Conservation Center’ in Changa Manga.
(Photo from USCG Lahore/FB)

Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of USAID with a cap and ajrak, during the launch of the USAID funded National Reading Program at Government Girls Primary/Secondary School in Sultanabad, Karachi
(Photo from USCG Karachi/Flickr)

U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary R. Clinton and her delegation observe a moment of silence at the shrine of Sufi Saint Shah Abdul Latif Kazmi, Bari Imam, near Islamabad.U.S. Secretary of State’s Visit to Shrine of Sufi Saint Bari Imam, Islamabad, 29 October 2009.
(State Dept. photo via US Embassy London/Flickr)

US Embassy Switzerland

United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein Donald S. Beyer Jr (2nd from right) wearing a red hard hat visits the CERN LHC Large Hadron Collider. CERN, also the birthplace of the Internet. Photo taken in the CMS Cavern with an analogue camera due to strong magnetic field. (Photo from US Embassy Bern/Courtesy of CERN)

US Embassy Marshall Islands

Ambassador Campbell with program manager Ken Taggart from the Waan Aelon in Majel, Canoes of the Marshall Islands program. Shown in the photo with the traditional floral headress.
(Photo from US Embassy Majuro/FB)

US Embassy Cameroon

US Embassy Yaounde, Cameroon – Ambassador Jackson (second from the left) and Mrs. Jackson (first from the left) wearing hats at the parade on International Women Day presided over by Cameroon First Lady Chantal Biya. [US Embassy Photo)

US Embassy Micronesia

Ambassador Peter Prahar provides remarks at the Pacific Partnership 2011 Closing Ceremony on July 14. Shown here wearing a floral headress popular in the islands
(Photo from US Embassy Micronesia/FB)

US Embassy Malaysia

Via US Embassy Malaysia: “On September 28, 2011, Ambassador Paul Jones reached the hearts and minds of more than 700 Orang Asli (indigenous people) in Rompin, Pahang. He was accompanied by Malaysian Ambassador to the U.S., Dato’ Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis. Students, teachers and village elders greeted Ambassador Jones and delegation at the entrance of the Sekolah Kebangsaan Kedaik. This was followed by a welcoming greeting by the village head, Boo Hsuan who then presented them with traditional headgear and sashes made from coconut leaves.”
(Photo from US Embassy Malaysia website)

US Mission China

Consul General Linda Donahue shows Monkey and Pig (with respective mask and hat) how easy it is to use the new DS-160 online visa application form.
(Photo from US Embassy Beijing/Flickr)

US Embassy Lebanon

U.S Ambassador Jeffrey D. Feltman greets American evacuees (wearing protective headgears) as they board U.S. Marines helicopter which will take them from the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in Aukar at the northern edge of the capital Beirut in Lebanon to Cyprus on Tuesday, July 18, 2006. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian via militaryphotos.net)

A Special Mention – from Afghanistan

via

Maj. Gen. John Toolan dances (in full Afghan gear) during a farewell dinner for distinguished members of the Afghan governmental and police forces and II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) senior officers on March 8. (Photos by Chief Petty Officer Leslie Shively)

Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s not, but neither last … we hope you enjoy this round-up.

Domani Spero