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

Officially Moved: Derek J. Mitchell – from Special Rep for Burma to Burma

On May 17 President Obama announced his intent to nominate Ambassador Derek J. Mitchell as the next ambassador to the Union of Burma. The WH released the following bio:

Ambassador Derek J. Mitchell is Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma, with the rank of Ambassador, having been appointed by President Obama in August 2011.  Previously, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs.  Before joining the Administration in 2009, Ambassador Mitchell served as Senior Fellow and Director for Asia in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).  He concurrently served as founding Director of the CSIS Southeast Asia Initiative, which was inaugurated in 2008.  From 1997 to 2001, Ambassador Mitchell was Special Assistant for Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  During this time, his roles included Senior Country Director for China, Taiwan, Mongolia, and Hong Kong (2000-2001), Director for Regional Security Affairs (1998-2000), Senior Country Director for the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore (1998-1999), and Country Director for Japan (1997-1998).  Before joining the Department of Defense, he worked at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs as Senior Program Officer for Asia and the Former Soviet Union (1996-1997), and as Program Officer for Asia (1993-1996).  He began his career as Assistant to the Senior Foreign Policy Adviser to Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Ambassador Mitchell received a B.A. from the University of Virginia and an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

The last Senate-confirmed Ambassador to Burma was career diplomat, Burton Levin who served from 1987-1990. No ambassador was appointed to replace Levin, and there has been no U.S. ambassador in Burma since then.

More than a half dozen chargé d’affaires have been appointed head of mission in Rangoon since then:

  • Franklin P. Huddle, Jr. (September 1990–September 1994) – later became Ambassador to Tajikistan
  • Marilyn Meyers (September 1994–October 1996)
  • Kent M. Wiedemann (October 1996–May 1999) – later became Ambassador to Cambodia
  • Priscilla A. Clapp (July 1999–August 2002)
  • Carmen Maria Martinez (August 2002–August 2005) – later became Ambassador to Zambia in 2005-2008
  • Shari Villarosa (August 2005–September 2008) – officially nominated as Ambassador to Port Louis and The Seychelles in November 2011, nomination currently stuck in Senate.
  • Larry M. Dinger (September 2008–August 2011) – previously U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Fiji Islands, the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of Nauru, the Kingdom of Tonga, and Tuvalu from July 2005 to June 2008 and U.S. Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia (2002–2004)
  • Michael Thurston (August 2011–2012) – previously Consul General at USCG Melbourne, Australia (2008-2011) and prior to that he was the Team Leader of PRT Diyala, Iraq (2007-2008).

Domani Spero

Related item:

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts | May 17, 2012