— U.S. Embassy Morocco (@USEmbMorocco) January 23, 2020
“U.S.- Morocco relations are historic, strategic, and growing. I look forward to strengthening our partnership to enhance the prosperity and security of 🇲🇦 and 🇺🇸.” Ambassador David Fischer presented his credentials to Foreign Minister #nasserbourita @MarocDiplomatie
— U.S. Embassy Morocco (@USEmbMorocco) January 22, 2020
— NEA Press Office (@NEAPressOffice) January 17, 2020
SUBJECT: Ambassadorial Nomination: Certificate of Demonstrated Competence — Foreign Service Act, Section 304(a)(4)
POST: Kingdom of Morocco
CANDIDATE: David T. Fischer
David T. Fischer, a prominent businessman and community leader in Michigan, has been involved in his family automotive dealership group and related entities since 1967. He became President and CEO in 1975, and principal owner in 1978. In 2017, his title was changed to Chairman & CEO. Known today as “The Suburban Collection,” Mr. Fischer’s organization has become one of the largest privately held automotive dealership groups in the United States. It represents most automotive manufacturers, both domestic and foreign, including over 90 active, automotive related entities. This organization also operates state-of-the-art collision centers, accessories distribution centers, fleet management and retrofitting services throughout the United States and Canada. Recognized for his leadership, problem solving and fiscal management, Mr. Fischer has forged and managed a large organization of highly talented and loyal personnel, while dedicating time and resources to the welfare of his community, the arts and education through the support of 80 charities in the past 24 months alone.
In addition to leading The Suburban Collection, Mr. Fischer has been Chairman Emeritus, North American International Auto Show, Detroit (1990-Present), Co-Chairman, North American International Auto Show, Detroit, (1988-1989), Board of Directors, GMRC Holdings, Limited, Hastings, Christ Church, Barbados (2008-2013), Director, North Metro Board of Directors, Michigan National Bank, Troy, Michigan (Mid-to-late 1980s), Board of Trustees, Oakland University, including two terms as Vice-Chairman and one term as Chairman (1992-2008), and Director, Regional Board of Directors, Michigan National Bank, Troy, Michigan (Mid-to-late 1980s). He has held ownership stakes in more than a dozen additional companies. Serving local government, Mr. Fischer has been a Member of the Judicial Tenure Commission in Detroit (2012-2017). Highlighting his community service, Mr. Fischer has joined the Boards of numerous academic, cultural and social welfare institutions and foundations.
Mr. Fischer earned a B.A. at Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa, in 1967 and participated in the CEO President’s Seminar at Harvard College, 2015-2017.
Secretary Pompeo swore-in Stephen E. Biegun as Deputy Secretary of State on December 21, 2019. The State Department has posted his official bio on state.gov (see below). No word yet on when he will start on his new role as Acting Secretary of State (word on Twitterverse seems to be “when” not “if”). Without a nominee for Deputy Secretary for Management, it is likely that the new deputy secretary will be dual-hatted, unless, management has been delegated to Pompeo-pal and Under Secretary for Management, Brian Bulatao.
On August 23, 2018, Secretary Pompeo appointed Stephen E. Biegun as the U.S. Special Representative for North Korea, responsible for leading U.S. efforts to achieve President Trump’s goal of the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea, as agreed to by Chairman Kim Jong Un at the Singapore summit. As Special Representative, on behalf of the Secretary of State he directed all U.S. policy on North Korea, led negotiations, and spearheaded U.S. diplomatic efforts with allies and partners.
Biegun has three decades of experience in government in the Executive and Legislative Branches, as well as in the private sector. Through his extensive career in foreign policy and business, he has excelled in tough negotiating settings. Most recently, Biegun was vice president of International Governmental Relations for Ford Motor Company, where—as a third generation Ford employee—he oversaw all aspects of Ford’s international governmental interactions including throughout the Indo-Pacific Region.
Previously, as national security advisor to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, he provided analysis and strategic planning for the U.S. Senate’s consideration of foreign policy, defense and intelligence matters, and international trade agreements. Prior to that, Biegun worked in the White House from 2001-2003 as Executive Secretary of the National Security Council. He served as a senior staff member to the National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, and performed the function of chief operating officer for the National Security Council.
Before joining the White House staff, Biegun served for 14 years as a foreign policy advisor to members of both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. During this time, he held the position of Chief of Staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations from 1999-2000. In addition, he served as a senior staff member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs for 6 years.
From 1992 to 1994, Biegun served in Moscow, Russia, as the Resident Director in the Russian Federation for the International Republican Institute, a democracy-building organization established under the National Endowment for Democracy.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1963, Biegun graduated from the University of Michigan where he studied Political Science and Russian Language. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served on the boards of the National Bureau of Asian Research, the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, the U.S.-Russia Foundation for Economic Development and the Rule of Law, and Freedom House.
It's official: Stephen Biegun is the new Deputy Secretary of @StateDept. Honored to swear him in today. As I’ve said before, he’s exactly what we need to maintain our momentum executing a foreign policy that advances America’s interests and ensures our security. pic.twitter.com/e8AGVBAO8u
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) December 21, 2019
Steve Biegun confirmed in a 90-3 vote to become Trump's No. 2 diplomat at State pic.twitter.com/rxCMIhsHs1
— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) December 19, 2019
🚨 Maximum intrigue: State Department agreed to release a portion of an internal legal opinion that says U.S. has the right to demand that all U.N. sanctions on #Iran be reinstated in exchange for Ted Cruz lifting a hold on Steve Biegun's nomination.https://t.co/J4sgu91l9d
— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) December 15, 2019
"We are fully aware of the strong potential for North Korea to conduct a major provocation in the days ahead. To say the least, such an action will be most unhelpful in achieving lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula," Biegun says. https://t.co/EKenGUdV5S
— Kim Gamel (@kimgamel) December 16, 2019
The new U.S. Ambassador to Mexico had a ceremonial swearing at the State Department officiated by SCOTUS Associate Justice Clarence Thomas last week.
Ambassador Landau was officially sworn in as United States Ambassador to Mexico on August 12, 2019. His bio says that after graduating from law school, he clerked for then-Judge Clarence Thomas of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He later clerked for Associate Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1990 and 1991 terms.
His father, George Walter Landau (1920–2018), a career Foreign Service officer, served as U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay from October 13, 1972–October 14, 1977. Ambassador George Landau who also served as U.S. Ambassador to Chile and Venezuela passed away last year.
The new ambassador speaks fluent Spanish, and earned a Certificate in Latin American Studies at Harvard College. He was born in Madrid, Spain, and attended the American School of Asunción, Paraguay, for five years.
Hoy juramenté de manera ceremonial como Embajador de EEUU en México. Estuvieron presentes en la lindísima ceremonia en Washington, entre otros, el Secretario de Estado @SecPompeo, el Juez Clarence Thomas de nuestra Suprema Corte, y la embajadora de México @Martha_Barcena. pic.twitter.com/Rg8aMkuYuk
— Embajador Christopher Landau (@USAmbMex) September 13, 2019
Uno de los aspectos más emocionantes de la ceremonia de hoy fue recordar que mi padre juramentó como Embajador de EEUU en Paraguay en ese mismo salón hace 47 años. Y ahí estuve yo, de 8 años, a su lado. Falleció el año pasado a los 98 años. pic.twitter.com/sGDEJSdVfS
— Embajador Christopher Landau (@USAmbMex) September 14, 2019
Thank you Mr. Secretary! Very honored to have you at my swearing in. Overjoyed to join the team, and to be back with “my tribe” in the State Department! 🇲🇽🇺🇸 https://t.co/pUZdULKzyi
— Embajador Christopher Landau (@USAmbMex) September 14, 2019
- Senate Confirms David Schenker as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs (NEA)
- SFRC Clears @StateDept, @USAID Nominees; Two Senate Holds .
- Foggy Bottom’s State of Affairs: No Active Service Diplomats as Lead in Geographic Bureaus
Pleased to welcome David Schenker as our new Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs. With his experience, I am confident that David is the right person to lead our efforts in the region as we strengthen our economic, security, and counterterrorism cooperation. pic.twitter.com/K68XkdR7In
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 29, 2019
U.S. Ambassador to Turkey
Delighted to swear in Ambassador David Satterfield as our top diplomat to #Turkey today. Ambassador Satterfield brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the job, and we are fortunate to have him representing U.S. interests @USEmbassyTurkey. pic.twitter.com/FM41YgU3gW
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 14, 2019
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico
En una breve ceremonia, rendí protesta como embajador. Será un honor representar a los Estados Unidos en México, un país socio, vecino, y amigo. Estoy ansioso por llegar al país y emprender mi importante labor ¡Hasta pronto! pic.twitter.com/jk7Ri4HrPF
— Embajador Christopher Landau (@USAmbMex) August 12, 2019
U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia
One step closer to Slovenia! Ambassador Lynda Blanchard had her administrative swearing-in at the State Department yesterday, surrounded by her family. pic.twitter.com/iuwsuIdiw9
— US Embassy Ljubljana (@USEmbassySLO) July 31, 2019
Congratulations to Ambassador Jim Gilmore on his appointment as the U.S. permanent representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. We wish the Ambassador well as he helps guide #OSCE in promoting peace and prosperity in its 57 participating States. pic.twitter.com/irCzsZjWDh
— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) June 25, 2019
— U.S. Mission to OSCE (@usosce) June 27, 2019
Now that the new under secretary for management has been confirmed, it’s a good time to revisit Mr. Bulatao’s testimony before the U.S. Senate (see excerpt below).
The culture of empowerment created greater organizational agility and a workforce that was unleashed to take on problem sets in new ways. I certainly didn’t come up with every idea, instead I empowered our team to consider how we could do it better, fail faster, and take smarter risks. Across the board, we embraced a spirit of innovation in order to boost the speed and precision of a large organization operating in a dangerous and competitive environment.
If confirmed as the Under Secretary for Management, this is the same approach I intend to bring to the U.S. Department of State. The Department’s hard-working, patriotic, and dedicated teams deserve to have an organization that optimally utilizes their talents. And the American people must have confidence that the State Department makes the best use of their resources and provides the best practical support for our diplomatic initiatives that rely on the strength of our alliances, partnerships, and engagement.
If confirmed, I appreciate the broad management responsibility I will have for the Department’s more than 76,000 personnel – Civil Service, Foreign Service, and Locally Employed Staff – and my direct supervision over 12 bureaus and offices. These women and men serve our country in some of the most challenging places around the world, and risk their lives daily, whether serving in war zones, amidst criminal violence and disease outbreaks, and with the threat of terrorist attack. They work long hours, often separated from their families, to advance our nation’s foreign policy and support the work of diplomacy.
There is no question that the safety and security of our personnel and their families must be the highest priority. I know Secretary Pompeo cares deeply about and works hard to protect his people.
I will ensure that the Bureau of Diplomatic Security has the resources, tools, and technology and is fully integrated into Department decision-making, to most effectively perform this critical task.
I will work hard to ensure our people have secure new buildings where required, that are completed on time, on budget, and incorporate cutting-edge IT infrastructure to support the critical missions they execute globally.
If confirmed, I will seek more creative ways to staff the Department to meet today’s mission and be well positioned to meet the challenges of the future. This will include hiring the full range of expertise, from our diplomats and subject-matter experts, to our specialists in the field like medical services and facilities management, to our security personnel. Hiring the best of the best with diverse backgrounds and experiences is critical to our global mission and will be a top priority for me.
I am committed to advocating for a budget that fully funds the Department’s requirements and putting in place the appropriate oversight and metrics to ensure the Department meets its obligation to use taxpayer dollars wisely and effectively. I will support Secretary Pompeo in requesting funding that serves the national interest and will implement the appropriations law as passed by Congress.
Finally, if confirmed, I will help bring Department operations into the 21st century by modernizing its systems and programs. With so many challenges facing the United States around the world, our diplomacy demands every logistical, technological, and informational advantage we can muster. We must be aggressive in protecting our security, generating prosperity, and advancing our values. Having a State Department team that is empowered and equipped with the right tools to achieve the mission is an integral part of making that happen.
The full testimony is available to read in PDF here.
- Senate Confirms Brian Bulatao as Under Secretary of State For Management .
- @StateDept Gets Closer to Getting an Under Secretary for Management, Vacant Since January 2017
- Pompeo Appoints West Point Pal, Ulrich Brechbuhl as @StateDept Counselor .
- Trump Shutdown Day#27: @StateDept, Also a National Security Agency, Now Says, We Just Found Some Money, Come Back to Work .
- Wait – @StateDept Has a Deputy “M” Again, a Position Discontinued by Congress in 1978 .
- Trump to Nominate Top GOP Budget Aide Eric Ueland to be Under Secretary for Management #StateDept
R. Clarke Cooper was confirmed as Assistant Secretary for Political Military Affairs on April 30, 2019. He was sworn-in to office by Under Secretary Andrea Thompson on May 3rd. Pol-Mil is a bureau under the Arms Control and International Security (T) family. He succeeds Puneet Talwar who was bureau head from 2014–2017. Ambassador Tina Kaidanow served as Acting A/S for Pol-Mil until her retirement from the Foreign Service in and move to the Pentagon in 2018.
Honored to swear in R Clarke Cooper as Assistant Secretary for @StateDeptPM. Cooper, an experienced professional & dedicated steward, will lead the PM team as we strengthen our economic and national security partnerships. #OneTeamOneMissionOneFuture pic.twitter.com/OfYVZunhyb
— U/S of State Andrea Thompson (@UnderSecT) May 3, 2019
Honored to be sworn in as Assistant Secretary for @StateDeptPM by @UnderSecT. Look forward to keeping you updated via this account on PM Bureau’s work to enhance America’s security and American partnerships. https://t.co/6xlCZ6MLsG
— R. Clarke Cooper (@AsstSecPM) May 8, 2019
#FollowFriday–Get the latest updates direct from @StateDeptPM's Front Office — be among the first to follow our new Assistant Secretary R. Clarke Cooper, whose own @Twitter handle @AsstSecPM just launched this week! pic.twitter.com/QMhRILZQIc
— Political-Military Affairs, US Dept of State (@StateDeptPM) May 10, 2019
- Retired Army General John P. Abizaid to be U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia .
- Confirmations: Rosenblum(Uzbekistan), Scott (Malawi), Abizaid (Saudi Arabia), Tom (US/FAO) .
- White House Submits Some @StateDept/Related Agencies Re-nominations to the Senate
— U.S. Mission to KSA (@USAinKSA) May 2, 2019
— Saudi Gazette (@Saudi_Gazette) May 2, 2019
Trump nominated Abizaid, who led US Central Command (Centcom) during the Iraq war, for the position in November 2018https://t.co/1fqIpkb3eh
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) May 3, 2019