Susan Pompeo wants you to know she’s making happiness, security of diplomatic families her mission

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On July 6, 2019, just days after the July 1st CNN report  on a whistleblower claiming Secretary Pompeo’s security picks up Chinese food, and the dog, Sherman, apparently from the groomer, the Washington Times has a rollicking coverage of Susan Pompeo.
‘Do you feel safe?’ Susan Pompeo makes happiness, security of diplomatic families her mission” blares the headline. She’s not a government employee, so the  chances of getting her on the podium to speak about this mission is not high, but the next time reporters get a chance to er … grill her, please ask her where she was when State Department employees were terrified while trying to find an accommodation for their special needs children and their education while overseas.
Where was Mrs. Pompeo when the medical provider at State was deemed to lack a “fundamental lack of compassion”  and lack of understanding and empathy for Foreign Service personnel and families?
Where was Mrs. Pompeo when a senior official of her husband’s agency appears to believe that individuals and families with any sort of special need should not serve overseas, should curtail or break assignments, should stay indefinitely in the United States, or even leave the Foreign Service altogether?
Employees and family members already facing physical, mental and educational challenges, also had to face fear of retribution given the reported hostile and adversarial relationship fostered by a bureau tasked with taking care of employees and families.
Despite reported mistreatment, Foreign Service families have not publicly pushed back, and anything reported are only on background, for fear that their actions could result in the denial of financial support for needed services for special needs children  or fear that it would put in jeopardy clearances for themselves and their dependents. Without appropriate clearances, employees would not be able to work overseas or may have to contend with family separation for members with limited clearances.
If taking care of diplomatic families has become her mission, we’re curious where was Mrs. Pompeo when this issue was causing so much pain, fear, and distractions among FS families? (Also see Under Secretary Bulatao on Enhancing Support for Employees with Children with Special Needs 
As an aside – we should note that following the furor over her travel with Secretary Pompeo during the January 2019 government shutdown, CNN reported that the secretary described his wife’s trip as a “working trip”  — apparently telling reporters she joined him to try to help the department “be better.” “So she meets with the medical officers. She’ll tour housing. She will write up her thoughts and comments after that. And I wish I had time to do each of those things myself, but she is a force multiplier,” Secretary Pompeo said according to CNN.
If she did a trip report for that January trip, it has so far remained a secret.  By March 2019, as she became increasingly visible flying around with Secretary Pompeo, the official word coming out of Foggy Bottom is that the secretary “reimburses the United States government for all appropriate expenses, including Mrs. Pompeo’s travel, in accordance with the law.”
Oh, by the way, we think employees at a small post — with leaks in a new embassy compound building roofs in Paramaribo and suffering from exposure to mold — needs help. The health hazard was identified in March 2017!  And the problem still had not been resolved.  Imagine that. We’re guessing that they are not terribly happy nor feeling heath-safe over there.


Happy 2016! New Year Wishes Around the Foreign Service (Videos)

Posted: 7:08 pm EDT
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U.S. Embassy Bangkok continues its creative streak. See post’s … it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s superm …. it’s a drone moment! With embassy staff and Ambassador Glyn Davies.


Here is U.S. Embassy Islamabad‘s happy 2016 video. These folks’ smiles are contagious, aren’t they? Naya Saal Mubarak!


Ambassador Joan Polaschik and her staff at U.S. Embassy Algiers say they look forward to the year ahead, and hope that it will be filled with peace, prosperity and more opportunities to strengthen the ties between the two countries.


Yeni yılınız kutlu olsun from U.S. Embassy Ankara with a message from Ambassador John Bass. The video has annotations added for viewers to learn more about embassy programs done in 2015.


U.S. Embassy The Hague with Ambassador Timothy Broas on the highlights from 2015. They said it was another great year for U.S. – Dutch cooperation and they look forward to what 2016 will bring.


U.S. Embassy San Jose with Ambassador with S. Fitzgerald Haney with a year in review in Costa Rica.


Happy New Year from the U.S. Embassy Paramaribo! This is Ambassador Nolan’s first time lighting a pagara. Enjoy!




Officially In: Jay N. Anania – from Iraq to the Republic of Suriname

On April 11, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Jay N. Anania to be the next Ambassador to the Republic of Suriname. The WH released the following bio:

Jay N. Anania, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as Management Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.  From 2009 to 2011, he served at the State Department as Executive Director of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.  From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Anania was the Minister-Counselor for Management Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, where he served for seven months as Acting Deputy Chief of Mission.  Prior positions in Washington include Acting Chief Information Officer in the Bureau of Information Resource Management (2005-2006) and Director of the Office of Management Policy (2002-2005).  Additional overseas posts include assignments at the U.S. Consulates General in Hong Kong and Tijuana, Mexico; U.S. Embassies in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, and at the U.S Interests Section in Havana, Cuba.  

Mr. Anania holds a B.A. from Kenyon College and an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

The Kabalebo Dam project is already indicated ...

The Kabalebo Dam project is already indicated on this CIA World Factbook map. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If confirmed, he would succeed career diplomat, John Nay who was appointed chief of mission at the US Embassy in Paramaribo in 2009. Mr. Anania, who joined the Foreign Service in 1985, holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in business administration. He began his career as a consular and management officer handling visas in Tijuana. According to Government Executive, as acting CIO, he helped realign the Bureau of Information Resource Management to hew to the goals of the President’s Management Agenda. In 2003, he also established and led the department’s Office of Rightsizing the U.S. Government Overseas Presence.

Domani Spero
Related item:
April 11, 2012 | President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts