The Foreign Service Journal, July-August 2022

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JULY-AUGUST 2022 15 TALKING POINTS U.S. Embassy Kyiv Reopens T he American embassy in the Ukrai- nian capital reopened on May 18 with a small contingent of U.S. diplomats, Sec- retary of State Antony Blinken confirmed in a press release that day following the flag-raising ceremony at the embassy. Three months after closing its doors in advance of the invasion by Russian forces, the embassy officially resumed operations. American lawmakers from both parties, as well as Ukrainian leaders, had called for such a move in the weeks prior to the reopening, when other coun- tries began to reopen their missions. But the Biden administration expressed concern over ongoing security risks. Although Russian ground troops left the Kyiv area during the first week of April, Reuters reported, threats persist; the embassy’s flag-raising ceremony was delayed by an hour due to an air raid warning. In his statement, Sec. Blinken addressed these concerns: “We have put forward additional measures to increase the safety of our colleagues who are returning to Kyiv and have enhanced our security measures and protocols.” According to Politico, U.S. Marines are not present at the embassy, and the com- pound is guarded by Diplomatic Security personnel and Ukrainian national guard and police forces. General Mark Mil- ley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced in May that plans to deploy U.S. forces into Ukraine to protect the U.S. embassy in Kyiv are “underway at a rela- tively low level.” Consular services are not available, and the embassy is functioning in a limited capacity. Embassy Kyiv also has a chief of mission for the first time since 2019. Hours after the embassy reopened, career FSO Bridget Brink was unani- mously confirmed by the Senate as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Brink, who most recently served as ambassador to Slovakia, was nominated by President Biden on April 25 and appeared on May 10 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which swiftly advanced her nomination. She arrived in Kyiv on May 29. A New DG and More … O n May 31, Ambassador Marcia Bernicat, a career FSO, was sworn in by Secretary of State Antony Blinken as Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Global Talent, replacing Carol Z. Perez. The nomination of Berni- cat, a member of the Senior Foreign Ser- vice with the rank of Minister Counselor, was confirmed by the Senate on May 26. On June 1, Secretary Blinken announced that Ambassador Mike Ham- mer will replace David Satterfield as the special envoy for the Horn of Africa. Amb. Hammer is currently serving as ambas- sador to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Outside the few who fill congres- sionally mandated positions, the special envoy position does not require Senate confirmation. The Senate has confirmed eight other ambassadors and senior officials at the foreign affairs agencies since our last update in the April FSJ . On that list are career FSOs as ambas- sador to Ukraine and to Yemen; a political appointee as ambassador to the United Kingdom; career FSOs to be the Director General of the Foreign Commercial Ser- vice and director of the Office of Foreign Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink in Washington on May 20. U.S.DEPARTMENTOFSTATE The American flag was once again raised at Embassy Kyiv on May 18. U.S.DEPARTMENTOFSTATE