The Foreign Service Journal, July-August 2024

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JULY AUGUST 2024 9 TALKING POINTS We are not an administration or a department that twists the facts, and allegations that we have are unfounded. —Vedant Patel, State Department principal deputy spokesperson, in response to allegations by former State Department official Stacy Gilbert that the department falsified a report on Israel’s complicity in blocking food aid to Gaza, on May 30. Contemporary Quote Nominations and onfirmations ‡pdate Since our last update in the March FSJ, there has been signi cant progress in the con rmation of nominees for ambassadorial and other high-level positions in the foreign a airs agencies. Most of the 20 who have been con rmed by the Senate since mid-February are career members of the U.S. Foreign Service. These include ambassadorships to Haiti, Peru, Djibouti, Burkina Faso, the Marshall Islands, Indonesia, Cabo Verde, Ecuador, Nigeria, Burundi, Somalia, Turkmenistan, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Timor-Leste, and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague. Career FSO Steve Lang was confirmed as U.S. coordinator for State’s International Communications and Information Policy (CIP) division. And Senior FSO Raymond Greene was appointed to take the helm at the American Institute in Taiwan, which acts as a de-facto U.S. embassy in Taipei, beginning in summer 2024. Political appointees were approved for ambassador positions at three international organizations: UNESCO, OECD, and the U.N. Food Agencies in Rome. The crucial position of State Department Inspector General was filled after being vacant since 2020. Political appointee Cardell Kenneth Richardson Sr. was confirmed May 2. Multiple Foreign Service promotion and tenure lists have been confirmed since March. AFSA continues to advocate for swift confirmation of all career nominees and FS lists, particularly a group that had been held up for confirmation for more than a year. According to AFSA tracking, 23 countries still had no U.S. ambassador as of late May, 12 of which had no nominee. Six senior positions at State and USAID remained unfilled: one under secretary position, two assistant secretary positions, the legal adviser, the chief of protocol, and USAID’s assistant administrator for the Middle East. Four of these positions have nominees at various stages of the confirmation process. Stay updated on the status of ambassadorial and senior-level foreign affairs nominations and confirmations with AFSA’s Ambassador Tracker, found at ambassadorlist. Senate FS Day Resolution On the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Foreign Service, Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), who co-chair the Senate Foreign Service Caucus, introduced Resolution 678, designating May 3 as United States Foreign Service Day. The resolution honors the dedicated men and women who have served in the Foreign Service, acknowledging their vital role in advancing U.S. interests abroad. The resolution reads, in part: “Whereas it is both appropriate and just for the United States as a whole to recognize the dedication of the men and women of the Foreign Service and to honor the members of the Foreign Service who have given their lives in the loyal pursuit of their duties and responsibilities representing the interests of the United States and of its citizens: Now, therefore, be it “Resolved, That the Senate— “(1) honors the men and women who have served, or are presently serving, in the Foreign Service of the United States for their dedicated and important service to the United States; “(2) calls on the people of the United States to reflect on the service and sacrifice of past, present, and future employees of the Foreign Service of the United States, wherever they serve, with appropriate ceremonies and activities; and “(3) designates May 3, 2024, as ‘United States Foreign Service Day’ to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Foreign Service of the United States.” District of Columbia Passes Foreign Service Resolution On May 7, the Council of the District of Columbia issued a ceremonial resolution commemorating the centennial of the U.S. Foreign Service.