Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

US diplomats? credentials come under scanner  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 16/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN -Khaleej Times) American Foreign Service Association is pushing new guidelines to ensure that ambassadors meet certain qualifications for top diplomatic posts

A group of professional diplomats wants to make sure that American ambassadors have street credentials before they are sent to run US embassies overseas — and not just big money or high status.


On Friday, the American Foreign Service Association said it is pushing new guidelines to ensure that ambassadors meet certain qualifications for top diplomatic posts.


The proposal follows a recent spate of embarrassing comments by Obama administration ambassador nominees who have shown — or, in one case, outright confessed to — lacking expertise in the countries where they will live and work.


Several of the nominees were top-dollar campaign fundraisers and donors for President Barack Obama, raising concerns they were rewarded for their lucrative political support.


At least three of them — George Tsunis for Norway, Noah Bryson Mamet for Argentina and Robert Barber for Iceland — acknowledged during their confirmation hearings that they had never been to the nations where they would serve.


 And despite his decades in Congress, even former Democratic Sen. Max Baucus said he’s “no real expert on China” as he appealed last month to lawmakers to send him to Beijing.


“We didn’t start this process because of the latest nominations,” association president Robert J. Silverman said on Friday.


“This is a systemic problem. It’s not unique to the Obama administration.”


Still, “there have been some recent cases that made it acutely aware to the public — which is helping the buy-in for these guidelines,” said Silverman, a career diplomat who has served in Sweden, Turkey and several posts across the Mideast.


Silerman said ambassadors don’t necessarily need to be career diplomats to be successful, noting that nominees with skills in business industries, think tanks or other leadership posts could serve just as ably.


But, he said, how much money a prospective ambassador has contributed to a political candidate should not be considered when being selected for what essentially is the top representative for the American government in nations around the world.


“I think both parties are not following this law,” Silverman said.


State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said Friday that campaign contributions don’t “make you more or less qualified” to be an ambassador, and noted that presidents going back years have been pressed to explain why donors have been plum diplomatic posts.


“We believe all of our nominees are incredibly qualified,” Harf said.


A study by the foreign service association, which represents about 16,500 career diplomats, concludes that 37 per cent of ambassadors during the Obama administration have been political appointees. That is the highest rate since former President Ronald Reagan’s administration in the 1980s.


By contrast, only about 30 percent of former president George W. Bush’s ambassadors were political diplomats.


The association’s guidelines won’t be formally released until later this month.


But one of its members said Friday that the proposed qualifications would include leadership, interpersonal and managerial skills, the ability to formulate high-level policy and knowledge of the foreign area or other tradecraft. 


The association member was not authorised to discuss the guidelines by name until they are formally released late this month. The group that put the guidelines together is composed of both former career and political diplomats. — AP


 


Khaleej Times




  MENA News Headlines
 Feb 13 2016 - Saudi Arabia to work on reducing emissionsMENAFN
(MENAFN) Saudi Arabia realizes the importance of renewable energy in the economic and social growth, and all people have the right to have reliable energy sources.Additionally, the fossil fuel will ...

 Feb 13 2016 - Germany to offer USD 566mn in credits to IraqMENAFN
(MENAFN) Germany will offer USD 566mn worth of credit to Iraq in order to help it with the sharp downturn in global oil prices and its will do it best.Furthermore, Germany will stabilize Iraq with ...

 Feb 13 2016 - Qatar's consumption will grow to 39.6 percentMENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar's investments of its GDP increased to 39.6 percent in Q2 last year from 32.4 percent in 2014 on stable government capital spending.Moreover, the nation's consumption grew to 20.8 ...

 Feb 13 2016 - Suspected jihadist will not recover Swiss passportThe Journal Of Turkish Weekly
(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) The Swiss Federal Criminal Court has upheld the decision of the Swiss Attorney General’s Office to confiscate the Swiss passport and identifying ...

 Feb 13 2016 - Turkey praises planned Syria cessation of hostilitiesThe Journal Of Turkish Weekly
(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Turkey has praised an agreement between major powers to cease hostilities in Syria to provide humanitarian aid as “an important step” toward ...

 Feb 13 2016 - Split over PYD continues between US TurkeyThe Journal Of Turkish Weekly
(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) The split betweenAnkaraand Washington over the designation of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) continues to rumble on though U.S. Secretary of ...

 Feb 13 2016 - Turkey to provide 1.5 million in health aid to GazaThe Journal Of Turkish Weekly
(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Turkey has said it has transferred $1.5 million to the WHO’s Palestine Representation in order to assist health institutions in Gaza. The announcement ...

 Feb 12 2016 - Turkey Iran to boost dialogue says diplomatThe Journal Of Turkish Weekly
(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Turkey and Iran have agreed to continue “enhancing dialogue” a Foreign Ministry official told Anadolu Agency on Friday. Umit Yalcin's remarks ...

 Feb 12 2016 - Turkish FM: Russian airstrikes rule out Syria cease fireThe Journal Of Turkish Weekly
(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday said peace could not be maintained in Syria unless Russia halts its airstrikes. Speaking to the media ahead of ...

 Feb 12 2016 - CIA: Islamic State has chemical weaponsThe Journal Of Turkish Weekly
(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) The director of the Central Intelligence Agency said Islamic State fighters in Syria have used chemical weapons. John Brennan said there are a number of ...

more...


 






Google

Click to Apply

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help