President Trump points at the crowd as he walks pass the inaugural parade reviewing stand in the 58th Presidential Inaugural parade in Washington D.C., January 20, 2017. U.S. Armed Forces personnel provide ceremonial support to the 58th Presidential Inaugural during the Inaugural period. This support comprises musical units, marching elements, color guards, salute batteries, and honor cordons, which render appropriate ceremonial honors to the Commander-In-Chief. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Gabriel Silva)
In December 2016 New York Times reported that then President elect of the United States of America, Donald Trump, has issued an edict requiring politically appointed ambassadors to leave their overseas posts by his Inauguration Day. This caused an uproar in the diplomatic community and the global media. To a layman, this sounds like a significant turn of events, but is nothing more than breaking of an established practice of granting of a few months grace period to the diplomats before appointing new ones. In reality, the resignation and replacement of politically appointed ambassadors at the end of the presidential term is an expected routine.
President of the USA (POTUS) can nominate and with the consent of the Senate appoint “Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls”. United States ambassadors may be career diplomats hired as Foreign Service Officers or political appointees, both nominated by the POTUS. These political appointees can be people from non-government backgrounds. Around 70 per cent of the U.S. ambassadors are professional career diplomats.
The information of hastened and forced resignation of the U.S. ambassadors interested the public in the Balkans countries, since foreign ambassadors (especially United States ambassadors) are perceived as powerful political actors in the countries of their appointment. The fact is that all of the current top diplomats in the countries encompassing Western Balkans are career diplomats, unaffiliated with the old or new U.S. administration. All of them have been confirmed by the U.S. Senate around the end of 2014, and have assumed their posts at the beginning of the 2015. Since most career diplomats serve a tour of roughly estimating three years per term, we can expect regular cadre changes around the end of this or the beginning of the next year in the Western Balkans.
Albania: Donald Lu
He was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Albania on December 17, 2014 and assumed his position one month later. In the 25 year long career in the United States Foreign Service this is his first ambassadorial assignment. Before moving to Tirana, Albania he worked on the Ebola crisis in West Africa as Deputy Coordinator of Ebola response.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Maureen Cormack
Ambassador Cormack officially became the U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina on January 16, 2015. She has joined the Foreign Service in 1989 and in early assignments served as Director of the American Centers in South Korea and Poland.
Croatia: Julieta Valls Noyes
Julieta Valls Noyes was nominated by former President Obama as Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia on March 26, 2015 and confirmed by the Senate on June 24, 2015. She has graduated from Wellesley College in 1984 and joined the Foreign Service the following year.
Kosovo: Greg Delawie
Mr. Delawie was sworn in as Ambassador on July 24, 2015. He presented his credentials to the President of the Republic of Kosovo Jahjaga on August 21. His early State Department career included stops in Ankara, Frankfurt, and assignments in Washington.
Macedonia: Jess L. Baily
Ambassador Jess Baily was confirmed by the Senate to be the U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia in December 2014, but presented his credentials on February 12, 2015. He most recently served as Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, after arriving there in July 2011 to serve as Deputy Chief of Mission.
Montenegro: Margaret Ann Uyehara
Margaret Uyehara was confirmed by the Senate to be the U.S. Ambassador to Montenegro in December 2014. Ambassador Uyehara has assumed office on February 19, 2015. She is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor.
Serbia: Kyle Randolph Scott
Kyle Scott, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, presented his credentials as Ambassador to Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić on February 5, 2016. Thi is the first ambassadorial assignment for this expert on Eastern Europe and Russia.
This article has been produced with the support of the Balkan Trust for Democracy.
Macedonia And USA Must Defeat Their Enemies — Let’s Start With George Soros
Billionaire investor George Soros of Soros Fund Management attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Pascal Lauener
Macedonia has entered 2017 with a running start, setting itself into a strong global position with the recent election of experienced politician Nikola Gruevski as it’s Prime Minister-elect. However, the small, Balkan, land-locked country continues to face the flow of immigrants from the Middle East reaping instability in Europe, as well as the questionable intentions of George Soros’ Foundation within Macedonia’s civil society. Despite the change in leadership in USA, Macedonia clearly continues to face challenges, both internally and externally.
More than one million people have come from Turkey and through Greece trying to reach the European Union. And even though Macedonia is not the final destination, the country has managed the situation and the millions of people affected by offering safe passage through the Western Balkan route into Greece.
Macedonia has proved to be a strong, stable nation during this period of massive upheaval across a pivotal region in Europe. With the Syrian refugee crisis leaving the future of Europe uncertain, Macedonia has stepped in to play a leading mitigating role, and is doing its part to fight terrorism and the threat of ISIS. This future NATO member, despite its small size, has acted as the primary transit path for refugees escaping war-torn countries like Syria, taking extraordinary measures to address both the security issues and humanitarian concerns posed by the refugee crisis. What’s more, despite being surrounded by three EU and NATO member countries, and with increasing political instability threatening the Balkan region, Macedonia has been left to deal this crisis on its own.
Macedonia has played a major role in addressing a global issue that was dropped on its doorstep. And as an obvious result of dealing with these challenges, Macedonia has endured significant costs. But the efforts have helped make this under-the-radar country a vital ally in the fight against ISIS – and the fight against terrorism at large.