Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Congrats, Ian!

The White House released a statement announcing several nominees for key posts. This one is particular is one I already knew about and am really happy to see made official:

President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals today:

Ian C. Kelly, Nominee for U.S. Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, with the rank of Ambassador, Department of State.

Ian Kelly has served as the Spokesman for the State Department since May 2009. He is a Senior Foreign Service Officer, with the rank of Minister Counselor. Prior to that, Mr. Kelly was acting Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs from January to May 2009, with responsibility for Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus, and the Director of the Office of Russian Affairs from 2007-2009. From 2004-2007, he was Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Mission to NATO. From 1994-1996, Mr. Kelly was Director of Democratic Initiatives to the Newly Independent States at the State Department, coordinating the activities of nearly a dozen federal agencies involved in democracy building in the former Soviet Union. In addition to NATO, he has been posted overseas in Rome, Ankara, Vienna, Belgrade, Moscow, Leningrad, and Milan. Mr. Kelly holds a Bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College, a Masters degree from Northwestern University, and a Doctorate from Columbia University.

I am happy about this announcment for many reasons. Obviously, it is nice to see a career FSO who is Public Diplomacy coned get put forward for such a prestigious position. But mostly, it is because I know Ian. My wife and I both have worked with him, and he is not only an exceptional officer, but a great mentor and all around decent person. The greatest compliment you can give someone in the service is that you would serve with them anywhere, and I would serve with Ian Kelly anywhere.

So, CONGRATS (hopefully soon to be) Ambassador Kelly!

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