U.S. President Biden Announces His Intent to Nominate Nine More Individuals to Serve as Ambassadors

The White House

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals – including four career members of the Senior Foreign Service – as ambassadors to represent the United States on the world stage:

  • Julie Chung, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
  • Sharon L. Cromer, Nominee for U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of The Gambia
  • Troy Damian Fitrell, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Guinea
  • Thomas R. Nides, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the State of Israel
  • Marc Ostfield, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Paraguay
  • Ken Salazar, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United Mexican States
  • Julianne Smith, Nominee for the United States Permanent Representative on the Council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, with the rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
  • C. B. “Sully” Sullenberger, III, Nominee for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as Representative of the United States of America on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization
  • Dr. Cynthia Ann Telles, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Costa Rica

In April, President Biden announced his intent to nominate nine career foreign service officers as ambassadors.

Julie Jiyoon Chung, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Julie Chung, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, is the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. She was previously Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs at the Department. She has served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. Earlier, Chung was Chief of Staff to the Transition Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. She has also served at the U.S. embassies in Colombia, Vietnam and Japan, and the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou, China. She is a Pickering Fellow. Chung earned a B.A. at the University of California-San Diego and an M.A. at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Secretary’s Distinguished Honor Award. Chung speaks Korean, Japanese, Spanish, and Khmer.

Sharon L. Cromer, Nominee for U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of The Gambia

Sharon L. Cromer, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Career Minister, currently serves as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director at the U.S. Embassy, Accra, Ghana. Previously she was the USAID Mission Director at the U.S. Embassy Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and she has also been USAID Mission Director at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria. In addition, Cromer also had an earlier assignment in Accra as Mission Director. In Washington, Cromer served as Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator and Acting Assistant Administrator in the Africa Bureau of USAID and also as the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the USAID Management Bureau. Among her other assignments, Cromer was first a Supervisory Contracting Officer, and then the USAID Deputy Mission Director, at the U.S. Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia. Early in her career, Cromer served as a Contracting Officer in Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Pakistan. Cromer earned her B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University and her J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law School.

Troy Damian Fitrell, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Guinea

Troy Fitrell, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Counselor, is the Director of the Office of West African Affairs at the Department of State. He has served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassies in Ethiopia and Mauritius, as Deputy Director of the Department’s Office of Southern African Affairs, and as Deputy Director of the Office of International Security Cooperation in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. He was Senior Advisor to the United States Special Envoy for the Great Lakes of Africa, coordinating U.S. policy on the cross-border security, political, and economic issues in the Great Lakes region. Fitrell served as a Pearson Fellow on the staff of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and was a Watch Officer in the Department’s Nuclear Risk Reduction Center. He also served overseas at the U.S. embassies in Portugal, Guatemala, Zambia, Ghana and Denmark. Fitrell earned a B.A. at the University of Maryland and an M.S. at the National War College. He speaks French, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish and Danish.

Thomas R. Nides, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the State of Israel

Thomas Nides is a distinguished public servant and business leader. Nides was the State Department’s Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources from 2010 – 2013. Earlier, Nides was Morgan Stanley’s Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Secretary of the Board, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Burson-Marsteller, in New York and the Chief Administrative Officer of Credit Suisse First Boston in Washington, D.C. Nides was Chief of Staff to the U.S. Trade Representative Micky Kantor, was Senior Advisor to Speaker of the House Thomas S. Foley, and earlier to House Majority Whip Tony Coelho. He currently serves on the boards of the Partnership for Public Service, the International Rescue Committee, the Atlantic Council and the Urban Alliance Foundation, and currently serves as the Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley. He is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the former Chairman of the Board of the Woodrow Wilson Center appointed by President Obama. Nides received his B.A. degree from the University of Minnesota. He is the recipient of the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award.

Marc Ostfield, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Paraguay

Marc Ostfield, a career member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Ombudsman of the U.S. Department of State. With over 30 years in foreign policy and national security, he has served in senior State Department roles, including as Acting Director/Deputy Director of the Foreign Service Institute (National Foreign Affairs Training Center); Director, Office of Policy and Global Issues in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs; Senior Foreign Affairs Officer for Science and Technology Cooperation; and Senior Advisor for Bioterrorism, Biodefense, and Health Security. Earlier, he created, led, and evaluated global health programs in Latin America and worldwide with international organizations, including as Chief of Behavior Change Communication for Family Health International. He is the recipient of a Presidential Rank Award, numerous State Department awards, the Meritorious Unit Award from the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center, the Diplomacy Fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the President’s Volunteer Service Award as a volunteer firefighter. Ostfield earned a B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He speaks Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Arabic.

Ken Salazar, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United Mexican States

Ken Salazar has served as U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Colorado U.S. Senator, and Colorado Attorney General. In 1998, Salazar was elected as Colorado Attorney General and became the first Latino ever elected to statewide office in Colorado. He was reelected as Attorney General in 2002. In 2004, Salazar was elected to the U.S. Senate for Colorado becoming the first Latino democrat to be elected to the United States Senate since 1972. During the Obama Administration, he served as Secretary of the Interior, where he had a lead role on energy and climate, and the nation’s conservation agenda. A native of Colorado, Salazar is a fifth-generation rancher in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. He is a partner at WilmerHale, an American law firm and the founder of the firm’s Denver office. Salazar represents clients on energy, environment, natural resources and Native American matters. Salazar has a B.S. from Colorado College and a J.D. from the University of Michigan. He also has honorary degrees from the Colorado School of Mines, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, the University of Colorado School of Law, the University of Denver School of Law, and Colorado College. His native language is Spanish.

Julianne Smith, Nominee for the United States Permanent Representative on the Council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, with the rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Julianne “Julie” Smith is currently serving as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State at the Department of State. Previously, she served as the Director of the Asia and Geopolitics Programs at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. From 2014 – 2018, she served as the Director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Prior to joining CNAS, Julie served in the Obama administration. From 2012-2013, she served as both the Acting National Security Advisor and the Deputy National Security Advisor to Vice President Joseph Biden. Before the White House, she served as the Principal Director for European and NATO Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon for three years. In 2012, she was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service. Earlier in her career, Smith directed the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). A native of Michigan, she received her B.A. from Xavier University and her M.A. from American University. She speaks German and French.

C. B. “Sully” Sullenberger, III, Nominee for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as Representative of the United States of America on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization

C. B. “Sully” Sullenberger, III is a former United States Air Force fighter pilot, retired airline pilot, safety expert and keynote speaker. In 2009, as captain of US Airways flight 1549, he and his crew guided their aircraft to a successful emergency landing in the Hudson River with no fatalities. He has served as a NASA aviation safety research consultant. As an Air Line Pilots Association accident investigation committee member, he participated in a National Transportation Safety Board investigation of a major airline accident, leading to improved airline procedures and training for emergency evacuation. Sullenberger has a B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy, an M.S. from Purdue University and an M.A. from the University of Northern Colorado.

Dr. Cynthia Ann Telles, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Costa Rica

Dr. Cynthia Telles is a Clinical Professor in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and serves on the Executive Committee of the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. For over three decades, Telles has also been the Director of the UCLA Spanish-Speaking Psychosocial Clinic and is the founding and current Director of the UCLA Hispanic Neuropsychiatric Center of Excellence. She has served on the Board of the Pacific Council on International Policy, was the Chair of the Los Angeles/U.S. Section of the Mexico-Los Angeles Commission and has also engaged on numerous City of Los Angeles Commissions including on the Board of Airport Commissioners. On the national level Telles has been a member of the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the National Advisory Council of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services. Currently, she serves on the Board of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. She was a founding Board member of Americas United Bank, the first Hispanic commercial bank to be chartered in California in over 30 years. Her numerous philanthropic partnerships included service as the Chair of the California Community Foundation and as a member, Vice-Chair, and Chair of the Board of The California Endowment, the largest health foundation in California. Telles received a B.A. from Smith College and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Boston University. She speaks and reads Spanish fluently.

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