U.S. President Biden Announces Key Nominees 23 April

The White House

WASHINGTON – Today, President Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve as key leaders in his administration:

  • Cindy Dyer, Nominee for Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking, with rank of Ambassador at Large
  • Michael Gonzales, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Zambia
  • Michael Ratney, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Geoffrey Pyatt, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources

Cindy Dyer, Nominee for Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking, with rank of Ambassador at Large

Cindy Dyer is a human rights expert and lawyer with over 25 years of experience working at the local, national, and international levels to address human rights abuses with a focus on human trafficking, gender-based violence (GBV), and harmful practices. She recently served on the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military, and is currently a Senior Advisor and Highly Qualified Expert (HQE) at the U.S. Department of Defense. For 12 years, she was the Vice President for Human Rights at Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international NGO advancing women’s leadership. Prior to joining Vital Voices, she served in a presidential appointment as the Director of the Office on Violence Against Women within the U.S. Department of Justice. She began her career at the local level, serving as a specialized domestic and sexual violence prosecutor in Dallas, Texas for more than 13 years.

Dyer is the recipient of the Equal Justice Award from Legal Services of North Texas and the Prosecutor of the Year Award from the Greater Dallas Crime Commission. Dyer earned her Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M and her J.D. from Baylor Law School.

Michael Gonzales, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Zambia

Michael C. Gonzales is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor. He currently serves as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of African Affairs in the U.S. Department of State. Prior to this assignment, Gonzales was the Director of Analysis of Africa in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Overseas, he held leadership positions as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal and of the U.S. Embassy in Lilongwe, Malawi; and as the Political and Economic Counselor of the U.S. Embassies in Harare, Zimbabwe and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Among other assignments, Gonzales served as Spokesperson and Information Officer at the U.S Embassy in Addis Ababa; Ethiopia Desk Officer in the State Department; and Deputy Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Embassy in Kampala, Uganda.

Gonzales earned a B.A. Degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California and an M.A. Degree from American University’s School of International Service in Washington, D.C. He speaks Spanish and French.

Michael Ratney, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Michael Alan Ratney, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor, is the Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute. He recently served as Chargé d’Affaires a.i. at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Previously, Ratney was the Dean of the School of Language Studies at the Foreign Service Institute. Prior to that, he was on the faculty of the National Defense University. He served as the State Department’s Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Levant and Israel and Palestinian Affairs, and was the U.S. Special Envoy for Syria. Earlier, Ratney was the U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem. He was Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Media in the State Department’s Bureau of Public Affairs. Prior to that, he served as Spokesman for the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Other assignments include serving as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Doha, Qatar, as well as tours in Mexico City, Baghdad, Beirut, Casablanca, Bridgetown, and Washington, D.C.

Ratney earned a B.S. from Boston University and an M.A. from the George Washington University. He is the recipient of multiple State Department performance awards, including a Presidential Meritorious Service award. He speaks Arabic and French.

Geoffrey Pyatt, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources

Geoffrey R. Pyatt, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Career Minister, currently serves as U.S. Ambassador to Greece, a position he has held since 2016. Before that, Pyatt was U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, and he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. Previously, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission to the International Atomic Energy Agency and International Organizations in Vienna, Austria. He also served at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India as Deputy Chief of Mission and as Political Counselor. Pyatt served as Economic Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and as Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Lahore, Pakistan. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1989, Pyatt has also served as Director for Latin America at the National Security Council, as Special Assistant in the Office of the Deputy Secretary of State, in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, and at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India and U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Pyatt is the recipient of numerous performance awards, including a Presidential Distinguished Honor Award. He earned a B.A. from the University of California at Irvine and an M.A. from Yale University. A native of California, he speaks Spanish.

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