Monday, July 20, 2009

Officially In: Lee A. Feinstein to Warsaw

Late last week, President Obama also announced his intent to nominate Lee A. Feinstein to be his Ambassador to the Republic of Poland. Official bio released by the WH below: Lee A. Feinstein is currently a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Secretary at the Department of State. Mr. Feinstein is on leave from the Brookings Institution, where he has been a Visiting Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies since 2008. From 2002 to 2007, Feinstein worked at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he was Deputy Director of Studies, Senior Fellow for Foreign Policy and International Law, and Executive Director of the Task Force Program.

An international lawyer, Mr. Feinstein has written widely on U.S. national security and foreign policy matters. He served as an expert on the 2005 Congressionally mandated, bipartisan Task Force on the United Nations and co-directed the nonpartisan CFR Task Force on Enhancing U.S. Leadership at the United Nations. From 2007 to 2008, Mr. Feinstein served as National Security Director for Hillary Clinton for President, and subsequently as an outside foreign policy advisor to candidate Barack Obama. Mr. Feinstein served with distinction in the Departments of Defense and State from 1994 to 2001, including as Principal Deputy Director of the Policy Planning Staff, where he advised the senior leadership of the State Department on strategic goals and objectives in political-military affairs and nonproliferation.

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There has only been a sprinkling of political appointees sent to Poland since WWII; career diplomats have typically headed the Warsaw mission including stints by Ambassador Dan Fried (1997-2000), who is currently tasked with the Gitmo Closure and Ambassador Christopher Hill (2000-2004), currently our man in Baghdad. If confirmed, Mr. Feinstein would replace Victor Ashe, the former mayor of Knoxville, Tennesseewho was appointed US Ambassador to Poland from 2004-2009.

Mr. Feinstein is listed in as part of the Obama Transition Team assigned to State, National Security, Defense, Intelligence, and Arms Control.

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