President Biden Announces Four Key Foreign Policy Nominations

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President Biden Announces Four Key Foreign Policy Nominations

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following four individuals to serve in key roles promoting U.S. foreign p

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following four individuals to serve in key roles promoting U.S. foreign policy:

  • John R. Bass, Nominee for Under Secretary of State (Management)
  • David L. Cohen, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Canada
  • Jamie L. Harpootlian, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Slovenia
  • Victoria Reggie Kennedy, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Austria

John R. Bass, Nominee for Under Secretary of State for Management

John R. Bass, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Career Minister, currently is a Senior Advisor at the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute. He has served as Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, and Ambassador to the Republic of Georgia.  Previously, Bass focused, among other things, on supporting U.S. government efforts to mobilize allies and marshal resources to combat terrorism and instability in Iraq, Syria and Southwest Asia.  He served at seven U.S. Missions overseas including as Team Leader of Provincial Reconstruction Team – Baghdad at the American Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.  In addition, he was the Executive Secretary of the State Department and held other senior leadership positions at the Department of State.  Bass earned an A.B. Cum Laude from Syracuse University. 

David L. Cohen, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Canada

David L. Cohen is Senior Advisor to the CEO at Comcast Corporation, having previously served as Senior Executive Vice President where he led a broad portfolio of responsibilities, including corporate communications, legal affairs, government and regulatory affairs, public affairs, corporate administration, corporate real estate and security, and community impact.  Cohen also served as the company’s first Chief Diversity Officer.  Before coming to Comcast, Cohen served as a partner in and Chairman of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP.  Before that, Cohen served as Chief of Staff to the Honorable Edward G. Rendell, the Mayor of the City of Philadelphia.  Cohen serves on many nonprofit boards, including as a member of the Trustee Board and the Executive Committee of Penn Medicine, the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and the national board of the National Urban League. Additionally, he is Chair of the national board of City Year and its Executive Committee.  Cohen has received numerous awards for his civic and charitable activities.  He was awarded Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Drexel University. Rider University, Rowan University, and Rohrer College of Business.  Cohen graduated from Swarthmore College with a BA and with a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School summa cum laude.

Jamie L. Harpootlian, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Slovenia

Jamie Harpootlian, an accomplished attorney, is currently counsel to the law firm of Richard A. Harpootlian, P.A., where she advises on a broad range of federal litigation matters. Previously, Harpootlian served as a court-appointed Special Master to facilitate case resolution in complex, mass disaster class actions. The Department of Justice, Civil Division appointed Harpootlian to serve as a Hearing Officer on the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 on behalf of the Special Master Kenneth Feinberg. Prior to her appointments, Harpootlian served 17 years as a career judicial law clerk in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, New Orleans, where she provided legal advice to the Court to assist in making decisions in civil and criminal actions. Harpootlian also is a leader and patron of non-profit groups supporting the environment, the arts, and historic resources.  Harpootlian earned a B.A. in Political Science and Art History from Mary Baldwin University, Staunton, Virginia in 1981 and a J.D. from Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana in 1984.

Victoria Reggie Kennedy, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Austria

Victoria Reggie Kennedy is Senior Counsel in the corporate and securities practice group at Greenberg Traurig LLP, in Boston, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.  She also is the president of the board and co-founder of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, a non-partisan non-profit that educates the public about the U.S. Senate, and inspires leadership and active citizenship.   She earned a B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, at Newcomb College and a J.D., summa cum laude, from Tulane University School of Law, and then clerked for Hon. Robert A. Sprecher, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago.  She is the recipient of eight honorary degrees and numerous civic awards, including the Boston Business Journal Power 50 List, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Award for Lifetime Achievement.  She chairs the Education Committee of the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. and is on the Board of other non-profit and civic organizations. An advocate for gun safety, Kennedy was a long-time member of the Board of Trustees of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C., and has served on the board of Stop Handgun Violence in Boston.  She founded an advocacy group, Common Sense about Kids and Guns, aimed at reducing guns deaths and injuries to children.

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