[Senate Hearing 113-720]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


 
                                                        S. Hrg. 113-720

                       NOMINATIONS OF THE 113TH 
                       CONGRESS_SECOND SESSION

=======================================================================

                                HEARINGS

                               BEFORE THE

                     COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
                          UNITED STATES SENATE


                    ONE HUNDRED THIRTEENTH CONGRESS

                             SECOND SESSION

                               __________

                  JANUARY 16 THROUGH DECEMBER 2, 2014

                               __________


       Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations
       
       
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                COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS          
                113th CONGRESS--SECOND SESSION          

             ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey, Chairman        
BARBARA BOXER, California            BOB CORKER, Tennessee
BENJAMIN L. CARDIN, Maryland         JAMES E. RISCH, Idaho
ROBERT P. CASEY, Jr., Pennsylvania   MARCO RUBIO, Florida
    \1\                              RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin
JEANNE SHAHEEN, New Hampshire        JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
CHRISTOPHER A. COONS, Delaware       JOHN McCAIN, Arizona
RICHARD J. DURBIN, Illinois          JOHN BARRASSO, Wyoming
TOM UDALL, New Mexico                RAND PAUL, Kentucky
CHRISTOPHER MURPHY, Connecticut
TIM KAINE, Virginia
EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts \2\
          Daniel E. O'Brien, Democratic Staff Director        
        Lester E. Munson III, Republican Staff Director        

--------
\1\ Senator Casey served on the committee until July 16, 2013.
\2\ Senator Markey joined the committee on July 16, 2013.

                             (ii)          

  


                           C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              

    [Any additional material relating to these nominees may be found
              at the end of the applicable day's hearing.]

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page

Thursday, January 16, 2014.......................................     1

Robert C. Barber, of Massachusetts, to be Ambassador to the 
  Republic of Iceland............................................     4
George James Tsunis, of New York to be Ambassador to the Kingdom 
  of Norway......................................................     9
Colleen Bradley Bell, of the District of Columbia, to be 
  Ambassador to Hungary..........................................    12
                                 ------                                
Tuesday, January 28, 2014........................................    27

Hon. Max Baucus, of Montana, to be Ambassador to China...........    30
Hon. Arnold Chacon, of Virginia, to be Director General of the 
  Foreign Service................................................    54
Hon. Daniel Bennett Smith, of Virginia, to be Assistant Secretary 
  of State for Intelligence and Research.........................    59
                                 ------                                
Tuesday, February 4, 2014........................................    93

Bathsheba Nell Crocker, of the District of Columbia, to be 
  Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization 
  Affairs........................................................    95
Michael Anderson Lawson, of California, for the rank of 
  Ambassador during his tenure of service as Representative on 
  the Council of the International Civilian Aviation Organization   102
Robert A. Wood, of New York, for the rank of Ambassador during 
  his tenure of service as U.S. Representative to the Conference 
  on Disarmament.................................................   105
                                 ------                                
Thursday, February 6, 2014.......................................   119

Luis G. Moreno, of Texas, to be Ambassador to Jamaica............   121
John L. Estrada, of Florida, to be Ambassador to the Republic of 
  Trinidad and Tobago............................................   124
Noah Bryson Mamet, of California, to be Ambassador to the 
  Argentine Republic.............................................   127
                                 ------                                
Thursday, February 13, 2014......................................   159

Matthew Tueller, of Utah, to be Ambassador of the Republic of 
  Yemen..........................................................   164
Douglas Alan Silliman, of Texas, to be Ambassador to the State of 
  Kuwait.........................................................   168
Mark Gilbert, of Florida, to be Ambassador to New Zealand and to 
  serve concurrently as Ambassador to Samoa......................   171
Joseph William Westphal, of New York, to be Ambassador to the 
  Kingdom of Saudi Arabia........................................   174


                            (iii)          

Thursday, March 6, 2014..........................................   199

Deborah L. Birx, of Maryland, to be Ambassador at Large and 
  Coordinator of United States Government Activities to Combat 
  HIV/AIDS Globally..............................................   201
Suzan G. LeVine, of Washington, to be Ambassador to the Swiss 
  Confederation, and to serve concurrently and without additional 
  compensation as Ambassador to the Principality of Liechtenstein   206
Maureen Elizabeth Cormack, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to 
  Bosnia and Herzegovina.........................................   210
Peter A. Selfridge, of Minnesota, to be Chief of Protocol, and to 
  have the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service.......   217
                                 ------                                
Tuesday, May 13, 2014............................................   239

Paige Eve Alexander, of Virginia, to be Assistant Administrator, 
  Bureau for the Middle East, United States Agency for 
  International Development......................................   240
Alice G. Wells, of Washington, to be Ambassador to the Hashemite 
  Kingdom of Jordan..............................................   245
Thomas P. Kelly III, of California, to be Ambassador to the 
  Republic of Djibouti...........................................   249
Cassandra Q. Butts, of the District of Columbia, to be Ambassador 
  to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.............................   252
                                 ------                                
Wednesday, May 14, 2014..........................................   271

Mark Sobel, of Virginia, to be United States Executive Director 
  of the International Monetary Fund for a term of two years.....   274
Sunil Sabharwal, of California, to be United States Alternate 
  Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund for a 
  term of two years..............................................   276
Matthew T. McGuire, of the District of Columbia, to be United 
  States Executive Director of the International Bank for 
  Reconstruction and Development for a term of two years.........   290
Mileydi Guilarte, of the District of Columbia, to be United 
  States Alternate Director of the Inter-American Development 
  Bank...........................................................   294
                                 ------                                
Thursday, May 15, 2014...........................................   315

Andrew H. Schapiro, of Illinois, to be Ambassador to the Czech 
  Republic.......................................................   318
Nina Hachigian, of California, to be Representative to the 
  Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with the rank and 
  status of Ambassador...........................................   322
                                 ------                                
Wednesday, June 11, 2014.........................................   337

Hon. Robert Stephen Beecroft, of California, to be Ambassador to 
  the Arab Republic of Egypt.....................................   340
Hon. Stuart E. Jones, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the 
  Republic of Iraq...............................................   342
Dana Shell Smith, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the State of 
  Qatar..........................................................   346
James D. Nealon, of New Hampshire, to be Ambassador to the 
  Republic of Honduras...........................................   365
Gentry O. Smith, of North Carolina, to be Director of the Office 
  of Foreign Missions............................................   368
                                 ------                                
Tuesday, June 17, 2014...........................................   403

Mark William Lippert, of Ohio, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
  of Korea.......................................................   406
Jonathan Nicholas Stivers, of the District of Columbia, to be an 
  Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Asia, United States 
  Agency for International Development...........................   409
Theodore G. Osius III, of Maryland, to be Ambassador to the 
  Socialist Republic of Vietnam..................................   413
Joan A. Polaschik, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the People's 
  Democratic Republic of Algeria.................................   416
Thursday, June 26, 2014..........................................   437

Hon. Alfonso E. Lenhardt, of New York, to be Deputy Administrator 
  of the United States Agency for International Development......   438
Marcia Denise Occomy, of the District of Columbia, to be United 
  States Director of the African Development Bank for a term of 5 
  years..........................................................   443
                                 ------                                
Thursday, July 10, 2014..........................................   465

Todd D. Robinson, of New Jersey, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
  of Guatemala...................................................   467
Leslie Ann Bassett, of California, to be Ambassador to the 
  Republic of Paraguay...........................................   470
                                 ------                                
Tuesday, July 15, 2014...........................................   485

Jane D. Hartley, of New York, to be Ambassador to the French 
  Republic and to serve concurrently and without additional 
  compensation as Ambassador to the Principality of Monaco.......   490
Hon. John R. Bass, of New York, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
  of Turkey......................................................   493
Kevin F. O'Malley, of Missouri, to be Ambassador to Ireland......   497
Brent Robert Hartley, of Oregon, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
  of Slovenia....................................................   512
James D. Pettit, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Republic of 
  Moldova........................................................   515
                                 ------                                
Thursday, July 17, 2014..........................................   533

Erica J. Barks Ruggles, of Minnesota, to be Ambassador to the 
  Republic of Rwanda.............................................   535
Hon. George Albert Krol, of New Jersey, to be Ambassador to the 
  Republic of Kazakhstan.........................................   539
Allan P. Mustard, of Washington, to be Ambassador of the United 
  States of America to Turkmenistan..............................   542
David Pressman, of New York, to be Alternate Representative for 
  Special Political Affairs in the United Nations, with the rank 
  of Ambassador; Alternate Representative to the Sessions of the 
  General Assembly of the United Nations, during his tenure of 
  service as Alternate Representative for Special Political 
  Affairs in the United Nations..................................   545
Hon. Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat, of New Jersey, to be 
  Ambassador to the People's Republic of Bangladesh..............   547
                                 ------                                
Tuesday, July 29, 2014...........................................   577

Hon. John Francis Tefft, of Virginia, to be Ambassador of the 
  United States to the Russian Federation........................   580
Donald L. Heflin, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
  of Cabo Verde..................................................   592
Earl Robert Miller, of Michigan, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
  of Botswana....................................................   594
Craig B. Allen, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to Brunei 
  Darussalam.....................................................   597
Michele Jeanne Sison, of Maryland, to be the Deputy 
  Representative to the United Nations, with the rank of 
  Ambassador, and Deputy Representative in the Security Council 
  of the United Nations; and to be Representative to the Sessions 
  of the General Assembly of the United Nations during her tenure 
  of service as Deputy Representative to the United Nations......   606
Stafford Fitzgerald Haney, of New Jersey, to be Ambassador to the 
  Republic of Costa Rica.........................................   609
Charles C. Adams, Jr., of Maryland, to be Ambassador to the 
  Republic of Finland............................................   612
Wednesday, September 10, 2014....................................   631

William V. Roebuck, of North Carolina, to be Ambassador to the 
  Kingdom of Bahrain.............................................   633
Judith Beth Cefkin, of Colorado, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
  of Fiji, and to serve concurrently and without additional 
  compensation as Ambassador to the Republic of Kiribati, the 
  republic of Nauru, the Kingdom of Tonga, and Tuvalu............   636
Barbara A. Leaf, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the United Arab 
  Emirates.......................................................   639
Pamela Leora Spratlen, of California, to be Ambassador to the 
  Republic of Uzbekistan.........................................   644
                                 ------                                
Thursday, September 11, 2014.....................................   675

James Peter Zumwalt, of California, to be Ambassador to the 
  Republic of Senegal and to serve concurrently and without 
  additional compensation as Ambassador to the Republic of 
  Guinea-Bissau..................................................   677
Robert T. Yamate, of California, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
  of Madagascar, and to serve concurrently and without additional 
  compensation as Ambassador to the Union of the Comoros.........   680
Virginia E. Palmer, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
  of Malawi......................................................   682
Rabbi David Nathan Saperstein, of the District of Columbia, to be 
  Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom........   685
                                 ------                                
Wednesday, September 17, 2014....................................   697

Robert Francis Cekuta, of New York, to be Ambassador to the 
  Republic of Azerbaijan.........................................   700
Richard M. Mills, Jr., of Texas, to be Ambassador of the United 
  States to the Republic of Armenia..............................   703
Jess Lippincott Baily, of Ohio, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
  of Macedonia...................................................   707
Margaret Ann Uyehara, of Ohio, to be Ambassador to Montenegro....   710
                                 ------                                
Wednesday, November 19, 2014.....................................   737

Antony John Blinken, of New York, to be Deputy Secretary of State   739
                                 ------                                
Tuesday, December 2, 2014........................................   817

Peter Michael McKinley, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the 
  Islamic Republic of Afghanistan................................   820
Isobel Coleman, of New York, to be Representative to the United 
  Nations for U.N. Management and Reform, with the rank of 
  Ambassador; and as an Alternate Representative to the Sessions 
  of the General Assembly of the United Nations during her tenure 
  of service as Representative to the United Nations for U.N. 
  Management and Reform..........................................   824
Richard Rahul Verma, of Maryland, to be Ambassador to the 
  Republic of India..............................................   827


                     NOMINATIONS OF ROBERT BARBER, 
                      GEORGE TSUNIS, COLLEEN BELL

                              ----------                              


                       THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, 2014

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
                              ----------                              

Robert C. Barber, of Massachusetts, to be Ambassador to the 
        Republic of Iceland
George James Tsunis, of New York, to be Ambassador to the 
        Kingdom of Norway
Colleen Bradley Bell, of the District of Columbia, to be 
        Ambassador to Hungary
                              ----------                              

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:34 p.m., in 
room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Chris Murphy 
presiding.
    Present: Senators Murphy, Cardin, Kaine, Markey, Johnson, 
and McCain.
    Also Present: Senator Charles E. Schumer.

            OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CHRIS MURPHY, 
                 U.S. SENATOR FROM CONNECTICUT

    Senator Murphy. Good afternoon, everyone. This hearing of 
the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will now come to order.
    Today, the committee is considering three nominations--
George Tsunis, to be Ambassador to the Kingdom of Norway; 
Robert Barber, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Iceland; and 
Colleen Bell, to be Ambassador to Hungary.
    Let me begin this afternoon by welcoming our nominees and 
welcoming your families. I will let you introduce any family 
members that may be here.
    I am going to give some brief opening remarks, followed by 
Senator Johnson, our ranking member. I will introduce you. I 
understand that Senator Schumer is likely going to be here to 
introduce you, Mr. Tsunis. So if he is not here yet when we are 
done with our opening remarks, I will introduce Ms. Bell and 
Mr. Barber, and they might begin. And then when Senator Schumer 
comes here, he can introduce you, Mr. Tsunis. But we are glad 
to welcome Senator Schumer when he can arrive.
    I want to congratulate all of you on your nominations. If 
confirmed, you are going to be called upon to serve and advance 
the interests of the American people in your respective 
missions. And I thank you and your families for your 
willingness to serve this country in this important capacity.
    The moment is unique in the sense that we have a number of 
irons in the fire with our European partners. You are going to 
be there at a very important time to talk about our communal 
mission to promote global security, whether it be as NATO 
partners or in our joint efforts to combat terrorism. You are 
going to be there at a really important time for the growing 
economic partnership between the United States and Europe, a 
moment at which we hope during your tenure we will negotiate 
and perhaps enter into a new trade agreement, now referred to 
as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
    And we know that there is going to be continued interest in 
our very complicated, but very necessary intelligence 
relationship. I and a few members of the House were just in 
Europe over the holidays, talking about the importance of both 
clarifying our intelligence relationship going forward, but 
also preserving it because we have a communal interest to 
prevent grievous attacks against both the United States and 
Europe.
    Mr. Tsunis, let me begin with a few words about Norway. The 
United States and Norway enjoy a long tradition of friendly 
relationships based on democratic values. We also share an 
increase in addressing the problems posed by climate change, 
particularly with respect to the Arctic and building a 
cooperation in the region through the Arctic Council.
    On the security side, Norway, as you know, is a founding 
member of NATO, has been a partner with us in Afghanistan, 
Libya, the Balkans, and in counterterrorism. In her visit to 
Washington earlier this month, Norway's Defense Minister 
emphasized the importance of European nations stepping up to 
the plate at a larger scale to take a share of global political 
and economic burdens.
    Norway is also the world's seventh-largest petroleum 
exporter, and the Norwegian economy has enjoyed some pretty 
impressive growth in recent years. so we look forward to 
hearing your thoughts on how to continue these very important 
partnerships with Norway, particularly in the lead-up to next 
year's NATO summit.
    Mr. Barber, another nation that is very important to this 
committee is Iceland. The United States is one of Iceland's 
main foreign investors and trading partners. We were the first 
country to recognize Iceland's independence in 1944, following 
Danish rule.
    It is another founding member of NATO. And although we no 
longer have U.S. military forces permanently stationed in 
Iceland, Iceland and the United States have worked closely 
again on missions in Afghanistan and Lebanon and the Balkans.
    And as we talked about privately, the Icelandic economy has 
been a success story for much of the past two decades, although 
it encountered deep financial problems in 2008. The collapse of 
these major banks, coupled with the global financial crisis, it 
had a ripple effect throughout Iceland's economy, and we look 
forward to your thoughts on how the United States can continue 
to allow Iceland to recover.
    And finally, Ms. Bell, let me turn to Hungary. Since the 
fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe, the United 
States and Hungary have maintained strong bilateral ties, 
particularly in security matters through NATO. Hungary is a 
member of the European Union. It has successfully transitioned 
from a centrally planned economy to a market-based one since 
the fall of communism. Like the other countries represented 
here, the United States is among the top foreign investors in 
Hungary.
    But notwithstanding our close cooperation on economic and 
security matters, there have been some legislative and 
constitutional changes in Hungary since 2010 that have prompted 
concerns from the United States and included controversial 
legislation granting citizenship to ethnic Hungarians living 
outside the country's borders, changes that could reduce the 
independence of Hungary's central bank, and restrictions on the 
constitutional court.
    The United States has shared these concerns that have been 
expressed also by the Council of Europe, and we look forward to 
a discussion with you about how we can continue to work with 
Hungary on promoting democratic ideals.
    We thank you all for being here today to share with us your 
thoughts. We look forward to your swift confirmation.
    And let me now turn to our ranking member, Senator Johnson.

            OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. RON JOHNSON, 
                  U.S. SENATOR FROM WISCONSIN

    Senator Johnson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I would like to join you in welcoming our nominees and also 
thanking you and your families for your willingness to serve. I 
appreciate the fact that you all took time to meet with me in 
my office, and as we discussed, these positions of 
ambassadorships is extremely important to not only convey to 
the countries that you are going to represent us Americans' 
exceptionalism, our values, but then also you report back to us 
the concerns that those countries have in terms of U.S. 
actions.
    And so, incredibly important posts. I truly appreciate your 
willingness to serve, and I will look forward to your 
testimony.
    Thank you.
    Senator Murphy. Thank you, Senator Johnson.
    Why do we not do this? I will introduce briefly Mr. Barber 
and Ms. Bell, and you can begin testimony. And when Senator 
Schumer gets here, he can introduce Mr. Tsunis.
    Robert Barber is our nominee to be Ambassador to the 
Republic of Iceland. Mr. Barber, a leading attorney and 
litigator, has been a partner at Looney & Grossman in Boston, 
MA, since 1985. Known for his legal acumen and community 
service, he specializes in the needs of startup businesses, 
small and medium-sized companies, and commercial litigation, 
serving many companies in the role of outside general counsel. 
He is also an expert in the formation and early development of 
business ventures.
    A proven and experienced leader, Mr. Barber will bring 
essential skills to the task of furthering bilateral economic 
relations with the Government of Iceland. Mr. Barber previously 
practiced law in a variety of other roles, including as an 
assistant district attorney in the New York County District 
Attorney's Office, and he has served in a number of community 
positions, as a trustee of the Phillips Brooks House 
Association of Harvard College, as a treasurer and trustee of 
the Social Law Library in Boston, MA, and director of the 
Abbott Academy Association in Andover, MA.
    He attended Harvard College and Boston University School of 
Law, and he even holds an MCRP from the Harvard Graduate School 
of Design.
    Welcome, Mr. Barber.
    Ms. Bell, we are pleased to have you here today. Ms. Bell 
is a producer at Bell-Phillip Productions in Los Angeles, CA, 
has a strong history of accomplishment in the television 
industry. Known for her successful leadership of high-profile 
and influential social service, environmental, and arts 
organizations, she has a wealth of experience in a wide range 
of fields from the economy to human rights and the 
environmental, foreign policy, public health, and education. 
Ms. Bell will bring essential skills to the task of furthering 
our relationship with the Government of Hungary, who is a key 
U.S. ally in NATO and the EU.
    Previously, Ms. Bell worked for Bell-Phillip Television 
Productions as an associate producer. She also serves on, 
again, a number of institutions. She has been on the board of 
the JFK Center for the Performing Arts, the President's 
Advisory Committee on the Arts, the Los Angeles County Museum 
of Art, the Children's Institute, the Music Center, and the 
National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, just to name 
a few.
    Senator Murphy. With that, why do we not do this? We will 
go to Mr. Barber for your opening remarks, then to Ms. Bell, 
and then we will have Senator Schumer here to introduce Mr. 
Tsunis.

       STATEMENT OF ROBERT C. BARBER, OF MASSACHUSETTS, 
        TO BE THE AMBASSADOR TO THE REPUBLIC OF ICELAND

    Mr. Barber. Chairman Murphy and Senator Johnson, it is a 
great privilege for me to appear before you today as President 
Obama's nominee for Ambassador to Iceland.
    I am truly honored by this nomination and very grateful to 
the President and to Secretary Kerry for their trust in me. If 
confirmed, I look forward to working with each of you and with 
your colleagues in Congress to further U.S. interests in 
Iceland.
    My oldest son, Nicholas, is with me today, representing his 
brothers, Ben and Alexander, and my wife and his mom, Bonnie. 
And if you would permit me, I would like to introduce Nick to 
you.
    Senator Murphy. Welcome.
    Mr. Barber. I am also delighted that two members of the 
Icelandic Embassy are present today, and I very much appreciate 
their appearance today. I am pleased to meet them, and if 
confirmed, I certainly would look forward to working with them.
    I am very thankful for and appreciate the support of my 
family and my friends.
    The opportunity to serve the United States, if confirmed, 
means quite a lot to me. Both my father and my maternal 
grandfather were career Army officers. In fact, I was born at 
Fort Benning, GA.
    I grew up in Charleston, SC, where the greatest influence 
on my life was my mother, Kathleen. A teacher, after having 
gone back to college while raising four kids, she guided 
gently, making sure I was aware of opportunities that were 
available to me and trusting me to make good decisions.
    I feel as though I have been lucky all my life, being able 
to attain great schools on scholarships, which opened up even 
more wonderful opportunities. So knowing how lucky I have been, 
I look forward--I look for chances to help out, to pay back, 
and indeed to pay forward. And I believe that if I am 
confirmed, representing my country as the U.S. Ambassador to 
Iceland would be the ultimate opportunity for service.
    I am hopeful, too, as the chairman mentioned, that my 
experience in leading organizations, including my law firm and 
as well as political and nonprofit groups, will enable me 
effectively to represent the United States. By nature, I am a 
team player, a firm believer in team development, for it is 
through collaborative effort that the most productive and, I 
believe, the most fulfilling outcomes are achieved.
    As well, my years acting as outside general counsel to 
entrepreneurs and their companies, from startups to mid-sized 
firms, have helped me develop an ability to find solutions and 
to connect parties with common interests and complementary 
capacities.
    The United States and Iceland have long enjoyed a strong 
bilateral relationship. When Iceland declared its independence 
on June 17, 1944, the United States, as you mentioned, was the 
first country to recognize it. In the last decade, this 
friendship has evolved from one dominated by political-military 
issues to a broader partnership that reflects our shared global 
agenda.
    Iceland is a stalwart ally and friend of the United States. 
As a charter member of NATO, Iceland has made contributions to 
peacekeeping operations around the world. And although the 
Keflavik Naval Air Station closed in 2006, NATO continues to 
operate an important radar defense system in Iceland, 
highlighting that country's continuing contribution to our 
overall security.
    A close partner on law enforcement issues, Iceland has 
recently helped break up the illegal narcotics network known as 
Silk Road and actively engages with the United States in 
antitrafficking in persons efforts. Iceland is also a staunch 
supporter of humanitarian causes, as its search and rescue 
teams provided lifesaving services following earthquakes around 
the world.
    So following its banking sector crisis of 2008, Iceland is 
reemerging with a stable economy. While it is still recovering, 
Iceland has made through a series of confidence-building 
measures steady progress in putting its economy on sounder 
footing.
    Our business relations with Iceland are strong and growing. 
The reinvigorated American-Icelandic Chamber of Commerce is now 
up and running, working on behalf of American companies in 
Iceland. Raw materials and renewable energy are just some of 
the promising new horizons in our trade and investment 
relationship.
    As businesses are looking to invest in Icelandic renewable 
energy, the United States and Iceland are cooperating to 
develop the technology we need for a green, sustainable future. 
And Iceland is also growing in importance as a potential 
strategic partner in the development of Arctic natural 
resources.
    Iceland is a world leader in the use of geothermal and 
hydroenergy for electric power and heat generation, presents a 
great opportunity for energy diplomacy in the years ahead. If 
confirmed, I shall look for ways the United States can 
strengthen connections among the energy industry, the Icelandic 
Government, and relevant U.S. institutions, and I shall 
diligently pursue all opportunities for collaboration.
    In sum, Senators, the United States-Icelandic relationship 
yields benefits to both countries in security, in energy, trade 
and investment, the environment, and humanitarian causes. If 
confirmed, I will work to broaden our cooperation in these 
areas and to protect and further U.S. interests and safeguard 
American citizens.
    Thank you again for the privilege of appearing before you 
today. I look forward to answering your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Barber follows:]

                 Prepared Statement of Robert C. Barber

    Chairman Murphy, Ranking Member Johnson, and distinguished members 
of the committee, it is a privilege to appear before you today as 
President Obama's nominee for Ambassador to Iceland. I am honored by 
this nomination, and very grateful to the President and to Secretary 
Kerry for their trust in me. If confirmed, I look forward to working 
with you and your colleagues in Congress to further U.S. interests in 
Iceland.
    My oldest son, Nicholas, is with me today, representing his 
brothers, Ben and Alexander and his mother and my wife Bonnie Neilan, 
and if you would permit me, I introduce Nick to you.
    The opportunity to serve the United States, if confirmed, means 
quite a lot to me. Both my father and my maternal grandfather were 
career Army officers; in fact I was born at Fort Benning, GA. I grew up 
in Charleston, SC, where the greatest influence in my life was my 
mother, Kathleen. A teacher, after having gone back to college while 
raising four kids, she guided gently, making sure I was aware of 
opportunities available to me, and trusting me to make good decisions. 
I feel I have been lucky all my life, being able to attend great 
schools on scholarships, which opened up more wonderful opportunities. 
So, knowing how lucky I have been, I look for chances to help out, to 
give back, to pay forward. I believe that, if I am confirmed, 
representing my country as the United States Ambassador to Iceland 
would be the ultimate opportunity for service.
    I am hopeful that my experience in leading organizations, including 
my law firm, as well as political and nonprofit groups, will enable me 
to effectively represent the United States. I am a team player, a firm 
believer in team development, for it is through collaborative effort 
that the most productive, and fulfilling, outcomes are achieved. As 
well, my years acting as outside general counsel to entrepreneurs and 
their companies, from startups to midsize firms, have helped me develop 
an ability to find solutions and to connect parties with common 
interests and complementary capacities.
    The United States and Iceland have long enjoyed a strong bilateral 
relationship. When Iceland declared its independence on June 17, 1944, 
the United States was the first country to recognize it. In the last 
decade, this friendship has evolved from one dominated by political-
military issues to a broad partnership that reflects our shared global 
agenda.
    Iceland is a stalwart ally and friend of the United States. As a 
charter member of NATO, Iceland has made contributions to peacekeeping 
operations around the world. Although the Keflavik Naval Air Station 
closed in 2006, NATO continues to operate an important radar defense 
system there, highlighting Iceland's continuing contribution to our 
overall security.
    A close partner on law enforcement issues, Iceland most recently 
helped break up the illegal narcotics network known as Silk Road and 
actively engages with the United States on antitrafficking in persons 
efforts. It also works closely with the U.S. Coast Guard to improve 
port security for vessels transiting to the United States.
    Iceland is a staunch supporter of humanitarian causes. Icelandic 
Search and Rescue teams have provided life-saving services following 
earthquakes around the world. Most recently, Iceland has provided 
monetary assistance through the U.N. to help Syrian refugees in Jordan, 
Iraq, and Lebanon.
    Following its banking sector crisis of 2008, Iceland is reemerging 
with a stable economy. While it is still recovering, Iceland has made, 
through a series of confidence-building measures, steady progress in 
putting its economy on sounder footing.
    Our business relations with Iceland are strong and growing. The 
American-Icelandic Chamber of Commerce is now up and running, working 
on behalf of American businesses in Iceland. Raw materials and 
renewable energy are just some of the promising new horizons in our 
trade and investment relationship.
    As businesses are looking to invest in Icelandic renewable energy, 
the United States and Iceland are cooperating to develop the technology 
we need for a green, sustainable future. Iceland is also growing in 
importance as a potential strategic partner in the development of 
Arctic natural resources. A world leader in the use of geothermal and 
hydroenergy for electric power and heat generation, Iceland presents a 
great opportunity for ``energy diplomacy'' in the years ahead.
    If confirmed, I shall look for ways the United States can 
strengthen connections among the energy industry, the Icelandic 
Government, and relevant U.S. institutions, and I shall diligently 
pursue all opportunities for collaboration.
    Mr. Chairman, the U.S.-Icelandic relationship yields benefits to 
both countries in security, energy, trade and investment, the 
environment, and humanitarian causes. If confirmed, I will work to 
broaden our cooperation in these areas and to protect and further U.S. 
interests and safeguard American citizens.
    Thank you again for the privilege of appearing before you today. I 
look forward to answering your questions.

    Senator Murphy. Thank you very much, Mr. Barber.
    Let me now welcome Senator Schumer here. So pleased to have 
you to introduce Mr. Tsunis. I know your time is limited. So we 
will allow you to introduce our next witness.

             STATEMENT OF HON. CHARLES E. SCHUMER, 
                   U.S. SENATOR FROM NEW YORK

    Senator Schumer. Thank you, Chairman Murphy and Ranking 
Member Johnson, Senator Markey.
    And first, Mr. Chairman, it was not too long ago in this 
body that you would wait years and maybe even decades to become 
chairman of the European Affairs Subcommittee, and here you 
are, one of our brightest, most capable freshmen, chairing it 
already. Progress is being made, I would say to the public.
    It is a privilege for me to introduce George Tsunis, the 
nominee to be the next United States Ambassador to Norway. Mr. 
Tsunis is a lifelong New Yorker, born and raised on Long 
Island. He currently lives in Cold Spring Harbor, and he has 
had a long and distinguished career in both public service and 
the private sector.
    And that leaves no doubt he is well qualified to take on 
this great task that awaits him if he is confirmed as the next 
United States Ambassador to Norway. His career and commitment 
to the community is an exemplary one, and I believe that New 
Yorkers, and particularly those on Long Island, have greatly 
benefited from Mr. Tsunis' intelligence, his generosity, and 
his philanthropic pursuits. So he is an outstanding choice to 
be Ambassador to Norway, where he is going to represent the 
United States, should he be confirmed, in a country that values 
democracy and is a strong ally.
    Mr. Tsunis is a lifelong Long Islander, raised in Commack. 
He attended Commack High School. I have given many a graduation 
speech there. He then earned his undergraduate degree at NYU, 
his juris doctor at St. Johns University.
    He is born to parents who emigrated from Greece. He is like 
so many New Yorkers, comes from overseas and just in one 
generation becomes an American and contributes so much to this 
great country of ours.
    He is a true tale of the American dream. He has never 
forgotten his roots. He is very active in the Greek American 
community. He is an archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchic in the 
Greek Orthodox Church, the highest lay honor, serves as the 
national counsel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. 
And he and I are the grand marshals of the Greek Independence 
Day Parade in New York City in March. Yiasou.
    A highly successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, Mr. 
Tsunis first started out as an attorney where he rose through 
the ranks to become a partner in Long Island's largest law 
firm. He has also had an illustrious career in public service 
as an attorney. He was a legislative attorney on the New York 
City Council, special counsel to the town of Huntington's 
Environmental and Open Space Committee, and counsel to the Dix 
Hills Water District.
    Today, he is chairman and CEO of Chartwell Hotels, which 
owns, develops, and manages Hilton, Marriott, Intercontinental 
Hotels across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic United States, and 
he has also been very active in foreign policy issues. He is a 
member of Brookings Institution's Foreign Policy Leadership 
Committee and its Metropolitan Leadership Council and is a 
director of Business Executives for National Security.
    So he has been extremely successful in the hotel and real 
estate businesses, but what is most impressive about Mr. Tsunis 
is the time, investment, and commitment he has shown to the 
people of New York, people of Long Island particularly, who 
suffered tremendously as a result of Superstorm Sandy.
    His philanthropic efforts and humanitarian causes have had 
a tremendous impact. As a result, he has received a number of 
well-deserved honors from groups as diverse as Dowling College, 
Long Island Cares, WLIW Channel 21, the Long Island Children's 
Museum. The Cyprus Federation's Justice for Cyprus Award he 
received, presented personally by President of Cyprus 
Christofias.
    He has made generous contributions to Stony Brook for the 
creation of the George and Olga Tsunis Center in Hellenic 
Studies and the James and Eleni Tsunis Chair in Hellenic 
Studies. The latter are in honor of his parents.
    In short, he is just a perfect candidate for Ambassador. He 
is smart. He is successful. He is practical. He has a knowledge 
of foreign affairs. He has a generous heart.
    I know him. I know George a long time. We are good friends, 
and I can tell you that all of these nice things that it says 
in his biography do not equal the goodness of the man. He is 
just a decent, honorable, caring person.
    And that matters a lot when you are Ambassador. Because 
when the people of a country, particularly a relatively small 
country like Norway, see who you are, they are going to 
understand and have a special appreciation. So I think he is 
going to be a great Ambassador to a very important 
relationship, that between United States and Norway.
    We work closely as NATO allies, trading partners. U.S. 
companies invest in Norway in critical products. And so, this 
is a great nomination, and I would urge the committee to 
approve him with alacrity and with unanimity.
    Senator Murphy. Thank you very much, Senator Schumer. Thank 
you for being here.
    And with that ringing introduction, Mr. Tsunis, the floor 
is yours.

        STATEMENT OF GEORGE JAMES TSUNIS, OF NEW YORK, 
         TO BE THE AMBASSADOR TO THE KINGDOM OF NORWAY

    Mr. Tsunis. Thank you, Chairman Murphy, Ranking Member 
Johnson----
    Thank you, Chairman Murphy, Ranking Member Johnson, and 
esteemed members of the committee.
    Let me first thank Senator Schumer, who has been a mentor. 
I thank him for his support, his guidance, his imprimatur. It 
has been very meaningful to me.
    I am both honored and humbled to appear before you today as 
President Obama's nominee to be Ambassador to the Kingdom of 
Norway. I thank the President for his trust and confidence in 
me, and I am grateful to this committee for considering my 
nomination.
    I am also grateful for this opportunity to serve our 
country, and I would be remiss in not acknowledging a few of 
the many people who have made this journey possible.
    First, my parents, who emigrated to this country of 
opportunity and meritocracy, seeking to build a better life for 
their family. My parents sacrificed a lot to give my sisters 
and I the opportunities they never had. So it is with gratitude 
that I acknowledge my mom today. I would have loved to 
introduce her, but she had recently been in the hospital. My 
mom, Eleni, who had the foresight and determination to ensure 
that my sisters and I received a sound education and a 
reservoir of love.
    Today, I would also like to remember my father, James, who 
passed away 12 years ago. My dad was the embodiment of the 
American dream, starting out as a busboy at the Roosevelt Hotel 
in New York City, eventually opening his own small coffee shop 
and then a landmark restaurant that we still operate 43 years 
later.
    He has embraced our country with open arms, teaching my 
sisters, Anastasia and Vicki, both who are public school 
teachers, the importance of hard work, the value of a good 
education, which is America's great equalizer.
    Most importantly, I would like to thank my wife, Olga, and 
our three children, James, Eleni, and Yanna, who are behind me, 
this afternoon. They are my bedrock of support and living 
reminders of the legacy my parents started here in the United 
States.
    After attending law school, I worked in government, as an 
associate in a small law firm, and then as a partner in a large 
law firm until I founded Chartwell Hotels. During my tenure as 
CEO, Chartwell not only weathered this great recession, but 
experienced unprecedented growth. It taught me how to operate 
in a stressful environment.
    My company's success was not the result of one person's 
effort. Whether public or private, a successful organization is 
built through teamwork and a collaborative sense of mission. If 
confirmed, I will draw on this experience to make the best case 
for my country, cognizant that I will be working with a 
terrific American and Norwegian team at Embassy Oslo.
    Throughout my career, I have maintained a strong interest 
in foreign and economic affairs. I have had the pleasure of 
contributing to public policy as a member of the Brookings 
Institution Foreign Policy Leadership Committee and as a 
trustee of Business Executives for National Security. If 
confirmed, I look forward to putting these experiences to work 
for the American people.
    We share strong bilateral ties with Norway, steeped in 
shared values, such as commitment to promoting human rights, 
democracy, and freedom throughout the world. Norway is a 
proactive global peace builder. Its influence and reputation in 
the international community far exceed its size.
    The most notable of these efforts are, of course, the Oslo 
Accords, although Norway has mediated a number of prominent 
conflicts. Norway is a strong supporter of the current 
negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, which I 
believe reflects Norway's strong desire to contribute to world 
peace and its reputation as an honest arbiter.
    As a cofounder of NATO, Norway is a reliable and fully 
engaged ally. American and Norwegian soldiers fought together 
and have stood together in Afghanistan to support its 
transformation into a sovereign and secure nation.
    During NATO's operations in Libya, Norwegian F-16s were 
amongst the alliance's most effective air assets. Norway will 
further deepen its commitment to military readiness and 
interoperability with U.S. forces through its plan to purchase 
52 Joint Strike Fighters from Lockheed Martin, something I deem 
of great importance.
    Norway is an important business partner of the United 
States, and if confirmed, I will seek to expand the U.S. 
economic export opportunities and create American jobs. I will 
also work to deepen people-to-people ties between Norway and 
the United States through public diplomacy efforts. If 
confirmed, I will also seek to strengthen what is already a 
very strong relationship between our two countries and maintain 
the Embassy's proud tradition.
    As I mentioned at the start, at my core, I am grateful for 
this opportunity to serve my country. I have an obligation to 
give back, and I look forward to answering any questions you 
have.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Tsunis follows:]

                 Prepared Statement of George J. Tsunis

    Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Johnson, and esteemed members of the 
committee, I am both honored and humbled to appear before you today as 
President Obama's nominee to be Ambassador to the Kingdom of Norway. I 
thank the President for his trust and confidence in me, and I am 
grateful to this committee for considering my nomination. I am also 
grateful for this opportunity to serve our country, and I would be 
remiss in not acknowledging a few of the many people who have made this 
journey possible. First my parents, who immigrated to this country of 
opportunity and meritocracy, seeking to build a better life for their 
family. My parents sacrificed a lot to give my two sisters and me the 
opportunities they never had. So it is with gratitude that I introduce 
my mother, Eleni, who had the foresight and determination to ensure 
that my sisters and I received a sound education and a reservoir of 
love.
    Today I would also like to remember my father, James, who passed 
away 12 years ago. My dad was the embodiment of the American dream, 
starting out as a busboy at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, 
eventually opening his own small coffee shop and then a landmark 
restaurant that is still open today, 42 years later. He embraced our 
country with open arms, teaching his children the importance of hard 
work, family, and the value of a good education. These are not lessons 
that I or my sisters, Anastasia and Vicki, took lightly. My sisters 
took that lesson one step further and became public school teachers. 
Most importantly, I would like to thank my wife, Olga, and our three 
children James, Eleni, and Yanna, who are my bedrock of support and 
living reminders of the legacy my parents started here in the United 
States.
    After attending law school, I worked in government, as an associate 
in a small law firm, and then as a partner in a large firm, until I 
followed my father into the world of business and entrepreneurship when 
I founded Chartwell Hotels. During my tenure as CEO, Chartwell not only 
weathered the recession but experienced unprecedented growth. Having 
personally witnessed the strength and resiliency of U.S. business and 
its success in the international marketplace, I feel I understand the 
importance of expanding our global business and trade.
    My company's success was not the result of one person's effort. 
Whether public or private, a successful organization is built through 
teamwork and a collaborative sense of mission. If I am confirmed, I 
will draw on this experience to make the best case for my country, 
cognizant that I will be working with a terrific American and Norwegian 
team at Embassy Oslo.
    Throughout my career, I have maintained a strong interest in 
foreign and economic affairs, and I've had the pleasure of contributing 
to public policy as a member of the Brookings Institution's Foreign 
Policy Leadership Committee and as a trustee with the Business 
Executives for National Security. If confirmed, I look forward to 
putting this experience to work for the American people.
    We share strong bilateral ties with Norway, in large part because 
we share a commitment to promoting human rights, democracy, and freedom 
throughout the world. Norway is a proactive, global peace-builder and 
for a country of just 5 million people, its influence and reputation in 
the international community far surpasses its size. The most notable of 
these efforts is the Oslo Accords, although Norway has mediated a 
number of prominent conflicts, including those in Sri Lanka and 
Colombia. Norway is a strong supporter of the current negotiations 
between Israel and the Palestinians. This reflects Norway's strong 
desire to contribute to world peace, and its reputation as an honest 
arbitrator.
    In addition to peace and reconciliation efforts, Norway is a 
generous contributor to international development and humanitarian 
relief efforts. Norway is a strong partner on environmental matters, 
and a leader in the area of global climate change. With our common 
strategic interest in the Arctic, Norway is a natural partner in these 
fields. If confirmed, I will work to preserve and expand this 
invaluable partnership with Norway.
    A cofounder of NATO, Norway is a reliable ally. American and 
Norwegian soldiers and civilians have stood together in Afghanistan to 
support its transformation to a safe, sovereign, and secure nation. 
During NATO operations in Libya in 2011, Norwegian F-16s were among the 
alliance's most effective air assets. Norway will further deepen its 
commitment to military readiness and interoperability with U.S. forces 
through its plans to purchase 52 Joint Strike Fighters from Lockheed 
Martin.
    Norway is an important business partner of the United States. We 
are Norway's sixth-largest trading partner and our trade relationship 
is free of major disputes. My focus, if I am confirmed, will be 
expanding economic development opportunities both for U.S. companies in 
Norway, and encouraging Norwegian firms' investments in the United 
States. The energy sector is at the heart of the U.S.-Norwegian 
economic relationship, and it is expected that U.S. energy companies 
will expand their interests in the Norwegian oil and gas sector, 
creating new export opportunities and jobs for American businesses.
    With the Senate's confirmation, I will work to expand European 
support for the transatlantic relationship to deepen people-to-people 
ties between Norway and the United States. I will give my full support 
to public diplomacy efforts to reach out to people throughout Norway 
and to provide educational exchange opportunities for Norwegians to 
study in the United States, and expand these opportunities wherever 
possible. There is no better way to build understanding than to expose 
someone directly to life in America and direct engagement with the 
American people.
    If confirmed, I will work side by side with my outstanding Embassy 
team to strengthen this already strong relationship between our two 
countries and maintain the Embassy's proud tradition, serving U.S. 
interests. As I mentioned at the start, at my core I am grateful for 
this opportunity to serve my country--I have an obligation to give 
back--and I look forward to answering any questions you have.

    Senator Murphy. Thank you very much, Mr. Tsunis.
    Now finally, Ms. Bell, welcome.

STATEMENT OF COLLEEN BRADLEY BELL, OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, 
                TO BE THE AMBASSADOR TO HUNGARY

    Ms. Bell. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Johnson, and 
distinguished members of the Senate Foreign Relations 
Committee.
    It is an honor for me to appear before you as President 
Obama's nominee to be the United States Ambassador to Hungary. 
I am deeply grateful for the confidence and trust that 
President Obama and Secretary Kerry have placed in me. I am 
humbled by this opportunity, and if confirmed, I will proudly 
represent our country abroad.
    With the chairman's permission, I would like to acknowledge 
some of my family members. I would particularly like to thank 
my husband, Bradley, and our four children--Chasen, Caroline, 
Charlotte, and Oliver--for their steadfast and unwavering 
support in this new endeavor.
    I would also like to thank my father, who is here with me 
today. A former United States Marine, he instilled in me the 
importance of hard work and integrity in achieving my goals. My 
passion for public service is driven by our shared hopes for a 
better world for our next generation, a world that we build 
with the friendship and cooperation of our partners and allies.
    Hungary is a strong ally of the United States. We enjoy a 
close partnership embedded in our common commitment to two 
bedrock Transatlantic organizations, the OSCE and NATO. 
Inspired by shared interests and common values, Hungary has 
been a generous and reliable contributor to the International 
Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Hungary also 
contributes peacekeeping troops to the international mission in 
Kosovo and to EU operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
    Hungary has been an active and constructive supporter of 
U.S. efforts to broker a peace agreement between Israel and the 
Palestine Authority and of the ongoing international program to 
disarm the Syrian chemical weapons program. Police and civilian 
security cooperation has been excellent, as exemplified by the 
presence of the U.S.-sponsored International Law Enforcement 
Academy in Budapest.
    Last year marked the 90th anniversary of the United States-
Hungarian diplomatic relations. That anniversary gave us an 
opportunity to celebrate and reflect on our partnership, a 
relationship which extends beyond our common interest in 
security as NATO allies, and is anchored by deep economic ties 
and common values shared by the citizens of our two nations.
    At the same time, we have been open over the last 2 years 
about our concerns about the state of checks and balances in 
Hungary and the independence of some key institutions. Many 
argue that sweeping legislative and constitutional changes have 
hurt the international investment climate, undermined property 
rights, weakened the judiciary, and centralized power in the 
hands of the executive.
    The United States has not been alone in this regard. The 
perceived erosion of democratic checks and balances has 
garnered scrutiny from various bodies within the European 
Union. If confirmed, I will work tirelessly to uphold American 
and European democratic values, to express our concerns where 
appropriate, and to urge our Hungarian partners to work 
collaboratively with international partners and civil society 
on these issues.
    The idea of pluralism is integral to our understanding of 
what it means to be a democracy. Democracies recognize that no 
one entity, no state, no political party, no leader will ever 
have all the answers to the challenges we face. And depending 
on their circumstances and traditions, people need the latitude 
to work toward and select their own solutions.
    Our democracies do not and should not look the same. 
Governments by the people, for the people, and of the people 
will reflect the people they represent. But we all recognize 
the reality and importance of these differences. Pluralism 
flows from these differences.
    The United States has also expressed concern about the rise 
of extremism, which, unfortunately, is a trend not unique to 
Hungary. However, the rise in Hungary of extremist parties is 
of particular concern. If confirmed, protecting and promoting a 
climate of tolerance will be one of my key priorities.
    The Hungarian Government has undertaken a series of steps 
to address lingering hatred and the legacy of the Holocaust to 
include planned events in 2014 to commemorate the 70th 
anniversary of the large-scale deportation to Auschwitz and the 
2015 assumption of the presidency of the International 
Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. If confirmed, I look forward to 
working with government organizations, civic and religious 
groups, and other stakeholders to confront and to beat 
prejudice and hatred in all of its forms.
    We have enjoyed and benefited from our close relationship 
with Hungary for over 90 years. Just as we continue to work 
together in Afghanistan and around the world to uphold freedom 
and democracy, so, too, will we work to maintain an open and at 
times difficult dialogue on the importance of upholding our 
shared values at home.
    I bring to the table two decades of experience as a 
businesswoman, executive manager, and leader in the nonprofit 
arena. As a producer, I have been an integral part in 
developing a U.S. product that we export to more than 100 
countries for the daily consumption of over 40 million viewers.
    The demands of producing a daily show have honed my 
managerial skills and required me to carefully coordinate the 
diverse activities of a very large staff. My work in the 
nonprofit sector has left me with a deep appreciation for the 
role and the importance of civil society in a healthy 
democracy.
    If confirmed, I will give the highest priority to ensuring 
the well-being of U.S. citizens living, working, and traveling 
in Hungary, and I will also seek opportunities to enhance our 
cooperation on international security issues and to expand 
commercial opportunities for American firms while also firmly 
promoting and protecting our shared values and principles.
    If confirmed, I pledge to do my best in advancing America's 
interests and values. I look forward to working with this 
committee and Congress in that effort.
    Thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you 
today. I would be happy to answer any questions.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Bell follows:]

               Prepared Statement of Colleen Bradley Bell

    Thank you Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Johnson, and distinguished 
members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
    It is an honor for me to appear before you as President Obama's 
nominee to be the United States Ambassador to Hungary.
    I am deeply grateful for the confidence and trust that President 
Obama and Secretary Kerry have placed in me. I am humbled by this 
opportunity, and if confirmed, I will proudly represent our country 
abroad.
    With the Chairman's permission, I would like to acknowledge the 
presence of some of my family members who were able to join me here 
today. I would particularly like to thank my husband, Bradley, for his 
steadfast and unwavering support in this new endeavor. I would also 
like to thank my father. A former United States Marine, he instilled in 
me the importance of hard work and integrity in achieving my goals. My 
passion for public service is driven by our shared hopes for a better 
world for our next generation, a world that we build with the 
friendship and cooperation of our partners and allies.
    Hungary is a strong ally of the United States. We enjoy a close 
partnership embedded in our common commitment to two bedrock 
transatlantic organizations--the OSCE and NATO. Inspired by shared 
interests and common values, Hungary has been a generous and reliable 
contributor to the International Security Assistance Force in 
Afghanistan. Hungary also contributes peacekeeping troops to the 
international mission in Kosovo and to EU operations in Bosnia and 
Herzegovina. Hungary has been an active and constructive supporter of 
U.S. efforts to broker a peace agreement between Israel and the 
Palestine Authority and of the ongoing international program to disarm 
the Syrian chemical weapons program. Police and civilian security 
cooperation has been excellent, as exemplified by the presence of the 
U.S.-sponsored International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in 
Budapest.
    Last year marked the 90th anniversary of U.S.-Hungarian diplomatic 
relations. That anniversary gave us an opportunity to celebrate and 
reflect on our partnership--a relationship which extends beyond our 
common interest in security as NATO allies and is anchored by deep 
economic ties and common values shared by the citizens of our two 
nations.
    At the same time, we have been open over the last 2 years about our 
concerns about the state of checks and balances in Hungary and the 
independence of some key institutions. Many argue that sweeping 
legislative and constitutional changes have hurt the international 
investment climate, undermined property rights, weakened the judiciary, 
and centralized power in the hands of the executive. The United States 
has not been alone in this regard. The perceived erosion of democratic 
checks and balances has garnered scrutiny from various bodies within 
the European Union. If confirmed, I will work tirelessly to uphold 
American and European democratic values, to express our concerns where 
appropriate, and to urge our Hungarian partners to work collaboratively 
with international partners and civil society on these issues.
    The idea of pluralism is integral to our understanding of what it 
means to be a democracy. Democracies recognize that no one entity--no 
state, no political party, no leader--will ever have all the answers to 
the challenges we face. And, depending on their circumstances and 
traditions, people need the latitude to work toward and select their 
own solutions. Our democracies do not, and should not, look the same. 
Governments by the people, for the people, and of the people will 
reflect the people they represent. But we all recognize the reality and 
importance of these differences. Pluralism flows from these 
differences.
    The United States has also expressed concern about the rise of 
extremism which unfortunately is a trend not unique to Hungary. 
However, the rise in Hungary of extremist parties is of particular 
concern. If confirmed, protecting and promoting a climate of tolerance 
will be one of my key priorities.
    The Hungarian Government has undertaken a series of steps to 
address lingering hatred and the legacy of the Holocaust, to include 
planned events in 2014 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the large 
scale deportations to Auschwitz, and the 2015 assumption of the 
presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. If 
confirmed, I look forward to working with government organizations, 
civic and religious groups, and other stakeholders to confront and 
defeat prejudice and hatred in all of its forms.
    We have enjoyed and benefited from our close relationship with 
Hungary for over 90 years. Just as we continue to work together in 
Afghanistan and around the world to uphold freedom and democracy, so 
too will we work to maintain an open--and at times difficult--dialogue 
on the importance of upholding our shared values at home.
    I bring to the table two decades of experience as a businesswoman, 
executive manager, and leader in the nonprofit arena. As a producer I 
have been an integral part in developing a U.S. product that we export 
to more than 100 countries for daily consumption with more than 40 
million viewers. The demands of producing a daily show have honed my 
managerial skills and required me to carefully coordinate the diverse 
activities of a very large staff. My work in the nonprofit sector has 
left me with a deep appreciation for the role and the importance of 
civil society in a healthy democracy.
    If confirmed, I will give the highest priority to ensuring the 
well-being of U.S. citizens living, working, and traveling in Hungary 
and I will also seek opportunities to enhance our cooperation on 
international security issues, and to expand commercial opportunities 
for American firms while also firmly promoting and protecting our 
shared values and principles.
    If confirmed, I pledge to do my best in advancing America's 
interests and values. I look forward to working with this committee and 
Congress in that effort.
    Thank you, again, for the opportunity to appear before you today. I 
would be happy to answer any questions.

    Senator Murphy. Thank you very much, Ms. Bell.
    Just to my colleagues, I told all of our nominees here not 
to be disappointed if it was only Senator Johnson and I here 
today, and I just want to assure you that this is not a 
coordinated sneak attack on this panel to have five Senators. 
[Laughter.]
    Let me direct my first question to Mr. Tsunis and Mr. 
Barber because two countries that you are going to be 
representing us in have some common concerns in the Arctic 
region, and given that Iceland has chosen not, for the time 
being, to align themselves with the EU, they do that in part 
because they see themselves as a gateway to the Arctic for a 
variety of industries and resources.
    Of course, Norway has had a connection, historic connection 
to the Arctic. And as a neighbor of Russia, also wonder what 
their views are on Russia's new $600 billion military 
modernization and increased activity in the Arctic.
    So I wonder if you might both talk a little bit about how 
Norway and Iceland view the future of governance in the Arctic 
and perhaps how the United States and both of these countries 
can work together as we try to figure out a pathway forward?
    Mr. Tsunis. Thank you for your question, Mr. Chairman.
    Governance in the Arctic in Norway's view is through the 
Arctic Council. It was established in 1996. Norway is one of 
eight full-fledged members on the council. Actually, it was 
very important to Norway that the permanent Secretariat to the 
council be located in Tromso, which occurred last year.
    The Arctic is a very important foreign policy priority for 
both the United States and Norway. As oil and gas continue to 
be found as we go further up the Norwegian Continental Shelf, 
there are tremendous opportunities for both the United States, 
Norway, and our respective companies in those fields. There are 
also shipping lanes, which are now starting to open up, and 
that could mean very significant trade opportunities for both 
our countries.
    As regarding Russia, Norway has always had a posture of 
constructive engagement. I will tell you there is some concern 
with problems in their civil society, problems in restricting 
their media, an uneven business climate at times, and the 
military buildup that you mentioned. But it continues to have 
constructive engagement.
    And last year, both former Presidents of Russia and Norway 
entered into a cross-border cooperation, the Barents Euro 
Cooperation Agreement. And I think that was a very positive 
step.
    So, clearly, if confirmed, I am going to look to continue 
my engagement with Norway on all of these issues and to work 
with them in constructive engagement with Russia.
    Senator Murphy. Mr. Barber.
    Mr. Barber. Senator, I will add just briefly to Mr. Tsunis' 
comments and reinforce the comment that you, yourself, made, as 
well as Mr. Tsunis, that the United States and Iceland share an 
identity as Arctic nations, and they are two of the eight 
Arctic Council members. The Arctic Council has a mission to 
promote cooperation and coordination among its member states, 
including the six others, and this is a forum in which the 
United States believes it is important to engage not only with 
Iceland, but the other Arctic nations on issues that are of 
common importance to them.
    Senator Murphy. Ms. Bell, you touched briefly on the same 
subject that I talked about with respect to Hungary, which is 
some of these concerning developments regarding the rollback of 
certain democratic institutions and the relative independence 
of the bank and of the court.
    And I do not want to overstate the concern as you look at 
each one of these issues individually, but when you roll them 
all together, one of the worries is that it starts to create a 
little bit of a dangerous precedent within the OSCE and within 
NATO, as we are preaching to people who want to join these 
associations as to the democratic reforms that they have to 
undertake. It is a little bit difficult when you look at the 
totality of what is happening in Hungary to continue to hold 
that line.
    So we do not normally get into the business of telling our 
European partners through our embassies what they should be 
doing with respect to internal and domestic policy. So what do 
you think our levers are here? What is the appropriate 
intervention, the appropriate push and pull that we can give 
our partners in Hungary as they work through the future of some 
of these issues?
    Ms. Bell. Thank you, Senator.
    If confirmed, one of the key priorities will be to build 
upon the mutually beneficial economic, diplomatic, and security 
partnership that we have with Hungary. At the same time, there 
are governance issues that have been addressed over the past 2 
years. And these have not come strictly from the United States, 
but they have also been concerns that have been expressed by 
the European Union.
    As you mentioned, this erosion of checks and balances and 
the centralization of executive authority and also the freedom 
of and independence of the judiciary. And to name another would 
be media freedom. I absolutely do think that given the fact 
that Hungary is a strong and valued NATO ally of ours, a strong 
ally means an ally who has strong democracy in existence.
    So this is not always an easy conversation to have, but it 
is a necessary one. And if confirmed, I will continue to 
participate in a constructive and effective dialogue with our 
Hungarian partners about the values necessary to maintain and 
build a robust democracy.
    Senator Murphy. Thank you.
    Senator Johnson.
    Senator Johnson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I guess I would just like to go down the table there and 
just ask a question from your standpoint. What are the greatest 
commercial opportunities we have with the country you are going 
to be Ambassador to, if confirmed?
    Mr. Barber, I will start with you.
    Mr. Barber. Thank you, Senator Johnson.
    I think that Iceland is a country remarkable, for one, in 
its pioneering and innovation in the development of renewable 
power, geothermal and hydropower. Indeed, 85 percent of all 
energy used is sourced from renewables.
    Iceland is fortunate that its geological location is such 
that these resources are pretty readily available. But beyond 
that, Iceland has utilized its own ingenuity and 
resourcefulness of its peoples to develop these resources, to 
develop the technology to exploit them.
    And there are a number of both scientific collaborations 
that are in place as we speak, as between our two countries, 
our governments, and indeed between and among commercial 
enterprises in both countries to develop this technology and to 
employ it not only in Iceland, not only in the United States, 
but actually in other places around the world. There is great 
potential there, and that is just simply one area where I hope 
that our countries can work together.
    Senator Johnson. So there are opportunities for us to 
import the advanced technology from Iceland or vice versa, that 
they actually would be importing technology from the United 
States?
    Mr. Barber. I would say both, quite frankly, Senator. But 
the Icelanders are out in front of the rest of the world in the 
effort to exploit geothermal renewable energy power here.
    Senator Johnson. Mr. Tsunis, you talked about obviously 
Norway and oil. Are there other opportunities there between our 
two countries?
    Mr. Tsunis. Sure. Although the heart of our business ties 
are in the energy field, there are--we have a $15 billion 
annual trade partnership with Norway. It is very important to 
them. We are their fifth-largest trading partner.
    There are 300 businesses that are currently operating in 
Norway. Sixty percent of our investments in Norway have to do 
with energy, and there is a huge, huge American community in 
Stavanger there.
    But in this trade relationship, we have a slight deficit in 
manufactured goods. We have a slight surplus in services, but 
there are a lot of things that we will be getting to--there are 
a lot of markets that will continue to open up.
    Senator Johnson. Well, let me just ask, as Ambassador, how 
would you promote those trade cooperations?
    Mr. Tsunis. Thank you for that save, Senator Johnson.
    There has--prior Ambassadors have been very, very engaged 
in this issue. It is important that we continue--interesting.
    Senator Johnson. Let me move on to Ms. Bell.
    Mr. Tsunis. Please, thank you.
    Senator Johnson. What are you looking at in terms of those 
commercial opportunities between the United States and Hungary?
    Ms. Bell. Thank you very much for the question.
    The United States and Hungary have a strong commercial and 
business relationship. Nine billion dollars of U.S. investment 
are in Hungary right now. There will be opportunities to 
increase our trade relationship. I look forward to advocating 
for TTIP and ultimately using TTIP as a tool to promote the 
trade relationship, which will ultimately grow U.S. jobs and 
simultaneously improve the Hungarian economy.
    I look to work--I think there are opportunities, business 
and commercial opportunities in a variety of different business 
sectors in Hungary. I will look to promote commercial 
opportunities for U.S. businesses in manufacturing, 
pharmaceuticals, health and welfare, and energy at some point.
    Senator Johnson. Ms. Bell, you talked about in your 
testimony the rise in Hungary of extremist parties, that that 
was a particular concern. Can you just describe that in a 
little more, greater detail?
    Ms. Bell. Yes. Thank you very much, Senator, for the 
opportunity to touch on this.
    It is important for us to continue to confront bigotry and 
intolerance at all times. There is an extremist group in 
Hungary. They are the third-largest political party in Hungary, 
and they hold 11 percent of the seats in Parliament. They are 
responsible for a large percentage of the incidents of anti-
Semitism and the vitriolic language that is coming out of 
Hungary.
    The Hungarian Government has stated that they will not 
cooperate with this party, Jobbik Party. Embassy Budapest and 
the United States has clearly and consistently expressed to the 
Hungarian Government the need to condemn these incidences 
immediately.
    I do believe and I hope that there is a chance that these--
with the improvement in the economy and an engaged citizenry 
and effective diplomacy that we can reduce these rates.
    Senator Johnson. OK. Well, thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Murphy. Senator Cardin.
    Senator Cardin. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    And let me thank all three of our nominees for their 
willingness to serve our country. It is not easy. It will 
demand a lot of time and certainly family sacrifice. So I thank 
you all, and I thank your families for your willingness.
    In all three of the countries that you have been nominated 
to represent the United States, they are all members of the 
OSCE, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. 
I had the honor of chairing the U.S.-Helsinki Commission, which 
is the U.S. participation in the OSCE.
    The OSCE is the largest regional organization by number of 
countries in the world. It includes both the United States and 
Russia, which gives us a unique opportunity to advance the good 
governance issues that Ms. Bell was talking about as it relates 
to Hungary. I think it is fair to say that Norway and Iceland 
are strong members that share the U.S. commitment in all those 
areas and are our key allies.
    In regards to Hungary, which is a key strategic U.S. ally, 
as you point out--no question about that, a NATO partner--their 
commitments to the Helsinki principles are somewhat of concern.
    Ms. Bell, you mentioned in your statement the fact that 
their constitutional and statutory changes are problematic. You 
were a little diplomatic in your written statement. I think 
much stronger in your response to our questions, which I 
appreciate very much. Maybe you are learning diplomacy.
    But let me point out that Hungary is a friend, and we have 
an obligation to be pretty direct about this. And what is 
happening in Hungary today is very concerning. You mentioned 
the Jobbik Party, which is the third-largest party, as you 
point out, in Hungary. And it is true that the government has 
not embraced the Jobbik Party, but they have not condemned it. 
They played politics with it locally.
    So we have not seen the strong government action that we 
would like to see. Instead, we see activities taking place in 
Hungary that really raises major concern for us. They are now 
setting up this museum to commemorate the German occupation of 
Hungary. And quite frankly, there is major concern here because 
it looks like it is trying to say that everything that happened 
in Hungary during World War II was the responsibility of the 
Germans, whereas we know there were many Hungarians that were 
complicit as to what happened in Hungary during World War II.
    And I mention that because, yes, we have seen, as you point 
out in your statement, the rise of extremism. It is not just 
Jews and Jewish community in Hungary. It is the Roma community, 
which is being very much singled out.
    And we have seen a rise of anti-Semitism and extremism, but 
we found governments have stood up against it. And in Hungary, 
we are concerned that we have not seen the strength in its 
government to condemn those activities.
    So if you are confirmed as our Ambassador, you have got to 
be a strong voice on this. You cannot equivocate at all. And to 
know that if the relationship between our two countries will 
continue to grow stronger, we expect their government to take 
action and not just to say one thing to the local constituency 
in Hungary and another thing to our Ambassador.
    So I will give you one more opportunity to respond on this. 
I very much appreciate your responses to Senator Murphy and 
Senator Johnson. I think they were right on. But I hope you 
understand that you have a responsibility to be very direct 
when a friend is not taking the right course.
    Ms. Bell. Thank you very much, Senator Cardin.
    I do understand this, and I appreciate the responsibility 
that I will be taking, if confirmed. You have my word that I 
will continue to maintain a very strong and constructive 
dialogue with the Hungarian Government about the importance of 
drowning out this hate speech and these incidences of anti-
Semitism.
    And as I mentioned, the Government of Hungary did say that 
they would not engage with Jobbik, and this is something that 
we will hold them at their word.
    Thank you.
    Senator Cardin. Thank you.
    I hope also you will work closely with us in Congress and 
keep us informed and be prepared to accept advice from us as 
this issue unfolds because it is a major concern.
    Mr. Tsunis, I have known of your record for a long time, 
and I thank you for being willing to allow your talent to be 
used to represent our country in Norway. It is a very important 
country, and as you have pointed out, the opportunities between 
our countries only can get stronger.
    Mr. Barber, Iceland is a very interesting country and I 
think maybe may lead the world in its ability to take care of 
its energy needs with renewable sources. And it offers 
incredible opportunity for us, and of course, it is pretty 
close by. So it really is a country that we think can become a 
much stronger ally.
    We have had some difficulties on military facilities, but 
it seems to me that there is a lot of promise for growth, and 
we thank you very much for your willingness to step forward.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Murphy. Thank you, Senator Cardin.
    Senator McCain.
    Senator McCain. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Barber, I take it you have been to Iceland?
    Mr. Barber. Sir, I have not. I have not had the privilege 
yet. I look forward to----
    Senator McCain. Mr. Tsunis, have you been to Norway?
    Mr. Tsunis. I have not.
    Senator McCain. I guess, and Ms. Bell, have you been to 
Hungary?
    Ms. Bell. Yes, Senator, I have.
    Senator McCain. When?
    Ms. Bell. I was in Hungary in March.
    Senator McCain. Good. Thank you.
    Ms. Bell, do you think that United States-Hungarian 
relations are in a good place?
    Ms. Bell. Senator, thank you very much for this important 
question.
    I think that there are aspects of our bilateral 
relationship that are very strong. We do have a strong military 
cooperation. Law enforcement cooperation is also very strong. 
Hungary works on a variety of different peacekeeping missions 
in Kosovo and a long-term peacekeeping mission in the Balkans, 
and also they have provided troops to Afghanistan and continue 
to do so.
    That being said, I do think that there is opportunity to 
improve the bilateral relationship. I think that there are a 
variety of ways of doing so and are not necessarily all 
mutually exclusive.
    If confirmed, I look----
    Senator McCain. For example?
    Ms. Bell. For example, to work to build the military 
cooperation that we do have at this point and also promote 
business opportunities for U.S. companies and also continue to 
work these governance issues, discuss these governance issues.
    Senator McCain. So what would you be doing differently from 
your predecessor, who obviously had very rocky relations with 
the present government?
    Ms. Bell. If confirmed, I look forward to working with the 
broad range of society----
    Senator McCain. My question was what would you do 
differently?
    Ms. Bell. Senator, in terms of what I would do differently 
from my predecessor----
    Senator McCain. That was the question.
    Ms. Bell [continuing]. Kounalakis, well, what I would like 
to do, if confirmed, I would like to work toward engaging civil 
society in a deeper, in a deeper----
    Senator McCain. Obviously, you do not want to answer my 
question. Do you think democracy is under threat in Hungary?
    Ms. Bell. I think that there are absolutely signs of an 
erosion of checks and balances in Hungary. I do think that. I 
think that there is a centralization of executive authority 
that has taken place. I do think that the media freedoms are 
compromised.
    Senator McCain. Do you think our--what are our strategic 
interests in Hungary?
    Ms. Bell. Well, we have--our strategic interests, in terms 
of what are our key priorities in Hungary, I think our key 
priorities are to improve upon, as I mentioned, the security 
relationship and also the law enforcement and to promote 
business opportunities, increase trade.
    Senator McCain. I would like to ask again what our 
strategic interests in Hungary are.
    Ms. Bell. Our strategic interests are to work 
collaboratively as NATO allies, to work to promote and protect 
the security for both countries and for the world, to continue 
working together on the cause of human rights around the world, 
to build that side of our relationship while also maintaining 
and pursuing some difficult conversations that might be 
necessary in the coming years.
    Senator McCain. Great answer.
    Mr. Tsunis, following last year's parliamentary elections, 
Norway's conservative party now had a center-right coalition, 
as you know, that will include the anti-immigration party 
called the Progress Party. What do you think the appeal of the 
Progress Party was to the Norwegian voters?
    Mr. Tsunis. Thank you, Senator. That is a very seminal 
question.
    Generally, Norway has and is very proud of being a very 
open, transparent, and democratic parliamentary government. One 
of the byproducts of being such an open society and placing 
such a value on free speech is that you get some fringe 
elements that have a microphone, that spew their hatred, and 
although I will tell you Norway has been very quick to denounce 
them, we are going to continue to work with Norway to make 
sure----
    Senator McCain. The government has denounced them? They are 
part of the coalition of the government.
    Mr. Tsunis. Well, I would say--you know what?
    Senator McCain. I doubt seriously that they----
    Mr. Tsunis. I stand corrected. I stand corrected. I stand 
corrected and would like to leave my answer at they are--it is 
a very, very open society and that most Norwegians, the 
overwhelming amount of Norwegians and the overwhelming amount 
of people in Parliament do not feel the same way.
    Senator McCain. I have no more questions for this 
incredibly highly qualified group of nominees.
    Senator Murphy. Thank you.
    Senator Kaine.
    Senator Kaine. Mr. Barber, talk a little bit about--and I 
am sorry that I missed your opening statement. But just talk a 
little bit about the state of the Icelandic economy recovery 
after the financial collapse. I know it affected Iceland in a 
very significant way. So what is the current economic status in 
the country?
    Mr. Barber. Well, Senator, thanks for the question.
    And I can tell you that from the depths of the fall of 2008 
and the extreme difficulties that both the banks and the 
country as a whole experienced as a result of the financial 
collapse, Iceland has recovered thus far remarkably well. It 
has now modest, though positive GDP growth, reduced 
unemployment, and inflation is now in check.
    All of those are parts of the problems that the country 
experienced in 2008, 2009, and indeed into 2010. They have got 
a ways to go, but as there are still some capital controls that 
are in place, restrictions on money leaving the country, and 
some credit issues still to be tackled on the commercial side, 
on the home residential side. But they are making great 
progress, and there are several indicators that are looking 
very positive.
    Senator Kaine. Mr. Barber, one of the things that, you 
know, when I hear Americans talk about Iceland, most often 
Iceland is in a sentence or paragraph dealing with a place to 
go to see the effects of climate change, you know, if I talk to 
colleagues in the United States. So I know in the United States 
there is a significant awareness of climate issues in Iceland, 
and Iceland is sort of an example.
    Talk a little bit about, to the extent that you can, about 
the sort of internal--is there a lot of internal environmental 
activism in Iceland around climate issues? Because we are 
grappling at the congressional level of moving from talking 
about it to what the right policies are. I am kind of 
interested into how big an issue is that inside Icelandic 
society.
    Mr. Barber. Well, I think it is. I think that Icelanders 
and citizens of the United States share a great number of 
values, and some of those are in the arena of the climate and 
the changing nature of our climate.
    There is a little bit of a pivot here. Well, I should say 
certainly concern about climate in Iceland kind of goes hand-
in-hand with a desire for energy independence, and that, as I 
mentioned earlier in response to a question from Senator 
Johnson, that the Icelanders have done a great deal of work in 
developing geothermal resources and are, indeed, in 
collaboration with commercial enterprises in the United States 
exporting that technology and know-how.
    In fact, there is a joint Iceland-American company that has 
just won a billion-dollar contract to build a geothermal 
facility in Ethiopia. So, so there is awareness certainly of 
climate change as an issue, but also a desire to help not just 
within its own country and, indeed, in ours, but around the 
world to help to combat some of those effects by developing 
renewable resources where they are able to be developed.
    Senator Kaine. And innovative strategies. Thank you, Mr. 
Barber.
    Mr. Tsunis, a thank you and then a question. So a thank you 
to convey.
    Norway has really been one of the great partners in the 
world on humanitarian relief in Syria, both in terms of dollars 
put into humanitarian effort, but also Norwegian personnel have 
played a major role in the destruction of the chemical weapons 
stockpile in Syria. And so, first, that is an important thing 
to acknowledge to the country when you are there that we 
recognize it. We appreciate them. We need more partners like 
Norway in this humanitarian issue.
    Increasingly, finding ways to make sure that humanitarian 
aid gets delivered in Syria is occupying more and more of our 
time, and Norway has been a good asset. So I hope you will 
convey that.
    And then the question that I wanted to ask you is, Norway 
has also been a really good ally for us in NATO and U.N. 
missions. So it is one thing to be a NATO member, but in terms 
of putting people into the field for both NATO missions with 
the United States or U.N. missions, whether they be in Libya or 
Mali or elsewhere, Norway has been a strong ally.
    Is your understanding that the Norwegian public remains 
supportive of involvement with international institutions like 
NATO and U.N. in these kinds of missions? Is there still 
popular will to continue that?
    Mr. Tsunis. Thank you for your question, Senator.
    As you know, they are a founding member of NATO. They are 
very, very engaged. NATO remains very popular in Norway, and it 
is considered the cornerstone of their defense strategy.
    In November, Foreign Minister Brende and just last week the 
Defense Minister reiterated that at its core foreign policy and 
defense strategy is its relationship with the United States and 
with NATO. They have been a very effective ally. Some of the 
most effective--some of the most effective air resources in the 
Libyan conflict had been the Norwegian F-16s.
    They are continuing their commitment to defense and NATO. 
They are in the process of purchasing 52 F-35 Joint Strike 
Fighters, which really shows their commitment to 
interoperability. They have--also on the humanitarian effort 
not only are they a very active participant in the Lifeline 
Fund, which gives emergency funds to organizations that are 
under stress in civil societies, they chair the ad hoc liaison 
committee, which distributes humanitarian effort to the 
Palestinian state.
    And in Syria, Foreign Minister Brende just announced in 
Kuwait an additional $75 million in humanitarian aid for the 
people of Syria. That comes on top of $85 million for civil 
society and two $43 million commitments for humanitarian 
efforts that they previously have done.
    They have written off $500 million in loans in Burma, and 
throughout the world, they have shown themselves to be a very 
active facilitator of conflict but have also been very generous 
in humanitarian efforts, for development funds as well so these 
societies they are helping can stand on their own.
    Senator Kaine. Mr. Chair, with permission, could I ask one 
question of Ms. Bell?
    Ms. Bell, it strikes me that as I was hearing you chat 
about some of the civil institutional challenge in Hungary, 
particularly with the press, that you bring a really 
interesting expertise to this, having a background in media and 
press. You know, what better person to be able to speak to the 
values of an open society from a press standpoint and the 
reason to have a strong press climate than somebody who kind of 
comes out of that world.
    And so, I am just really going to offer you an opportunity 
to just kind of comment upon that. I think some of the best 
work we do are our Ambassadors individually, but also our 
Nation as a nation is the example that we set. When we set the 
right example, it speaks louder than any words we could say.
    You have been part of an industry in the communications 
side. You know what a free press, free and vigorous, robust, 
contentious, you know, press environment is like here. I would 
think that that would be something that in a diplomatic way you 
could, you know, bring to the table in encouraging Hungary to 
move more in that direction.
    Ms. Bell. Thank you very much, Senator.
    Yes, I do believe that freedom of the press is a core 
democratic value, and it is one that we all have to work, you 
know, to fight for the freedom of the press. If confirmed, I 
look forward to engaging the full range of civil society on 
this issue.
    I know that in Hungary right now there are watchdog groups 
and citizens who are working hard to bring back these freedoms 
and promote that very important core value of media and free 
press in Hungary.
    Senator Kaine. And finally, the State Department also has 
great assets and a special envoy that deals with anti-Semitism, 
wherever it is to be found throughout the world. And so, that 
is an asset also that you could draw on. Sadly, we see in too 
many countries in Europe, but elsewhere as well, anti-Semitism 
just still kind of a toxic brew that keeps stirring, and 
possibly it gets more challenging when there are difficult 
economic times. It seems to kind of spike.
    But we see that throughout European countries as well as a 
little bit in the anti-immigrant strain that was mentioned with 
respect to some others. So I would just encourage you to use 
those assets at State and your own personal assets in the 
industry to help in making the case for progress.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Senator Murphy. Thank you, Senator Kaine.
    Senator Markey.
    Senator Markey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, very much.
    Mr. Barber, you are from Massachusetts, and I know you 
well, and I know you are going to do a great job as Ambassador. 
And I know that you do a lot of work with start-ups, and 
clearly, this is an opportunity to use your expertise in terms 
of the business relationship between the United States and 
Iceland.
    And you just mentioned this partnership that we have for a 
billion-dollar deal, and so maybe you could talk a little bit 
about this incredible energy resource, which Iceland has. They 
are 100 percent hydro or geothermal in terms of the production 
of their electricity. So it is a 100-percent renewable country.
    What can that mean for us in terms of partnerships from a 
business perspective?
    Mr. Barber. Thank you very much, Senator Markey, for your 
kind words. I hope that if I am confirmed, I will prove to be 
worthy of them.
    I think that the--thus far what I have learned about the 
collaboration between our two countries, both on the commercial 
side as well as the research, educational components, there is 
a great deal of collaboration happening, and I would hope, if 
confirmed, to be witness to--indeed, aid as I am able--further 
collaboration.
    It is, indeed, a very exciting opportunity. There is a good 
deal more that can be done. The efforts that are underway right 
now are very exciting ones. The university exchanges are among 
them.
    And I think that one of the great opportunities that if I 
am confirmed I would like to be a part of is to engage U.S. 
manufacturing companies in the effort to apply this technology 
to be the providers of some of the hard resources that get 
utilized in the exploiting of the renewable resources not just 
in our country, certainly in Iceland, but in other parts of the 
world.
    Senator Markey. Beautiful. Thank you.
    You know what I would like to do? I would like to give each 
one of you 1 minute to tell us what it is that you want to 
achieve. Just a 1-minute summary. What is your goal when you 
all left? What is it that you hope to have achieved as the 
Ambassador to the country that you are going to be our 
Ambassador?
    So we will begin with you, Ms. Bell, and then we will go 
right down, and we will finish up with Mr. Barber. So you have 
1 minute. Just tell the committee what your goal is.
    Ms. Bell. Thank you very much.
    Hungary and the United States share many common values and 
positions on foreign policy. As I mentioned earlier, they are a 
strong and valued member of NATO. If confirmed, I look forward 
to furthering our security cooperation. Hungary contributes 
regularly to allied operations and peacekeeping missions.
    I would also like to work to promote commercial 
opportunities for U.S. businesses and advocate for TTIP and 
ultimately use TTIP as a tool to increase our trade 
relationship, which will ultimately grow jobs for the United 
States and simultaneously improve the Hungarian economy.
    I also think it is an important time to continue the 
dialogue on energy security and the need for energy 
diversification to provide the energy security.
    Senator Markey. Thank you. One minute, that is great.
    Mr. Tsunis.
    Mr. Tsunis. Thank you, Senator, for your question.
    We do not have the challenges in our bilateral relationship 
with Norway that we do with some of the other countries, but 
there are opportunities where we can do things that are better. 
We have opportunities to grow trade, provide greater investment 
opportunities for Norwegian companies in the United States, 
which are beneficial to our companies and workers. Statoil has 
a $27 billion investment with the United States.
    We want to open up markets and continue to open up markets 
in Norway for our American companies, which will also benefit 
companies and workers. We want to continue our close 
intelligence, military relationships with Norway because we 
will counter threats together. We need to do this together, 
which is very, very important.
    And on the last point is just balancing energy security 
with environmental concerns. Norway does it very, very well. We 
need to continue to engage them to do that together.
    Senator Markey. And finally, Mr. Barber.
    Mr. Barber. Thank you, Senator.
    I have got three--broadly stated, three priorities. One is 
the protection of the interests of United States citizens in 
Iceland, to build upon the very strong, already strong 
bilateral relationship to promote security of the United States 
and of Iceland.
    The second is along the lines of what has been discussed 
earlier, to promote those--seek out and promote those 
opportunities for bilateral trade and investment. One of the 
functions, I think, of an Ambassador is he or she gets to be a 
convener, a facilitator, a matcher of resources with 
opportunities.
    That is a very exciting prospect for me. It is part of what 
I have been doing in my life heretofore, and I look forward to 
that as an opportunity, if confirmed as Ambassador to Iceland.
    The third is, is to using the tools that are available, the 
tools of public diplomacy, to engage audiences across Iceland 
and to encourage the already-strong educational--Fulbright, for 
example--educational and cultural exchanges because I think 
this is good, in and of itself. But it broadens and deepens the 
bilateral relationship.
    Senator Markey. Thank you, Mr. Barber.
    And thank each of you for your willingness to serve our 
country. I am sure each of you is going to do an excellent job. 
Thank you so much.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Murphy. Thank you very much, Mr. Markey.
    What I love about this panel here today is that it 
represents the best of what we hope our Ambassadors will be, 
and that is representing the true diversity of the American 
experience. We have people with diverse background in law, in 
hospitality, in media, who have done philanthropic work in 
about 10 times as many different fields.
    We really appreciate you being willing to serve and 
appearing before us today. We look forward to your quick 
confirmation in this committee and then on the floor so you can 
get to work.
    We are going to leave the record open on this hearing until 
Tuesday at 6 p.m. If there are any additional questions, we 
hope that you will turn them around as quickly as possible to 
this committee.
    Senator Murphy. And with that, we are adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 3:50 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]


       NOMINATIONS OF MAX BAUCUS, ARNOLD CHACON, AND DANIEL SMITH

                              ----------                              


                       TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2014

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
                              ----------                              

Hon. Max Baucus, of Montana, to be Ambassador to China
Hon. Arnold Chacon, of Virginia, to be Director General of the 
        Foreign Service
Hon. Daniel Bennett Smith, of Virginia, to be Assistant 
        Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research
                              ----------                              

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:04 a.m., in 
room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Robert 
Menendez (chairman of the committee) presiding.
    Present: Senators Menendez, Cardin, Coons, Durbin, Udall, 
Murphy, Markey, Corker, Risch, Rubio, Johnson, McCain, and 
Barrasso.

          OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. ROBERT MENENDEZ, 
                  U.S. SENATOR FROM NEW JERSEY

    The Chairman. Good morning.
    Clearly one of the biggest opportunities before U.S. 
foreign policy today is getting the relationship between the 
United States and China, in the context of our rebalance to the 
Asia-Pacific, right. And I can think of few individuals more 
able and qualified at this important moment in history than our 
friend and colleague, the Senator from Montana, to help provide 
advice and guidance to the President and to Congress about how 
to get that relationship right.
    As you are well aware, China is likely to become the 
world's largest economy and all of us need to embrace that 
fact. Six of the world's 10-largest container ports are in 
China, as are numbers 11 and 12 on that list, which presents 
tremendous opportunities for American exporters. U.S. exports 
to China have increased by almost $40 billion in the past 4 
years alone, from $67 billion to $106 billion, creating and 
sustaining millions of U.S. jobs in sectors across the board 
from automobiles and power generation, machinery, aircraft, and 
other vital industrial sectors.
    Through the rest of the 21st century and beyond, much of 
the strategic, political, and economic future of the world is 
likely to be shaped by the decisions made in Washington and 
Beijing and the capitals of Asia over the next 4 to 5 years.
    The key challenge you will face as Ambassador, should you 
be confirmed--and I am sure you will be confirmed--is how to 
recognize the strategic and economic realities unfolding with 
the rise of China. You will play an integral role in 
reconceptualizing the problems we face and how to turn them 
into opportunities. In my view, the strategic decision by the 
Obama administration during its first term, described ``as a 
Rebalance to Asia,'' was absolutely right. If confirmed, you 
will be a central player in conveying a clear message to the 
entire region that America is an Asia-Pacific player and will 
be part of the region for the long haul, that we will continue 
to extend the efforts to rebalance our foreign policy to the 
Asia-Pacific, making sure the resources are there to work with 
allies and partners to shape the broader regional environment 
in the context of China's rise, that disagreements need not 
lead to conflict, neither should any of us labor under any 
false pretense that we are not going to safeguard and promote 
our national interests, and that we need to work with China and 
our other allies in the region to construct a new rules-based 
order for the Asia-Pacific community built on open and 
inclusive diplomatic, security, and economic mechanisms and 
institutions.
    And so we look forward to hearing from you, Senator Baucus, 
shortly.
    With that, let me introduce the distinguished ranking 
member, Senator Corker, for his opening statement.

             OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. BOB CORKER, 
                  U.S. SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE

    Senator Corker. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the 
way we work together, and I want to thank both of you for being 
here today: Senator Tester for introducing and, obviously, 
Senator Baucus for being willing to serve in this way. And I 
appreciate the relationship we have had in my 7 years here in 
the Senate. I appreciate the very frank conversation we had in 
our office about this post that you are getting ready to 
assume. And again, I thank you for your willingness to do it.
    You know, probably the most important--I think you know 
this--relationship we, as a nation will have over this next 
decade, will be with China. And my guess is that it is not a 
relationship that is not particularly well defined. So you will 
be going to China in a period of time and in a position to 
really shape that relationship.
    Many Americans today wonder whether China is friend or foe, 
and candidly, you are going to have a big impact on how that 
outcome emerges. So I think it is an important relationship. I 
think we should do everything we can to strive to make sure 
that we complement each other's countries, and I think you are 
going to really strive to do so. I know as the Finance 
Committee chairman, you have worked on so many trade issues, 
have been an advocate for free trade. And I know you are going 
to continue to do that in this position, and yet we need to 
shape it in such a way that the Western values that we care so 
much about are front and center.
    Stability in the region is very, very important, and that 
is probably an area that you have spent less time on in your 
post as head of Finance. And yet, with China doing what it is 
doing right now in the South and East China Seas, there are a 
lot of tensions that are being created and obviously new 
tensions between Japan and China.
    So we hope to see greater global integration take place. We 
have opportunities right now to help shape that as a nation. 
You will be leading those efforts. And again, I thank you for 
your testimony, which will take place in just a moment, and 
your willingness to serve in this way.
    So I will stop, Mr. Chairman, and look forward to a very 
productive session.
    The Chairman. Thank you, Senator Corker.
    We are pleased to welcome to the committee a friend and 
colleague, the junior Senator, soon to be, possibly, the senior 
Senator from Montana, Senator Tester.

                STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN TESTER, 
                   U.S. SENATOR FROM MONTANA

    Senator Tester. Thank you, Chairman Menendez and Ranking 
Member Corker, Senator Murphy. It is my pleasure today to 
introduce Max Baucus to the Foreign Relations Committee. Max is 
a legend in Montana. His commitment and his passion for the 
State is second to none. That is why Montana has trusted him to 
represent that great State for nearly 40 years.
    Max is also a legend in the U.S. Senate. As a longtime 
leader of the Senate Finance Committee, Max knows the issues 
affecting our relationship with China better than anyone. Max 
has been to China eight times. He has led trade and 
agricultural missions there. He has fought to normalize our 
trade relations, and he knows the Chinese leadership well.
    As chairman of the Finance Committee, Max also knows trade 
issues inside and out, a skill that will serve him well as he 
represents our interests to our second-leading trade partner.
    Max's commitment to greater economic opportunity has paid 
off for Montanans and Americans for literally decades. As 
Ambassador, he will have the opportunity to take his passion, 
his work ethic, and his knowledge to the next level. If Max is 
confirmed as the next Ambassador to China, he will join a 
fellow Montanan overseas. Our current Ambassador to Russia, 
Michael McFall, also hails from the Big Sky State.
    But it is really the footsteps of another Montana legend 
that Max is prepared to walk in. After 24 years in the Senate, 
including a record 16 as majority leader, Mike Mansfield became 
America's Ambassador to China in 1977. As a teenager, Max 
memorably met Senator Mansfield who became a lifelong mentor to 
Max. With his deep knowledge of China, international trade, and 
a work ethic that Senator Mansfield would be proud of, it is my 
pleasure today to introduce you to Max Baucus.
    Finally, I would just say this. It is with mixed emotions 
today that I introduce to you Max Baucus. As a U.S. Senator, 
Max has been a friend and a mentor of mine since I have gotten 
here, since before I have gotten here, in fact. I remember when 
I was thinking about running for the United States Senate. Max 
Baucus was one of the first people that I went and visited here 
in his office in Washington, DC. Max looked at me and said, do 
you have the fire in the belly because if you do not have the 
fire in the belly, do not do it.
    I can tell you unequivocally here today Max Baucus has the 
fire in the belly to be the next Chinese Ambassador, and he 
will represent this country very well in that capacity.
    With that, Mr. Chairman, I introduce to you, Senator Max 
Baucus.
    The Chairman. Thank you, Senator Tester. We know your 
schedule, so you are welcome to leave when you feel you must.
    Senator Tester. Thanks.
    The Chairman. Now, Senator Baucus, the floor is yours. Your 
full statement will be included in the record. Do not hesitate 
to summarize it as you choose. And, of course, I see your 
lovely wife is here. If you want to introduce her to the 
committee as well and any other family or friends, you are 
welcome to do so at this time.

           STATEMENT OF HON. MAX BAUCUS, OF MONTANA, 
                   TO BE AMBASSADOR TO CHINA

    Senator Baucus. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    First, I want to thank my colleague, John Tester. No one 
could be more lucky than I to have such a good colleague and 
such a good friend. He is an amazing man.
    I would like to introduce my wife, Melodee, and my 
daughter-in-law, Stephanie. Would you guys please stand so we 
can see you? Melodee and Stephanie. Stephanie is my daughter-
in-law, Stephanie Baucus. And they are just wonderful, 
wonderful. They are family and mean so much to me. Thank you.
    The Chairman. Welcome to the committee and thank you for 
your willingness as well. We understand that when our 
ambassadors go abroad, it is also a commitment of their 
families. So we appreciate that.
    Senator Baucus. Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Corker, 
members of the committee, it is an honor to appear before you 
today as President Obama's nominee to serve as the next United 
States Ambassador to the People's Republic of China.
    I thank the President for his support and trust. He is a 
true friend with whom I have been honored to get to know and 
work with closely over the years. I also appreciate the support 
and the confidence of Vice President Biden and Senator Kerry, 
friends with whom I served here in the Senate for many, many 
years.
    I am also grateful to Ambassadors Jim Sasser, Jon Huntsman, 
Gary Locke, for their friendship and counsel. These 
distinguished statesmen, along with many others, have worked 
hard to build a strong relationship between the United States 
and China. I am humbled to have the opportunity to expand on 
that foundation.
    The United States-China relationship is one of the most 
important bilateral relationships in the world. It will shape 
global affairs for generations to come. We must get it right. 
If confirmed, I look forward to working with members of this 
committee and with other Members of Congress to achieve that 
goal and strengthen ties between our two countries.
    My fascination with China goes back 50 years to my days as 
a college student at Stanford. I was a young man and grew up on 
a ranch outside of Helena, MT, full of youthful idealism and 
curiosity. So I packed a backpack and took a year off from my 
studies, hitchhiked around the world. I set out to visit 
countries I had only imagined: India, Japan, China, just to 
name a few.
    Before I departed, I had never thought about a life in 
public service, but that trip opened my eyes. I realized how 
people across the globe were interconnected, how we are all in 
this together, basically the same values, the same wishes, put 
food on the table, healthy lives, taking care of our kids. We 
are all in this world together. We are all interconnected. I 
saw the vital role America plays as leader on the world stage. 
We are the leader. I returned to the States with a focus and 
commitment to a career where I could improve the lives of my 
fellow Montanans and my fellow Americans.
    I came to Washington in 1973 with a goal of working with my 
colleagues in Congress to address the challenges facing our 
Nation. Throughout my career, I have tried my best to do just 
that.
    I am proud of the role I played spearheading environmental 
protection, strengthening America's health and safety net 
programs, and fighting for Montana. I am especially proud of 
the work I have done to build ties and foster collaboration 
between the United States and countries around the world.
    In my capacity as Senate Finance Committee chair and 
ranking member, I led the passage and enactment of free trade 
agreements with 11 countries: Australia, Bahrain, Jordan, 
Chile, Colombia, Morocco, Oman, Panama, Peru, Singapore, and 
South Korea.
    My position has also allowed me to travel to emerging and 
established markets on behalf of the United States. And since 
2010, I have been on the ground working to advance U.S. trade 
interests in Germany, Spain, Belgium, Russia, Japan, New 
Zealand, Brazil, Colombia, and China.
    I have learned some core lessons along the way. One of the 
most important, I have become a firm believer that a strong 
geopolitical relationship can be born out of a strong economic 
relationship, which often begins with trade.
    In fact, America's relationship with China began with 
trade. In 1784, a U.S. trade ship called the ``Empress of 
China'' sailed into what is now the port of Guangzhou. That 
visit opened a trade route that moved small amounts of tea, 
silk, and porcelain. Today, United States-China trade accounts 
for more than $500 billion in goods and services each year.
    From my first official visit to China in 1993 to my most 
recent in 2010, I have worked through economic diplomacy to 
strengthen ties between the United States and China. I look 
forward to continuing that work to build a stronger, more 
equitable economic relationship between our countries.
    If confirmed, I hope to accomplish two overarching goals, 
goals that are critical to our relationship with China and can 
help achieve our shared interest in a safer, more prosperous 
world.
    First, to develop our economic relationship with China in a 
way that benefits American businesses and workers.
    And second, to partner with China as it emerges as a global 
power, encourage it to act responsibly in resolving 
international disputes, respecting human rights, and protecting 
the environment.
    When I visited China in 2010, I met with President Xi 
Jinping, who was then Vice President. We discussed a range of 
topics, including Chinese current policies, its enforcement of 
intellectual property rights, its barriers to U.S. exports. I 
remember President Xi stressing that the United States and 
China have more common interests than differences. In his 
words, cooperation between our nations could help drive peace 
and stability. In fact, he used that word, ``cooperation,'' 
repeatedly.
    Leaders from both sides have recognized that we have much 
more to gain from cooperation than from conflict. I believe 
that as well, and I see many areas of our relationship where 
cooperation is not only possible, it is vital.
    China must be fully invested in a global rules-based 
economic system. Its economy continues to expand rapidly. It 
grew 7.7 percent last year. And China is the world's second-
largest economy and one of our largest trading partners.
    So how do we continue to bring China into the fold? By 
engaging the Chinese through bilateral talks and regional 
forums. Engagement will allow us to identify shared goals. It 
will allow us to achieve concrete results.
    As Finance Committee chairman, I worked to bring China into 
the global trade community. I met with Chinese Premier Zhu 
Rongji in 1999 and pushed to extend permanent trade relations 
with China and supported its entry into the World Trade 
Organization. The strategy has already paid dividends.
    Last year, China agreed to negotiate a bilateral investment 
treaty with the United States, one that adopts our high 
standard approach to national treatment protections. The treaty 
will mark an important step in opening China's economy to 
United States investors and leveling the playing field for 
American businesses. We have much more to do, though.
    Cooperation is also critical on geopolitical issues. As 
China emerges on the global stage, it has a responsibility to 
contribute more to preserving the regional and global security 
that has enabled its rise.
    The North Korea nuclear issue is just one example where 
close United States-China coordination is clearly in both 
sides' interests. And if confirmed, I would work to urge my 
Chinese counterparts to redouble their efforts to press North 
Korea to denuclearize.
    Countries in the Asia-Pacific have expressed concerns about 
China's pursuit of its territorial claims in maritime disputes 
along the periphery. And if confirmed, I will urge China to 
follow international law in maritime issues and other 
international standards and stress that all sides must work 
together to manage and resolve sovereignty disputes without 
coercion or use of force.
    I will continue to make clear that the United States 
welcomes continued progress in cross-strait relations. I will 
also encourage China to reduce military deployments aimed at 
Taiwan and pursue a peaceful resolution to cross-strait issues.
    As the United States encourages cooperation with China, it 
must also remain loyal to the values that define us as 
Americans. If confirmed, I will urge China's leaders to protect 
the universal human rights and the freedoms of all its 
citizens, including ethnic and religious minorities. I will 
call on Chinese authorities to reduce tensions in Tibet and 
Xinjiang and restart substantive talks with the Dalai Lama or 
his representatives without preconditions.
    If confirmed, I will not be an Ambassador confined to the 
Embassy in Beijing. I will be out in the field working to solve 
the challenging issues facing our two nations and building 
relations between our two peoples.
    I look forward to visiting with the people of China and 
have the honor to be a guest in their country to listen and to 
learn from them.
    Ambassador Locke has told me of the outstanding team at the 
Embassy in Beijing and in our consulates across China. If 
granted the privilege to serve as Ambassador, I will be 
fortunate to have a dedicated team of hardworking professionals 
at my side.
    Later this week, Chinese and other communities around the 
world will celebrate the start of the lunar new year. It will 
mark a time of renewal, of new beginnings. The opportunity to 
serve as Ambassador will mark a new beginning for me as well, 
and if confirmed, I will strive to strengthen the United 
States-China relationship for the benefit of our two countries 
and the world.
    Chairman Menendez, Senator Corker, all members of this 
esteemed committee, thank you so much for the opportunity to 
appear before you.
    And I will submit my remaining testimony for the record and 
welcome your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Senator Baucus follows:]

                    Prepared Statement of Max Baucus

    Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Corker, members of the committee, it 
is an honor to appear before you today as President Obama's nominee to 
serve as the next United States Ambassador to the People's Republic of 
China.
    I thank the President for his support and trust. He is a true 
friend with whom I've been honored to closely work with over the years. 
I also appreciate the support and confidence of Vice President Biden 
and Secretary Kerry, friends with whom I served here in the Senate for 
many years.
    Before we begin, I'd also like to take a moment to introduce my 
wife, Melodee. My family is the most important thing in my life. I want 
to thank them for all of their support.
    I'm also grateful to Ambassadors Jim Sasser, Jon Huntsman, and Gary 
Locke for their friendship and counsel. These distinguished statesmen--
along with many others--have worked hard to build a strong relationship 
between the United States and China. I'm humbled to have the 
opportunity to expand on that foundation.
    The U.S.-China relationship is one of the most important bilateral 
relationships in the world. It will shape global affairs for 
generations to come. We must get it right.
    If I am confirmed, I look forward to working with members of this 
committee and with other Members of Congress to achieve that goal and 
strengthen ties between our two nations.
    My fascination with China goes back 50 years to my days as a 
college student at Stanford. I was a young man who grew up on a ranch 
outside Helena, MT, full of youthful idealism and curiosity. And so I 
packed a backpack, took a year off from my studies, and hitchhiked 
around the world. I set out to visit countries I had only imagined--
India, Japan, and China, to name a few.
    Before I departed, I had never thought about a life of public 
service. But that trip opened my eyes. I realized how people across the 
globe were interconnected. And I saw the vital role America plays as a 
leader on the world stage. I returned to the States with a focus and 
commitment to a career where I could improve the lives of my fellow 
Montanans and all Americans.
    I came to Washington in 1973 with the goal of working with my 
colleagues in Congress--both Republicans and Democrats--to address the 
challenges facing our Nation. Throughout my career, I have tried my 
best to do just that.
    I am proud of the role I played spearheading environmental 
protections, strengthening America's health and safety net programs, 
and fighting for Montana. I am especially proud of the work that I have 
done to build ties and foster collaboration between the United States 
and countries around the world.
    In my capacity as the Senate Finance Committee's chair and ranking 
member, I led the passage and enactment of Free Trade Agreements with 
11 countries: Australia, Bahrain, Jordan, Chile, Colombia, Morocco, 
Oman, Panama, Peru, Singapore, and South Korea.
    My position has also allowed me to travel to emerging and 
established markets on behalf of the United States. Since 2010 alone, 
I've been on the ground working to advance U.S. trade interests in 
Germany, Spain, Belgium, Russia, Japan, New Zealand, Brazil, Colombia, 
and China.
    I have learned some core lessons along the way. Among the most 
important, I have become a firm believer that a strong geopolitical 
relationship can be born out of a strong economic relationship, which 
often begins with trade.
    In fact, America's relationship with China began with trade. In 
1784, a U.S. trade ship called the Empress of China sailed into what is 
now the port of Guangzhou. That visit opened a trade route that moved 
small amounts of tea, silk, and porcelain. Today, U.S.-China trade 
accounts for more than $500 billion in goods and services each year.
    From my first official visit to China in 1993 to my most recent 
trip in 2010, I have worked through economic diplomacy to strengthen 
ties between the United States and China. I look forward to continuing 
that work to build a stronger, more equitable economic relationship 
between our countries.
    If confirmed, I hope to accomplish two overarching goals that are 
critical to our relationship with China and can help achieve our shared 
interest in a safer, more prosperous world.

   First, to develop our economic relationship with China in a 
        way that benefits American businesses and workers.
   Second, to partner with China as it emerges as a global 
        power and encourage it to act responsibly in resolving 
        international disputes, respecting human rights, and protecting 
        the environment.

    When I visited China in 2010, I met with President Xi Jinping, who 
was then the Vice President. We discussed a range of topics, including 
China's currency policies, its enforcement of intellectual property 
rights, and its barriers to U.S. exports. I remember President Xi 
stressing that the United States and China have more common interests 
than differences. In his words, cooperation between our nations could 
help drive peace and stability. He used that word--cooperation--
repeatedly.
    Leaders from both sides have recognized that we have much more to 
gain from cooperation than from conflict. I believe that as well, and I 
see many areas of our relationship where cooperation is not only 
possible, but vital.
    For example, China must be fully invested in the global rules-based 
economic system. Its economy continues to expand rapidly--it grew 7.7 
percent last year. China is the world's second-largest economy and one 
of our largest trading partners.
    So how do we continue to bring China into the fold? By engaging the 
Chinese through bilateral talks and regional forums. Engagement will 
allow us to identify shared goals. It will allow us to achieve concrete 
results.
    As Chairman, I worked to bring China into the global trade 
community. I met with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji in 2000, and pushed to 
extend permanent trade relations with China, and I supported its entry 
into the World Trade Organization. The strategy has already paid 
dividends.
    Last year, China agreed to negotiate a bilateral investment treaty 
with the United States that adopts our high-standard approach to 
national treatment protections. The treaty will mark an important step 
in opening China's economy to U.S. investors and leveling the playing 
field for American businesses.
    It's also critical for the United States and China to work together 
to develop a shared understanding of acceptable norms and behavior in 
cyber space, including a cessation of government-sponsored cyber-
enabled theft of intellectual property. Such behavior hurts China as 
well as the United States, because American businesses are concerned 
about the cost of doing business in China. If confirmed, I will work 
with Chinese counterparts to ensure meaningful actions are taken to 
curb this behavior so that it does not undermine the economic 
relationship that benefits both of our nations.
    As the largest energy consumers, greenhouse gas emitters, and 
renewable energy producers, the United States and China share common 
interests, challenges, and responsibilities that cut across our 
economic, national security. Last year our countries announced new 
commitments to work together on climate change and clean energy. During 
Vice President Biden's last visit, for example, our two governments 
volunteered to undertake fossil fuel subsidy peer reviews this year. If 
confirmed, I will endeavor to build on our existing cooperation with 
China, including collaborative projects on energy efficiency, smart 
grids, transportation, greenhouse gas data, and carbon sequestration.
    Cooperation is also critical on geopolitical issues. As China 
emerges on the global stage, we believe it has a responsibility to 
contribute more to preserving the regional and global security that has 
enabled its rise.
    The North Korean nuclear issue is just one example where close 
U.S.-China coordination clearly is in both sides' interests. If 
confirmed, I would work to urge my Chinese counterparts to redouble 
their efforts, along with us and our partners in the 6P process, to 
press North Korea to denuclearize.
    Countries in the Asia-Pacific region have expressed concerns about 
China's pursuit of its territorial claims in maritime disputes along 
its periphery. If confirmed, I will urge China to follow international 
law, international rules, and international norms on maritime issues, 
including by clarifying the international legal basis for its claims. I 
will stress that all sides must work together to manage and resolve 
sovereignty disputes without coercion or the use of force.
    I will continue to make clear that the United States welcomes 
continued progress in cross-strait relations and remains committed to 
our one China policy based on the three joint communiques and the 
Taiwan Relations Act. I will also urge China to reduce military 
deployments aimed at Taiwan and pursue a peaceful resolution to cross-
strait issues in a manner acceptable to people on both sides of the 
strait.
    As the United States encourages cooperation with China, we must 
also remain loyal to the values that define us as Americans, including 
our commitment to universal values, human rights, and freedom.
    If confirmed, I will urge China's leaders to protect the universal 
human rights and freedoms of all its citizens, including ethnic and 
religious minorities. I will call on Chinese authorities to allow an 
independent civil society to play a role in resolving societal 
challenges; take steps to reduce tensions and promote long-term 
stability in Tibet and Xinjiang; and restart substantive talks with the 
Dalai Lama or his representatives, without preconditions.
    The free exchange of information, including over the Internet, is 
essential to the growth of modern societies. Yet in China, we have 
witnessed a government crackdown on free expression that is limiting 
areas of domestic debate. If confirmed, I will work to convince China 
that open debate and the free flow of information is in its own 
interest, enabling the type of creativity and innovation that will lead 
to a more stable and prosperous society.
    I also look forward to visiting with the people of China. I would 
be honored to be a guest in their country--to listen and learn from 
them. If confirmed, I will not be an ambassador confined to the Embassy 
in Beijing. I will be out in the field, working to solve the 
challenging issues facing our two nations and building relations 
between our two peoples.
    Ambassador Locke has told me of the outstanding team at the Embassy 
in Beijing and in our consulates across China. If granted the privilege 
to serve as Ambassador, I will be fortunate to have a dedicated team of 
hard-working professionals at my side. I will do everything possible to 
ensure that the dedicated officers and staff working at the U.S. 
mission in China have the tools and support they need to continue 
performing the important work of the United States abroad.
    Later this week, Chinese and other communities worldwide will 
celebrate the start of the Lunar New Year. It will mark a time of 
renewal and new beginnings. The opportunity to serve as Ambassador will 
mark a new beginning for me as well. If confirmed, I will strive to 
strengthen the U.S.-China relationship for the benefit of our two 
countries and the world.
    Chairman Menendez, Ranking Member Corker, thank you for this 
opportunity to appear before you today. I welcome the opportunity to 
answer your questions.

    The Chairman. Thank you, Senator Baucus, for that pretty 
comprehensive introductory statement, and your entire statement 
will be included in the record.
    Let me start off. You are extremely well versed in all of 
the economic, trade, and related issues. And I think as someone 
who has had the privilege of sitting on the Finance Committee 
under your chairmanship, I have seen that firsthand. But as you 
recognized in your opening statement, this is a pretty 
comprehensive portfolio with China. And in that regard, I would 
like to visit with you on one or two things.
    One is China continues to refer to a new type of great 
power relationship, and I wonder what you think China means by 
that. Is that China laying down a marker for saying, hey, we 
have a greater say in our back yard, so to speak? And what 
should America's counter be? Should we even be using that 
phrase? What are your views on that?
    Senator Baucus. Mr. Chairman, as you have said in your 
opening statement and I in mine, a view that is shared by all 
members of this committee and Congress, most who think about 
this question, it is imperative that we, America, be deeply 
involved in the Asia-Pacific. The rebalancing mentioned by our 
President and others referred to I think is critical. It is 
because the United States and Chinese interrelationship is so 
valid to solving problems not just in China and America but 
worldwide.
    China talks about a new relationship. I think it is always 
interesting and somewhat helpful to talk about new 
relationships, to look forward, to try to find something new 
and something fresh like the Chinese new year, the first of any 
new year. But China's interpretation of the new relationship, 
as I understand it, says its core interest is one which I think 
we should be very wary of. As I understand China's 
interpretation of the new relationship and focusing on its core 
interests, it is frankly one that suggests that China take care 
of its own issues in China, whether they are human rights 
issues or whether it is Taiwan, the Senkaku Islands, Diaoyu in 
their version, in the South China Sea. That is essentially a 
version where China takes care of its part of the world and the 
rest of the country takes care of their parts of the world. 
That is not an approach that makes sense to me. It is not an 
approach which makes sense, I am sure, to the President, 
although we have not talked specifically about this.
    The approach that makes sense is for the United States to 
urge China to be a full member of, and to participate fully in, 
the United Nations rule of law, to resolve issues according to 
international rule of law principles and norms. And that 
includes work with the United Nations with respect to North 
Korea, the United Nations with respect to Syria, Iran. It means 
open skies, open seas, to maintain security in the world. Half 
of the commercial tonnage shipped in the world today across the 
Strait of Malacca and the South China Sea--it is extremely 
important that the United States stays engaged in the world and 
helps work with China. And the approach to China should be it 
is very simple. It is one that is positive, that is 
cooperative. We work to constructive results about one grounded 
in reality. We stand up for our principles. We stand up for our 
principles, but as we work and engage China.
    The Chairman. Senator Baucus, there are a couple of areas 
on the economic front and the security front that are, I think, 
critically important, and I would like to get your commitment 
to the committee that once you are confirmed and in Beijing, 
that you will work toward these goals.
    One is the question of cyber security and theft, which of 
course has been part of the strategic dialogue that has been 
had between the administration and the Chinese leadership.
    The other one is intellectual property. A 2013 American 
Chamber of Commerce China survey found--and I was there this 
past August and talked to them about this--that 72 percent of 
respondents said that China's IPR enforcement was either 
ineffective or totally ineffective. And the U.S. International 
Trade Commission estimated that U.S. intellectual property-
intensive firms that conducted business in China lost over $48 
billion--billion dollars--in sales, royalties, and license fees 
in 2009 because of IPR violations.
    So can you commit to the committee that upon your 
confirmation, these are areas that you will work to improve 
with our Chinese counterparts?
    Senator Baucus. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I absolutely will. 
As you asked the question--and I thought about this before. 
When I sat where you are now in the Finance Committee, I have 
asked many questions along those lines of witnesses of the 
administration. Why are you not doing more to protect 
intellectual property, get going here, get moving? It now dawns 
on me that as a member of the administration, I am going to 
have to, along with others in the administration, do what we 
can to address intellectual property theft. It includes not 
only trademarks and other traditional IP, but also it is cyber 
theft. It is industrial espionage, which obviously is becoming 
more rampant. I have heard figures that are even greater than 
the ones you mentioned. It is a huge problem.
    And it is really an opportunity for the United States to 
keep reminding China that China has benefited so much by our 
open rules-based economy, and China will benefit more in the 
future the more China protects its own intellectual property 
and follows more rules-based solutions to its economic and 
political problems. It is a huge issue and you have my 
commitment, if confirmed.
    The Chairman. And finally, I appreciate you raising us 
standing up for our principles because I think in any 
relationship, one that is honest, straightforward, but that 
stands up for our principles is important. And while we 
obviously are fixated on the economic challenges and 
opportunities, on the relationship to engage China in a rules-
based system that ultimately observes international norms as 
disputes seek to be resolved, the question of human rights, the 
question of Tibet where your immediate two predecessors, 
Ambassadors Huntsman and Locke, went to visit Lhasa, Tibet, I 
hope you will do the same when you have that opportunity. The 
question, as we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Taiwan 
Foreign Relations Act. These are standing up for principles 
that make it very clear that we seek to engage, we seek to find 
cooperation, but that we will also stand up for some 
fundamental human rights issues and imperatives that I think 
are important. And I am glad to hear it in your statement, and 
I look forward to seeing it in your actions as Ambassador.
    Senator Baucus. Thank you, Senator.
    The Chairman. Senator Corker.
    Senator Corker. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Again, thank you for being here today and for your opening 
comments and our prior meetings.
    I know we talked just a little bit in our office about some 
of the security situations, and I know you are very aware that 
China has recently named an air defense identification zone 
that overlaps with commonly known Japanese territory. And under 
article 5 of our security agreement with Japan, we would come 
to their aid if certain provocations occurred there.
    I know you have had a lot of briefings with the 
administration in preparation for this. And again, I know it is 
an area that has been outside, generally speaking, of the great 
trade issues and other kind of things you pursued in Finance. 
But what is your sense of what China intends by taking these 
steps that they have recently taken?
    Senator Baucus. Senator, I think the best approach, if 
confirmed, one I will pursue, is I will do all I can to reduce 
tensions in the East China Sea. It is unfortunate that China 
set up the ADIZ. The United States has not recognized nor 
confirmed that action. And I think that it is important for the 
United States to let China know that so as to discourage other 
potential actions that China may take.
    Having said that, it is a delicate relationship between 
China and Japan. And it is, I think--and I have done this 
frankly with the Prime Minister when I was recently in Japan--
to counsel caution, counsel reduced tension, counsel to back 
off here a little because otherwise we run the risk of a major 
dispute, of a major problem where, if tensions are high, there 
could be a miscalculation or easily a miscalculation. It is 
important, again, to remind China that it is in China's best 
interest to maintain a peaceful Asia-Pacific, including the 
East China Sea, because if relations deteriorate significantly, 
that will inure to the detriment of all countries involved, in 
this case primarily China, primarily Japan, but also Korea and 
other Asian nations in the Asia-Pacific. And it is just in 
everyone's interest to just reduce the tension, and that is an 
effort I will undertake.
    Senator Corker. On December the 5th in the South China Sea, 
a Chinese warship crossed right across the bow of the USS 
Cowpens. I know that Chinese officials have been critical of 
our ``pivot to Asia'' with many of the comments that they have 
made. Again, what is your sense of what they were attempting to 
do with that episode?
    Senator Baucus. Well, Senator, if I knew, I am not sure I 
would be sitting here. It is hard to know exactly what China's 
intentions at that time were.
    I suspect that China was probing a little bit, pushing a 
little bit, seeing how far it could go. That is very risky. 
That is very dangerous. There was bridge-to-bridge 
communication between the Cowpens and the ship, the frigate, 
that crossed the bow of the Cowpens, as well as the aircraft 
carrier that was somewhat in the vicinity.
    But it raises the point of the importance of engagement at 
all levels. In this case, we are talking about military to 
military. Our Government is attempting to ramp up military-to-
military exchanges with China at various levels. It is fairly 
rudimentary at this point. We have a lot further to go, but 
everything begins with a first step somehow somewhere, and this 
is I think very, very important. I speak to Admiral Locklear, 
for example, and others. They explain to me what they are 
trying to do. And I, if confirmed, will do what I can to 
encourage the Chinese to follow up at a next higher level.
    That is important in many ways, to encourage transparency 
with the Chinese and with American transparency, to encourage 
more communication at military levels so that it eventually, at 
higher levels, a U.S. commander can get on the telephone and 
talk to a Chinese commander. What is going on here? What is up 
here? If they know each other in advance, the communication 
channels are set up, it is going to help. It is not going to 
solve all the problems, but it is going to help.
    And the rebalancing that I think is very appropriate is one 
that engages China at all levels. It is not just military. It 
is economic. It is political. It is human rights. And I 
believe, as we all know as people who represent our States work 
to get stuff done, that the more we can talk to people, even if 
we are just talking about their kids, just talking to people, 
getting to know them better and make it regular, more and more 
often the more likely it is that we are going to develop trust 
and better understand each other to minimize misunderstandings 
and minimize adverse actions that otherwise would take place.
    So I believe that we will just keep working at it. We have 
no choice. Keep working at it and we will make some headway 
here.
    Senator Corker. I know that somebody is going to bring up--
I would hope anyway--the issue relative to journalists in 
China. We were there recently and met with a number of 
journalists that were concerned about what now is actually 
happening there. And I am sure you will address that at some 
point through questions here from the dais.
    One last question and then I would like to make a brief 
statement.
    What are the areas, Senator Baucus, that you think are the 
best suited for improvements between us and China at present, 
today? You know, when you get over there, in the very first 
days of being there, you are going to begin to set an agenda. 
Where do you think the areas of improvement best lie?
    Senator Baucus. Well, Senator, I mentioned two, broadly, in 
my statement. One is pursuing economic relations and the second 
is the overall geopolitical.
    I do think that economic, commercial efforts do help 
significantly. By that I mean the more we can have an actual 
level playing field in China, the more American businesses are 
actually able to do business in China in a nondiscriminatory 
way, where China does not discriminate, whether it is their 
regulations, whether they are denying access for whatever 
reason. The more that Americans are engaging Chinese people, 
engaging Chinese companies, whether more importantly it is the 
private sector, the more that helps because the goal here is to 
get us talking to each other, getting to understand each other 
and know each other.
    Now, people counsel me, if I have the opportunity and the 
privilege and if confirmed, to come up with two or three main 
initiatives. And I am working on that right now. I do not want 
to, at this point, be presumptuous and say what they might be. 
It would be a bit premature. But I do not want to be, if 
confirmed, an ambassador that just has his talking points and 
goes around and meets with all different folks in China just 
parroting the talking points and so forth. Rather, I want to be 
one, if confirmed, to make a difference.
    Senator Corker. I actually had just a comment I would like 
to make, and I will be very brief.
    As I mentioned, we had a good meeting in our office. And I 
think the administration has been long on making statements, 
you know, like a new era of power relations or a pivot, without 
much definition or policy to go behind that. I do not think you 
are the type of person to take direction from some 25-year-old 
at the White House calling you and telling you what to do, 
which I know oftentimes happens in these positions.
    So for that, I am very upbeat about the fact that you are 
taking this position. I think you have shown independence. And 
I just would ask you to take full advantage of the fact that I 
do not think the administration has a defined policy toward 
China, to take advantage of that, develop one that really 
allows us, over this next decade, to have the kind of 
relationship, both pro and con, with China to help shape their 
future, but also to build on the economic opportunities that 
our Nation has and to strengthen the security issues that we 
both are going to have to deal with.
    So I thank you for this. I look forward to your service. I 
look forward to your continued independence in this position, 
and I look forward to seeing you on the ground there. Thank 
you.
    Senator Baucus. Thank you, Senator. If I might first thank 
you. I read your April statement focused on security, which I 
deeply appreciated and agree with you and will work to follow 
up with the points you made in that statement.
    But second, I am part of a team here working for the 
President and this administration. And I will do everything I 
can to help implement administration policy.
    Senator Corker. You can help them most by showing strength 
as an ambassador and developing that policy, which I hope you 
will do.
    The Chairman. Senator Cardin.
    Senator Cardin. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman, and Senator 
Baucus, thank you for your extraordinary public service and 
your willingness to continue that public service as our 
Ambassador in China. I want to thank Mel and your family, 
because this truly is a family commitment, for your willingness 
to continue to serve our country. This is a critically 
important position, the Ambassador to China.
    You have already heard mentioned by my two colleagues many 
issues. Our relationship with China is complex, and there are a 
lot of important matters.
    As the chair of the Subcommittee on East Asia and the 
Pacific, I was in China last year and had a chance to meet with 
many of the government officials. And I agree with you. People 
to people are critically important. I found the meeting with 
the students to perhaps be some of the most enlightened 
discussions that I had, and they had already met with U.S. 
students that were over there, and I think that had a great 
impact on a better understanding between our two countries.
    Clearly, the economic issues are very, very important. I 
could not agree more with your statement about dealing with 
intellectual property and the chairman's comments about 
intellectual property and the amount of theft that goes on in 
that country. China needs to have confidence in its own people 
and its own creativity.
    And the currency manipulation is a matter that has to be 
dealt with. And I concur in that.
    And the security issues are critically important. Maritime 
security and China's unilateral declaration was extremely 
unhelpful. And we will get to some of these other issues.
    But I want to bring up the matter of human rights. The 
chairman mentioned it. And your statements are what I would 
have hoped to have heard, and I thank you for that. My concern 
is will good governance and human rights be always on the table 
in our discussions with China. This is a country in transition. 
They have made a lot of progress. Recently they decided to--we 
will see if they carry it out--eliminate the reeducation labor 
prisons. I hope that is the case. That is a step in the right 
direction. They have opened up some of their system allowing 
people some opportunity.
    You mentioned the Tibetan Buddhists or the Uighur. The 
discrimination against minorities goes to any minority--any 
minority--in that country. From the point of view of trying to 
practice your religion, you cannot do it. They will not let 
you. So many of the Chinese people are held back because of 
where they are born, not really having any opportunity for 
advancement. The journalists are absolutely being denied. The 
United States Embassy's Web site was even compromised by the 
Chinese Government for being able to get out information.
    So I just really want to underscore the importance of the 
statement you made that representing not just U.S. values but 
international values of good governance so that American 
companies that want to compete and work in China can get a fair 
deal. They do not have to worry about whether there is an 
implied problem with dealing with a local government official 
that they are not allowed to participate in that puts them at a 
disadvantage.
    So can you give us that assurance that good governance, 
human rights will always on the agenda of your discussion as 
our Ambassador?
    Senator Baucus. Senator, you have that assurance. It is 
extremely important.
    I am very proud of an action I took a good number of years 
ago. When I was in China, I met with the then-President, Jiang 
Zemin, and raised with him and asked him to release a dissident 
in Tibet. He said I did not know what I was talking about 
basically. But I went to Tibet, went to Lhasa and raised the 
same point there. And sure enough, within about 2 or 3 weeks, 
this person was released. And I do not know what I had to do 
with it, but I raised the point strongly a couple--three 
times--because I thought it was so important and was very 
heartened with the results.
    Protection of human rights is the bedrock. It is the 
underpinning of American and world society. We have some 
blemishes in our country, but we are the leader in human 
rights. People look to America, look to America to lead on so 
many issues, including protection of human rights, religious 
freedoms, freedom of the press, all the rights that are 
enumerated in the universal declaration. It is what most 
progress springs from.
    And the answer is, ``Yes'', Senator. You have my 
commitment.
    Senator Cardin. I thank you for that strong statement.
    I want to mention one other area where you are going to 
have a special interest in dealing with, and that is breathing 
the air over in China. When I was there--I do not know what the 
chairman's experience was--I was there for 3 days. There was 
not a cloud in the sky, but I could not see the sun.
    When we tried to deal with climate change in the past, we 
have always been concerned as to whether China would also do 
its fair share. Well, we have China's attention right now. This 
is a problem they cannot hide from because people see that 
China must do a much stronger job in reducing their carbon 
emissions.
    How do you see working with China to provide universal 
leadership so that we can have responsible policies to deal 
with carbon emissions?
    Senator Baucus. Senator, we are making some headway. We 
have a lot more to do. Recently Vice President Biden met with 
Counselor Jiang Ze Xi to put together a climate change working 
group addressing several points. One is pollution from heavy, 
larger automobiles. Second is building efficiencies through 
different finance incentives. Another was the smart grid 
systems. It is basically technologies that the Chinese can use 
that we can help provide and work with them to help achieve 
their objective.
    The point you made is obvious. It is the air pollution. I 
have seen up to a million people die in China a year due to air 
pollution.
    Senator Cardin. I might point out you are responsible for 
the safety of our personnel that are there.
    Senator Baucus. That is correct.
    Senator Cardin. They have to breathe that air. Literally 
they have to have breathing devices on certain days. I mean, I 
think it is critically important not just for the safety of 
Americans that are in China. It is obviously a universal issue. 
And as Ambassador you can make progress in that regard.
    Senator Baucus. No question. Thank you.
    Senator Cardin. Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
    The Chairman Thank you.
    Senator Rubio.
    Senator Rubio. Thank you.
    Congratulations. Your appointment comes at a pretty 
exciting time and place in terms of the issues that are going 
on with regard to China. Their growth in their economy and 
their influence in the world is really an amazing development 
to watch from a historical perspective.
    And by the way, I would just share, as I did with you on 
the phone when we spoke about this. And I think the President 
has said this. Our policy is not to contain China. On the 
contrary, I think we see a growing economy that we can be trade 
partners with, a billion people we can sell our products and 
our services to. We look, hopefully, to a China that uses its 
increased influence and its military capabilities to be a 
partner in addressing some of the global issues that our world 
confronts. Just think about how much easier the issue of Iran 
and North Korea and Syria would be if China were engaged in a 
positive way in trying to influence the direction of that.
    But there are also some real challenges, some of which have 
been highlighted here today. In particular, I think the Chinese 
use the term ``the new model of major country relations.'' And 
it seems that the way, at least, they define it right now is 
that, No. 1, the United States would basically begin to erode 
or abandon some of its regional commitments that it has made to 
places like Japan and the Philippines and Taiwan and even South 
Korea to some extent.
    And the other is something you will hear them often say. In 
fact, I think at Davos Senator McCain was asked this question 
by someone in the audience. Why is the United States always 
interfering in the internal affairs of other countries? And 
when it comes to China, that usually is this issue of human 
rights.
    The late Ambassador, Mark Palmer, in a book, ``Breaking the 
Real Axis of Evil,'' argued that United States ambassadors in 
places like China should be freedom fighters and that United 
States embassies should be islands of freedom open to all those 
who share the values of freedom, human rights, and democracy.
    You have begun to answer that question here today, and it 
was asked on some specific topics. But do you agree that the 
United States Embassy in China should be an island of freedom 
and that one of your primary jobs there will be demonstrating 
to China's peaceful advocates of reform and democracy that the 
United States stands firmly with them?
    Senator Baucus. Going to your earlier point, Senator, I 
read your speech in Korea. I thought it was very perceptive and 
it made points which I would like to work on with you.
    Clearly the United States symbolically is an island of 
freedom. You asked to some degree the specific question, should 
it apply physically to the Embassy. That is a question I am 
going to have to take back and work with the administration on. 
I do not know the administration policy precisely on that 
point, but I will determine to find it. My basic principle is 
you bet. We are there to stand up for human rights and freedoms 
generally in the world. But with respect to your specific 
question, let me take that back.
    Senator Rubio. Well, just as you do take that issue back, I 
think you will find broad consensus on this committee and I 
hope in the administration that our embassies should be viewed 
as an ally of those within Chinese society that are looking to 
express their fundamental rights to speak out and to worship 
freely, et cetera.
    On that point, the Chinese Government has detained over 
1,000 unregistered Christians in the past year. They have 
closed what they term illegal meeting points. They have 
prohibited public worship activities. And additionally, by the 
way, unregistered--and this is amazing--Catholic clergy--
unregistered with them--that remain in detention. Some have 
even disappeared.
    I would ask would you be open, if you are confirmed, to 
attending a worship service in an unregistered Catholic or 
Protestant church within China.
    Senator Baucus. Senator, I am going to do my very best to 
represent our country constructively, seriously engage, and 
listen in a way which I think is most effective. I will take 
actions which I hope accomplish that objective.
    With respect to where I go and do not go, that is a matter 
of judgment, and it is one I am going to be thinking about very 
carefully about where I go and where I do not go.
    The goal here is to be effective. A major goal, as we 
discussed here today, is the protection of human rights, 
probably the bedrock, fundamental goal because so much springs 
from that. And it is a goal that I will espouse fully and use 
whatever way I can to accomplish that goal effectively.
    But let me not answer that directly because I do not know 
the degree to which that makes sense at this point. First of 
all, I am not confirmed. I am not there. And this is frankly 
not a point that I have discussed with the administration, but 
I will take that back too.
    Senator Rubio. And I am respectful of the reality that in 
order to have the operating space to be effective, you do not 
want to necessarily be in direct and constant conflict with the 
host government. On the other hand, there comes a point, I 
would argue, Senator--and I hope you keep this in mind--where 
that effectiveness cannot come at the expense of the 
fundamental rights of the people of that country and in 
particular what we stand for as a nation.
    And I would just caution that, again, as you see the 
Chinese attitude toward some of these issues, their attitude 
basically is mind your own business on these issues. If you 
want to have a good relationship with us, you need to stop 
speaking out on these grotesque human rights violations. And I 
hope it never becomes the policy of the United States to look 
the other way on these issues for the purpose of achieving a 
more friendly operating environment because that, I hope, is 
not the definition of this new model of major country 
relations.
    I think if the Chinese are willing to use their new-found 
economic and even military abilities to be a productive member 
of the global community, committing themselves to things like 
freedom of navigation, respect for human rights, I think that 
would be an extraordinary development for mankind. If, on the 
other hand, this new-found power is used to turn their 
neighbors into tributary states and to continue to impress 
people within their own country, I think we have a big problem 
and a major, major challenge.
    I know you need to go back to the administration on some of 
these issues, but I hope this is not a matter of debate. I hope 
that it is clear that we want a good relationship with China 
but not at the expense of the fundamental human rights that 
define us as a nation and as a people. And I think you are 
going there at a very unique time where freedom activists in 
that country are looking for an advocate and a spokesperson 
that will stand with them strongly. They look to America to be 
that, and you have a unique and historical opportunity to do 
that and I hope it is one that you will embrace.
    But thank you.
    Senator Baucus. I appreciate that very much. Thank you.
    The Chairman Senator Coons.
    Senator Coons. Thank you, Chairman Menendez.
    I want to thank Senator Baucus for your 35 years of 
remarkable service to this body and this institution and 
express my confidence that, Senator, you could not have found a 
better nominee--President Obama could not have found a better 
nominee in the United States Senate. Your long work and 
leadership on the important and difficult trade issues that 
will dominate much of your service as Ambassador--I hope you 
are swiftly confirmed--makes you, I think, a great 
representative for the United States, and your grounding in our 
values and your appreciation of the difficulties and the 
tension between advocating for human rights and for our values 
while still addressing the issues of real concern to our home 
States and to our country's future. I think you are very well 
grounded in the challenges ahead.
    We both come from meat-producing States. Lots of beef comes 
from Montana. Lots of poultry comes from Delaware. And it is my 
hope that you will keep at the head of your agenda open access 
to the market of China.
    Let me, if I could, speak to two intellectual property 
issues and then to one regarding Africa.
    There have been some real changes recently in China's trade 
policy that are creating real barriers to innovations in 
biotechnology in the American agricultural sector particularly 
in grain. And if confirmed, I am hoping you can speak to how 
you would use your position as Ambassador to work with USDA and 
USTR to address the important issue of innovations in 
biotechnology and how we harmonize and sustain a good 
relationship with China. What sort of time will you invest in 
that particular area?
    Senator Baucus. Senator, it is an issue that has become of 
greater concern--the recent actions you just referred to. I 
think the answer to some degree is just to keep pushing but 
especially with respect to sound science because there are too 
often countries--and China is one--which limit agricultural 
products for political reasons, not reasons based on science. 
And I think the more we can point out what the science is and 
that the poultry that is attempted to be introduced into China 
from your State is perfectly safe, it is fine, and to keep 
pushing, to keep talking.
    It is my experience, frankly, with respect to another 
product, in this case beef, with other countries, South Korea 
and Japan, just keep talking, keep pushing over and over and 
over again. And finally, we are at the point where both Japan 
and South Korea take a lot more American beef. They are not 100 
percent yet, but huge progress from where they were about 10-15 
years ago. So I will push strongly.
    Senator Coons. Thank you.
    I have heard similar concerns. Our second-largest 
agricultural product is corn, and I have heard similar concerns 
broadly, nationally from corn growers.
    Let me move to ways in which the Chinese Government has 
used their anti-monopoly law and recent actions by their 
National Development Reform Commission to extract concessions 
from American companies, even those that do not operate in 
China, in terms of making concessions in patent cases. The 
standard they are suggesting is that any United States company 
that files a patent infringement lawsuit against a Chinese 
company will then be barred from their market and coerced to 
make concessions whether it is in patent law or trade secrets 
or other areas. If you would just speak briefly to the 
importance you attach to strengthening the intellectual 
property regime within China and continuing to make progress on 
their respect for IP rights here in the United States.
    Senator Baucus. Senator, I do not know if you were here, 
but earlier I explained how often on the other sided of the 
dais I pushed so strongly for the administration to do a better 
job of protecting intellectual property worldwide, often China. 
And now that I am on this side of the table, I have got to put 
my money where my mouth is and do something about it, at least 
working with the administration to do the best I can. I will 
push, obviously, as strongly as I possibly can.
    But it is important for China to understand--and I do not 
mean to be presumptuous here--that the more China goes down 
that road under its antimonopoly law, the more it is going to 
hurt its economy, the more it is going to hurt the living 
standards of people in its own country. And China, like all 
nations, has a lot of issues it has to deal with internally, 
and a lot of them are economic. There is environmental. There 
is pollution, but there are also economic issues within China. 
The Chinese people and the country of China in the long run 
will be a lot better off the more they open up, the more there 
is more transparency, and the more the playing field is 
actually level. It is extremely important that that also is a 
point we make over and over again. We could compete. Chinese 
companies can compete, but we want a level playing field.
    Senator Coons. Thank you.
    My last question will be about exactly that, a level 
playing field. Africa--as you know, I chair the Africa 
Subcommittee here in Foreign Relations--is I think a continent 
of immense importance to the United States, to China, and to 
the world as the greatest storehouse of remaining mineral 
reserves for the world. The recent discoveries of oil and gas 
and minerals all over the east coast, the west coast have 
sparked a real aggressive move by China to take a dominant 
position in access to Africa's natural resources. In fact, they 
have eclipsed the United States as the leading trading partner 
for Africa, and their dramatic investments in infrastructure 
and in economic development are often done in ways that are not 
on a level playing field, concessionary loans and relationships 
that do not follow the same trading rules that we do. And 
frankly, to the extent we try to advance a values agenda in 
Africa that promotes human rights and open society and 
commitment to democracy, we often find ourselves in some real 
tension with the Chinese and how they are pursuing their 
interests on the continent.
    It is my hope that as Ambassador you will seek ways that we 
could partner with the Chinese constructively and positively in 
some countries like South Sudan and Sudan where they could play 
a positive role, but you will also hold up this vision of fair 
trade, of a level playing field moving forward.
    If you would, just speak to your concerns about the Chinese 
role in Africa and how you think as Ambassador you might add to 
the forward movement we need to see here.
    Senator Baucus. Frankly, Senator, with respect to Africa, I 
have a little bit to learn. I see the press reports--we all 
do--of Chinese investment in Africa and the concerns that you 
have just outlined. And we will push for, obviously, rules-
based, value-based investment. If China wants to invest in 
Africa, that is fine. That is China's right and should, just as 
we should. But I also think we Americans--American businesses--
look for ways to invest more aggressively in various African 
countries.
    I will keep your point very firmly in mind, Senator, and go 
back and try to find a better answer.
    Senator Coons. I am confident that your rich and deep 
experience and long service here has equipped you better than 
anyone who could possibly be nominated, and I look forward to 
your service. And I am grateful for you and your family and for 
everything you have already given this country.
    Senator Baucus. Thank you, Senator.
    Senator Coons. I am confident your service will be 
exemplary. Thank you.
    The Chairman Thank you.
    Senator Johnson.
    Senator Johnson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I would like to join Senator Coons in thanking you for your 
past service to the country and your willingness to serve in 
this capacity.
    I also appreciate the time you spent with me yesterday, and 
I enjoyed the conversation.
    As a business person, I always seem to frame these issues 
from a businessman's perspective. Taking a look at our 
relationship with China, to me it seems like just one long, 
ongoing negotiation. And one of the things I certainly learned 
in negotiating in business was I first like to understand the 
motivation of the person I am negotiating with and then I like 
to spend a lot of time on the front end figuring out what we 
agree on before we get into the areas of disagreement. So I 
kind of want to structure my questioning along that framework.
    Again, in our meeting you said you have been to China a 
number of times on different trade missions and you have met 
with a lot of leaders. How would you assess their motivating 
factors? What motivates Chinese leadership?
    Senator Baucus. Senator, I think like most leaders in most 
countries they want to do well, provide for their people, but 
also people like their jobs and want to do what they can to 
provide for their people but also undertake actions so they do 
not lose their jobs, frankly. My experience is basically yours. 
Often though, to be honest, when I talk to leaders worldwide, 
it is because I do not know them well, it is hard to get past 
the pleasantries and get past the talking points. It takes a 
lot of time to get past pleasantries and talking points that 
one does get past only when one is able to spend quite a bit of 
time with that person.
    In this case, if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed, 
theoretically I have a lot of time to spend with a lot of 
different people in China and do my best to figure out which 
ones are the most effective, which ones will make the most 
difference so that I can be most effective. That is going to be 
a goal of mine.
    And I agree with your general approach, just figure out 
what you agree on, put that aside, mark that as progress as it 
is progress, and figure out what you do not yet agree on. But 
then the next point is to, when you are talking, try to 
understand the other person's assumptions, the other person's 
premise, asking questions, just listening because the more you 
ask questions, positive questions, nonadversarial questions, 
and try to figure out where they are coming from, the more 
likely it is you are going to find little insights and new ways 
to find a solution here.
    My approach in this job since I have been here in the 
United States Senate has been to do my very best to work with 
Senators on both sides of the aisle to get results, just be 
pragmatic, and that would be my approach here, too, to just do 
the best I can, listening, being forthright. I am the kind of 
guy, too, who likes to talk straight. This is what it is and 
not be angry about it. This is just what it is. This is what we 
can do, this is what we cannot do, and to listen and to convey 
the impression that we want to solve problems.
    Senator Johnson. I appreciate that. And I tend to agree and 
I hope it is true that their primary motivating factor is 
improving the condition of the people of China.
    But then let me ask a question. So what do you think would 
motivate them to initiate the air defense identification zone? 
How does that further that goal?
    Senator Baucus. Senator, I am no real expert on China, but 
it is my strong belief that Chinese people are just as proud as 
we Americans are proud. I think, unfortunately, the Chinese 
leadership has taken advantage of that pride to test America in 
the South China Sea or the East China Sea, and it means we have 
got to stand up. It is the old thing in life, being fair but 
firm, be fair to show that you can work with people and they 
can trust you but firm, uh-uh, we are not going to be taken 
advantage of. And that is vitally important here for the United 
States in my judgment.
    And we would be fair but firm by engaging them in a 
constructive conversation, for example, with respect to the 
Senkakus, say uh-uh, we do not recognize that, the ADIZ, but 
kind of cool it, calm it. The same with the South China Sea, 
say we do not countenance potential air defense identification 
zones in the South China Sea. That is not a good thing to do 
for a lot of reasons. Our basic is that our national security 
is No. 1 to us, as their national security is to them, but also 
our commercial, economic security is so important not just to 
the United States but also to China and other countries in the 
world. Half the tonnage travels through the Strait of Malacca 
and the South China Sea, and it is vitally important that that 
commerce continue so that companies can grow and prosper.
    So in answer to your question, I cannot really tell you the 
motivation of the Chinese leadership, but I can tell you that 
the approach that we should take, if confirmed, is one that I 
will pursue, namely constructive engagement, talking but 
standing up, positive, constructive engagement grounded in 
reality and make sure they understand both sides of that. It is 
constructive and positive but also grounded in reality. And I 
think the general rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific is important, 
but again, it is at all levels. It is not just military but 
also economic and political.
    Senator Johnson. I would just like to quick hear your 
thoughts on--I think the latest figures, China owns or holds 
$1.3 trillion worth of U.S. Government debt. What are your 
thoughts on that? From my standpoint, the primary problem with 
that is if anybody holds $1.3 trillion of U.S. Government debt. 
But can you just kind of give me your thoughts in terms of the 
potential dangers of that or positive aspects?
    Senator Baucus. Yes. Well, the biggest concern, frankly, is 
that anyone holds so much of our debt. It is important to get 
our debt down.
    Actually the percentage of United States debt that is held 
by China I think is pretty small, smaller than most people 
think, but nevertheless, it is very important. The real key 
here is to get our trade imbalance down so that China is not 
continuing to accumulate such currency reserves. That is the 
big point here, so they are not then, therefore, investing so 
much in U.S. treasuries.
    Senator Johnson. Well, thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    The Chairman Senator Risch.
    Senator Risch. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Max, one of the issues that affects my State and is going 
to affect a lot of the IT industry in America is the Chinese 
Government with their propensity to subsidize businesses that 
are supposed to be competing in the open market, but as we all 
know, as soon as the government starts subsidizing, the market 
lists badly.
    The chip industry and particularly the prices have been 
volatile over the years because of different governments' 
subsidies of their own industries. I am speaking now of Micron 
Technology, which is one of Idaho's largest private employers. 
Their success has been up and down because of other 
governments' interference with a free market price for chips.
    You are probably aware that the Chinese Government is 
spending billions to prop up their semiconductor industry, and 
indeed, they are finalizing a policy right now to provide 
additional government support for that. That is going to harm 
U.S. producers that are out there in the marketplace trying to 
do the right thing as far as producing semiconductors. What are 
your thoughts on that? What can you do about that as far as 
reining back the Chinese efforts in that regard?
    Senator Baucus. Well, Senator, it is a big problem. The 
United States Government is undertaking some actions. We have 
seven actions before the World Trade Organization with respect 
to China, most of them revolving around the Chinese Government 
subsidizing favored industries, SOV's for example, and it is 
important that we follow up on those actions.
    The new bilateral investment treaty, which is not finalized 
yet, will help. China is engaging with the United States and 
has agreed to a bilateral investment treaty which recognizes 
national treatment which helps. We have been spending a lot of 
time trying to get China to sign up to the procurement 
agreement it earlier agreed to when it entered the WTO. It has 
not yet fully signed on to the procurement agreement because 
the terms it wants to sign up with are inadequate. They are 
insufficient. And we just keep chipping away. No pun here. Keep 
working at the problem here. This bothers me, Senator, as much 
as it does you.
    Senator Risch. Thank you much. I appreciate your commitment 
to that because this is--the size and the magnitude of the 
Chinese Government and the economic power that they have is a 
real problem. And I am glad to hear your commitment to that, 
and I would urge you to urge them in the strongest terms that 
they have got to compete fairly in the marketplace or there are 
going to be some serious problems.
    Let me turn to another product that is close to my State 
and to your home State and that is beef. We have been working 
hard to try to get the Chinese to accept U.S. beef. And I am 
very concerned about the difficulties in the East and South 
China Seas are going to cause problems with these negotiations 
that we are having. And I know you touched on that, but I 
wondered if you could comment just a little bit about your 
thoughts as far as the upheaval and us trying to get the 
Chinese to open their markets to U.S. beef.
    Senator Baucus. You have my commitment, Senator. I have 
worked very hard on this with respect to South Korea and Japan, 
and I am now starting to try to get China to take our beef. 
China does not take much American beef right now.
    The potential disturbances in the East China Sea and the 
South China Sea are extremely concerning. However, I do believe 
that with very strong, measured, statesman-like discussions 
with China, we can minimize the potential adverse development 
in those two oceans.
    But you have my commitment to work on beef.
    Senator Risch. Thank you so much, Senator. I appreciate 
that.
    The Chairman Senator McCain.
    Senator McCain. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Max, we congratulate you and look forward to, at our 
arrival at the Beijing airport, seeing you.
    Senator Baucus. If confirmed, I will be there with warm 
greetings.
    Senator McCain. I look forward to that. I am sure Chairman 
Menendez will appreciate that.
    Obviously, we are supportive of your nomination.
    I must say I am a little concerned at some of your answers. 
It is not that the Chinese are proud as we are proud. It is not 
that the Chinese want to keep their job. It is not that we can 
work things out with China, which we can. But it is not that 
they are proud people. It is not that they are wanting to keep 
their job.
    The Chinese leadership has a sense of history that they 
believe that the last 200 years was an aberration and that 
China has to be the leader and the dominant force in Asia. And 
you have to appreciate that if you are going to deal with them. 
And the fact is that the South China Sea has implications which 
could lead to another ``Guns of August,'' and their aggressive 
behavior, whether it be a near collision with a United States 
ship or whether the imposition of the ADIZ or whether it be 
many of the other actions they have taken are part of a pattern 
of their ambition to dominate that part of the world.
    I suggest one guy you go see in Singapore is Lee Kwan Yew. 
I suggest to you that he will give you the perspective of China 
and their ambitions and their behavior and what you can expect 
from them because he knows them better than anybody. And I will 
tell you what he will tell you. He will tell you that the 
Chinese will say, well, we will take the western Pacific and 
you can have the eastern Pacific. The construction and 
acquisition of an aircraft carrier is a statement of a desire 
to be able to project power.
    The role that China is playing in Asia today should be of 
great concern to all of us, not to mention the fact that they 
have continued to repress and oppress and to practice human 
rights violations on a regular basis in Tibet, and the tensions 
between China and India on the China-India border continue to 
be ratcheted up. The more penetrations of China across the 
border between China and India are real.
    So we have to understand that this is not a matter of being 
proud as we are proud. This is not a matter of they want to 
keep their job. This is a matter of a rising threat or 
challenge to peace and security in Asia because of the profound 
belief of the Chinese leadership that China must and will 
regain the dominant role that they had for a couple thousand 
years in Asia. And unless you understand that, you are going to 
have trouble dealing with them. Well, you are going to have 
trouble dealing with them effectively.
    That does not mean we preach confrontation. That does not 
mean that we believe that a clash is inevitable with China in 
Asia. But the best way to have that be prevented is a close 
alliance with our friends in Japan, with China, and the 
countries in the region that are now united because of the 
threat that China poses to them with their aggressive behavior 
in the South China Sea and the East China Sea.
    When the United States of America ran two B-52s over the 
area after the declaration of the ADIZ, I thought that was 
great until they then advised American airliners to observe it. 
What if the Koreans want the same thing? What if other 
countries want the same thing? We are seeing a time of rising 
tensions in Asia, and unless you understand Chinese ambitions 
and Chinese perspective and view of history and recognize that 
they are continuous human rights abusers on a daily basis, then 
I think you will have difficulty being an effective 
representative in this very important job.
    And you may disagree or agree with my comments, but I do 
not base my comments to you on John McCain's opinion. I base it 
on the opinion of every expert on Asia that I know of in China, 
and that is that there is a growing tension, there is a growing 
threat of another ``Guns of August,'' and there is a need for 
us to not only make the Chinese understand that there are 
boundaries but also to work more closely with the other nations 
in the region, whether it be Vietnam or the Philippines or 
Indonesia or other countries that the Chinese, because of their 
hand-fisted behavior, have united in a way, the likes of which 
I have never seen or anticipated.
    I would be glad to hear your response.
    Senator Baucus. Thank you, Senator.
    I do not disagree with you. You make very important points 
which I largely do agree with. I applauded the B-52s flying 
over the ADIZ. I thought that was a very important message the 
United States send. It was the right thing to do.
    And I have met twice with Lee Kwan Yew. On the way over 
again, I hope to talk to him again. He is a very, very 
important man. No question.
    Senator McCain. And by the way, one more.
    Senator Baucus. Yes.
    Senator McCain. I would check in with Kissinger also.
    Senator Baucus. Yes, he is on my list. We are scheduled to 
meet very soon actually.
    Your point is basically, I think, accurate. It is kind of 
the old thing in life: you hope for the best; assume the worst. 
And it is just important for us to maintain our alliances and 
firm them up with the countries you have mentioned, and there 
are some others.
    But the overarching goal here for us as a country, I think, 
is to engage China with eyes wide open, to try to find common 
ground. We have talked about the military-to-military 
exchanges. There are other things we can do to help minimize a 
potential confrontation, say, in the South China Sea. I am a 
realist. Believe me. And I understand the version of Chinese 
history which you have just espoused, and it has a large ring 
of truth to it. But as we work with China, as I said earlier 
several times, it is going to be grounded in reality. No. 1 is 
the United States of America, we find a relationship with China 
where we can make some headway.
    And I do believe how we manage this relationship--we are 
very much determined that living standards of Americans and 
Chinese and other people in the world--we have got to get this 
relationship right. But if we work with China, we stand tall. 
We protect our rights, maintain our friendships and our 
alliances and keep our naval fleet strong over there so that we 
can protect our interests but in a way that for us is 
nonconfrontational too. We just have to work together the best 
we can, standing up for our rights.
    Senator McCain. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    The Chairman Senator Barrasso.
    Senator Barrasso. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Baucus, congratulations to you, to your family. 
Congratulations.
    Senator Baucus. Thank you, John.
    Senator Barrasso. You have had a chance to talk a little 
bit about trade issues and concerns. A number of others have 
asked the question regarding specifically China's trade 
practices. As I have discussed in this committee before, soda 
ash continues to face significant trade barriers around the 
world. The United States is the most competitive supplier of 
soda ash in the world due to the abundance of this in this 
country. Green River Basin in Wyoming is the world's largest-
known deposits of this naturally occurring trona. It is a 
component of glass, detergents, soaps, and chemicals.
    In May 2007, you specifically hosted a meeting with members 
of the Finance Committee with the Chinese Vice Premier at the 
time, Wu Yi. And at that time, my friend and predecessor, U.S. 
Senator Craig Thomas, was undergoing treatment for leukemia. He 
was unable to attend the meeting with you as a member of the 
Finance Committee. But on his behalf, you specifically hand-
delivered a letter written in both English and Mandarin from 
him to the Vice Premier that asked China to eliminate their 
value-added tax rebate on soda ash exports. I am grateful for 
your assistance.
    In July 2007, China actually eliminated their 13-percent 
value-added tax rebate on soda ash exports. Very welcome news 
in this country.
    Unfortunately, on April 1 of 2009, so 2 years later, China 
reinstituted a 9-percent value-added tax rebate for soda ash 
exports.
    So I would just ask, if confirmed, to serve as our 
Ambassador to China, if you will work to highlight and 
eliminate market-distorting subsidies like the value-added tax 
rebate on soda ash exports that I believe harm U.S. workers and 
producers.
    Senator Baucus. You bet, Senator. I remember that exchange 
back then. Madam Wu Yi is a very impressionable person. And I 
am sorry that the value-added rebate was reimposed, and I will 
do my best to get that turned around again.
    Senator Barrasso. You also raised the issue of beef, and I 
know Senator Risch has talked a bit about beef. U.S. beef 
producers take great pride in providing a healthy and safe 
product. The United States exported $5.5 billion in beef sales 
across the globe this past year. And I am concerned about the 
U.S. beef industry, as I know you are, continuing to face what 
is to me an unscientific trade barrier with China. In 2003, 
China banned all U.S. beef exports after the discovery of a 
BSE-positive cow in the State of Washington. Prior to 2003, the 
United States was China's largest beef supplier.
    China's continued ban on U.S. beef imports has allowed 
Australia to take our place as the leading foreign beef 
supplier to China by value.
    In 2011, you and I both signed a letter, along with 36 
Senators, to the Secretary of Agriculture and to the U.S. Trade 
Representative on the need to take steps to eliminate these 
unscientific trade barriers to U.S. beef exports. Recently 
there have been articles indicating that China may ease some 
restrictions on imports of U.S. beef, but we do not have 
details. We do not have timelines. And I believe this issue 
needs to be raised at the highest levels with Chinese 
officials.
    I would ask you what immediate action, if you have anything 
planned that you would do with this, and would you work with 
our U.S. Trade Representative and our Secretary of State and 
the Chinese Government officials to address this issue?
    Senator Baucus. Senator, I certainly will. I care a lot 
about beef.
    Senator Barrasso. I know you do.
    Senator Baucus. We will make some headway here.
    Senator Barrasso. I am curious, Senator. Did you have any 
conversations with the Governor of Montana prior to your 
nomination about the appointment of your replacement to the 
Senate?
    Senator Baucus. I have not.
    Senator Barrasso. Any conversations with your former chief 
of staff, Jim Messina, prior to your nomination about your 
successor?
    Senator Baucus. I have not.
    Senator Barrasso. Thank you, Senator.
    And thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Baucus. Thank you.
    The Chairman Well, Senator Baucus, I think you have had a 
full exposition of the issues that you are going to be facing 
and I think you have acquitted yourself extraordinarily well, 
which is no surprise to those of us who know you.
    It is the intention of the chair to hold a business 
meeting, a markup, next Tuesday. That will depend upon 
questions for the record being answered. The record will remain 
open untill noon tomorrow. I would urge you, if you do receive 
questions for the record, to answer them as expeditiously as 
possible so that we could proceed with your nomination.
    Senator Baucus. Thank you.
    If I might, Mr. Chairman, if I am fortunate enough to be 
confirmed, I meant what I said in my opening remarks, that is, 
I want to work with you and the committee on issues that are 
important to the committee and to keep a dialogue and a 
conversation going.
    The Chairman We appreciate that commitment.
    With that, Senator Baucus, you are excused.
    And we are going to call up the next panel. We have two 
nominees before the committee: the Honorable Arnold Chacon, of 
Virginia, to be Director General of the Foreign Service; and 
the Honorable Daniel Bennett Smith, of Virginia, to be the 
Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research.
    We are going to ask the members of the audience who are 
leaving to please do so quietly so we can begin the next panel.
    With that, to both Ambassador Chacon and Mr. Smith, your 
full statements will be included in the record without 
objection. We would ask you to summarize those statements in 
around 5 minutes or so and then to have a dialogue with you 
after that. So we will start off with you, Ambassador Chacon.

         STATEMENT OF HON. ARNOLD CHACON, OF VIRGINIA, 
             TO BE DIRECTOR OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE

    Ambassador Chacon. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, distinguished 
members of the committee. I am honored to be here today before 
you as President Obama's nominee to be the next Director 
General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources 
at the Department of State. I deeply appreciate the confidence 
the President and Secretary Kerry have shown in nominating me 
for this key position.
    I am pleased to have the opportunity to advance American 
diplomacy through strengthening the Department of State 
workforce. If confirmed, I look forward to directing the 
recruitment, hiring, assignment, welfare, professional 
development, promotion, and retirement processes of the Civil 
Service, the Foreign Service, and our locally employed staff 
and other colleagues who work at the Department of State.
    Mr. Chairman, if I may, I would like to take a moment to 
introduce my wife, Alida, who is also a member of the Foreign 
Service. And I am also pleased that my daughter, Sarah; 
brother, Michael Chacon; and my brother-in-law, Michael Fonte, 
could be here today as well.
    My wife Alida and I have had the privilege of serving 
together with our three children throughout Latin America and 
Europe, as well as in a number of positions in New York and in 
Washington, DC. And as a Foreign Service family, we care deeply 
about promoting the U.S. interests abroad and the future of the 
Department and its people.
    Secretary Kerry said, ``Global leadership is a strategic 
imperative for America, not a favor we do for other countries. 
It amplifies our voice, it extends our reach. It is key to 
jobs, the fulcrum of our influence, and it matters to the daily 
lives of Americans. It matters that we get it right for 
America, and it matters that we get it right for the world.''
    Mr. Chairman, diplomacy and development are ever more 
important to safeguarding national security and prosperity of 
our people in the United States because if we can successfully 
manage or solve problems diplomatically, we save the lives and 
money that would otherwise be spent in dealing with conflict.
    I believe the men and women of the Department of State are 
among the most talented, loyal, and hardworking people I have 
ever met. They and their families deserve the best possible 
support. And if confirmed, I will work hard to equip them with 
the training, tools, and supportive personnel policies they 
need to fulfill our critical mission.
    Mr. Chairman, I would like to acknowledge and express my 
sincere gratitude for your perseverance and unwavering support 
for increasing minority recruitment and retention. As my 
predecessor before me, I pledge to work closely with you to 
achieve a more diverse workforce. I have personally seen, Mr. 
Chairman, that as our embassy teams engage with foreign 
audiences, our support of the American values of social 
inclusion and freedom resonates far better when they see that 
we walk the talk by employing a workforce that includes people 
of all cultures, races, and religions drawn from across the 
United States. With innovative outreach and bold action, the 
Department of State is making inroads that will help us reach 
our diversity goals.
    The Foreign Service represents the United States around the 
world at embassies, consulates, and increasingly at less 
traditional missions where diplomatic skills play an important 
role in promoting our priorities and safeguarding our Nation. 
The Department remains focused on filling positions in priority 
staffing posts--our embassies and consulates in Iraq, 
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya--while ensuring that we 
adequately staff our other posts around the world and advance 
major initiatives in such areas as economic diplomacy, food 
security, energy security, climate change, and nuclear 
nonproliferation.
    If confirmed, I will work with others in the Department to 
ensure that all employees have the support they need to serve 
in these high-stress assignments and to cope with the pressures 
such service places on them and their families.
    While the Department's Foreign Service employees spend most 
of their careers overseas, the Civil Service employees provide 
the institutional continuity and expertise in Washington, DC, 
and in offices throughout the United States. The Civil Service 
has an admirable record of volunteering for service in Iraq and 
Afghanistan and in hard-to-fill positions overseas.
    The Department of State has also expanded its use of 
limited noncareer appointments to meet urgent needs, including 
unprecedented visa adjudication demand in Brazil and China. 
Backlogs for visas in China and Brazil have been eliminated, 
facilitating international travel for business and tourism for 
1.8 million Brazilians who visited in 2005 and nearly 1.5 
million Chinese which, according to Department of Commerce 
calculations, helped create approximately 50,000 new jobs in 
the United States.
    Our 46,000 locally employed staff represent the largest 
group of employees of the Department of State and an essential 
component of our teams around the world. They often serve under 
dangerous and challenging circumstances with sometimes 
hyperinflated currencies, and they continue to help advance our 
Nation's goals. If confirmed, I will continue to build on the 
concept of one team/one mission.
    I was proud to learn from the Partnership for Public 
Service that the State Department placed 4th among 19 large 
Federal agencies in the 2013 Best Places to Work rankings. If 
confirmed, I will do all that I can to make State an even more 
attractive employer.
    In closing, Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to have the 
opportunity to address you and the members of the committee. If 
confirmed, I ask for your help in strengthening the security 
and prosperity of America by leading and building an effective 
civilian workforce in the Department of State. I look forward 
to helping the Secretary to ensure that we are prepared to do 
just that.
    Thank you, and I look forward to your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Ambassador Chacon follows:]

             Prepared Statement Ambassador Arnold A. Chacon

    Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee, I am 
honored to appear before you today as President Obama's nominee to be 
the next Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human 
Resources for the Department of State. I deeply appreciate the 
confidence the President and Secretary Kerry have shown in nominating 
me for this key position.
    I am pleased to have the opportunity to advance American diplomacy 
through strengthening the Department of State workforce. If confirmed, 
I look forward to directing the recruitment, hiring, assignment, 
welfare, professional development, promotion, and retirement processes 
of the Civil Service, Foreign Service, Locally Employed Staff, and 
other colleagues who work at the Department of State.
    Mr. Chairman, for over 30 years, I have had the pleasure of working 
with highly motivated Department of State employees serving both 
overseas and domestically. I am excited about the prospect of helping 
to ensure that my colleagues are ready and able to meet the diplomatic 
challenges of today and tomorrow.
    Mr. Chairman, I would like to take a moment to introduce my wife, 
Alida, who is also a career member of the Foreign Service. We have had 
the privilege of serving together with our three children throughout 
Latin America and Europe, as well as in a number of positions in 
Washington, DC. Growing up in Colorado, I learned from my parents the 
values of justice, compassion, and service to a cause greater than 
myself. My family gave me a moral compass based on love of God and 
country, which has guided my life. My wife and I share these values 
with our children. As a family, we care deeply about promoting U.S. 
interests abroad and the future of the Department and its people.
    The global environment has changed over the past several decades. 
The world has become more interconnected, but also more dangerous. I 
believe that our approach toward managing our workforce also must 
evolve. Diplomacy today requires flexibility, creativity, and a 
diversity of ideas that reflect the conscience of America in deploying 
the talents of all of our people to ensure success in an ever more 
complex environment.
    As Secretary Kerry has said, ``Global leadership is a strategic 
imperative for America, not a favor we do for other countries. It 
amplifies our voice, it extends our reach. It is key to jobs, the 
fulcrum of our influence, and it matters to the daily lives of 
Americans. It matters that we get this moment right for America, and it 
matters that we get it right for the world.''
    The Department and its diplomats are, in the words of Secretary 
Kerry, ``an enormous return on investment. Deploying diplomats and 
development experts today is much cheaper than deploying troops 
tomorrow.''
    Diplomacy and development are ever more important to safeguarding 
national security and the prosperity of our people and the United 
States, because if we can successfully manage or solve problems 
diplomatically, we save the lives and the money that would otherwise 
have to be spent in dealing with conflict. Today, as the United States 
and the world face great perils and urgent foreign policy challenges, 
we must use all of the diplomatic, economic, political, legal, and 
cultural tools at our disposal, along with military tactics when 
needed.
    Like Secretary Kerry, I believe that the men and women of the 
Department of State are among the most talented, loyal, and hard-
working people I have ever met. They and their families deserve the 
best possible support. If confirmed, I will work hard to equip them 
with the training, tools, and supportive personnel policies they need 
to fulfill our critical mission.
    The increase in personnel through the Diplomacy 3.0 hiring surge 
over the last 5 years has had a major, positive impact on diplomatic 
readiness. First, the mid-level staffing gap, a result of reduced 
hiring in the 1990s, is shrinking. Our overseas vacancy rate has 
dropped from 16 percent to 10 percent. Second, we have a strong 
commitment to provide training, particularly in foreign languages. In 
the last fiscal year, 79 percent of employees assigned to language-
designated positions met or exceeded the proficiency requirement. And 
third, we have been able to support new and important initiatives, from 
Economic Statecraft, which promotes efforts by U.S. companies and 
foreign investment and leads to jobs and opportunities here at home, to 
the empowerment of women politically, socially, and economically around 
the world.
    Our mission has also grown significantly. Our responsibilities 
overseas continue to expand, as does our presence. In recent years, we 
opened a new Embassy in South Sudan, and a new consulate in China; in 
Brazil, we have plans to open consulates in Belo Horizonte and in Porto 
Alegre. The Department has also added three new domestic bureaus to 
strengthen our expertise and diplomatic efforts in the fields of 
energy, counterterrorism, and conflict and stabilization operations. If 
confirmed, I will seek your support for staffing increases that are 
critical in meeting the President's foreign policy objectives.
    I will continue our hard work to hire, develop, and retain a 
diverse, skilled, and innovative workforce--one that truly represents 
America. As Secretary Kerry has said, ``Our commitment to inclusion 
must be evident in the face we present to the world and in the 
decisionmaking processes that represent our diplomatic goals.'' I would 
like to acknowledge and express my gratitude for your unwavering 
support for increasing minority recruitment and retention. As my 
predecessor before me, I pledge to work closely with you to achieve a 
more diverse workforce. I have personally seen that as our embassy 
teams engage with foreign audiences, our support of the American values 
of social inclusion and freedom resonates far better when they see that 
we ``walk the talk'' by employing a workforce that includes people of 
all cultures, races, and religions, drawn from across the United 
States.
    The Department's Diversity and Inclusion Plan provides a useful 
framework for action, but we have a ways to go. We continue to seek 
ways to reach out toward new audiences. After learning that many 
underrepresented groups rely heavily on mobile communications, the 
Department developed and released ``DOSCareers,'' a mobile app that 
educates and engages aspiring Foreign Service candidates and others to 
familiarize them with diplomatic careers. Launched in March and 
available on Google Play and the App Store, this app expands our 
outreach to these populations and helps candidates link up with our DC-
based recruiters, as well as our 16 Diplomats in Residence at colleges 
across the United States, learn about upcoming recruitment events, and 
even practice for the Foreign Service Officer Test. I was delighted to 
learn that in the first few months, DOSCareers had more than 10,000 
downloads. With innovative outreach and bold action, we can make the 
inroads that will help us reach our diversity goals.
    The Foreign Service represents the United States around the world--
at embassies, consulates, and, increasingly, at less traditional 
missions where our diplomatic skills play an important role in 
promoting our priorities and safeguarding our Nation. Throughout 
history, there has always been a need for diplomats, but now, as we 
face issues such as terrorism, violent extremism, and widespread 
economic instability, the need is greater than ever.
    The 14,000 members of the Foreign Service and 11,000 Civil Service 
employees are vital to America's national security. They play essential 
roles in: advancing peace, security, and freedom across the globe; 
pursuing economic opportunity overseas; creating jobs at home; and 
protecting Americans from the dangers posed by drug trafficking, 
weapons proliferation, and environmental degradation.
    Mr. Chairman, operations at our high-threat posts are increasingly 
demanding and changing. The Department remains focused on filling 
positions in priority staffing posts (PSPs)--our Embassies and 
consulates in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya--while 
ensuring that we adequately staff our other posts around the world and 
advance major initiatives in such areas as economic statecraft, food 
security, energy security, climate change, and nuclear 
nonproliferation. The Department expects to fill more than 700 jobs in 
these five PSP countries in summer 2014. Since September 2001, the 
number of unaccompanied positions overseas has increased from 200 to 
more than 1,000. We are asking our diplomats to serve in more difficult 
and dangerous places, increasingly without the company and comfort of 
living with their families.
    If confirmed, I will work with others in the Department to ensure 
that all employees are fully trained, prepared, and compensated for the 
mission we have assigned them, and that they have the support they need 
to serve in these high-stress assignments and to cope with the 
pressures such service places on them and their families. This support 
must include the requisite staffing, training, and accountability to 
provide our employees the world over with the safest possible working 
conditions. In this regard, full implementation of Foreign Service 
overseas comparability pay continues to be a top priority.
    While the Department's Foreign Service employees spend most of 
their careers overseas, our Civil Service employees provide the 
institutional continuity and expertise in Washington, DC, at passport 
agencies, Diplomatic Security field offices, and other offices 
throughout the United States.
    Civil Service employees contribute to accomplishing all aspects of 
the Department's mission, encompassing human rights, counternarcotics, 
trade, environmental issues, consular affairs and other core functions.
    The Department of State is broadening the experience of its Civil 
Service workforce by offering opportunities to serve in our missions 
abroad. This flexible approach not only helps close the mid-level gaps 
resulting from the below-attrition hiring of the 1990s, it also 
provides employees with additional development opportunities that 
expand their knowledge and experience base. The results of such 
workforce flexibilities have been very positive and we hope to expand 
these in the future.
    The Civil Service has an admirable record of volunteering for 
service in Iraq and Afghanistan and in hard-to-fill positions overseas. 
If confirmed, I will continue to build on the concept of ``one team, 
one mission,'' to ensure that Civil Service employees are well trained, 
and that we benefit fully from their skills.
    The Department of State has also expanded its use of limited 
noncareer appointments (LNAs) to meet unprecedented visa adjudication 
demand in Brazil, and China. Backlogs for visas in China and Brazil 
have been eliminated, facilitating international travel for business 
and tourism that in turn will help boost our economy. In fact, 
according to the Department of Commerce, every additional 65 
international visitors to the United States generate enough exports to 
support an additional travel and tourism-related job. As a result of 
our increased staffing in Brazil and China, nearly 1.5 million Chinese 
and 1.8 million Brazilians visited in 2012, helping to create 
approximately 50,000 new jobs in the United States.
    Our 46,000 Locally Employed (LE) Staff represent the largest group 
of employees in the Department of State and are an essential component 
of our 275 embassy and consulate teams around the world. LE Staff 
fulfill many functions critical to our overseas operations, and we 
could not accomplish our mission without them. Our LE Staff often serve 
under dangerous and challenging circumstances, with sometimes 
hyperinflated currencies, and they continue to help advance our 
Nation's goals, even as they have endured the same 3-year pay freeze as 
American Federal Government workers. We want to provide them with the 
very best support. If confirmed, I will strive to properly recognize 
their contributions to our missions and U.S. interests by ensuring, to 
the extent that our budget allows, that their compensation keeps up 
with market trends and attracts the best and the brightest.
    I was proud to learn that Washingtonian magazine just named the 
State Department as one of the ``Great Places to Work'' for 2013, 
noting that ``employees at the State Department feel that their work 
makes a difference in foreign affairs, helping to make the world more 
secure.'' We also ranked in the top five in the Partnership for Public 
Service's 2013 ``Best Places to Work in the Federal Government'' 
survey, placing fourth overall and second in strategic management among 
the 19 large Federal agencies. A poll of liberal arts undergraduates 
placed State among the top three ideal employers because we provide the 
opportunity to do challenging work, make a positive difference in 
people's lives, and develop skills. If confirmed, I will do all that I 
can to make State an even more attractive employer.
    In closing, Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to have the opportunity to 
address you and the members of the committee. If confirmed, I ask for 
your help in strengthening the security and prosperity of America by 
leading and building an effective civilian workforce in the Department 
of State. I look forward to helping the Secretary to ensure that we are 
prepared to do just that.
    Thank you. I respectfully request that my full statement be entered 
into the record, and I look forward to your questions.

    The Chairman Thank you.
    Mr. Smith.

  STATEMENT OF HON. DANIEL BENNETT SMITH, OF VIRGINIA, TO BE 
   ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INTELLIGENCE AND RESEARCH

    Ambassador Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is a great 
honor for me to appear before you today as President Obama's 
nominee to be Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of 
Intelligence and Research. I am deeply grateful to the 
President and to Secretary of State Kerry for their confidence 
in nominating me for this position, as well as to the Director 
of National Intelligence, James Clapper, for his support of my 
nomination.
    I want to thank my wife, Diane, for joining me here today. 
My three sons could not be here.
    Mr. Chairman, INR is a unique and invaluable asset both to 
the Department of State and to the Intelligence Community, of 
which it is part. The Bureau has a long and celebrated history 
in providing information and in-depth, all-source analysis that 
have helped to guide our Nation's foreign policy. INR's strong 
reputation derives not from the size of its staff or its 
budget, but from the tremendous expertise and skills of its 
personnel. Indeed, the Bureau has some of the greatest regional 
and subject-matter expertise anywhere in the United States 
Government.
    Mr. Chairman, it is less well known but INR also plays a 
critical role and function in ensuring that intelligence and 
sensitive intelligence-related law enforcement activities are 
consistent with and support our foreign policy and national 
security objectives.
    Throughout the course of my 30 years as a Foreign Service 
officer, I have worked closely with members of the Intelligence 
Community, overseen and coordinated intelligence and law 
enforcement activities, and witnessed firsthand the role that 
intelligence and analysis can and should play in the 
formulation of foreign policy. Like many professionals within 
INR, I also have a strong academic background and appreciate 
very much the importance of drawing on the insights and 
expertise found in our Nation's outstanding academic 
institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and the private 
sector. As a leader in the Department and as a chief of mission 
abroad, I have also worked hard to enhance interagency 
cooperation, to improve communication and information sharing, 
and to ensure that we are all working together to advance our 
national security.
    If confirmed, Mr. Chairman, I will work tirelessly to 
ensure that INR continues to make its unique analytical 
contribution, as well as continues to ensure that our 
intelligence activities support our foreign policy and national 
security objectives.
    I thank you for having me here today and I look forward to 
your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Ambassador Smith follows:]

               Prepared Statement of Daniel Bennett Smith

    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, it is a great honor to 
appear before you today as President Obama's nominee to be Assistant 
Secretary of State for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR). I 
am deeply grateful to the President and to Secretary of State Kerry for 
their confidence in nominating me for this position, as well as to the 
Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, for his support of my 
nomination.
    INR is a unique and invaluable asset both to the Department of 
State and to the Intelligence Community, of which it is part. The 
Bureau has a long and celebrated history in providing information and 
in-depth, all-source analysis that have helped to guide our Nation's 
foreign policy. INR's strong reputation derives not from the size of 
its staff or budget, but from the tremendous expertise and skills of 
its personnel. Indeed, the Bureau has some of the greatest regional and 
subject matter expertise anywhere in the U.S. Government. INR has 
approximately 200 analysts who have an average of 13 years of 
government and nongovernmental professional experience directly related 
to their current INR portfolio. If confirmed, I will work hard to 
ensure that INR continues to recruit and retain the highest quality 
staff and provides them with the training, professional development 
opportunities, and overseas experience they need to ensure the best 
possible analysis. Equally important, I will vigorously defend the 
integrity of the analytical process to ensure the independence and 
unbiased analysis for which INR is justly famous.
    Mr. Chairman, it is less well known but INR also plays a critical 
function in assuring that intelligence and sensitive intelligence-
related law enforcement activities are consistent with, and support, 
our foreign policy and national security objectives. The Bureau has a 
dedicated staff of professionals with significant expertise in this 
area, which encompasses many highly technical issues as well as 
practical ones. They help define the Department's intelligence 
requirements, seek cleared language for use in diplomatic 
communications, ensure that Department policymakers understand and can 
evaluate proposed intelligence activities with potential foreign policy 
consequences, and support our chiefs of mission overseas.
    I myself have direct experience in this regard, and, if confirmed, 
I look forward to helping the Bureau support the Secretary of State and 
the State Department in assuring that foreign policy concerns are taken 
fully into consideration in the decisions and activities of the 
Intelligence Community.
    Mr. Chairman, if confirmed, I believe I will bring extensive 
experience and relevant skills to the position of Assistant Secretary 
for Intelligence and Research. I have served successfully in a variety 
of demanding leadership positions both in Washington and overseas, 
including most recently as Executive Secretary of the State Department 
and as Ambassador to Greece. I know firsthand the challenges facing 
senior policymakers as well as the incredible demands on their time and 
attention. I thus appreciate the critical contribution that INR has 
made and can continue to make in providing the President, the Secretary 
of State, and other senior policymakers with timely, independent and 
well-focused analysis on a broad range of regional and global 
challenges.
    Throughout the course of my 30 years as a Foreign Service officer, 
I have worked closely with members of the Intelligence Community, 
overseen and coordinated intelligence and law enforcement activities, 
and witnessed firsthand the role that intelligence and analysis can and 
should play in the formulation of foreign policy. Like many of the 
professionals within INR, I also have a strong academic background and 
appreciate very much the importance of drawing on the insights and 
expertise found in our Nation's outstanding academic institutions, 
nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector. As a leader in 
the Department and as a chief of mission abroad, I have also worked 
hard to enhance interagency cooperation, to improve communication and 
information-sharing, and to ensure that we are all working together to 
advance our national security.
    If confirmed, Mr. Chairman, I will work tirelessly to ensure that 
INR continues to make its unique analytical contribution as well as 
continues to ensure that our intelligence activities support our 
foreign policy and national security objectives. Thank you for having 
me here today. I look forward to answering your questions.

    The Chairman Well, thank you both very much. Welcome to 
your families. As I said earlier, service of those in the 
Foreign Service, particularly our ambassadors and other 
positions, is also a family commitment. I know that you will be 
here in D.C., but nonetheless, it is still a commitment. So I 
appreciate their willingness to share you with the country.
    Ambassador Chacon, we are very proud of your service to 
date, and I would expect that the service that you have had 
will now be reflected in this new position.
    As you and I had an opportunity to discuss yesterday, there 
are some things that I am concerned about with the State 
Department. It is a concern that has lasted 21 years since I 
first came to the Congress and the House of Representatives and 
has transcended various administrations and still does not seem 
to be getting it right. And that is the nature of diversity in 
the Foreign Service and in the overall presence in the State 
Department, of which--I am concerned about it all, but one of 
the worst elements of the State Department is the Hispanic 
workforce at State, which would have to grow exponentially in 
order to fairly reflect the Hispanic component of the overall 
U.S. population. Yet, this is a goal that has proven elusive 
even when the Department had the resources to conduct large-
scale hiring programs.
    For example, in fiscal year 2011, the State Department was 
one of only five Federal agencies that saw a decline by 
percentage in the number of Hispanic employees. And your 
immediate predecessor, Director General Greenfield, made a 
genuine effort to address this issue and worked with my office 
in making minority communities aware of opportunities at State 
and in the Foreign Service. This is something that I raise with 
Heather Higginbottom in her role in management.
    And I think why we have not achieved in this goal is 
because it is my belief that State needs direct guidance from 
the top that this is a priority. If you do not establish from 
the top, from the Secretary to the Under Secretary, throughout 
this whole effort to say part of how you will be evaluated is 
whether or not you are working to diversify within your field 
the workforce of the State Department and the Foreign Service. 
Then it will not be carried out because unless people know that 
it is part of their overall review--this is an important 
equation--it will be maybe for another 20 years aspirational.
    And this is not just about doing the right thing from my 
perspective, although it is. This is also about a powerful 
message across the world. When I was in China--we just had our 
nominee for the Ambassador to China--I was meeting with human 
rights activists and lawyers who are struggling to represent a 
nascent effort to create change for basic human rights inside 
of China with a bunch of lawyers and human rights activists and 
dissidents. And the member of our team from our Embassy who was 
leading this effort in this group, in terms of engaging them 
and having set up the meeting for many who did not come because 
they were threatened not to come by the state security, was an 
African American. And the powerful message that was being sent 
to these human rights activists and political dissidents as 
someone who expressed some of the history of the United States 
and the change for basic human rights and dignity of African 
Americans in this country and now representing the United 
States of America in a country in which they were going through 
similar challenges cannot be measured. So this is not just 
simply about doing the right thing. It is a powerful message, 
the same powerful message when you have been able to represent 
our country in different parts of the world.
    And so what I want to hear from you is, one, a commitment 
to me about making this a priority as the Director General and, 
two, what is the plan. I do not expect you to give me the 10-15 
point plan right now, but I do want to hear some--you must have 
given this some thought. I do want to hear some outlines of 
what you envision having to happen in order to change these 
dynamics.
    Do you believe you have a commitment from the Secretary to 
change this reality? Because I have been doing this for 20 
years, trying to change the course of events in this particular 
regard, and I really consider it one of those things that I 
have not been very successful at. The difference is 20 years 
ago I was not the chairman.
    Ambassador Chacon. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Let me begin by saying you most definitely have my 
commitment, and we most definitely have the commitment from the 
Secretary. As a matter of fact, I met with the Secretary 
yesterday. We talked about this in preparation for my coming 
here, and he wanted me to reiterate yet again, as he has told 
me personally on a number of occasions, his commitment to 
diversity that extends to his entire top staff, including 
Deputy Secretary Higginbottom that will be leading a second 
review of our Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. And 
I want to say as a member of the Foreign Service, a proud 
member with over 30 years of experience there, I have seen the 
culture change. We can do a much better job clearly.
    I personally am not satisfied but I am very impressed with 
the steady progress that we have made. And it is my team that 
will be working very hard because this is an important 
imperative and priority.
    We are doing some novel things like a mobile app to be able 
to communicate with underrepresented populations to be able to 
demystify, if you will, what the Foreign Service is.
    My personal case is somewhat emblematic. I come from 
Colorado, New Mexico, 350 years, never really did much 
international travel in my youth, did not know anything about 
the Foreign Service, happened to run into a recruiter on campus 
who talked about it. When I did volunteer work overseas in 
Latin America, I became engaged with talking to Foreign Service 
officers, felt instantly smitten with this. And it helped me 
prepare better and pursue this career.
    And that is what I hope to do is to take this story outside 
the traditional stream and to go to areas where we have people 
that are genuinely interested in public service and that have 
major contributions to make.
    We hope to launch this spring as well a Foreign Service 
exam online that gives immediate feedback to people that are 
taking it. It guides them in areas where they can improve their 
score. We have diplomats in residence at over 16 universities, 
many of those serving historic institutions that serve 
Hispanics or African Americans. And again, their mandate is to 
go out and to find these people, not just to do it by chance.
    It is an exciting career. I know that we have people 
interested in second careers, accomplished people. I have 
observed some of the examination process. We have bankers and 
lawyers that want to start in public service, and I would like 
to tap into underrepresented groups and minority professional 
organizations to be able to tell this story and to bring in 
those talents.
    So we have a lot of work to do, but I think it is exciting 
because we are all working as a team. The Secretary has some 
innovative programs in terms of outreach to veterans. I would 
like to look at public-private partnerships to sponsor more 
internships like our Rangel and Pickering fellowships because 
it is a process. It is getting access to this lifestyle and 
understanding it so that they can compete on a level playing 
field when they do take the exam.
    The Chairman Well, I appreciate that answer. The one thing 
I might disagree with you on is progress. I guess progress is 
all relative. But certainly we have not had the type of 
progress over two decades that I think is commensurate with the 
growth in this country of a critical part of the population. So 
I will look forward to having a more in-depth opportunity to 
work with you.
    I am going to tell you four points that I think are 
essential to any plan.
    First of all, it starts with measurement, making sure that 
at the very top it is very clear that the process by which 
those who are going to be reviewed will have as one of the 
measurements what they have done to promote this diversity.
    Secondly is if we continue to recruit at the traditional 
places that we recruit at, we are not going to get a diverse 
pool. So I can bring you to New Jersey and some great schools 
that are very diverse, but that recruiting does not take place 
there. And that is just by way of one example. Now, if we go to 
the Fletcher School of Diplomacy, which is a fantastic school, 
or ISIS or others, we are going to get some really talented 
people, but we are not going to necessarily get the most 
diverse pool. So we need to diversify where we send these 
recruiters.
    Thirdly, we need to actually engage, if we really want to 
make this happen, to not only recruit those individuals but to 
lead them in some process that prepares them for the written 
exam and then the oral exam.
    And then lastly, I continuously am concerned about an oral 
exam that is very subjective and in which some people have said 
you can communicate effectively orally and others cannot. 
Obviously, oral communication is incredibly important in this 
job, but with all due respect, I have had those appear before 
this committee and I have met others who evidently must have 
passed the oral exam, and I have known others who have been 
rejected who, from my point of view, are equally competent in 
their ability to orally express themselves. So we need a less 
subjective and more objective standard so that we actually get 
the cadre that we want.
    So we will look forward to working with you on this. This 
is something that I am actually considering looking at 
something that we have not done in this committee for some 
time, which is a State Department authorization bill so that we 
can lay out this, among many other elements, of course--there 
are many important elements that we have not been able to do. 
And I think it is time for the committee to consider doing 
that. I know the challenges with it but I think it is 
important.
    Finally, I would hope that as we deal--something that I 
have taken to heart since I became the chairman, something that 
began with the tragedy of Benghazi, something that the ARB has 
laid out a roadmap on, that we are looking at the staffing 
necessary in fulfilling the human capital needs and language 
requirements and other critical elements to make sure that our 
embassies abroad, which are particularly in high-threat, high-
risk positions, have the staff necessary to be able to meet 
those challenges. Is that something that you are committed to 
as we move forward here?
    Ambassador Chacon. I certainly am, Senator, and we have 
taken those recommendations of the ARB to heart and have 
created 150 new security positions. We have created language 
proficiency programs for security personnel, in particular in 
Arabic. We are looking at using all of our hiring authorities 
to bring on immediately qualified personnel, for instance, that 
are retired or family members or other experts that can 
immediately begin contributing to this. It is our highest 
priority and one of my top goals, of course, is ensuring that 
we have the staff necessary for the 720 positions in the five 
priority staffing areas which include Iraq, Afghanistan, 
Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya. So, yes, you do have my commitment 
there. And we have gone a long way but we certainly can do a 
much better job.
    The Chairman Mr. Smith, I do not want you to feel left out 
of the conversation. Let me ask you, can you describe for me 
how INR participates in the formulation of threat assessment 
against U.S. posts by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security? You 
know, one of the things that came out was looking at threats in 
a different way than we had where it was not just a question of 
immediate actionable intelligence where we had a specific 
threat, but an environment that could have created--from which 
a threat could arise from. Could you give me a little sense of 
how INR goes about that and how you will, as the Assistant 
Secretary, upon confirmation, look at that issue?
    Ambassador Smith. Well, Mr. Chairman, thank you very much.
    INR works closely with our colleagues in the Bureau of 
Diplomatic Security, as well as in the regional bureaus and 
elsewhere in the Department, to ensure that they have access to 
the intelligence and information they need to make assessments 
about the security and safety of our personnel on the ground in 
a given position or a given place.
    One of the things I want to do, if I am confirmed, Senator, 
is make sure that we are working as collaboratively as 
possible, that they have access, as I understand, to all the 
information they need, but also that INR is providing the 
broader intelligence assessment and analysis to put these 
things in a broader context. I think you are absolutely right 
that in many cases we need to see the bigger picture sometimes 
and to step back, and I think INR's contribution can be 
significant in that regard.
    The Chairman Let me ask you, if you were to be confirmed, 
would you, in essence, become the Secretary's chief 
intelligence briefer?
    Ambassador Smith. I am the Secretary's representative to 
the Intelligence Community, and I will ensure that the 
Secretary has access to the information that he needs, but also 
that the Intelligence Community is focused on the priorities of 
the Secretary and the State Department.
    The Chairman So that does not mean that you are necessarily 
the chief intelligence briefer. You would be his representative 
in the Intelligence Community to try to rivet their attention 
on things the State Department cares about. But how does that 
play back to the Secretary? Any Secretary, this one or any 
other. How does that play back to the Secretary? In what role 
do you interface with the Secretary in that regard?
    Ambassador Smith. Well, I will, if confirmed, be attending 
the Secretary's senior staff meetings and other events in order 
to provide information but also to take back information to INR 
and to the Intelligence Community on the priorities and 
concerns of the Secretary on an ongoing basis. I think one of 
the strengths of INR as an institution is that proximity to the 
Secretary of State and to other policymakers in the State 
Department to provide an ongoing dialogue in order to 
anticipate their needs and to provide feedback to the 
Intelligence Community about priorities and objectives.
    The Chairman To what extent does INR engage in personnel 
rotations with other agencies of the Intelligence Community and 
vice versa with them and INR?
    Ambassador Smith. INR is a small organization, as you know, 
Senator. We have about 200 analysts, about 360 positions in 
INR, but we, within those constraints of being a small 
organization, I think try our best to ensure that our analysts, 
our employees have opportunities within the Intelligence 
Community at large, whether it is serving and being detailed to 
other parts of the Intelligence Community, but also that they 
can take advantage of opportunities abroad. One of the things I 
think that enhances our value and certainly enhances the 
insights and experience of our analysts is to be able to serve 
abroad. We look for TDY assignments and other opportunities so 
that they can spend time abroad.
    The Chairman I got your answer on how many people you have, 
and I recognize the size of it compared to the challenge.
    Can you quantify it for me? Do you have an understanding of 
the component? Is it 10 percent or 5 percent or 2 percent that 
rotate into other intelligence agencies or other intelligence 
agencies that rotate into INR?
    Ambassador Smith. Well, I would say, on hand--I do not know 
the exact statistics, Senator, but I would say that we have a 
substantial number of detailees. I know, at any given time, 
perhaps as many as 5 to 10 percent of the Bureau are detailees 
from other Intelligence Community organizations and 
institutions. We try to, as I say, make available our staff and 
allow them to do rotations within the Intelligence Community as 
much as possible. I do not know at any given time how many it 
is. Last year we had, in terms of overseas assignments though I 
know, seven who were out, enabled to go out on TDY's of our 
employees.
    The Chairman Would you, for the record, get us an answer as 
to what is the nature of the rotations? Because it seems to me 
that it would be valuable for all concerned by getting exposure 
to and experience, and the responsibilities, the tradecraft, 
and the organizational cultures of other agencies that would 
help your specific task within the Department be enriched. So 
if you could get us an answer on that, I would appreciate it.
    Ambassador Smith. I would be delighted, Mr. Chairman, but I 
give you my commitment as well, if confirmed, that is going to 
be one of my priorities, to ensure those opportunities.
    The Chairman Well, thank you both for your appearance.
    Seeing no other members, this record will remain open until 
noon tomorrow. If you have questions submitted to you for the 
record, I would urge you to respond to them expeditiously so 
that the chair can consider your nominations at the next 
business meeting.
    And with that, this hearing is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 12 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]
                              ----------                              


       Additional Questions and Answers Submitted for the Record


            Responses of Max Baucus to Questions Submitted 
                       by Senator Robert Menendez

    Question. What do you view as the biggest challenges to the 
relationship? I am very concerned about Chinese actions and current 
trend lines on a range of security issues in the Asia-Pacific region. 
On Japan, China appears to be trying to use its differences with Japan 
as a wedge between the United States and an important ally and is 
increasingly aggressive in its rhetoric and behavior toward the 
Senkakus, including with its recent Air Defense Identification Zone 
declaration. What is our proper response? In the South China Sea, China 
appears to be continuing to drag its feet on the negotiation of a Code 
of Conduct, recently announced that it was going to enforce a whole 
host of fisheries regulations in the South China Sea, including in 
areas under dispute with other nations, and seems intent on trying to 
coerce the nations of the region--including the Philippines and 
Vietnam--to force a resolution of these issues in a way favorable to 
PRC interests. What role should the United States play on these issues? 
Given China's new assertiveness, is our carefully calibrated balance 
between ``cooperation and competition'' still the right approach? 
Should we be putting ``a little more hair'' on the competition side?

    Answer. The U.S.-China relationship contains elements of both 
cooperation and competition. The United States should continue to make 
clear and promote our values, interests and principles, work with China 
to manage our differences, and seek to build a cooperative partnership 
across the range of bilateral, regional, and global issues that 
confront us today. If confirmed, I would speak clearly to Beijing 
regarding not only issues of shared interest, but also our differences, 
and faithfully represent the values we hold dear as Americans--
including respect for international law and the freedom of navigation. 
I am clear-eyed about the growing U.S. and regional concerns regarding 
Chinese behavior with its neighbors over territorial and maritime 
matters.
    China's announcement of an ``East China Sea Air Defense 
Identification Zone (ADIZ)'' caused deep concerns in the region. China 
announced the ADIZ without prior consultations, even though the newly 
announced ADIZ overlaps with longstanding Flight Information Regions 
(FIRs) and other ADIZs and includes airspace and territory administered 
by others. If confirmed, I would remind the Chinese that the United 
States does not recognize and does not accept the ADIZ, which we 
believe should not be implemented. I would make clear to China that it 
should refrain from taking similar actions elsewhere in the region. I 
would also encourage China to work with other countries, including 
Japan and the Republic of Korea, to address the dangers its recent 
declaration has created and to deescalate tensions.
    In the South China Sea, the past 2 years have witnessed a troubling 
trend of provocative and unilateral activities, including Chinese 
restrictions toward long-held fishing practices at Scarborough Reef and 
its update of the Hainan provincial fishing regulations that purport to 
cover vast areas of the South China Sea. The United States has pressed 
China and ASEAN to rapidly agree on a meaningful Code of Conduct in the 
South China Sea to manage incidents when they arise, and I will 
continue to do so, if confirmed.

    Question. What kind of dialogue do we currently have with the 
Chinese on cyber theft? What will you do as Ambassador to deepen this 
dialogue? What actions could we take if we discover state-directed 
theft of corporate or national secrets?

    Answer. Cyber security is one of the administration's top 
priorities. Administration officials have repeatedly raised concerns 
about Chinese state-sponsored cyber-enabled theft of trade secrets and 
confidential business information at the highest levels with senior 
Chinese officials, including in the military, and will continue to do 
so. The United States engaged China on this and other key cyber-related 
issues during the Strategic Security Dialogue (SSD)--including during 
the January 23 interim round of the SSD--and through the first two 
meetings of the U.S.-China Cyber Working Group (CWG), conducted in July 
and December 2013. The two sides have agreed to schedule the next 
meeting in the first half of 2014.
    The United States and China are among the world's largest cyber 
actors, and it is vital that we continue a sustained, meaningful 
dialogue and work together to develop an understanding of acceptable 
behavior in cyber space. Through the CWG, the United States will 
continue to emphasize U.S. cyber policy objectives, including the 
applicability of international law to state behavior, the importance of 
norms of responsible state behavior, concerns about cyber activities 
that can lead to instability, the role of transparency in domestic 
civilian and military cyber policy, and the importance of practical 
cooperative measures to prevent crises in cyber space. If confirmed, I 
am committed to making the advancement of these issues a high priority.

    Question. A 2013 American Chamber of Commerce China survey found 
that 72 percent of respondents said that China's IPR enforcement was 
either ineffective or totally ineffective. The U.S. International Trade 
Commission estimated that U.S. intellectual property-intensive firms 
that conducted business in China lost $48.2 billion in sales, 
royalties, and license fees in 2009 because of IPR violations there. In 
certain sectors, such as wind power, where American Superconductor has 
been severely harmed by IP theft by its Chinese ``partner,'' Sinovel, 
the damage to U.S. businesses has been particularly acute. It also 
estimated that an effective IPR enforcement regime in China that was 
comparable to U.S. levels could increase employment by IP-intensive 
firms in the United States by 923,000 jobs.

   Where does intellectual property protection rank on your 
        list of priorities as Ambassador?

    Answer. I am very concerned by high levels of trade secrets theft 
and violations of intellectual property rights in China. If confirmed, 
I will advocate forcefully on behalf of U.S. rights holders for greater 
protection and enforcement of their intellectual property, trade 
secrets, and commercially sensitive information. I will seek to ensure 
that this critical issue is addressed at the highest levels between our 
two governments. U.S. companies derive tremendous value and competitive 
advantage from the billions of dollars they invest in research and 
development, and intellectual property is part of the bedrock of our 
economy. It is critical for American innovators to know their 
intellectual property and trade secrets are being protected.
    If confirmed, I will also make it a top priority to work closely 
with U.S. rights holders, innovators, and entrepreneurs to make sure 
that they fully understand the risks and take appropriate measures to 
protect their intellectual property doing business with China. I will 
also work with other foreign governments to underscore the need for the 
Chinese Government to take stronger measures to protect intellectual 
property in China.

    Question. It's not at all clear that the new Chinese leadership is 
as welcoming to foreign investment as its predecessors have been for 
over two decades. In your chairmanship of the Finance Committee and for 
many years here in the Senate, you've pushed for open markets and 
export opportunities for U.S. firms.

   Do we face a fundamental change in how the Chinese 
        Government views the role of foreigner companies, and what can 
        you, as Ambassador, do about that?

    Answer. There is no doubt that two-way trade and investment have 
benefited both the United States and China enormously, and both 
countries expect that they will continue to contribute to economic 
growth and prosperity. China has committed itself to an ambitious set 
of reforms, including in the area of investment, but this reform 
process is in early stages. The United States needs to continue to use 
bilateral dialogues and other engagements to press for continued 
reform, including calling on China to further liberalize its market and 
to establish a level playing field for foreign companies relative to 
domestic companies.
    In a positive development, China announced at the U.S.-China 
Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in July 2013 that it would 
negotiate a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with the United States 
that, for the first time in China's treaty practice, will cover all 
phases of investment, including market access, and all sectors of the 
Chinese economy (except for any limited and transparent negotiated 
exceptions). The BIT will mark an important step in opening China's 
economy to U.S. investors and leveling the playing field for American 
businesses. China also committed at S&ED to open up further to foreign 
investment in services, including through the establishment of the 
Shanghai Free Trade Zone pilot.
    If confirmed, I would seek to make further progress on a BIT while 
emphasizing the need for China to make simultaneous headway on market 
access and other priority issues in the short term, including through 
ongoing reform efforts such as in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

    Question. What do you hope to accomplish during your tenure in 
Beijing? What do you see as the proper role of the Ambassador? How will 
you work to get real influence on U.S. policy?

    Answer. Engaging in frank discussions while seeking to collaborate 
and narrow our differences with China is essential to having a healthy 
bilateral relationship. My primary job as Ambassador, if confirmed, 
will be to continue expanding cooperation where U.S.-China consensus 
and shared interests exist--such as on environmental issues--and to 
narrow our differences to promote common goals and interests, such as 
agreeing to a rules-based framework for our economic relationship that 
establishes a level playing field for healthy competition and 
innovation.
    If confirmed, I would continue to work with China on important 
regional and global security issues, such as the denuclearization of 
the Korean Peninsula, the importance of a nuclear-weapons-free Iran, 
and achieving a stable and prosperous Afghanistan. Equally important, I 
would seek to advance important U.S. interests on more contentious 
concerns, such as human rights and maritime security issues.

    Question. Is there a threat to the interests of the United States 
and our allies and friends from a militarily strong China that seems to 
be pushing others around as its military modernization proceeds and 
capabilities increase?

    Answer. The United States seeks a healthy, stable, reliable, and 
continuous military-to-military relationship with China. If confirmed, 
I would support the continued development of military-to-military 
relations as a key component of the U.S.-China bilateral relationship. 
Deeper cooperation is necessary to further reduce mistrust and the risk 
of miscalculation between the U.S. and Chinese militaries. We urge 
China to resolve regional issues peacefully through dialogue. We oppose 
unilateral actions that raise tensions or could result in 
miscalculations that would undermine peace, security, and economic 
growth in this vital part of the world. The U.S.-China relationship is 
not zero-sum, and we continue to pursue greater cooperation and 
engagement on our common interests.
    If confirmed, I would encourage China to exhibit greater 
transparency with respect to its capabilities and intentions and to use 
its military capabilities in a manner conducive to the maintenance of 
peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. I would reiterate that 
the United States has national interests in the 
Asia-Pacific region, including an interest in preserving the freedom of 
the seas and airspace.

    Question. How do we get America's message (who we are, what our 
values are) across to the Chinese public in ways that transcend the 
filters the leadership has constructed to block us? Are there 
particular human rights issues that you intend to champion as 
Ambassador?

    Answer. The best way for us to get America's message across to the 
Chinese public is through public diplomacy outreach programs and U.S.-
China people-to-people exchanges. Fortunately, our Embassy and 
consulates in Mission China have a robust public diplomacy outreach 
strategy and one of their primary objectives is to strengthen 
engagement with the next generation of Chinese leaders. They achieve 
this objective through English-language training programs for teachers 
throughout China, partnerships with U.S. universities that are working 
with universities in China, as well as academic, cultural, sports, and 
professional exchanges. The U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People 
Exchange, an annual high-level dialogue, is a prime example of how the 
United States and China are working together to forge stronger ties 
between their peoples.
    Mission China also has an extensive social media outreach program, 
utilizing local Chinese social media platforms, with over 4 million 
followers, throughout China. Mission China continues to look for 
innovative ways to reach our target audiences through social media and 
new technology.
    One of the most effective ways for the Chinese public to understand 
who we are and what we value is to experience our culture firsthand as 
a student. According to the 2013 Open Doors Report, there are over 
235,000 Chinese students in the United States. Through the EducationUSA 
program, Mission China is reaching out to students throughout China to 
provide timely and accurate information so students can find the best 
fit for their study abroad program. Also, through President Obama's 
100,000 Strong Initiative, we focused on increasing the number of 
Americans studying in China. In fact, the U.S. Department of State 
funds more Americans to study in China than in any other country. 
Approximately 900 students, scholars, and teachers will conduct 
research, teach or study Chinese through Fulbright and our other 
exchange programs. The exchanges we sponsor bridge language barriers, 
open lines of communication, and connect people in the United States 
and China in immediate and lasting ways.
    Human rights are integral to U.S. foreign policy. If confirmed, I 
would use my position as the U.S. Ambassador to urge China's leaders to 
respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all citizens, 
particularly the freedoms of expression, assembly, association, and 
religion, and would communicate our support for these principles 
directly to the Chinese people.
    I would raise our human rights concerns with Chinese officials at 
the highest levels and would raise specific cases of Chinese citizens 
who are being persecuted for the peaceful expression of their political 
or religious views. I would also make clear to China that the United 
States considers China's upholding its international human rights 
commitments to be vital to our bilateral relationship. I strongly 
believe that the promotion and protection of human rights in China are 
in our national interest and should be an integral part of every high-
level conversation we have with Chinese officials.
    If confirmed, I would plan to continue outreach to Chinese 
citizens, including activists and public interest lawyers, as well as 
ethnic minorities and religious groups in China, and will urge the 
Chinese Government to cease restrictions on religious practice and to 
address the counterproductive policies in minority areas that have 
fostered grievances and have prevented long-term stability.

    Question. April 10, 2014, will mark the 35th anniversary of the 
enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which was passed by the 
United States Congress and signed into law in 1979. This legislation 
provides an institutional framework and legal basis for our continued 
relations with Taiwan after the end of formal diplomatic ties. The 35th 
anniversary not only represents an important milestone in our 
longstanding relationship with Taiwan, it also consolidates the 
foundation on which our bilateral security, economic, and trade 
relations will continue to grow and flourish and reassures our 
commitment to maintain peace and stability in the region. In my view, 
the Taiwan Relations Act, just as much as our One China Policy or the 
Three Joint Communiques, forms the basis of our successful policy 
toward China and is critical to maintaining cross-strait stability.

   What is your view of the Taiwan Relations Act?

    Answer. If confirmed as Ambassador, I will continue to underscore 
the commitment to the U.S. one-China policy based on the three Joint 
Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). The TRA has provided 
the basis for Taiwan's unofficial but stable, friendly, and robust 
relations with the United States since 1979, allowing Taiwan to be an 
important economic and security partner in the Asia-Pacific region. The 
TRA allows the United States to continue to provide Taiwan with the 
means to develop a sufficient self-defense capability, which 
contributes to stability in the region and gives Taiwan confidence to 
engage China. Maintenance of cross-strait stability is essential to 
promoting peace and prosperity in the entire Asia-Pacific region.
    If confirmed, I will encourage continued constructive cross-strait 
dialogue, which has led to significant improvements in the cross-strait 
relationship, at a pace acceptable to people on both sides.

    Question. How do you assess China's cooperation with the United 
States on Iran, including sanctions enforcement?

    Answer. China is an important partner in the P5+1 process and in 
the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action. The United States and 
China share the goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear 
weapon. If confirmed, I would work to ensure there is continued and 
close cooperation between our two countries. As Ambassador, I would 
work with China to ensure we continue to address the international 
community's concerns about Iran's nuclear program in the P5+1 and press 
China to prevent proliferation-related transfers to Iran. If confirmed, 
I would work with China as we pursue a long-term comprehensive 
settlement with Iran. I would urge China to keep Iranian oil imports 
flat, instruct Chinese companies to refrain from sanctionable 
transactions with Iran, and boost its efforts to prevent illicit 
transfers of proliferation-sensitive technology to Iran.

    Question. How can we get China to work more closely with 
responsible members of the international community on North Korea? Is 
there a future for the six-party talks?

    Answer. The United States remains open to authentic and credible 
negotiations to implement the September 2005 Joint Statement of the 
Six-Party Talks and to bring North Korea into compliance with 
applicable Security Council resolutions through irreversible steps 
leading to denuclearization. The United States shares with China a 
common goal of achieving a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, which is 
essential to both regional stability and broader international 
security. China is a vital partner with a unique role to play due to 
its longstanding economic, diplomatic, and historical ties with North 
Korea. The administration continues to work with all U.N. member 
states, including China, to ensure the full and transparent 
implementation of UNSC sanctions.
    As Ambassador, if confirmed, I would urge China to use its 
influence to convince North Korea that it has no choice but to 
denuclearize. The United States and China need to continue to work 
together to hold the DPRK to its commitments and its international 
obligations, including those to abandon its nuclear weapons and 
existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible 
manner. One important way to do this continues to be robust PRC 
implementation of U.N. Security Council sanctions and other measures.
    If confirmed, I would continue to encourage Beijing to ensure the 
full and transparent implementation of U.N. Security Council sanctions 
targeting North Korea's nuclear-related, ballistic missile-related, or 
other weapons of mass destruction-related programs.

    Question. The Chinese Government is demonstrating increasing 
determination and sophistication at using the law as a means to compel 
citizens to either support government policies on an ever wider range 
of issues, or to remain silent (and compliant). This trend is 
accelerating and is especially noticeable across the terrain of 
fundamental human rights. We routinely hear Chinese Government 
officials dismiss foreign accusations that they disregard the freedoms 
of speech, association, assembly, and religion by asserting that 
government actions are ``according to the law.''

   As Ambassador to China, how will you work to champion the 
        function of law to protect citizens' freedoms, instead of 
        protecting the government's ability to suppress those rights?

    Answer. Human rights are integral to U.S. foreign policy. If 
confirmed, I would use my position as the U.S. Ambassador to urge 
China's leaders to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of 
all citizens and would communicate our support for these principles 
directly to the Chinese people. Promoting respect for universal human 
rights and the rule of law is integral to U.S. foreign policy. If 
confirmed, I would urge China's leaders to undertake key legal reforms 
and respect the rule of law and underscore the importance of an 
independent judiciary, a robust civil society and the free flow of 
information to China's prosperity and stability. I would also strongly 
support the annual U.S.-China Legal Experts Dialogue, which provides an 
important channel to discuss our concerns about the rule of law and 
specifically the role of lawyers in Chinese society by bringing 
together judges, legal scholars, lawyers and prosecutors to discuss key 
legal issues.
    If confirmed, I would continue outreach to ethnic minorities and 
religious groups, including members of house churches, in China. I 
would also continue outreach to legal scholars and universities to 
emphasize the importance of rule of law and an independent judiciary. 
Such outreach would be conducted in a way that is effective and 
promotes our values.
    If confirmed, I would raise our human rights concerns with Chinese 
officials at the highest levels and would raise specific cases of 
Chinese citizens who are being persecuted for the peaceful expression 
of their political views or religious beliefs. I would also make clear 
to China that the United States considers China's upholding its 
international human rights commitments to be vital to our bilateral 
relationship. I strongly believe that the promotion and protection of 
human rights in China are in our national interest and should be an 
integral part of every high-level conversation we have with Chinese 
officials.

    Question. How should the United States respond to Chinese security 
officials' recent detention of Uyghur scholar, Ilham Tohti, who has 
given a voice to Uyghurs' concerns over inequality and discrimination 
and who has sought to foster understanding between Uyghurs and China's 
dominant Han population?

    Answer. If confirmed, I would urge China's leaders to immediately 
release Uighur scholar, Ilham Tohti, remove all restrictions on his 
freedom of movement, and guarantee him the protections and freedoms to 
which he is entitled under China's international human rights 
commitments. I would ensure that our Embassy continues to be in close 
communication with Tohti's family members and supporters. I would also 
work closely with other embassies in China to ensure that China hears a 
consistent message from the international community on his case.
    I am deeply concerned by ongoing reports of discrimination against 
and restrictions on Uighurs and other Muslims and, if confirmed, would 
urge the Chinese Government to cease restrictions on religious 
practice. I would also press Chinese officials to address the 
counterproductive policies in Xinjiang that have fostered grievances 
and have prevented long-term stability.

    Question. Human rights is often considered a separate issue from 
our trading relationship with China. But in many ways, they are 
interconnected. For example, a free press and vibrant civil society are 
essential to holding the Chinese Government accountable on issues such 
as food and product safety, and the right to organize independent 
unions is key to ensuring workers in China are not exploited at the 
expense of American workers.

   How will you ensure that human rights concerns are 
        integrated with our trade and economic discussions with China?

    Answer. Promotion and protection of human and labor rights in China 
are in our national interest in all facets of the bilateral 
relationship, including our trade, economic, and development interests 
with China. If confirmed, I would use my position as the U.S. 
Ambassador to urge China's leaders to respect the human rights and 
fundamental freedoms of all citizens, including the freedoms of 
expression, peaceful assembly, and association. I would make the case 
to China that the rule of law, an independent judiciary, and a robust 
civil society will help China address challenges such as food safety 
and food and nutrition security, while enabling it to continue its 
economic growth and maintain stability. I believe that the free flow of 
ideas, on all topics, is essential for fostering creativity and 
building the kind of innovative economy that will help China continue 
to reduce poverty and improve the standard of living.
    I would raise our human rights concerns with Chinese officials at 
the highest levels and make clear that the United States considers 
China upholding its international human rights commitments vital to our 
bilateral relationship. I strongly believe that the promotion and 
protection of human rights in China are in our national interest and 
should be an integral part of high-level conversation with Chinese 
officials.
    If confirmed, I would engage regularly with companies in both 
countries, as well as with labor and civil society organizations, to 
promote responsible business conduct and to focus on sustainable 
development. Companies can further our efforts by encouraging broad 
respect for human and labor rights and leading efforts to improve 
transparency, while reducing their own reputational risk, leveling the 
playing field, and improving the overall business environment.
                                 ______
                                 

           Responses of Arnold Chacon to Questions Submitted 
                       by Senator Robert Menendez

    Question. The Department has increased personnel significantly 
within the last decade. Today, more than 50 percent of the Foreign 
Service joined within the last 10 years. What does this mean for career 
paths, promotion numbers, and workforce development? Please describe 
the Department's workforce planning and efforts to create career paths 
for these new employees.

    Answer. The Department is committed to an orderly, predictable flow 
of talent through the Foreign Service ranks. In our up-or-out system, 
promotion opportunities depend on the number of employees who separate 
(e.g., retire or resign) as well as the overall number of positions at 
each grade. Under the Diplomatic Readiness Initiative and Diplomacy 
3.0, the Department hired a large number of entry-level officers 
(ELOs), helping to narrow a previous deficit in Foreign Service 
employees. As more and more of these employees move into the mid-
levels, we have undertaken efforts to increase mid-level positions, in 
line with our mission requirements, which should alleviate some of the 
projected slowdown in promotion rates and increase in time in class for 
this cohort. Moreover, to meet mid-level staffing and assignment gaps, 
many of those employees progressed in grade at faster than historic 
rates. While we expect to now be able to return to earlier rates, we 
are acutely cognizant that building experience and managing 
expectations for our recently hired employees is a priority. We are 
also concerned that with the current less than attrition hiring, our 
flow-through will once again be disrupted, likely recreating the 
staffing gaps that DRI and Diplomacy 3.0 were meant to close and 
impacting our new staff as well as we strive to defend U.S. interests 
abroad.
    The Department takes an active interest in the development of its 
most important resource, its people. Since 2005, the Department has 
used Career Development Plans (CDPs) for Foreign Service Generalists 
and, more recently, Specialists, as a tool for mapping career 
development and developing skills needed at the senior ranks. The CDP 
builds on four principles to meet the Department's mission: operational 
effectiveness, including breadth of experience over several regions and 
functions; leadership and management effectiveness; sustained 
professional language and technical proficiency; and responsiveness to 
Service needs. Mandatory requirements and a menu of electives help 
guide employees in developing the skills and experience to demonstrate 
their readiness for the senior ranks.
    The CDP also reinforces the importance of excellence in foreign 
languages, fundamental to the work of the Foreign Service. Professional 
foreign language use is also highly valued in considerations for 
promotion, across all grades and skills. Long-term language training 
does generally slow promotion while the student is enrolled, but makes 
promotion more likely later on. Every 3 years, the Department updates 
the criteria for assigning a language designation to a position. The 
next triennial review should be completed by July 2014. The number of 
overseas language-designated positions (LDPs) grows every year; for FY 
2013, it was 2,241.
    The Department is committed to developing the wider skills for 
today's diplomacy. In addition to tradecraft skills, we are also 
focused on the leadership and management skills critical to the 
Department, both internally and in an increasingly interagency overseas 
environment. In recent years, for example, we instituted mandatory 
leadership training as a prerequisite for promotion at each rank and, 
in 2014, we expect to launch a new program of mandatory supervisory 
training for all new supervisors.

    Question. In the 21st-century it is critical that America has a 
professional, innovative, and diverse workforce. I understand that the 
Department has established recruitment programs targeting individuals 
with in-demand language skills, but once hired they may be prevented 
from serving in those countries due to assignment restrictions and 
preclusions. Please describe efforts currently underway to improve the 
Department's assignment restriction and preclusion program--which may 
be disparately impacting certain ethnicities--including the 
introduction of a robust appeals mechanism and increased internal 
reporting and oversight.

    Answer. The Department of State hires all Foreign Service officers 
and Specialists to be worldwide available, and we have worked 
diligently to maintain a diverse workforce. One way to reduce the risk 
of possible exploitation by a foreign intelligence service is to 
restrict an individual from assignment in that specific country. This 
is by no means punitive, but rather it serves to protect both the 
national security and the individual. If confirmed, I will work with 
the Assistant Secretary of Diplomatic Security to bring a common sense 
review of restrictions, and provide an outreach initiative so all 
personnel understand the rationale for these crucial security 
decisions.

    Question. The Hispanic workforce at State will have to grow 
exponentially in order to fairly reflect the Hispanic component of the 
overall U.S. population, yet this goal has proven elusive--even when 
the Department has had the resources to conduct large-scale hiring 
programs.

   If confirmed will you make minority recruitment and 
        retention a top priority? What is your plan? How will you make 
        the Department's staff reflective of our rich cultural and 
        ethnic diversity?
   If confirmed will you put together a high-level team to 
        develop a specific proposal and plan--in consultation with this 
        committee--to improve minority retention, recruitment and 
        hiring?

    Answer. In order to represent the United States to the world, the 
Department of State must have a workforce that reflects the rich 
composition of its citizenry. We recognize that we can, and must do, 
more to improve minority hiring. If confirmed, you have my personal 
commitment to redouble the Department's efforts to ensure that we 
represent the full cross-section of America. I look forward to working 
with you, as well as other members of the committee and community 
leaders, to do so.
    At the same time, I would like to point out the efforts already 
underway in this area, and what has thus far been accomplished. The 
culture of the Department has changed dramatically in the past few 
decades; when Congress passed the Foreign Service Act of 1980, more 
than 80 percent of FS generalists and specialists were male, and close 
to 75 percent were white males. Now females constitute 35 percent and 
minorities over 22 percent. To echo the testimony of Deputy Secretary 
for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom, diversity is now a 
central Department commitment, and the Secretary has told me personally 
that he considers it a high priority. In the past 11 years, FS 
generalist minority hiring increased from 12.3 percent in 2002 to 28.7 
percent in 2013. Furthermore, minority hires for FS generalists are up 
from last year: Hispanic, from 8.5 percent to 11 percent; Asian-
American, from 8 percent to 11 percent; and African-American from 6 
percent to over 10 percent. This represents important if insufficient 
progress as we continue to strive to ensure the face of the FS and 
Civil Service (CS) includes people of all cultures, races, and 
religions, drawn from across the United States.
    The Bureau of Human Resources (HR) promotes diversity through a 
wide-range of plans, programs, and initiatives through its Diversity 
and Inclusion Strategic Plan (DISP). Beginning its third year of 
implementation, the DISP identifies practices to recruit, hire, train, 
develop, promote, and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce. 
Significant recruitment, outreach, and improvement activities include:

   Assigned 16 senior and mid-level Foreign Service officers as 
        Diplomats in Residences (DIRs) to college campuses around the 
        United States to recruit for student programs and careers. Of 
        which:

        Four went to Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs, 
            University of New Mexico, Florida International University, 
            University of Houston and City College of New York);
        Three assigned to Historically Black Colleges and 
            Universities (HBCUs, Howard, Spellman/Morehouse and Florida 
            A&M).

   Dedicated a second Washington-based recruiter to Hispanic 
        outreach and another (also a second) recruiter to African-
        American recruitment;
   Hosted or attended nearly 700 events, coast to coast, and 
        beyond, including Puerto Rico and Hawaii;
   Targeted minority communities through Diversity Career 
        Networking Events aimed at reaching professional communities in 
        regions where the Department is less well-known;
   Signed an MOU with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) 
        to access the Veterans' Resume Database, searchable pool of 
        veteran candidates for civil service direct hire using special 
        hiring authorities;

        Resulted in seven requests for veteran referrals where 
            four veterans received offer letters.

   Increased hiring of persons with disabilities through the 
        Disability and Reasonable Accommodations Division, which aids 
        in the recruitment, assignment, and support of applicants and 
        employees with disabilities;

        Provides over 4,500 reasonable accommodations annually, 
            with the majority for sign language interpretation services 
            for one overseas and 20 domestic employees;
        Operates a Computer Accommodations and Technology Center, 
            where employees requiring reasonable accommodation may be 
            assessed for technological solutions.

   Launched DOSCareers iPhone mobile app to reach 
        underrepresented groups and educate them about careers in the 
        Foreign Service (FS) and practice taking the FS exam;
   Enhanced the ``I am Diplomacy, I am America'' diversity 
        recruitment campaign so that future prospects may envision 
        themselves as potential representatives of the Department;
   Evaluated the overall program effectiveness for two of the 
        largest premier diversity scholarship programs, the Thomas R. 
        Pickering and Charles B. Rangel Fellowship student programs, 
        where approximately 60 graduate and undergraduate fellows are 
        selected to participate in each year. There have been 612 
        Pickering Fellows and 163 Rangel Fellows since the programs 
        began. Of this number, 387 Pickering Fellows and 114 Rangel 
        Fellows--totaling 501 Fellows--are currently in the Foreign 
        Service. A number of them have risen to significant positions, 
        such as Deputy Chiefs of Mission, while others have received 
        prestigious awards and/or public recognition for their 
        outstanding service.

As a result of these efforts, we have realized steady gains in 
diversity, although we agree that we still must do more to reach our 
goals.
    We are also working to improve diversity among the Senior Executive 
Staff (SES) of the Civil Service through a number of measures planned 
for 2014, including:

   On-board a new Diversity Program Manager to promote the 
        development and implementation of diversity and inclusion in 
        the SES and senior leadership equivalent talent pools across 
        the Department;
   Analyze a GS-14/15 SES Interest survey that we conducted to 
        help develop diverse SES talent for future leaders;
   Revise SES Merit Staffing processes to ensure diversity 
        among SES Qualification Review Panel members and mandatory 
        interviews for all SES candidates referred;
   Invite key diversity offices and affinity workgroups to 
        share ideas about improvements to our existing DISP metrics, 
        measures, and strategies;
   Focus efforts on activities to strengthen workplace 
        inclusion and sustainability goals and simultaneously update 
        the existing plan metrics, measures, and strategies.

    It is worth noting that factors beyond agency control, including 
potential decrease in Federal spending due to sequestration, limited/
delayed hiring, reduced travel/awards/pay freezes, are all 
circumstances that could potentially hinder or weaken our ability to 
meet our diversity goals.
    If confirmed, I look forward to working with you to achieve our 
mutual goal of enhanced diversity in the Department's ranks. We would 
like to invite you to accompany me or one of our recruiters at an event 
in your state.
                                 ______
                                 

            Responses of Max Baucus to Questions Submitted 
                         by Senator Bob Corker

    Question. Our relationship with China is one of the most complex 
and increasingly significant bilateral relationships globally. How do 
you propose to navigate the complexities of the bilateral relationship, 
including balancing our mutual desire to expand economic opportunities 
for our respective commercial interests, while simultaneously making 
clear our expectations that Beijing adhere to international norms, 
including in the maritime domain?

    Answer. The U.S.-China relationship contains elements of both 
cooperation and competition. The United States should continue to make 
clear and promote our values, interests and principles, work with China 
to manage our differences, and seek to build a cooperative partnership 
across the range of bilateral, regional, and global issues that 
confront us today. If confirmed, I would speak clearly to Beijing 
regarding not only issues of shared interest, but also our differences, 
and faithfully represent the values we hold dear as Americans--respect 
for the rule of law, the promotion of universal values and human 
rights, guaranteeing a level playing field for healthy economic 
competition, ensuring the free flow of information, and respect for 
international law, including freedom of navigation.

    Question. Beijing has been critical of the administration's 
rebalancing or ``pivot'' to Asia, accusing the United States of 
pursuing a policy to contain China.

   (a) How do you intend to explain the administration's Asia-
        Pacific ``pivot'' to the Chinese public?

    Answer. If confirmed, I would make clear that the rebalance is a 
multifaceted approach that recognizes the importance of the entire 
Asia-Pacific region to America's long-term prosperity and security. A 
key element of the rebalance is our pursuit of a positive, 
comprehensive, and cooperative relationship with China; the rebalance 
is not a strategy to contain China.
    If confirmed, I would use the public diplomacy tools at my 
disposal, including use of social media and public events, to 
communicate to the Chinese public that the United States welcomes the 
rise of a stable and prosperous China that assumes the responsibilities 
of a great power, respects the rights of its people, and plays a key 
role in world affairs. By pursuing a robust program of bilateral 
dialogue and exchange, I would, if confirmed, work to advance 
cooperation in areas of common interest to demonstrate that the United 
States has a stake in China's success, just as China has a stake in 
ours.

   (b) What areas do you see as having the most potential for 
        improvement in our relationship with China, and how do you 
        personally plan to approach them? What are your top priorities 
        for your time in China?

    Answer. Engaging in frank discussions while seeking to collaborate 
and narrow our differences with China is essential to having a healthy 
bilateral relationship. If confirmed, I would work to continue 
expanding cooperation where U.S.-China consensus and shared interests 
exist--such as on environmental issues--and to narrow our differences 
to promote common goals and interests, such as agreeing to a rules-
based framework for our economic relationship that establishes a level 
playing field for healthy competition and innovation.
    If confirmed, I would continue to work with China on important 
regional and global security issues, such as the denuclearization of 
the Korean Peninsula, the importance of a nuclear weapons-free Iran, 
and a stable and prosperous Afghanistan. Equally important, I would 
seek to advance important U.S. interests on more contentious concerns, 
such as human rights and maritime issues.

   (c) What, if any, opportunities exist for the United States 
        and China to work together to address North Korea's 
        destabilizing behavior? As Ambassador, how will you persuade 
        China to assert greater economic and political pressure on the 
        North Korean regime to abandon its nuclear weapons programs?

    Answer. The United States and China share a common goal of 
achieving a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, which is essential to both 
regional stability and international security. China is a vital partner 
with a unique role to play due to its long-standing economic, 
diplomatic, and historical ties with North Korea. The administration 
continues to work with all U.N. member states, including China, to 
ensure the full and transparent implementation of UNSC sanctions.
    As Ambassador, if confirmed, I would urge China to use its 
influence to convince North Korea that it has no choice but to 
denuclearize. The United States and China need to continue to work 
together to hold the DPRK to its commitments and its international 
obligations, including those to abandon its nuclear weapons and 
existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible 
manner. One important way to do this continues to be robust PRC 
implementation of U.N. Security Council sanctions and other measures.
    If confirmed, I would continue to encourage Beijing to ensure the 
full and transparent implementation of U.N. Security Council sanctions 
targeting North Korea's nuclear-related, ballistic missile-related, or 
other weapons of mass destruction-related programs.

    Question. Since the political transition last year, Beijing has 
engaged in a widespread crackdown on dissent and introduced a series of 
new controls on the media, undermining China's international human 
rights commitments. Several peaceful dissidents have been arrested and 
imprisoned, including a 4-year prison sentence handed down this past 
Sunday for Xu Zhiyong for organizing a series of protests against 
corruption last year in Beijing.

   As Ambassador, how will you promote U.S. core human rights 
        values and interests in our bilateral relationship with China? 
        Do we need to reevaluate our approach to the U.S.-China human 
        rights dialogue?

    Answer. If confirmed, I would use my position as the U.S. 
Ambassador to urge China's leaders to respect the human rights and 
fundamental freedoms of all Chinese citizens and raise specific cases 
of concern, including that of legal scholar Xu Zhiyong and other 
individuals associated with the New Citizens Movement that have been 
detained, harassed and prosecuted by Chinese authorities. I strongly 
believe that the promotion and protection of human rights in China are 
in our national interest and, as such, should be an integral part of 
every high-level conversation we have with Chinese officials. I would 
continue the Embassy's strong record of meeting regularly with a wide 
range of human rights activists and their family members to gain a 
better understanding of their concerns and to express our support for 
respect for human rights in China.
    I would also continue to work closely with other embassies in China 
in order to ensure that China hears a consistent message from the 
international community on human rights.
    The promotion and protection of human rights are critical 
components of U.S. foreign policy, and the U.S.-China Human Rights 
Dialogue (HRD) is an important part of the United States overall human 
rights effort regarding China. The HRD presents an opportunity to 
engage Chinese officials in an extended, in-depth discussion of key 
human rights concerns and individual cases. It is not, however, a 
substitute for consistent high-level engagement from across the U.S. 
Government. I strongly believe that the promotion and protection of 
human rights in China are in our national interest and, as such, should 
be an integral part of every high-level conversation we have with 
Chinese officials. The rule of law, an independent judiciary, a robust 
civil society, the free flow of information and respect for universal 
human rights and fundamental freedoms are key to China's ability to 
deal with domestic and global challenges and improve its standing as a 
reliable international partner.

    Question. Foreign journalists working in China have come under 
increased scrutiny and pressure. China has withheld visas and 
threatened local staff working with foreign journalists to deter 
publication of stories critical of Chinese policies or officials. In 
addition, China has blocked the Web sites of several U.S.-owned 
publications.

   How should the United States address China's media 
        censorship and discriminatory practices?

    Answer. I am deeply concerned that foreign journalists in China 
continue to face restrictions that impede their ability to do their 
jobs, including extended delays in processing journalist visas, 
restrictions on travel to certain locations deemed ``sensitive'' by 
Chinese authorities and, in some cases, violence at the hands of local 
authorities. These restrictions and treatment are not consistent with 
freedom of the press--and stand in stark contrast with U.S. treatment 
of Chinese and other foreign journalists.
    I was disappointed that New York Times reporter, Austin Ramzy, was 
required to leave China because of processing delays for his press 
credentials. Mr. Ramzy and several other U.S. journalists have waited 
months, and in some cases years, for a decision on their press 
credentials and visa applications.
    If confirmed, I would urge China to commit to timely visa and 
credentialing decisions for foreign journalists, unblock international 
media Web sites, and eliminate other restrictions that impede the 
ability of journalists to practice their profession. I firmly believe 
that our two countries should be expanding media exchanges to enhance 
mutual understanding and trust, not restricting the ability of 
journalists to do their work.

    Question. As you know, the United States and China are currently 
negotiating a bilateral investment treaty (BIT). A BIT with China would 
greatly benefit a broad segment of U.S. exporters currently subject to 
a number of ownership restrictions in China. With an ambitious treaty, 
we could eliminate many of these restrictions and help U.S. companies 
to compete fairly with Chinese companies. Both U.S. and Chinese 
Government officials have publicly expressed strong support for a BIT.
    The BIT negotiations could represent an important opportunity, as 
many observers believe President Xi views the BIT as a mechanism to 
push through important domestic economic reforms that were rolled out 
at last year's Third Plenum. This could be one of the more significant 
developments in the bilateral economic relationship since China's 
accession to the WTO in 2002.

   Will you make completing a BIT with China a high priority 
        during your tenure as Ambassador to China?
   As U.S. Ambassador to China, would you commit to pursuing a 
        high-standard Bilateral Investment Treaty with China, ensure 
        that there are no restrictions in businesses data flows, and 
        bring down the competitive barriers for our companies so they 
        can compete fairly with state-owned enterprises?

    Answer. A high-standard U.S.-China Bilateral Investment Treaty 
(BIT) would play a significant role in addressing key concerns of U.S. 
and other foreign investors, including the need to level the playing 
field and ensure that U.S. companies do not suffer from unfair 
disadvantages. The United States is taking an ambitious approach in the 
BIT negotiations with China, and one of our top priorities is to seek 
disciplines to help level the playing field between American companies 
and their Chinese competitors, including state-owned enterprises and 
national champions. The United States is also seeking to address other 
top-priority concerns in the China market, including protecting trade 
secrets from forced transfer and enhancing transparency and the rule of 
law. Negotiations are at an early stage, and I know the U.S. Government 
will continue to address these important issues as negotiations 
proceed. If confirmed, I am committed to making the advancement of 
these negotiations a high priority.

    Question. The Chinese Government in 2013 committed to resume 
bilateral investment treaty negotiations with the United States using 
the U.S. approach to BITs--one based on preestablishment, using a 
negative list. This is a significant change in approach, which China 
has not used before in this type of negotiation.
    As you know, the BIT will ultimately be considered by the Senate 
under our advise and consent process. We will be looking for a strong 
agreement with significant market openings for American companies. As 
part of our process, though, we will also evaluate China's actions to 
implement such openings in the immediate term rather than waiting for 
the BIT to be implemented. A delay in taking good faith steps to 
implement changes could be interpreted by some as a lack of commitment 
by China to making the changes that the BIT will require.

   What are your plans to advance the BIT negotiations and 
        push China's Government to act on market openings now rather 
        than only after implementation of the BIT has begun?
   And will you work to ensure that this committee, which must 
        approve all treaties negotiated by the United States, is fully 
        consulted and apprised on your progress on this important 
        issue?

    Answer. If confirmed, I would seek to make further progress on a 
BIT while emphasizing the need for China to make simultaneous headway 
on market access and other priority issues in the near term. The 
administration looks forward to consulting with this committee and 
other key congressional committees as negotiations continue.

    Question. China has stated its intention of becoming an innovative 
economy by 2020. This policy is being aggressively pursued by high-
level political commitments, substantial financial support and 
strategic policies. China's Government is using a variety of policy 
tools to implement these policies to reduce a perceived dependence on 
foreign intellectual property and to protect and promote national 
champions. I am concerned these policies will have a negative effect on 
U.S. companies and U.S. competitiveness.

   If confirmed, what are your plans to combat these market 
        access barriers that are adversely affecting U.S. companies?

    Answer. If confirmed, I would continue our high-level engagement to 
press the case that discriminatory and retaliatory practices and 
regulations are unacceptable and harm not only U.S. companies but also 
China's own competitiveness and development goals. The U.S. economy is 
one of the most open in the world, and I would encourage China to 
recognize our openness as one of our key strengths. U.S. companies 
introduce international best practices and high-quality goods and 
services into the global market, and it is in China's interest to allow 
our firms to participate on a level playing field, with appropriate 
protections for intellectual property, in China's growing domestic 
market. Chinese companies are also beginning to devote significant 
resources to develop new products and technologies, and many of these 
companies have their own growing concerns about others in China 
illegally copying their ideas and technology. It is important that a 
technologically advancing China realize that robust IP protection and 
enforcement are critical for innovation.
    In addition to pushing China both bilaterally and multilaterally to 
increase its regulatory transparency and to adhere to international 
economic rules-based norms and standards, if confirmed, I also intend 
to engage the U.S. business community in China and advocate on behalf 
of U.S. firms, workers, farmers, and ranchers so that unacceptable 
trade, investment, and market access barriers do not stand in the way 
of their participation in the Chinese market.

    Question. The Chinese Government's newly announced indigenous 
innovation policies are particularly concerning. They appear designed 
to provide a clear advantage to Chinese domestic champions and create 
an unbalanced playing field for foreign companies in China.

   If confirmed, will addressing China's indigenous innovation 
        and strategic emerging industries policies be a priority for 
        you? How will you plan to tackle these competitiveness 
        challenges facing U.S. companies?

    Answer. If confirmed, one of my highest priorities will be to 
ensure U.S. companies can compete on a level playing field in China by 
addressing China's indigenous innovation and strategic emerging 
industries policies as well as other market barriers for U.S. 
companies.
    If confirmed, I will advocate forcefully on behalf of U.S. 
companies by leveraging our high-level engagements with China on how to 
align its policies on innovation, including standards and technology 
transfer, with global best practices. The U.S.-China Innovation 
Dialogue, which the administration established in 2010 immediately 
after China launched discriminatory ``indigenous innovation'' policies, 
has been an important mechanism for raising innovation concerns with 
the Chinese.
    If confirmed, I will continue U.S. Government engagement through 
the Innovation Dialogue, through other bilateral and multilateral 
channels, including bilateral investment treaty negotiations, and 
through the efforts of our mission in China, which has worked closely 
as an interagency team to press China to make tangible progress 
eliminating the discriminatory aspects of its indigenous innovation 
policies.
                                 ______
                                 

           Responses of Arnold Chacon to Questions Submitted 
                         by Senator Bob Corker

    Question. Please explain what concrete steps you intend to take, as 
Director General of the Foreign Service, to ensure that language 
training is expanded to a greater pool of Foreign Service officers and 
other embassy personnel, and to change or recalibrate the Foreign 
Service Institute's overall approaches to language training?

    Answer. Foreign language proficiency is a hallmark of the 
professional Foreign Service employee. It enhances an employee's 
ability to improve the U.S. national image abroad, advocate foreign 
policy objectives, and engage foreign audiences in discourse on a broad 
range of subjects. For this reason, foreign language proficiency is 
integrated into the Foreign Service Career Development Program as a 
requirement for tenure and entry into the Senior Foreign Service. A 
multibureau Language Policy Working Group is dedicated to ensuring that 
the Department's employees have the language skills to meet our policy 
needs.
    In accordance with the Department's strategic plan for foreign 
language capabilities, the Department conducts a review of all language 
designated positions every 3 years to align language proficiency 
designations with foreign policy goals. The Language Policy Working 
Group is overseeing the triennial review that began in November 2013 
and will be completed by midsummer 2014. The group recently revamped 
Language Incentive Programs to encourage officers to use and improve 
their skills in critically needed languages and is overhauling the 
Department's language training strategy and updating training delivery 
methods. We are regularly increasing the number of Language Designated 
Positions (LDPs) at our posts; as of January 2014, there were 4,498 
LDPs total worldwide. Among officers assigned to LDP positions in FY 
2013, 80 percent fully met, and 13 percent partially met, the 
designated language proficiency requirement.
    The Department created Career Development Plans (CDPs) for Foreign 
Service members to map their long-term professional growth and acquire 
the skills the Department needs at the senior ranks. The CDPs reinforce 
the importance of foreign language proficiency for all Foreign Service 
members and require that generalists seeking promotion into the Senior 
Foreign Service have current foreign language skills.
    The Foreign Service Institute's model for foreign language 
instruction emphasizes communicative skills, with professional 
tradecraft training that prepares Foreign Service personnel to perform 
on the job. FSI also invests significantly in language learning 
technology, in professional development of instructional staff, and 
providing resources for continuous learning after formal training. If 
confirmed, I will make it my priority to work closely with FSI to 
ensure that all FSOs receive the language training that they need to do 
the best job possible.

    Question. Will you seek to change the Foreign Service application 
criteria to permit applicants with preexisting language skills to 
receive an admissions edge?

    Answer. The Department has for years used the tool of additional 
points for a candidate's score on the Register of eligible candidates 
for demonstrated language skills. Candidates who have a verified level 
of fluency in any one of the 69 languages used in the Foreign Service 
receive extra consideration in the hiring process. Those who have 
competency in the eight priority languages, (Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, 
Hindi, Dari, Farsi, Pashto, Urdu, and Korean) receive additional 
consideration. Responding to the Accountability Review Board's 
suggestions after the Benghazi attack, the Department instituted lump-
sum hiring bonuses of 10-20 percent of base salary for Foreign Service 
specialists with proficiency in Arabic.
    Recruitment of candidates with language skills is an integral part 
of our outreach. We use paid and unpaid advertising on educational, 
recruitment, and social media sites to target U.S. citizen speakers of 
priority languages. Our 10 DC-based recruiters and 16 Diplomats-in-
Residence at universities around the country reach out to potential 
candidates with proficiency in priority languages. Under the 
Department's Recruitment Language Program (RLP), applicants who receive 
additional consideration for speaking one of the eight priority 
languages agree to a one- or two-tour commitment, depending on the 
level of fluency and consideration received in the hiring process, to 
serve in a position requiring those skills. These priority languages 
are reviewed periodically depending on strategic policy goals.

    Question. Please explain specific steps you intend to take, as 
Director General of the Foreign Service, to reduce the attrition rate 
of the Foreign Service.

    Answer. The Department has one of the lowest attrition rates in 
government and Foreign Service attrition has remained fairly stable 
over the years with no significant spikes. While attrition numbers may 
have gone up due to hiring increases over the past 10 years, the 
relative percentage has actually declined in recent years (generalist 
rates remain under 4 percent), which keeps FS attrition stable. We have 
seen no difference between the ``Diplomacy 3.0'' and Diplomatic 
Readiness Initiative cohorts' attrition rate and our historical 
averages.
    We are nevertheless cognizant of the need to maintain a reasonable 
and stable attrition rate, while at the same time ensuring we do not 
lose good talent prematurely. With that in mind, if confirmed I will 
work to ensure that the Human Resource Bureau continues to:

   Evaluate employee viewpoint surveys, and other surveys, to 
        gauge and address employee concerns. (Note: In the 2013 Federal 
        Employee Viewpoint Survey, the Department of State ranked 
        fourth overall among the 19 large federal agencies, and is only 
        federal agency to remain in the top 10 since 2005.)
   Administer the FS promotion and compensation systems 
        transparently and fairly.
   Improve communication with employees to enhance 
        understanding of mission needs, necessary policy changes, and 
        new requirements as well as manage expectations.
   Improve HR services to employees through automation of HR 
        systems and a fully implemented tiered services delivery 
        system.
                                 ______
                                 

       Responses of Daniel Bennett Smith to Questions Submitted 
                         by Senator Bob Corker

    Question. The recently released, bipartisan SSCI Benghazi report 
found it ``unsettling'' that INR failed to disseminate any independent 
analysis regarding the Benghazi attacks a full year after the incident. 
INR officials, during interviews, stated that unless INR has something 
unique to add, they merely repeat what the rest of the intelligence 
community has to say about it. However, INR should always have 
something unique to add, especially when it involves the Department, as 
the Bureau has access to Department information and perspectives that 
the rest of the IC does not have.

   Do you agree with the SSCI finding that the lack of 
        independent analysis from INR is unsettling?
   What will you do to ensure INR is not irrelevant in times 
        of crisis such as the aftermath of the Benghazi attacks?

    Answer. If confirmed, I will work to ensure not only that we are 
providing real time access to the intelligence information and analysis 
that our colleagues in Diplomatic Security and elsewhere need to do 
their jobs, but that we are also providing the broader perspective on 
overall trends and developments that only INR can provide.
    In the aftermath of the tragic events in Benghazi that resulted in 
the deaths of four of our colleagues, there were a number of efforts 
made to look back at what happened and draw lessons learned. The 
primary focus in this regard was the work of the independent Benghazi 
Accountability Review Board, in addition to the law enforcement-focused 
analysis and investigation of the attacks led by the FBI. While it 
would not have been appropriate for INR to duplicate these efforts or 
conduct a separate investigation looking back at the attack itself, I 
understand that INR played a critical role through its coordination of 
and contribution to a number of intelligence community products in the 
aftermath of the Benghazi attacks that sought to shed light on 
developments on the ground and the ongoing political and security 
environment. INR actively coordinated with Diplomatic Security, State 
Department Principals, and the IC not only to ensure that State 
Department perspectives were accurately portrayed in vital intelligence 
products, but also that the flow of intelligence to State Department 
policymakers, security professionals, and others remained smooth and 
effective.
    I agree that INR provides a unique perspective and that we need to 
ensure our voice is heard. In particular, INR's analysis of the broader 
political and economic context in which our missions operate can help 
inform the more operational focus of our colleagues in the Bureaus of 
Diplomatic Security and Counterterrorism, and elsewhere in the State 
Department, on immediate and near-term threats to our missions and 
personnel. We ensure this perspective is reflected through our 
coordination of intelligence community products, the publication of 
independent INR written products, and frequent oral briefings and 
consultations with Department policymakers and interagency partners.

   Are you committed to ensure the SSCI recommendations are 
        carried out--to (1) have an independent audit of how quickly 
        and effectively INR shares intelligence within the Department 
        and (2) have DNI and State carry out a joint review of INR in 
        order to make the Bureau more timely and responsive to world 
        events?

    Answer. If confirmed, I intend to engage early with DNI Clapper and 
INR's State Department customers--including those responsible for 
security--to review how we are sharing intelligence and intelligence 
products, the timeliness and responsiveness of INR products to world 
events, and what improvements we might make. I understand that INR 
already conducts yearly customer surveys based on rigorous polling 
methodology to determine the timeliness, quality, and relevance of its 
analytical products and intelligence support, including the flow of 
intelligence originating elsewhere in the intelligence community. I 
intend to build on these efforts. In 2013, the survey was executed by 
an independent outside firm, ensuring even further rigor. Those 
surveys, which are shared with ODNI, indicate a high degree of 
confidence in INR products and intelligence support services, and 
appreciation for their outstanding quality, timeliness, and insight 
into world events. Other reviews have also indicated that INR is 
quickly and effectively sharing intelligence with its customers 
throughout the Department.

   The Benghazi attack was seen by many as a failure to 
        properly appreciate and act on intelligence. As the chief 
        intelligence office for the Department of State, how would you 
        learn from these intelligence failures and prevent them in the 
        future?

    Answer. The independent Benghazi Accountability Review Board and 
the SSCI Benghazi Report confirmed that there was never a specific 
warning that the attack was coming, only a general understanding that 
the security situation was difficult. The challenge for all of us is to 
determine whether, even in the absence of a specific ``tactical 
warning,'' there are indicators that should trigger additional security 
measures or other actions to reduce our vulnerability. That is 
something the State Department must do, and does, every day, but we 
must always strive to improve. We owe that to the diplomats and 
development experts who are advancing America's interests abroad 
everyday--often in dangerous places.
    INR's role in this regard is to ensure not only that policymakers 
and colleagues in Diplomatic Security have real time access to all the 
relevant intelligence, but also to provide our analysis of the broader 
context in which our missions are operating. As I noted, if confirmed, 
I will review with ODNI the timeliness and responsiveness of INR 
products to ensure we are doing just that.

   In your opinion, how can the intelligence community more 
        effectively manage the massive amount of intelligence data 
        being reported to ensure that crucial intelligence is 
        emphasized and appreciated?

    Answer. This is a central role that INR plays for the Department of 
State's leadership and policymakers. Our job is not only to provide 
timely access to intelligence data, but also to highlight for busy 
policymakers key pieces of intelligence and analysis. A key part of 
this is ensuring that INR's analysts and staff have access to training 
and professional development opportunities to further develop their 
skills, as well as ensuring that analysts are provided with robust 
analytic IT tools. If confirmed, I will work hard to ensure that INR 
continues to effectively ``push'' crucial intelligence to policymakers, 
including in Diplomatic Security, in a timely fashion and that analysts 
have access to training and IT tools they need.
                                 ______
                                 

            Responses of Max Baucus to Questions Submitted 
                        by Senator Barbara Boxer

    Question. U.S. Embassy Air Pollution Monitoring: The U.S. Embassy 
in Beijing provides daily air quality monitoring to measure 
particulates (PM 2.5) as an indication of the air quality in the city.

   As Ambassador to China, will you continue to ensure this 
        data is available through social media and other means? What 
        can be done to expand this monitoring to other U.S. State 
        Department consulates and diplomatic missions throughout China?

    Answer. U.S. Embassy Beijing and the U.S. consulates in China 
provide air quality data and additional information on their public Web 
sites and through their Twitter feeds as part of the administration's 
commitment to protect U.S. citizens. This information allows the 
mission community and American citizens living in China to make 
informed decisions to decrease exposure to air pollution. During 
hazardous air situations--such as the January 2013 air episode--the 
U.S. Embassy issues messages to U.S. citizens to address the high 
levels of pollution indicated by air quality indexes and to provide 
U.S. citizens information resources on air quality and protective 
measures. If confirmed, I will ensure that air quality data and 
messages continue to be released and updated in a timely fashion.

    Question. Promotion of U.S. Environmental Technologies: In a 
January 27, 2014, study published in the ``Proceedings of the National 
Academies of Science,'' researchers from China and the United States 
quantified the effects of air pollution from Chinese industrial sources 
used to manufactured goods exported to the United States. The study 
found that the air pollution attributable to export-related Chinese 
activities amounted to up to 10 percent of annual average surface 
sulfate concentrations (a pollutant that leads to the formation of 
dangerous fine particulate matter and acid rain) and 1.5 percent of 
ozone over the Western United States in 2006.

   As U.S. Ambassador to China, will you make opening Chinese 
        markets to American air pollution control equipment and other 
        environmental technologies a priority?

    Answer. The United States has long recognized that air pollution 
can be transported over long distances and that China, as a major 
industrial player, has high emissions of air pollutants. Those 
emissions affect air quality in the United States and other countries 
downwind of China. What was new in the article was that the authors 
quantified how much air pollution from Chinese manufacturing is 
transported to the United States. The information contained in the 
January 27 article reinforces how important it is for the United States 
to work with China to mitigate emissions of air pollutants, whether 
that is through cleaner production processes, pollution prevention, 
end-of-pipe technologies, or other mitigation measures. Air pollution 
is clearly a concern for China's Government and its citizens, and if 
confirmed, I will work with the Chinese to improve air quality in both 
our countries.
    China's air pollution problems will invariably trigger commercial 
opportunities. U.S. air quality monitoring equipment is well received 
and is often considered high-quality in terms of data accuracy, 
timeliness, and product lifecycle. In order to seize these emerging 
opportunities, U.S. companies should develop suitable market-entry and 
pricing strategies. If confirmed, I will work with the U.S. Commercial 
Service at Embassy Beijing and the Consulates General in Shenyang, 
Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan, and Chengdu to help U.S. exporters 
interested in exploring the Chinese market.

    Question. As you know, the continued detention of political 
prisoners is one of the most pressing human rights challenges in China. 
Tragically, the situation remains unchanged for many Chinese prisoners 
of conscience--including Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo and his 
wife Liu Xia, and prominent rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng.

   If confirmed, how will you work to change the status quo 
        for Chinese prisoners of conscience and other victims of human 
        rights abuses in China?

    Answer. If confirmed, I would use my position as Ambassador to urge 
China's leaders to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of 
all Chinese citizens and raise specific cases of concern, including 
those of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, his wife Liu Xia, rights lawyer Gao 
Zhisheng, and the many others who have been detained and imprisoned for 
peacefully exercising their universal human rights. I strongly believe 
that the promotion and protection of human rights in China are in our 
national interest and, as such, should be an integral part of every 
high-level conversation we have with Chinese officials. I would 
continue the Embassy's strong record of meeting regularly with a wide 
range of human rights activists and their family members to gain a 
better understanding of their concerns and to express our support for 
human rights in China. I would also coordinate with like-minded 
countries to raise individual cases to ensure that China hears a 
consistent message from the international community about human rights 
in China.

    Question. I am deeply concerned about the continued detention of 
Chinese lawyer and human rights activist, Gao Zhisheng. As you know, he 
has been arrested and detained numerous times. According to his wife 
and human rights advocates, he has also been brutally tortured.

   If confirmed, how will you encourage the Chinese Government 
        to immediately and unconditionally release Gao Zhisheng? If 
        confirmed, what steps will you take to ensure that Gao Zhisheng 
        is allowed to reunite with his family in the United States if 
        he is released?

    Answer. I strongly believe that China has an obligation to abide by 
the 2011 decision by the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention that 
judged rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng's imprisonment to be in contravention 
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and called for his 
immediate release. If confirmed, I would urge China's leaders to 
immediately release Gao Zhisheng, remove all restrictions on his 
freedom of movement, and guarantee him the protections and freedoms to 
which he is entitled under China's international human rights 
commitments. I would ensure that our Embassy continues to be in close 
communication with Gao's family members and supporters. I would also 
continue to work closely with other embassies in China in order to 
ensure that China hears a consistent message from the international 
community on Gao's case.
                                 ______
                                 



            Responses of Max Baucus to Questions Submitted 
                         by Senator Marco Rubio

    Question. On December 5, 2013, the USS Cowpens had been lawfully 
operating in international waters in the South China Sea, when a PLA 
Navy vessel crossed its bow at a distance of less than 500 yards and 
stopped in the water, forcing the USS Cowpens to take evasive action to 
avoid a collision. This is only the latest in about a dozen U.S.-China 
incidents at sea in the last decade.

   (a) Do you agree that the actions of the PLA Navy ship in 
        the USS Cowpens incident, as publicly reported, violate China's 
        obligations under the October 1972 multilateral convention on 
        the international regulations for preventing collisions at sea 
        (also known as the COLREGs or the ``rules of the road''), to 
        which both China and the United States are parties?
   (b) Can you describe Chinese attitude toward the framework 
        of bilateral (U.S.-Chinese) dialogue enshrined in the 1998 
        Military Maritime Consultative Agreement (MMCA)?
   (c) Do you agree that Chinese respect to the 1972 ``rules 
        of the road'' and behavior in the MMCA framework should have 
        implications on the administration's expectations about the 
        value of a binding Code of Conduct between the Association of 
        Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China for the South China 
        Sea?

    Answer. If confirmed, I will support the continued development of 
military-to-military relations as a key component of the U.S.-China 
bilateral relationship. Deeper cooperation is necessary to further 
reduce mistrust and the risk of miscalculation between the two 
militaries. The U.S.-China Military Maritime Consultative Agreement 
(MMCA) is an important forum for the discussion of maritime safety 
issues in general.
    While the December 5 USS COWPENS incident underscored concerns 
about China's efforts to restrict freedom of navigation at sea, it also 
highlighted important recent progress we have seen in bridge-to-bridge 
communication between the United States and PLA Navies. In a complex 
tactical environment, bridge-to-bridge communication was instrumental 
in defusing the situation and preventing a collision.
    In order to minimize the potential for an unintentional accident or 
incident at sea, it is important that the United States and China share 
a common understanding of the same rules for operational air or 
maritime interactions. From the U.S. perspective, an existing body of 
international rules, norms, and guidelines--including the 1972 
COLREGs--are sufficient to ensure the safety of navigation between U.S. 
forces and the forces of other countries, including China. If 
confirmed, I will continue to make clear to Beijing that these existing 
rules, including the COLREGS, form the basis for our common 
understanding of air and maritime behavior, and encourage China to 
incorporate these rules into ongoing conflict management tools. We have 
pressed China and ASEAN to agree to a rapid, meaningful Code of Conduct 
in the South China Sea to manage incidents when they arise, and I will 
continue to do so if confirmed. I will also support the further 
development of the MMCA and press China to agree to other tools that 
manage interactions at sea or in the air.

    Question. Since the first meeting of the U.S.-China Cyber Working 
Group in July 2013, has cyber theft originating from China decreased or 
continued? Has the working group affected the People's Liberation Army, 
and how has the PLA participated in the working group?

    Answer. Cyber security is one of the administration's top 
priorities. Administration officials have repeatedly raised concerns 
about Chinese state-sponsored cyber enabled theft of trade secrets and 
confidential business information at the highest levels with senior 
Chinese officials, including in the military, and will continue to do 
so. The State Department, including the Bureau of East Asian and 
Pacific Affairs (EAP) and the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber 
Affairs (S/CCI), plays a key role in these discussions, including by 
leading the Cyber Working Group (CWG). The United States and China sent 
interagency delegations, which included military representatives, to 
both CWG meetings.
    The United States and China are among the world's largest cyber 
actors, and it is vital that we continue a sustained, meaningful 
dialogue and work together to develop an understanding of acceptable 
behavior in cyber space. Through the CWG, the United States will 
continue to emphasize U.S. cyber policy objectives, including the 
applicability of international law to state behavior, the importance of 
norms of responsible state behavior, concerns about cyber activities 
that can lead to instability, the role of transparency in domestic 
civilian and military cyber policy, and the importance of practical 
cooperative measures to prevent crises in cyber space.

    Question. The late Ambassador Mark Palmer, in his book ``Breaking 
the Real Axis of Evil,'' argued that U.S. Ambassadors in places like 
China should be ``freedom fighters'' and U.S. embassies ``islands of 
freedom'' open to all those who share the values of freedom, human 
rights, and democracy.

   Do you agree that the U.S. Embassy in China should be an 
        ``island of freedom'' and that one of your primary jobs should 
        be demonstrating to China's peaceful advocates of reform and 
        democracy that the United States stands firmly with them?

    Answer. Human rights are integral to U.S. foreign policy. If 
confirmed, I would use my position as the U.S. Ambassador to urge 
China's leaders to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of 
all citizens and would communicate our support for these principles 
directly to the Chinese people.
    I would raise our human rights concerns with Chinese officials at 
the highest levels and would raise specific cases of Chinese citizens 
who are being persecuted for the peaceful expression of their political 
or religious views. I would also make clear to China that the United 
States considers upholding its international human rights commitments 
to be vital to our bilateral relationship. I strongly believe that the 
promotion and protection of human rights in China are in our national 
interest and should be an integral part of every high-level 
conversation we have with Chinese officials.
    If confirmed, I would plan to continue outreach to ethnic 
minorities and religious groups, including members of house churches, 
in China. Such outreach would be conducted in a way that is effective 
and promotes our values.
    I would also continue to work closely with other embassies in China 
concerned with China's worsening human rights record in order to ensure 
that China hears a consistent message from the international community.

    Question. On January 25, the State Department's spokesperson issued 
a statement expressing ``deep disappointment'' about the conviction of 
Mr. Xu Zhiyong, a leading advocate for fiscal transparency and fighting 
official corruption. The spokesperson described Mr. Xu's prosecution as 
``retribution for his public campaign to expose corruption and for the 
peaceful expression of his views.'' This is just the latest in an 
ongoing crackdown by Chinese authorities against activists.

   If confirmed, what steps would you take to highlight the 
        plight of these activists and elevate their cases with the 
        Chinese Government?

    Answer. If confirmed, I would use my position as the U.S. 
Ambassador to urge China's leaders to respect the human rights and 
fundamental freedoms of all Chinese citizens and raise specific cases 
of concern, including that of legal scholar Xu Zhiyong and other 
individuals associated with the New Citizens Movement that have been 
detained, harassed and prosecuted by Chinese authorities. I strongly 
believe that the promotion and protection of human rights in China are 
in our national interest and, as such, should be an integral part of 
every high-level conversation we have with Chinese officials. I would 
continue the Embassy's strong record of meeting regularly with a wide 
range of human rights activists and their family members to gain a 
better understanding of their concerns and to express our support for 
respect for human rights in China.
    I would also continue to work closely with other embassies in China 
in order to ensure that China hears a consistent message from the 
international community on human rights.

    Question. As you know, there is an effort under way in the Senate 
to impose visa and financial sanctions on individuals responsible for 
extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of human 
rights in any foreign country. I have been concerned that in some 
authoritarian countries, there is a growing tendency to use selective 
justice and government institutions to prosecute human rights advocates 
and critics.

   Would you support the application of visa and financial 
        sanctions on individuals responsible for the use of selective 
        justice to prosecute anticorruption and human rights advocates 
        in China?

    Answer. If confirmed, I would support using a variety of mechanisms 
to encourage greater respect for human rights in China. There is a 
range of statutory and policy-based grounds for denying visas to, and 
barring entry of, human rights violators. I would take our role 
seriously in not permitting entry to those who are ineligible due to 
direct involvement in human rights abuses, such as the enforcement of 
forced abortion and sterilization. I am particularly concerned by the 
recent crackdown on anticorruption activists, and, if confirmed, would 
make progress on human rights and rule of law a top priority during my 
tenure in Beijing.

    Question. The United States has designated China as a Country of 
Particular Concern, or CPC, since 1999 for its systematic, ongoing, and 
egregious violations of freedom of religion or belief. The U.S. 
Commission on International Religious Freedom has recommended that, in 
addition to designating China as a CPC, additional measures should be 
taken to encourage Beijing to respect this fundamental freedom.

   How would you use the CPC designation to strengthen human 
        rights and religious freedom diplomacy as part of the bilateral 
        relationship?

    Answer. If confirmed, I would use my position as the U.S. 
Ambassador to urge China's leaders to respect human rights, including 
religious freedom. The Chinese Government's respect for, and protection 
of, the right to religious freedom fall well short of its international 
human rights obligations. As Ambassador, I would support efforts by the 
Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom to explore new 
and innovative ways to encourage China to improve its record on 
religious freedom. I would stress to Chinese leaders that China will 
remain a CPC until it implements fundamental reforms to allow all 
people freely to practice their faith, without restrictions such as 
requiring registration with the Chinese Government.
    China's CPC designation is an important part of our efforts to urge 
China to fulfill its international commitments to protect and respect 
religious freedom, along with our ``International Religious Freedom 
Report,'' high-level dialogues such as the Human Rights Dialogue, 
exchange programs among our citizens, and grants to organizations 
working to improve religious freedom.

    Question. According to the United States Commission on 
International Religious Freedom, the Chinese Government has detained 
over a thousand so-called ``unregistered'' Christians in the past year, 
closed ``illegal'' meeting points, and prohibited public worship 
activities. Additionally, unregistered Catholic clergy remain in 
detention or disappeared.

   If confirmed, would you commit to raise awareness of this 
        situation in China by outreaching to this beleaguered community 
        and attending a worship service in an ``unregistered'' Catholic 
        or Protestant church in China?

    Answer. Promoting religious freedom is a core objective of U.S. 
foreign policy, including in our relationship with China. If confirmed, 
I would use my position as the U.S. Ambassador to urge China's leaders 
to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people and 
encourage China to permit everyone to worship, regardless of whether 
they affiliate with a government-recognized religious association. 
Freedom of religion is critical to a peaceful, inclusive, and stable 
society.
    If confirmed, I would continue outreach to both registered and 
unregistered religious groups, including members of house churches and 
the Catholic community, in China. Such outreach would be conducted in a 
way that is effective and promotes our values.

    Question. China recently announced that it would abolish the 
reeducation through labor penal system which allowed people to be held 
up to 4 years without a judicial hearing. UNHCR estimated up to 190,000 
people were held in these camps. However, human rights activists worry 
that the closure of these forced labor camps is merely cosmetic and 
they have been relabeled as drug rehabilitation centers.

   What is the status of the closures of the forced labor 
        camps? Since the beginning of the closure of the camps, has 
        there been an increase in people committed to drug 
        rehabilitation centers in China?

    Answer. While we welcome China's December 28, 2013, announcement 
that it would abolish the ``reeducation through labor'' system as a 
positive step if it results in the shutdown of an abusive system that 
allows Chinese authorities to imprison individuals without due process, 
the ongoing use of arbitrary administrative detention, extralegal 
detention in black jails, and other forms of forced labor remains a 
concern. If confirmed, I would urge Chinese officials to ensure that 
reeducation through labor is not replaced by other forms of arbitrary 
detention or ``rehabilitation'' that deprive citizens of their rights. 
I would emphasize that we believe that respect for rule of law and 
protection of human rights will benefit the long-term stability and 
prosperity of China.
    If confirmed, I will also work closely with my interagency 
colleagues, particularly the Department of Homeland Security, to ensure 
that we are taking all necessary steps to ensure that products of 
forced and prison labor are not entering the United States.

    Question. The Chinese Government recently announced a limited 
relaxation of their longstanding ``One Child Policy'' for Chinese 
couples in which at least one parent is an only child. However, this 
change to the ``One-Child Policy'' does not apply to all couples and 
circumstances, and reports of government-approved forced abortions 
continue to arise.

   How will you engage with Chinese officials on the issue of 
        government-sanctioned forced abortions in China?

    Answer. I strongly oppose all aspects of China's coercive birth 
limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization. If 
confirmed, I would urge China's leaders frequently and at all levels to 
respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Chinese 
citizens and to end the one-child policy immediately.
                                 ______
                                 

           Responses of Arnold Chacon to Questions Submitted 
                         by Senator Marco Rubio

    Question. A group of former Ambassadors recently underlined the 
shrinking proportion of Foreign Service officers (FSOs) in senior 
positions at the State Department relative to Civil Service or 
political appointees, and observed an accompanying diminution of 
Foreign Service input into the foreign policy process and management of 
the Department.

   How does this administration compare to previous ones 
        regarding the nomination of political appointees to senior 
        positions at the State Department?
   How does this situation impact the morale of FSOs?
   What impact does this situation have on the need to improve 
        the professional skills of FSOs?

    Answer. The Department benefits from the strengths of a diverse 
workforce: Civil Service, Foreign Service, and political appointees. 
Each brings unique experience, skills, and perspectives. There are 
career employees in many senior leadership positions domestically and 
overseas, including the Deputy Secretary, the Counselor, and a number 
of Under Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries. The majority of 
ambassador positions are filled by career FSOs. The ratio has been 
fairly consistent over the course of multiple Presidential 
administrations: approximately 70 percent career, 30 percent noncareer. 
The Foreign Service Act of 1980 recognizes the value of appointment of 
qualified noncareer individuals as COM.
    Regarding morale, it is to be expected that a diversity of opinion 
regarding internal policies will be represented among employees. It 
would not be possible to guarantee 100 percent acceptance of any 
Department policy. I would note, however, that in the 2013 Federal 
Employee Viewpoint Survey, the Department of State ranked fourth 
overall among the 19 large federal agencies, and is only federal agency 
to remain in the top 10 since 2005. Please see my answers below 
regarding the Department's work to improve the professional skills of 
FSOs.

    Question. As you know, the 2010 QDDR acknowledge State's shortage 
of key skills necessary for modern-day diplomacy.

   What steps, if any, has the administration taken to 
        institute a Professional Diplomatic Education Program to 
        systematically develop the professional skills of FSOs?
   If so, what particular skills does the program seek to 
        enhance?
   To what extent is participation in such programs a 
        prerequisite for FSOs' promotions?

    Answer. The Department takes an active interest in the development 
and training of its most important resource, its people. The skills 
demanded of a diplomat are always shifting, and never more so than now 
in the 21st century. Showing the priority we place on training our 
officers, the Department strives to maintain a training complement 
sufficient to ensure that officers may acquire necessary skills, 
without leaving important overseas positions vacant. The assistance of 
Congress in providing us with the necessary resources for this 
complement is greatly appreciated.
    The primary locus of education for the foreign affairs community is 
the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), which develops the men and women 
our Nation requires to fulfill our leadership role in world affairs and 
to advance and defend U.S. interests. Created in 1947, FSI provides 
more than 700 classroom courses, including some 70 foreign languages. 
In addition, 270 custom-developed distance learning products and about 
2,700 commercial distance learning courses are available worldwide 24/7 
through the Internet. Annual course completions currently exceed 
104,500. These courses are designed to promote successful performance 
in each assignment, to ease the adjustment to other countries and 
culture, and to enhance the leadership and management capabilities of 
the U.S. foreign affairs community. Customers include State and 47 
other USG entities.
    Since 2005, the Department has used Career Development Plans (CDPs) 
for Foreign Service Generalists and, more recently, Specialists, as a 
tool for mapping career development and developing skills needed at the 
senior ranks. Certain requirements must be met before an employee can 
elect to compete for the senior ranks. The CDP builds on four 
principles to meet the Department's mission, all critical to meet 
today's diplomatic requirements: operational effectiveness, including 
breadth of experience over several regions and functions; leadership 
and management effectiveness; sustained professional language and 
technical proficiency; and responsiveness to Service needs. Mandatory 
requirements and a menu of electives help guide employees in developing 
the skills and experience to demonstrate their readiness for the senior 
ranks. FSI also launched a Training Continuum in 2005 which allowed 
officers of different career tracks to tailor their training to meet 
the needs of their particular specialty.
    The CDP also reinforces the importance of excellence in foreign 
languages, fundamental to the work of the Foreign Service. Professional 
foreign language use is also highly valued in considerations for 
promotion, across all grades and skills. Long-term language training 
does generally slow promotion while the student is enrolled, but makes 
promotion more likely later on.
    The Department is committed to developing the wider skills for 
today's diplomacy. In addition to tradecraft skills, much of which is 
assignment-specific, we are also focused on the leadership and 
management skills critical to the Department, both internally and in an 
increasingly interagency overseas environment. In recent years, for 
example, we instituted mandatory leadership training as a prerequisite 
for promotion at each rank and, in 2014, we expect to launch a new 
program of mandatory supervisory training for all new supervisors.

    Question. Are there any efforts underway to facilitate the 
attendance of mid-level FSOs to one of our military's Professional 
Military Education Programs? Would such a cross-service education be 
valuable the modern FSOs?

    Answer. We have long, productive relationships with our Nation's 
military educational institutions, both the War College and Commands. 
In this academic year, for example, 24 mid-level employees at the FS-02 
and FS-03 levels are enrolled in the Joint Forces Staff College in 
Norfolk, VA; Army Command and Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth, KS; 
Naval Command and Staff College in Newport, RI; Air Command and Staff 
College in Montgomery, AL; Marine Corps War College in Quantico, VA; 
Inter-American Defense College in Washington, DC; and National 
Intelligence University (NIU) in Washington, DC. The Department has a 
close and longstanding relationship with the National Defense 
University (NDU), where our officers can both study and teach. In one 
NDU program, an FSO at the 01 rank serves under the general direction 
of the Commandant as Associate Professor and State Chair at the Joint 
Forces Staff College. The JFSC prepares 1,300 selected field-grade 
officers and civilians each year for command and staff responsibilities 
in multinational, governmental, and joint national security jobs. 
Students come from all branches of the armed services (including 
international military students), the Department of State, and other 
U.S. civilian agencies. The College has several schools that offer 
joint professional military education mandated by Congress, including a 
master's degree program in Joint Advanced Warfare.
    The Foreign Service Institute also manages an online Army War 
College Master of Strategic Studies Distance Education Program for FS-
01 and FS-02 employees that awards a Master of Strategic Studies.
    These highly competitive training opportunities are considered 
career-enhancing for Foreign Service personnel, offering opportunities 
for professional growth and the development of skills and knowledge 
critical to working and leading in the interagency environment.

    Question. Consular activities are vitally important, but they draw 
a lot of manpower from within the State Department ranks. What can be 
done to buttress our consular activities overseas in order to shift 
additional personnel to staffing shortfalls in other areas?

    Answer. Many of our consular positions are entry-level officer 
(ELO) positions, focused on immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. The 
number of visa adjudication positions needed overseas is influenced by 
visa demand which, in turn, is impacted by frequently changing country-
specific and worldwide political, economic, social, and national 
security conditions. Our ability to meet those needs through 
traditional methods, i.e., ELOs, is dependent on the Department's 
budget and the ability to hire.
    Unfortunately, in today's resource-constrained environment with 
attrition or less hiring and continuing growth in demand for visas, we 
estimate that by FY15 ELO hiring will be unable to provide enough 
officers to fill entry level consular positions. Consular staffing 
shortfalls are projected to exceed 400 by FY17.
    To support the economic growth that foreign visitors foster in the 
United States, we are expanding existing programs for our career Civil 
Service employees, including Passport Adjudicators, to serve overseas 
in Foreign Service Limited Non-Career Appointments (LNA). We have also 
developed other innovative LNA hiring programs to meet these urgent, 
specific mission-critical needs that cannot be met by the Foreign 
Service (FS), including a pilot program to bring in noncareer, highly 
qualified, language ready Consular Adjudicator LNAs to fill entry-level 
nonimmigrant visa adjudicator positions in China, Brazil, and several 
Spanish-speaking countries. Additionally, we are expanding 
opportunities for fully qualified appointment-eligible family members 
to serve in entry-level consular positions overseas.
    We are using these programs to buttress our vitally important and 
growing consular responsibilities but with at attrition or below 
hiring, entry-level officers will continue to be needed to complete 
that critical task.
                                 ______
                                 

            Responses of Max Baucus to Questions Submitted 
                      by Senator Richard J. Durbin

    Question. Conservationists estimate that some 62 percent of the 
elephant population in central Africa has been slaughtered in the past 
decade to satisfy the resurgent demand for ivory. Experts agree that 
the demand for ivory is fueled by China--where the nation's economic 
expansion has made the treasured product accessible to a growing middle 
class. Not only does this demand create a market that is leading to the 
decimation of the African elephant, it also undermines U.S. military 
and development objectives in Africa by fueling armed conflict and 
violence. Murderous bands of thugs like the Lord's Resistance Army and 
terrorist group al-Shabaab have turned to ivory to fund their reigns of 
terror.

   How can the United States work with China to reduce its 
        demand for ivory that is helping fuel such horrific violence?

    Answer. The United States is engaging China to reduce demand for 
illegally traded wildlife and wildlife products. Recently the United 
States and China each destroyed more than six tons of illegal ivory 
stockpiles seized through law enforcement action. I understand the 
United States plans to continue efforts to raise global awareness, 
including in China, of this pernicious trade and its devastating 
effects on wildlife. U.S. law enforcement agencies are working with 
Chinese authorities to improve wildlife law enforcement. At the 2013 
U.S.-China Joint Liaison Group on Law Enforcement Cooperation, the U.S. 
cochairs proposed that the United States and China explore ways to 
cooperate further on wildlife trafficking. Law enforcement entities of 
the United States have joined with China, and other countries, 
including several African nations, in collaborating and exchanging 
information through Operation COBRA 2, a follow-on operation to the 
highly successful Operation COBRA 1 in 2013, which targets wildlife 
traffickers at all points in the trade chain. In addition, the United 
States continues to encourage China, as APEC 2014 chair, to support the 
ongoing work of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts Task Force 
on combating corruption and illicit trade, including wildlife 
trafficking, and to join U.S. workshops focusing on demand reduction 
under APEC's aegis.

    Question. China is investing in Africa by the billions--building 
large-scale roads and infrastructure projects. It uses concessional 
financing and other favorable loan and grant terms to undercut American 
companies, making it very difficult for our businesses to compete. This 
is leaving a continent with 7 of the 10 fastest-growing economies and 
with huge potential to grow jobs in the United States largely 
inaccessible to American investors and companies. For its part, China 
gains access to natural resources and gains political and diplomatic 
influence. African consumers are subject to inferior Chinese products, 
as well as weak labor, governance, and environmental standards.

   How can the United States do more to help American 
        businesses compete in Africa, particularly against aggressive 
        Chinese tactics?

    Answer. Foreign investment is essential to Africa's economic 
development, and there is room for both the United States and China to 
engage in public and private investment opportunities. The United 
States offers a compelling narrative for Africa. Our firms introduce 
international best practices, export top-quality products, provide 
employment opportunities, and promote economic growth in Africa, while 
also generating benefits for the U.S. economy.
    China will continue to seek a role in Africa and elsewhere, and we 
must maintain our engagement with China in this regard. The United 
States has pressed China to adhere to international labor, human 
rights, transparency, and economic standards as China pursues 
investment and development projects globally.
    If confirmed, I would press China not to undermine local and 
international efforts to promote healthy competition, good governance, 
transparency, and responsible natural resource management in Africa and 
elsewhere. I would welcome Chinese investment that is consistent with 
international standards, that promotes good governance and sustainable 
development, and that maintains a level playing field for all 
companies, and I would urge my Chinese counterparts to ensure that 
China's engagement plays this positive role.
                                 ______
                                 

            Responses of Max Baucus to Questions Submitted 
                          by Senator Tom Udall

    Question. China has some of the most unique natural features in the 
world, from the mountains of the Tibetan Plateau to the Indus, Mekong 
and Yellow Rivers that flow from it and sustain all of Asia. Yet China 
is now famous for having some of the worst air quality on the planet. 
The Chinese people are increasingly pushing back through activism 
accelerated by new social media tools and aided by the real-time air 
quality data provided by the U.S. Embassy.

    How will you advance collaboration between China, the American 
private sector, and U.S. agencies such as the EPA to reduce pollution 
there?

    Answer. Growing environmental awareness in China, driven partly by 
episodes of severe air pollution, has increased Chinese interest in 
enhanced cooperation on air pollution, climate, and clean energy. Air 
pollution does not stop at the border; by working with China, the 
United States can improve air quality in both our countries. To promote 
cooperation, the United States developed an Air Action Plan under the 
Ten-Year Framework for Energy and Environment Cooperation (TYF). 
Collaboration on air quality is also included in the memorandum of 
understanding between the U.S. EPA and China's Ministry of 
Environmental Protection and was expanded in 2013 through a U.S. Trade 
and Development Agency-funded cooperative project. Our two nations also 
boast significant bilateral climate cooperation, including through 
seven clean-energy initiatives launched in 2009--including the U.S.-
China Clean Energy Research Center--and the five new initiatives of the 
Climate Change Working Group (CCWG). The TYF and CCWG in particular are 
State Department-organized platforms for cooperation that bring U.S. 
agencies, including DOE, EPA, USTDA, DOT, and FERC, together with their 
Chinese counterparts.
    If confirmed, I would work to support these existing programs and 
encourage their expansion. For example, at the next Strategic and 
Economic Dialogue in China, we are working to include new partners--
including American industry participants--into the EcoPartnership 
Program. EcoPartnerships bring together U.S. and Chinese 
organizations--local governments, universities, nongovernmental 
organizations, and/or companies--to conduct innovative projects that 
promote U.S. priorities on energy security, economic growth, and 
environmental sustainability, including addressing air pollution.

    Question. If confirmed, what measures will you take to protect the 
health of the hundreds of Americans who serve at Embassy Beijing and 
consulates around the country?

    Answer. U.S. Embassy Beijing and the U.S. consulates in China 
provide air quality data and additional information on their public Web 
sites as part of the administration's commitment to protect U.S. 
citizens. This information allows the mission community and U.S. 
citizens living in China to make informed decisions to decrease 
exposure to air pollution. During hazardous air situations--such as the 
January 2013 air episode--the U.S. Embassy issues messages to U.S. 
citizens to address the high levels of pollution indicated by air 
quality indexes and to provide U.S. citizens information resources on 
air quality and protective measures.
    If confirmed, I would ensure that air quality data and these 
messages continue to be released and updated in a timely fashion. In 
addition, embassy and consulate residences have been provided multiple 
room air cleaners, resulting in significant reductions in particulate 
levels indoors.
    Mission China makes influenza vaccines (aka ``flu shots'') 
available for Embassy and consulate personnel and dependents in 
accordance with standard State Department policies.

    Question. Like many of my fellow Senators, I am appalled by the 
recent surge in the ivory trade, especially the increased demand in 
China leading to the growth in elephant killings in Africa.

   How will you address this issue with the Chinese, and what 
        can the United States do to help China tighten its exports 
        rules and punishments for acquiring illegal ivory in order to 
        dissuade would-be buyers?

    Answer. The United States is engaging China to reduce demand for 
illegally traded wildlife and wildlife products. Recently the United 
States and China each destroyed more than 6 tons of illegal ivory 
stockpiles seized through law enforcement action. I understand the 
United States plans to continue efforts to raise global awareness, 
including in China, of this pernicious trade and its devastating 
effects on wildlife. U.S. law enforcement agencies are working with 
Chinese authorities to improve wildlife law enforcement. At the 2013 
U.S.-China Joint Liaison Group on Law Enforcement Cooperation, the U.S. 
cochairs proposed that the United States and China explore ways to 
cooperate further on wildlife trafficking. Law enforcement entities of 
the United States have joined with China and other countries, including 
several African nations, in collaborating and exchanging information 
through Operation COBRA 2, a follow-on operation to the highly 
successful Operation COBRA 1 in 2013, which targets wildlife 
traffickers at all points in the trade chain. In addition, the United 
States continues to encourage China, as APEC 2014 chair, to support the 
ongoing work of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts Task Force 
on combating corruption and illicit trade, including wildlife 
trafficking, and to join U.S. workshops focusing on demand reduction 
under APEC's aegis.

    Question. I think it is fair to say that we have seen an 
increasingly active Chinese Navy attempting to assert authority in sea-
lanes that have been open for navigation for all countries for years. 
This behavior increases the risk of confrontation between countries in 
the region.

   What will you do to send a message to the Chinese that the 
        international community and the United States, in support of 
        its allies, will continue to support freedom of navigation in 
        the region and how will you work specifically to de-escalate 
        tensions and improve military to military communication between 
        the United States and China and our partners and allies in the 
        region?

    Answer. If confirmed, I will encourage China to exhibit greater 
transparency with respect to its capabilities and intentions, and to 
use its military capabilities in a manner conducive to the maintenance 
of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. I will reiterate 
that the United States has national interests in the Asia-Pacific 
region, including an interest in preserving the freedom of the seas and 
airspace. For over three decades, the U.S. Government has maintained a 
Freedom of Navigation Policy and Program. The U.S. Freedom of 
Navigation Program aims to preserve all of the rights, freedoms, and 
lawful uses of the sea and airspace for the United States and all 
nations by demonstrating that the United States does not accept 
maritime claims of other nations, including China, that are 
inconsistent with international law and impinge on the rights, 
freedoms, and uses of the sea that belong to all nations. The U.S. FON 
Program is global and is not directed at any single country. The U.S. 
FON Program is a multiagency effort, including both diplomatic activity 
and operational activity. As part of that diplomatic activity, I will 
do my part to encourage China to conform its maritime claims to 
international law, and encourage China to fully respect all of the 
rights, freedoms, and uses of the sea and airspace by other nations, 
including the United States. When appropriate, I will communicate to 
China the lawfulness of and need for the activities of U.S. military 
forces to preserve those rights, freedoms, and uses of the sea and 
airspace in the Asia-Pacific region.
    If confirmed, I will support the continued development of military-
to-military relations as a key component of the U.S.-China bilateral 
relationship. Deeper cooperation is necessary to further reduce 
mistrust and the risk of miscalculation between the U.S. and Chinese 
militaries.

    Question. It is well known that China is hard at work conducting 
industrial espionage and attempting to acquire information on U.S. 
defense systems in order to both counter U.S. systems, but also to 
attempt to catch up to the U.S. military's technological superiority.

   What will you do as Ambassador to work with and send a 
        message to the Chinese, that these export violations are 
        unacceptable, and how will you work with U.S. companies doing 
        business in China to ensure that they are following all 
        applicable export laws meant to protect sensitive U.S. military 
        and dual use technology when doing business with Chinese 
        companies?

    Answer. The United States is committed to facilitating normal trade 
with China for commercial items for civilian end-uses and end-users. 
Export controls, which affect only a very small amount of total 
bilateral trade (less than 1 percent), are not just an economic issue, 
but also a national security issue. China remains a proscribed 
destination under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the 
federal regulation that implements the Arms Export Control Act, and is 
also the subject of separate statutory restrictions commonly referred 
to as ``Tiananmen sanctions,'' requiring a Presidential waiver prior to 
the issuance of any export license to China for any defense article on 
the United States Munitions List. China's status in this regard is 
firmly established and well-known to U.S. and foreign defense companies 
engaged in legitimate and authorized defense trade.
    The United States will continue to engage China on export control 
issues through the High Technology and Strategic Trade Working Group 
(HTWG), as reflected in the July 2013 Strategic and Economic Dialogue 
joint outcome statement. The HTWG is a longstanding dialogue under the 
Joint Committee on Commerce and Trade designed to further cooperation 
on export controls and high technology trade issues.
    If confirmed, I would reinforce U.S. policy on export controls in 
discussions with Chinese officials and in meetings with U.S. businesses 
as appropriate. I would also raise export issues and cases of export 
violations as they arise.
                                 ______
                                 

            Responses of Max Baucus to Questions Submitted 
                        by Senator John Barrasso

    Question. What leverage does the U.S. Government have to promote 
the development of human rights and rule of law in China? Are sanctions 
effective in encouraging China to comply with human rights standards? 
Are sanctions useful in persuading China to develop the rule of law? If 
confirmed, what actions will you take to help end the Government of 
China's policies of oppression and support the rights and freedom of 
the people of China? How do you plan to balance the engagement of China 
on economic issues with demonstrating serious concerns about China's 
human rights violations?

    Answer. The greatest leverage we have is China's own desire to 
achieve greater international respect, a more innovative economy, and a 
prosperous and stable society. Our consistent message to China's 
leaders, and to the Chinese people, is that greater respect for 
universal human rights is key to achieving these goals. The United 
States does not hesitate to speak out when we believe that China is 
engaging in policies and practices, such as in Tibet or Xinjiang, that 
contravene China's international human rights commitments. The United 
States public advocacy for human rights causes no small amount of 
friction with the Chinese leadership. However, it is important that we 
continue to speak out, as we have with respect to the continued 
imprisonment of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, the recent 
sentencing of legal activist Xu Zhiyong, the disappearance of lawyer 
Gao Zhisheng, and ongoing repression in Tibet and Xinjiang.
    If confirmed, I will not hesitate to speak out and advocate for the 
respect for universal human rights and rule of law, but the use of 
economic sanctions to attempt to bring about human rights improvements 
is not likely to be effective with China. I believe economic sanctions 
would alienate us from the majority of Chinese people who have 
benefited from China's economic reform and integration into the global 
economy.
    Promoting respect for universal human rights and the rule of law is 
integral to U.S. foreign policy. If confirmed, I would urge China's 
leaders to undertake key legal reforms and respect the rule of law and 
underscore the importance of an independent judiciary, a robust civil 
society and the free flow of information to China's prosperity and 
stability. I would also strongly support the annual U.S.-China Legal 
Experts Dialogue which provides an important channel to discuss our 
concerns about the rule of law and specifically the role of lawyers in 
Chinese society by bringing together judges, legal scholars, lawyers 
and prosecutors to discuss key legal issues.
    If confirmed, I would raise our human rights concerns with Chinese 
officials at the highest levels and would raise specific cases of 
Chinese citizens who are being persecuted for the peaceful expression 
of their political or religious views. I would also make clear to China 
that the United States considers upholding its international human 
rights commitments to be vital to our bilateral relationship.

    Question. What is the total cost of China's theft of U.S. 
intellectual property to the U.S. economy each year? Why hasn't the 
Government of China been able to establish an effective intellectual 
property rights enforcement regime? Is it based upon a lack of desire 
or ability on the part of the Government of China?

    Answer. The protection and enforcement of intellectual property 
rights (IPR) in China are critical to maintaining a mutually beneficial 
trade relationship. According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, China 
remains the leading source of counterfeit and pirated goods coming into 
the United States. My understanding is that China has taken some 
positive actions to improve IP legislation and enforcement in recent 
years; however, piracy and counterfeiting levels in China remain 
unacceptably high, and stronger enforcement mechanisms are needed. As 
the Commerce Department has reported, IP-intensive industries support 
at least 40 million U.S. jobs and annually account for approximately $5 
trillion in the U.S. economy.
    If I am confirmed, one of the top priorities for the U.S. mission 
in China will continue to be to advocate for the protection and 
enforcement of intellectual property rights that are so critical for 
U.S. businesses.

    Question. What role should the United States play in the 
territorial disputes in the East China Sea? In November, the U.S. Air 
Force flew two bombers through the East China Sea without notification 
after China declared an air defense identification zone. Do you support 
additional U.S. military operations that assert freedom of movement and 
show support to U.S. allies in the region?

    Answer. If confirmed, I would speak clearly to Beijing regarding 
not only issues of shared interest, but also our differences, and 
faithfully represent the values, interests, and principles of the 
United States--including respect for international law and the freedom 
of navigation. I am clear-eyed about Chinese behavior vis-a-vis its 
neighbors over territorial and maritime matters.
    China's announcement of an ``East China Sea Air Defense 
Identification Zone (ADIZ)'' caused deep concerns in the region. If 
confirmed, I would remind the Chinese that the United States does not 
recognize and does not accept the ADIZ, which we believe should not be 
implemented. I would make clear to China that it should refrain from 
taking similar actions elsewhere in the region. I would also encourage 
China to work with other countries, including Japan and the Republic of 
Korea, to address the dangers its recent declaration has created and to 
deescalate tensions.
    If confirmed, I would reiterate that the United States has national 
interests in the Asia-Pacific region, including an interest in 
preserving the freedom of the seas and airspace. Where appropriate, I 
would communicate to China the lawfulness of, and need for, the 
activities of U.S. military forces to preserve those rights, freedoms, 
and uses of the sea and airspace in the Asia-Pacific region. For over 
three decades, the U.S. Government has maintained a Freedom of 
Navigation Policy and Program. If confirmed, I would support the 
continued development of military-to-military relations as a key 
component of the U.S.-China bilateral relationship. Deeper cooperation 
is necessary to further reduce mistrust and the risk of miscalculation 
between the U.S. and Chinese militaries.

    Question. Do you believe that Taiwan should be invited to 
participate in U.S.-led military exercises? Do you support arm sales to 
Taiwan?

    Answer. Taiwan and the United States enjoy unofficial but robust 
economic and cultural relations, and Taiwan is an important security 
partner to the United States. Consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act 
and the United States one-China policy, the United States makes 
available to Taiwan defense articles and services necessary to enable 
Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.
    Taiwan does not formally participate in international coalitions or 
exercises. However, Taiwan does regularly train on weapons or platforms 
bought from the United States, which increases not only Taiwan's 
deterrence but also its humanitarian assistance capacity. Taiwan plays 
an increasingly significant role in disaster relief enterprises, such 
as relief to Palau and the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan in November 
2013.
    If I am confirmed, my job will be to express to Chinese officials 
and people continuing U.S. support for improving cross-strait relations 
at a pace acceptable to people of both sides of the strait and to make 
clear the United States abiding interest in peace and stability across 
the strait.

    Question. How would you characterize China's political and economic 
relationship with North Korea? What type of policy changes and actions 
would you like to see from China regarding North Korea? In what ways 
can the United States work with China to pressure North Korea on 
denuclearization?

    Answer. The United States shares with China a common goal of 
achieving a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, which is essential to both 
regional stability and broader international security. China is a vital 
partner with a unique role to play due to its longstanding economic, 
diplomatic, and historical ties with North Korea. The administration 
continues to work with all U.N. member states, including China, to 
ensure the full and transparent implementation of UNSC sanctions.
    As Ambassador, if confirmed, I would urge China to use its 
influence to convince North Korea that it has no choice but to 
denuclearize. The United States and China need to continue to work 
together to hold the DPRK to its commitments and its international 
obligations, including those to abandon its nuclear weapons and 
existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible 
manner. If confirmed, I would continue to encourage Beijing to ensure 
the full and transparent implementation of U.N. Security Council 
sanctions targeting North Korea's nuclear-related, ballistic missile-
related, or other weapons of mass destruction-related programs.

    Question. If confirmed, what policies will you support to address 
Internet censorship and promote media freedom in China?

    Answer. I am concerned that Internet restrictions in China have 
worsened. It is troublesome to see the blocking of so many Web sites 
due to the ``Great Firewall,'' which limits access to information, 
including international media Web sites; new restrictions on social 
media, including a crackdown on what the Chinese Government terms 
``online rumors''; and the censorship of Internet search engine 
results. If confirmed, I would raise objections over the blocking of 
media and social media Web sites with Chinese counterparts, making 
clear that these actions are inconsistent with China's international 
commitment to respect freedom of expression. If confirmed, I would 
express to Chinese officials that obstructing the free flow of 
information undermines the kind of open environment for free debate and 
discussion that supports innovation and economic dynamism.
    I am deeply concerned that foreign journalists in China continue to 
face restrictions that impede their ability to do their jobs, including 
extended delays in processing journalist visas and press credentials, 
restrictions on travel to certain locations deemed ``sensitive'' by 
Chinese authorities and, in some cases, violence at the hands of local 
authorities. These restrictions and treatment stand in stark contrast 
with U.S. treatment of Chinese and other foreign journalists.
    If confirmed, I would urge China to commit to timely visa and 
credentialing decisions for foreign journalists, unblock international 
websites, and eliminate other restrictions that impede the ability of 
journalists to practice their profession.

 
     NOMINATIONS BATHSHEBA CROCKER, MICHAEL LAWSON, AND ROBERT WOOD

                              ----------                              


                       TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2014

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
                              ----------                              

Bathsheba Nell Crocker, of the District of Columbia, to be 
        Assistant Secretary of State for International 
        Organization Affairs
Michael Anderson Lawson, of California, for the rank of 
        Ambassador during his tenure of service as 
        Representative on the Council of the International 
        Civilian Aviation Organization
Robert A. Wood, of New York, for the rank of Ambassador during 
        his tenure of service as U.S. Representative to the 
        Conference on Disarmament
                              ----------                              

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 3:05 p.m., in 
Room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Edward J. 
Markey, presiding.
    Present: Senators Markey and Barrasso.

          OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. EDWARD J. MARKEY, 
                U.S. SENATOR FROM MASSACHUSETTS

    Senator Markey. Good afternoon. Welcome to this hearing in 
the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
    Today, we will hear from three highly qualified nominees 
who will represent our country's interests before international 
organizations.
    The first is Mr. Michael Lawson, the United States 
Representative on the Council of the International Civil 
Aviation Organization, which is headquartered in Montreal. This 
is an intergovernmental organization that oversees the safety, 
security, and economic sustainability and environmental impact 
of civilian air travel.
    Air navigation, the safety of air travel, and the security 
from terrorist attack have been the focuses of this 
organization for many years. More recently, environmental and 
energy issues have become a priority, especially aviation's 
contribution to climate change. Air travel is currently 
responsible for 2 percent of carbon dioxide pollution worldwide 
and about 13 percent of all transportation-sector carbon 
dioxide. As air travel increases, especially in rapidly 
developing economies, emissions are projected to grow in the 
coming years.
    In early October 2013, it was agreed upon that the goal 
of--should create a global market-based system to curb airline 
pollution emissions by 2016. Mr. Lawson is extremely well 
qualified to represent the United States in these discussions. 
He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1978. He has 
over 31 years of experience practicing law, most of it as a 
partner at the firm of Skadden Arps, here in Washington and 
around the world. Since 2005, Mr. Lawson has served on the 
Board of Airport Commissioners for the four airports of the 
L.A. area, including Los Angeles International Airport. He was 
president of that board from 2010 to 2013. While on the board, 
he helped manage major improvements to the LAX, including a new 
terminal.
    Our next nominee is Bathsheba Nell Crocker, President 
Obama's nominee to be Assistant Secretary of State for 
International Organization Affairs. She will be responsible for 
overseeing and advising Secretary Kerry about the U.S. 
Government's relationships with the United Nations--U.N. 
agencies, such as the IAEA, peacekeeping missions, UNICEF, the 
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, and a number of other 
international agencies and organizations.
    Ms. Crocker's expertise on foreign policy and her 
dedication to public service are truly impressive. She has over 
15 years of relevant experience at the State Department, the 
United Nations, and the private sector. At the State 
Department, she is now the Principal Deputy Director of the 
Office of Policy Planning. At the United Nations, she worked as 
the Special Assistant on the Peacebuilding Issues and as the 
Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the Special Envoy for 
Tsunami Recovery, former President Bill Clinton.
    In the private sector, she has served as a senior policy 
advisor for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and as a 
fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies 
and the Council on Foreign Relations.
    Her credentials are impressive in their own right, but she 
is also carrying on a family tradition. With us here today is 
her father, Chester Crocker, who was the Assistant Secretary of 
State for African Affairs under President Reagan.
    Could you please stand, Mr.--right over here? Thank you so 
much for being here.
    Could we give him a round of applause for his tremendous 
service to our country? [Applause.]
    We thank you.
    He served as Assistant Secretary of State for African 
Affairs under President Reagan, and helped lead the 
negotiations that led to independence for Namibia and the 
withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola.
    Mr. Crocker, thank you for your service to our country.
    I am told that when Ms. Crocker is confirmed, you will be 
the first father-daughter pair to serve as Assistant 
Secretaries of State in our country's history.
    Our third nominee is Robert Wood, nominated to represent 
the United States to the Conference on Disarmament, the 
international agency responsible for negotiating arms treaties. 
Mr. Wood is a 25-year veteran of the Foreign Service who has 
served in Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, and South Africa. 
Recently, he served as Charge d'affaires in the U.S. Mission to 
the International Atomic Energy Agency, where he defended 
American interests and tried to help prevent the spread of 
nuclear weapons and fissile material. He was also the Deputy 
Spokesman of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, a position 
he began the day after the September 11th attacks.
    If confirmed, one of Mr. Wood's most pressing 
responsibilities would be a preparatory conference this April 
for the 2015 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. Mr. 
Wood will be an essential spokesman, explaining and defending 
our country's significant efforts to create a world in which 
nuclear weapons no longer exist.
    Also, Mr. Wood has the opportunity to start serious 
negotiations on a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty which would 
ban the production of nuclear materials for use in nuclear 
weapons.
    And we thank each of you for your service, and we thank 
each of you for everything that you are going to do for our 
country.
    And I will begin by recognizing you, Ms. Crocker, in order 
to lay out your case to become our representative.

    STATEMENT OF BATHSHEBA NELL CROCKER, OF THE DISTRICT OF 
  COLUMBIA, NOMINEE TO BE AN ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR 
               INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION AFFAIRS

    Ms. Crocker. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and 
distinguished members of the committee. I am honored to appear 
before you as President Obama's nominee for Assistant Secretary 
of State for International Organization Affairs.
    More than 30 years ago, as you have noted, my father 
appeared in front of this committee as President Reagan's 
nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. I 
have learned a great deal from my father's remarkable career 
about the importance of public service, the art of American 
diplomacy, and the promise of American leadership. It would be 
an honor of a lifetime to carry these lessons forward and help 
advance American interests and values at the United Nations and 
beyond.
    I have also learned a great deal from my mother, who is 
also here with us today, a woman who proved that you could have 
a successful career and be an extraordinary mother. I am so 
pleased they could both be here today.
    I also want to recognize my husband, Milan, my daughters, 
Asha and Farrin, who are here. I owe them more than I could 
ever say. And I have a number of other family members here, as 
well, today: my sister, Rennie Anderson; my brother-in-law, Kai 
Anderson; my nieces, Tala and Avey; my nephew, Caleb; my 
brother-in-law, Anand Vaishnav; and my cousin, John Putnam.
    I began my public service----
    Senator Markey. May I say that your mother is the first 
woman to ever be the wife of, and the mother of, an Assistant 
Secretary of State----
    [Laughter.]
    Senator Markey [continuing]. Which I think is also a 
distinction. That might actually be the hypotenuse in this 
whole story. [Laughter.]
    Ms. Crocker. Well said.
    I began my public service career as an attorney advisor at 
the State Department more than 15 years ago. I have seen 
firsthand how ably our diplomats represent our country. I have 
seen their courage on the front lines of conflict, their 
resilience and strength in the aftermath of natural disasters, 
and their steadfast commitment to standing up to injustice all 
over the world. I have also seen firsthand the same 
determinations and skill in the peacekeepers, development 
professionals, humanitarian workers, and health practitioners I 
worked with during my time helping lead the U.N. Asia tsunami 
recovery efforts and peace-building programs. That is why I 
share President Obama's conviction that America's national 
interests are best served by a robust, responsive, and 
responsible international system. The challenges of today, from 
terrorism to nuclear proliferation, and climate change to 
development and food security, cannot be solved by any one 
country on its own. And in an age of fiscal austerity, we need 
to work harder than ever to ensure that international 
organizations are able and willing to meet today's many global 
challenges.
    Thanks to the administration's efforts, the United States 
today is a more engaged, effective, and successful leader in 
international and multilateral organizations than it has been 
in a very long time. If confirmed, I pledge to work with this 
committee to identify and pursue new opportunities to advance 
our interests throughout the U.N. system. In particular, I will 
focus on three major priorities: efficiency, effectiveness, and 
evolution.
    First, safeguarding and maximizing U.S. taxpayers' 
investment in International Organization will be my unflagging 
preoccupation. There is no question that, despite progress, 
there are continuing challenges with management and oversight 
at the United Nations. As the largest contributor to the U.N., 
we have a special obligation and influence to promote reform 
throughout the U.N. system.
    Second, I will work to increase the effectiveness of 
multilateral institutions. In so many of our foreign policy 
priorities, from our sanctions on al-Qaeda, Iran, and North 
Korea, to our efforts to support political transitions in Iraq 
and Afghanistan, to preventing atrocities and building peace in 
war-torn countries, to sounding the alarm on human rights 
abuses, the U.N. and international organizations play a vital 
role. But, all too often, political posturing by states leads 
to political paralysis and inaction, sometimes with devastating 
consequences. If confirmed, I will push other governments to 
ensure these organizations can deliver on their promise.
    Finally, just as the international landscape continues to 
evolve, so our international institutions, and the United 
States should shape that evolution. It is time for the U.N. 
system to do away with preoccupations and processes whose days 
have long past, especially the disproportionate and unjust 
attention paid to Israel. In the U.N. General Assembly, at the 
U.N. Human Rights Council and elsewhere, Israel is subject to 
one-sided resolutions and politically motivated investigations. 
If confirmed, I will fight bias against Israel whenever and 
wherever possible. At the same time, I will continue the 
administration's efforts to promote full and equal Israeli 
participation in international bodies and support its positive 
contributions to the U.N.
    All over the world, people's lives depend on the system of 
international organizations that the United States helped 
conceive and lead. In the Philippines, the U.N. is directing 
the global humanitarian response effort to Typhoon Haiyan. In 
the Democratic Republic of Congo, U.N. Blue Helmets are helping 
secure the peace and rekindle the hopes of tens of millions in 
the Great Lakes region. And in schools, health clinics, and 
refugee camps all over the world, the U.N. is making sure that 
future generations will know a more peaceful and prosperous 
world.
    Mr. Chairman, we have a deep stake in shaping the continual 
renewal of the system of international cooperation and making 
sure it is as efficient and effective as possible. I look 
forward to working together with you and with this committee to 
sustain our leadership in international organizations and our 
promotion of U.S. foreign policy priorities.
    Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Crocker follows:]

               Prepared Statement of Bathsheba N. Crocker

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee. 
I am honored to appear before you as President Obama's nominee for 
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs. 
More than three decades ago, my father appeared in front of this 
committee as President Reagan's nominee for Assistant Secretary of 
State for African Affairs. I have learned a great deal from my father's 
remarkable career about the importance of public service, the art of 
American diplomacy, and the promise of American leadership. It would be 
an honor of a lifetime to carry these lessons forward and help advance 
American interests and values at the United Nations and beyond.
    I have also learned a great deal from my mother--a woman who proved 
that you could have an extraordinary career and be an extraordinary 
mother. I could not ask for better role models than my parents and I am 
thrilled that they could both be here today. I also want to recognize 
my husband, Milan, and my daughters, Asha and Farrin. I owe them more 
than I could ever say.
    I began my public service career as an Attorney-Adviser at the 
State Department more than 15 years ago. I have seen first-hand how 
ably our diplomats--Civil and Foreign Service officers alike--represent 
our country. I have seen their courage on the front lines of conflict. 
I have seen their resilience and strength in the aftermath of natural 
disasters. And I have seen their steadfast commitment to standing up to 
injustice all over the world.
    I have also seen firsthand the same determination and skill in the 
peacekeepers, development professionals, humanitarian workers, and 
health practitioners I worked with during my time helping lead the 
U.N.'s Asia tsunami recovery efforts and peacebuilding programs.
    This is why I share President Obama's conviction that America's 
national interests are best served by a robust, responsive, and 
responsible international system--and by strong and sustained U.S. 
multilateral engagement and leadership. The challenges of the 21st 
century--from terrorism to nuclear proliferation, and climate change to 
development and food security--cannot be solved by any one country on 
its own. And in an age of fiscal austerity, we will need to work harder 
than ever to ensure that international organizations are able and 
willing to meet today's many global challenges.
    Thanks to the administration's efforts, the United States today is 
a more engaged, more effective, and more successful leader in 
international and multilateral organizations than it has been in a very 
long time. If confirmed, I pledge to work with this committee to 
identify and pursue new opportunities to advance our interests 
throughout the U.N. system. In particular, I will focus on three major 
priorities: efficiency, effectiveness, and evolution.
    First, safeguarding and maximizing U.S. taxpayers' investment in 
international organizations will be my unflagging preoccupation. There 
is no question that, despite progress, there are continuing challenges 
with management and oversight at the United Nations. But these 
challenges should not lead us to disengage. Instead, they should lead 
us to redouble our efforts to improve efficiency, transparency, and 
accountability throughout the U.N. system. As the largest contributor 
to the U.N., we have a special obligation and influence to promote 
reform. And if confirmed, I will continue to voice our concerns and 
lead reform efforts.
    Second, I will work to increase the effectiveness of multilateral 
institutions. In so many of our foreign policy priorities--from our 
sanctions on al-Qaeda, Iran, and North Korea, to our efforts to support 
political transitions in Iraq and Afghanistan, to preventing atrocities 
and building peace in war-torn countries--the U.N. and international 
organizations play a vital role. They prevent the proliferation of 
weapons of mass destruction. They prevent war and keep the peace. They 
sound the alarm on human rights abuses. And they promote global 
commerce and universal values we hold dear. But all too often, 
political posturing by states leads to political paralysis and 
inaction--sometimes with devastating consequences. If confirmed, I will 
push other governments to ensure these organizations can deliver on 
their promise.
    We need active and sustained diplomatic efforts at the 
International Atomic Energy Agency to maintain the integrity of the 
nuclear nonproliferation regime. We need to continue our active 
engagement at the Human Rights Council to hold regimes accountable for 
the violation of human rights. We need to continue the progress made to 
improve U.N. peacekeeping. We need to work with partners and 
institutions to shape the Post-2015 Development Agenda. And we need to 
continue to push U.N. humanitarian aid agencies to provide more 
flexible, timely, and coordinated responses to humanitarian 
emergencies. American leadership in these and other bodies of 
international cooperation is essential to achieving our broader policy 
objectives.
    Finally, just as the international landscape continues to evolve, 
so are international institutions. The United States should shape that 
evolution, working with allies and partners to define a shared vision 
of international norms and cooperation for this century.
    It is time for the U.N. system to do away with processes and 
preoccupations whose days have long past--especially the 
disproportionate and unjust attention paid to Israel. In the U.N. 
General Assembly, at the U.N. Human Rights Council, and elsewhere, 
Israel is subject to one-sided resolutions and politically motivated 
investigations. We cannot allow these counterproductive actions by 
member states to undermine the institutions themselves. If confirmed, I 
will fight bias against Israel whenever and wherever possible. At the 
same time, I will continue the administration's efforts to promote full 
and equal Israeli participation in international bodies and support its 
proactive and positive contributions to the U.N.
    All over the world, people's lives depend on the system of 
international organizations that the United States helped conceive and 
lead. In the Philippines, the U.N. is directing the global humanitarian 
response effort to Typhoon Haiyan. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, 
U.N. blue helmets helped secure the peace and rekindle the hopes of 
tens of millions in the Great Lakes region. And in schools, health 
clinics, and refugee camps all over the world, the U.N. is making sure 
that future generations will know a more peaceful and prosperous world.
    Mr. Chairman, we have a deep stake in shaping the continual renewal 
of the system of international cooperation and making sure it is as 
efficient and effective as possible. I look forward to working together 
with you and with this committee to sustain our leadership in 
international organizations and our promotion of U.S. foreign policy 
priorities.

    Senator Markey. Thank you so much.
    Our inability--Shakespeare said that the will is infinite, 
but the execution is confined. So, I would like to continue the 
hearing right now, but they have called a rollcall on the floor 
of the Senate. And so, I have 5 minutes to run over to make the 
rollcall, and I will return as quickly as possible, and then we 
will recommence this hearing.
    So, this hearing stands in recess.

[Recess.]

    Senator Barrasso [presiding]. Well, thank you so much for 
your patience in dealing with the floor votes. I just passed 
Senator Markey. He was on his way to the floor; I was on my way 
back here. He said that he had been through the opening 
statements and the comments, so he suggested I just go ahead, 
in the interest of your time.
    And so, if I could, I just wanted to congratulate all of 
you on the appointments, welcome each of you and family members 
who are here with you. I appreciate you taking time to be with 
us to answer the questions. And, should you serve our Nation in 
these important positions, it is important that each of you 
provide strong stewardship of American taxpayer resources, 
demonstrate professionalism and good judgment, and vigorously 
work to advance the priorities of the United States. I hope you 
will lay out your vision and goals in each of these positions, 
and what your plan is to achieving them.
    So, I thank the chairman, and I thank the President for 
nominating you.
    If I could, Ms. Crocker, start with you--oh, OK, sorry. 
Well, I wanted, perhaps, Mr.--I am happy to hear your 
testimony, at this point, Mr. Lawson. I do not--and I do not 
want to shortchange the chairman from hearing that testimony. 
So, you have already spoken?
    Ms. Crocker. I have already provided my opening statement, 
yes.
    Senator Barrasso. All right. So, perhaps if I could just 
ask you a few question, and then, as the chairman returns, 
finish, and then I will add my questions to that if I--thank 
you.
    I want to talk about Israel and U.N. Human Rights Council, 
the--in your testimony, you talked about the--Israel being 
subjected to one-sided resolutions, political investigations, 
and U.N. Human Rights Council. In September 2013, Senator 
Gillibrand and I sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary Kerry 
about the pervasive anti-Israel bias that we see at the United 
Nations. I think item 7 of the U.N. Human Rights Council's 
Standing Agenda is used to attack Israel. It is the only 
permanent agenda item that is exclusively reserved for an 
individual member state. While terrible atrocities are being 
committed in Syria, human rights abuses are taking place in 
Iran; the Council will be neglecting serious issues while, I 
believe, wasting hours singling out Israel.
    So, could you just talk a little bit about your views on 
agenda item No. 7, what steps you would take to accomplish its 
removal from the agenda?
    Ms. Crocker. Thank you, Senator, for that question. And, as 
you note and as I indicated, fighting for the full and equal 
participation of Israel throughout U.N. bodies will be one of 
my top priorities.
    As you note, Israel continues to be subject, among other 
things, to agenda item 7 at the Human Rights Council. And this 
is something that the administration has taken great steps so 
far to try to get rid of, and we will continue to do so, and I 
will, as well, should I be confirmed.
    At the same time, I think, over the last 4 years that the 
administration--that the United States has been a member of the 
Human Rights Council, we have been able to make some good 
progress in battling back against the bias against Israel at 
the Human Rights Council, but also, importantly, making sure 
that the Council turn its attention to other important issues, 
including a Commission of Inquiry that has been set up on Syria 
and that is collecting valuable evidence on Syria; a Special 
Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran; a Special 
Rapporteur on Belarus, on Eritrea, on Sudan; a Commission of 
Inquiry on Libya; and other issues. We have been able to run 
two resolutions successfully on the situation in Sri Lanka.
    So, while there still remains a disproportionate focus on 
Israel at the Council, we have really been able to reduce that 
focus. And I think it is one of the important--one of those 
signs that--of why it is so important for the United States to 
be an active and engaged member at the Human Rights Council.
    Senator Barrasso. Yes. During the confirmation hearing for 
Secretary Kerry, you know, I asked specifically about his views 
on the need for management reform at the United Nations. He 
stated--he said, ``In an era of fiscal crisis and austerity, 
the U.N. must learn to do more with less.''
    In your testimony, you expressed your commitment to 
safeguarding and maximizing U.S. taxpayers' investment. I made 
a reference to that in my opening statement. Could you talk a 
little bit about your plans to ensure the United Nations limits 
growth in U.N. regular budget and is making more efficient use 
of existing resources?
    Ms. Crocker. As you know, Senator, that has been a special 
focus of the administration. And, if confirmed, I will 
certainly do my part to try to continue that focus.
    We have been able to make some good progress over the last 
5 years, in terms of management reform, including budget reform 
at the United Nations; and including, most recently, in the 
budget discussions about the 2014-2015 budget, we were able to 
successfully reverse the decades-long trend of annual growth in 
the U.N. regular budget.
    That said, it remains a continuing conversation, and it is 
a difficult one up there. Among other things that we were able 
to accomplish this time around was a 2-percent staff reduction, 
which is obviously an important accomplishment. It is not 
enough, but it is a start.
    At the same time, we have been able to make good progress 
on other important management reforms, such as financial 
disclosure requirements, audits being publicly available online 
for most of the U.N. funds in specialized agencies. We have 
clamped down on some of the abuses in the travel budget of the 
U.N., including overuse and misuse of business-class travel by 
U.N. staff. We have remained focused, and, if confirmed, I will 
be particularly focused on, on trying to constrain the growth 
in the budget. And a lot of that will be a focus on 
constraining the growth in staff costs, which, as I indicated, 
we have had some success on so far, but more work remains to be 
done.
    Senator Barrasso. Agreed.
    Mr. Lawson, just waiting for the chairman to return, I just 
have a couple of questions, if it is all right with you if I 
could proceed----
    Mr. Lawson. Yes.
    Senator Barrasso [continuing]. With those.
    I want to ask you a little about carbon trading. The 
European Union established, in a missions trading scheme that 
applies to all flights arriving and departing from European 
Union airspace. In September 2012, the Senate unanimously 
passed S. 1956, the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme 
Prohibition Act, at that time. It was signed into law by the 
President, November 2012. The law provides the Secretary of 
Transportation the authority to ensure that U.S. aircraft 
operators are not penalized, or are not harmed, by the 
Emissions Trading Scheme unilaterally created by the European 
Union.
    Can I--I just--what you believe is the appropriate role for 
the International Civil Aviation Organization to play on the 
issue of dealing with this, reducing emissions in the aviation 
sector.
    Mr. Lawson. Well, thank you for that question.
    ICAO is at the center of this issue right now. In the last 
Assembly, September 2013, we successfully--and we worked very 
hard to help this happen, but they--the Assembly passed a 
resolution that established a framework for ICAO to put 
together a comprehensive scheme for dealing with emissions 
trading worldwide. The goal is to have a complete scheme put 
together--not scheme, rather, but program put together for the 
2016 Assembly, that is coming up, that would include dealing 
with, not only a market-based measure worldwide, a global 
market-based measure, but also dealing with issues such as 
alternative fuels, dealing with operation efficiencies, and 
other matters that will reduce the amount of emissions 
generated by the aviation industry. The goal is to have this 
approved in 2016, in place for 2020, and to work with respect 
to 2005 levels, if at all possible.
    The framework--the procedural framework for doing that is 
in place--is not in place now, but is in the process of being 
put together. And so, if I am confirmed, I will work diligently 
to make sure that--to help us meet that goal. And it is a very 
aggressive goal, especially for an organization with 191 
members, 36 member councils that are going to be working very 
hard to make that happen.
    So, yes, ICAO is in the--is right in the center of that. If 
we are successful, it will be a tremendous accomplishment to 
have a global market-based measure--structure that the entire 
aviation industry will abide by. And, in the meantime, the 
issue with respect to the EUETS is that we are--the resolution 
that was passed did not prohibit organizations like the EU from 
setting up some sort of regional or national market-based 
system, but we are concerned about exactly what the Europeans 
are trying to put together right now.
    It is unclear as to what exactly is going to come out of 
the legislative activities. The Commission has proposed an air-
based system. There is not unanimity among the Council and 
Parliament and the Commission as to what exactly should be 
done. We are doing what we can to engage in our--with our 
counterparts in Europe to, hopefully, come up with something 
that does not create a distraction to what ICAO is trying to 
do. And we will sees what happens.
    If they do not come up with legislation, unfortunately what 
would happen in April 2014 is that the current stop-the-clock 
legislation would expire and the legislation that the EU had 
passed some years ago that would have imposed an ETS--Emissions 
Trading Scheme--on the totality of flights going in and out of 
Europe would come into play. And that is the type of 
legislation that the Thune bill, that you mentioned, was 
designed to give us the ability to protect our airlines 
against. We do not know whether that is going to happen. We 
hope that it does not happen. As a matter of fact, there is 
optimism that that will not happen. But, ICAO is in the center 
of that, and, if I am confirmed, I will work diligently to make 
sure that we get that done.
    Senator Barrasso. Thank you, Mr. Lawson.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Markey [presiding]. Thank the gentleman very much.
    And, Mr. Lawson, I am now going to recognize you for an 
opening statement, although, for the purposes of your opening 
statement, you should feel free to delete anything that was 
just used as material in response to Senator Barrasso's 
questions. [Laughter.]
    And that way we can save some time. So, please go forward 
for up to 5 minutes.

 STATEMENT OF MICHAEL ANDERSON LAWSON, OF CALIFORNIA, NOMINEE 
  FOR THE RANK OF AMBASSADOR DURING HIS TENURE OF SERVICE AS 
  REPRESENTATIVE ON THE COUNCIL OF THE INTERNATIONAL CIVILIAN 
                     AVIATION ORGANIZATION

    Mr. Lawson. Well, thank you.
    Much of my opening statement, actually you gave. 
[Laughter.]
    Senator Barrasso. Feel free to delete that, too. 
[Laughter.]
    Mr. Lawson. But, I do want to take a few minutes to welcome 
members of my family who are here: Kisha and John Lewis, Marcus 
Mason, and my wife of 34 years, Mattie McFadden Lawson. My sons 
could not make it, but I am told that they are watching.
    But, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you 
today as President Obama's nominee to be the Representative of 
the United States at the International Civil Aviation 
Organization. I am honored to be here and am grateful to 
President Obama for the trust and confidence he has shown in 
nominating me for this important position, and for the 
opportunity to serve my country as a Permanent Representative 
to ICAO.
    From the time of the negotiations in the United States at 
the end of World War II that resulted in the Chicago Convention 
and the creation of ICAO as a specialized agency of the United 
Nations devoted to civil aviation, the United States and ICAO 
have enjoyed an extraordinarily close and mutually beneficial 
relationship. ICAO is the only forum in which global standards 
can be set for all aspects of international civil aviation. 
Whatever the new developments or challenges in the areas of 
civil aviation--safety, security, and the environment--ICAO 
provides the mechanisms and the opportunity to address them 
effectively through the cooperation of member states.
    If confirmed, I will bring the cumulative skills and the 
totality of my professional experience to this role. And, as 
suggested, I will skip the part of my resume that you effective 
described.
    As a direct result of my experiences on the Board of 
Commissioners--Board of Airport Commissioners for Los Angeles, 
I am keenly aware of the many challenges associated with 
ensuring the safety and security of airline passengers. For 
this reason, I am proud to have been actively involved in the 
selection of the excellent team providing on-the-ground 
leadership at LAX, including executive director Gina Marie 
Lindsay and the current chief of Airport Police Department, 
Chief Patrick Cannon. That team was tested on November 1, 2013, 
when a gunman entered Terminal 3 of LAX, with the apparent 
intent of attacking and killing TSA employees. While I have no 
official insights into the tragic events of that day, it is 
clear to me that the exceptional professionalism and 
integration I saw among the various Federal and local law 
enforcement agencies that are present at LAX saved many lives.
    Senator Markey and members of the committee, if confirmed, 
I believe that the experience I have gained as a member and 
president of the Board of Commissioners, as well as the skills 
accrued over three decades in the legal profession, will prove 
relevant and valuable in representing the United States as 
Permanent Representative to ICAO.
    Throughout its history, ICAO has principally devoted its 
attention to activities involving air safety and air navigation 
issues. The recent events at LAX only underscore that aviation 
security is an unceasing task. If confirmed, I will work 
diligently to advance America's priorities at ICAO and ensure 
that ICAO continues to play an active and leading role in 
developing and implementing international aviation security 
standards.
    My experience has also made me keenly aware of the 
environmental impact of air travel. ICAO has already undertaken 
a great deal of work in this regard. Technical groups are 
developing noise and efficiency standards for aircraft and are 
beginning to work on the development of a global-market-based 
measure for international aviation CO2 emissions.
    If confirmed, I will also be committed to bringing 
continued attention to good governance and increased efficiency 
at ICAO. I will actively pursue the U.S. Government's goals 
with respect to budget discipline, transparency, and 
accountability in all areas, including ethics rules, fair 
procurement practices, financial disclosure for senior 
officials, and whistleblower protection.
    The agenda of the United States and ICAO is extensive and 
vitally important. If confirmed, I look forward to working 
closely with this committee to advance our Nation's interests.
    And thank you for the opportunity to appear before you 
today. I look forward to any questions you may have.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Lawson follows:]

                  Prepared Statement Michael A. Lawson

    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the 
opportunity to appear before you today as President Obama's nominee to 
be the Representative of the United States to the International Civil 
Aviation Organization (ICAO). I am honored to be here and am grateful 
to President Obama for the trust and confidence he has shown in 
nominating me for this important position and for the opportunity to 
serve my country at ICAO.
    From the time of the negotiations in the United States at the end 
of World War II that resulted in the Chicago Convention and the 
creation of ICAO as the specialized agency of the United Nations 
devoted to civil aviation, the United States and ICAO have enjoyed an 
extraordinarily close and mutually beneficial relationship. ICAO is the 
only forum in which global standards can be set for all aspects of 
international civil aviation. Whatever the new developments or 
challenges in the areas of civil aviation safety, security, and the 
environment, ICAO provides the mechanisms and the opportunity to 
address them effectively through the cooperation of member states.
    If confirmed, I will bring the cumulative skills and totality of my 
professional experiences to this role. I have spent the majority of my 
professional career as a transactional attorney at the international 
law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom LLP where I served for 
31 years.
    In addition to that experience, I have served since 2005 on the 
seven-member Board of Airport Commissioners of the Los Angeles World 
Airports, which oversees the operations of Los Angeles International 
Airport, Van Nuys General Aviation Airport; Ontario International 
Airport; and Palmdale Airport. In December 2010, I was asked to serve 
as the President of the Board, a position in which I remained until 
August 2013.
    The Board of Airport Commissioners is responsible for promoting the 
safety and security of the more than 60 million passengers who travel 
through its airports on an annual basis. Those responsibilities extend 
to the efficient and effective day-to-day operations of the airports, 
including environmental sustainability issues.
    I am proud to say that during my tenure on the Board, we initiated 
the largest public works project in the history of the city of Los 
Angeles--a $6 billion capital improvement program designed to return 
LAX to a world class status worthy of the third-busiest airport in the 
country and the sixth-busiest airport in the world. Those improvements 
include a new international terminal, 19 new gates, and upgrades 
designed to accommodate the next generation of large passenger 
aircraft. Given the program's enormous and complex scale, I take 
particular pride in highlighting the responsible, efficient, and 
transparent manner in which it has been managed.
    As a direct result of my experiences on the Board of Commissioners, 
I am keenly aware of the many challenges associated with ensuring the 
safety and security of airline passengers. For this reason, I am proud 
to have been actively involved in the selection of the excellent team 
providing on the ground leadership, including executive director, Ms. 
Gina Marie Lindsay and the current chief of the airport police 
department, Chief Patrick Gannon. That team was tested on November 1 
when a gunman entered Terminal 3 of LAX with the apparent intent of 
attacking and killing TSA employees. While I have no formal insights 
into the tragic events of that day, it is clear to me that the 
exceptional professionalism and integration I saw among the various 
federal and law enforcement agencies that are present at LAX saved many 
lives.
    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, if confirmed, I believe 
the experience I have gained as a member and president of the Board of 
Commissioners as well as the skills accrued over three decades in the 
legal profession will prove relevant and valuable in representing the 
United States as the permanent representative to ICAO.
    Throughout its history, ICAO has principally devoted its attention 
to activities involving air safety and air navigation issues. The 
recent events at LAX only underscore that aviation security is an 
unceasing task. If confirmed, I will work diligently to advance 
America's priorities at ICAO, and ensure that ICAO continues to play an 
active and leading role in developing and implementing international 
aviation security standards.
    My experience has also made me keenly aware of the environmental 
impact of air travel. ICAO is already undertaking a great deal of work 
in this regard. Technical groups are developing noise and efficiency 
standards for aircraft, and are beginning work on the development of a 
global market-based measure for international aviation CO2 emissions. 
If confirmed, I will continue my predecessor's focus on ensuring that 
ICAO's environmental standards are technologically feasible, 
environmentally beneficial, and economically sustainable with continued 
expansion of international aviation.
    If confirmed, I am also committed to bringing continued attention 
to good governance and increased efficiency at ICAO. I will actively 
pursue the U.S. Government's goals with regard to budget discipline, 
transparency, and accountability in all areas, including ethics rules, 
fair procurement practices, financial disclosure for senior officials, 
and whistleblower protection.
    The agenda of the United States in ICAO is extensive and vitally 
important. If confirmed, I look forward to working closely with this 
committee to advance our Nation's interests.
    Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. I look 
forward to any questions you may have.

    Senator Markey. Thank you, Mr. Lawson--in 3 minutes and 50 
seconds. Excellent.
    Mr. Wood, welcome. Whenever you feel comfortable, please 
begin.

STATEMENT OF ROBERT A. WOOD, OF NEW YORK, NOMINEE FOR THE RANK 
      OF AMBASSADOR DURING HIS TENURE OF SERVICE AS U.S. 
        REPRESENTATIVE TO THE CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT

    Mr. Wood. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the 
committee.
    It is a great honor to appear before you as the President's 
nominee to be the U.S. Representative to the Conference on 
Disarmament, or CD, in Geneva. I am also grateful to Secretary 
Kerry and Acting Under Secretary Gottemoeller for their support 
and for giving me this new opportunity to serve our country.
    I also wish to thank my wife, Gita, and son, Jonathan, for 
their love and support.
    Five years ago in Prague, President Obama committed the 
United States to seek the peace and security of a world without 
nuclear weapons, a goal he reaffirmed last June in Berlin. The 
President emphasized that achieving this goal will not be easy 
and may well take many more years of effort. Step by step, 
practical multilateral arms control is an essential part of 
this process in which the CD has a valuable role to play.
    Throughout its history, the CD and its predecessor bodies 
have made significant contributions to global arms control and 
nonproliferation efforts. The Outer Space Treaty, the Nuclear 
Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Biological Weapons Convention, 
the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Comprehensive Nuclear 
Test Ban Treaty all were negotiated there on the basis of 
consensus and with the benefit of American leadership.
    The U.S. priority for the CD continues to be the 
negotiation of a treaty banning the further production of 
fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear 
explosive devices, the so-called Fissile Material Cutoff 
Treaty, or FMCT. An FMCT is in the national security interests 
of the United States because it would end the production of 
weapons-grade fissile material needed to create nuclear weapons 
in the states where it is still ongoing with capped stockpiles 
worldwide and provide the basis for future reductions in 
nuclear arsenals. For these reasons, an FMCT is one of the 
President's arms-control priorities and the logical next step 
in the multilateral nuclear disarmament process.
    While fellow CD member state Pakistan has resisted efforts 
to begin FMCT negotiations, the United States continues to 
discuss with Pakistan and others possible ways to break the 
longstanding CD impasse. Moving forward on an FMCT will not be 
easy, but, if confirmed, I look forward to using my many years 
of multilateral diplomatic experience to achieve this important 
U.S. objective.
    As part of my disarmament portfolio, if confirmed, I will 
also play a role in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or 
NPT, review process. Specifically, I will have responsibility 
for issues related to the NPT's article 6, which addresses 
nuclear disarmament.
    This spring, a preparatory meeting will set the stage for 
the NPT's next 5-year review conference, in 2015. If confirmed 
by the time of this meeting, I will remind our partners and 
friends around the world of the enduring United States 
commitment to our arms control and nonproliferation 
obligations, and explain our strong record of accomplishment in 
this regard. I will also make clear that the road to a nuclear-
weapons-free world is only possible through a realistic, step-
by-step approach, with each step building on the last and 
supported with strong verification measures.
    This distinguished committee has a long and successful 
history of supporting such arms-control efforts, on a 
bipartisan basis, which has made the world a much safer place.
    In working to achieve this long-term nuclear disarmament 
objective, the CD remains an essential multilateral 
institution. If confirmed, I will do all that I can to make the 
CD an active contributor to international peace and security.
    If confirmed, I plan to consult closely with this committee 
and other Members of Congress, as well as their staffs.
    Thank you so much for the opportunity to come before you 
today. I look forward to any questions you may have.
    Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Wood follows:]

                  Prepared Statement of Robert A. Wood

    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. It is a great honor to 
appear before you as the President's nominee to be the U.S. 
Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, or CD, in Geneva.
    I am also grateful to Secretary Kerry and Acting Under Secretary 
Gottemoeller for their support and for giving me this new opportunity 
to serve our country. I also wish to thank my wife, Gita, and son, 
Jonathan, for their love and support.
    Five years ago in Prague, President Obama committed the United 
States to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear 
weapons, a goal he reaffirmed last June in Berlin.
    The President emphasized that achieving this goal will not be easy 
and may well take many more years of effort. Step by step, practical 
multilateral arms control is an essential part of this process, in 
which the CD has a valuable role to play.
    Throughout its history, the CD and its predecessor bodies have made 
significant contributions to global arms control and nonproliferation 
efforts. The Outer Space Treaty, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, 
the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and 
the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty all were negotiated there, on 
the basis of consensus, and with the benefit of American leadership.
    The U.S. priority for the CD continues to be the negotiation of a 
treaty banning the further production of fissile material for use in 
nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, the so-called 
Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty or FMCT.
    An FMCT is in the national security interests of the United States 
because it would end the production of weapons-grade fissile material 
needed to create nuclear weapons in the states where it is still 
ongoing, cap stockpiles worldwide, and provide the basis for future 
reductions in nuclear arsenals. For these reasons, an FMCT is one of 
the President's arms control priorities and the logical next step in 
the multilateral nuclear disarmament process.
    While fellow CD member state Pakistan has resisted efforts to begin 
FMCT negotiations, the United States continues to discuss with Pakistan 
and others possible ways to break the longstanding CD impasse.
    Moving forward on an FMCT will not be easy, but if confirmed, I 
look forward to using my many years of multilateral diplomatic 
experience to achieve this important U.S. objective.
    As part of my disarmament portfolio if confirmed, I will also play 
a role in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT, review process. 
Specifically, I will have responsibility for issues related to the 
NPT's Article VI, which addresses nuclear disarmament.
    This spring, a preparatory meeting will set the stage for the NPT's 
next 5 year Review Conference in 2015. If confirmed by the time of this 
meeting, I will remind our partners and friends around the world of the 
enduring United States commitment to our arms control and 
nonproliferation obligations, and explain our strong record of 
accomplishment in this regard. I will also make clear that the road to 
a nuclear weapons-free world is only possible through a realistic, 
step-by-step approach, with each step building on the last and 
supported with strong verification measures. This distinguished 
committee has a long and successful history of supporting such arms 
control efforts on a bipartisan basis, which has made the world a safer 
place.
    In working to achieve this long-term nuclear disarmament objective, 
the CD remains an essential multilateral institution. If confirmed, I 
will do all that I can to make the CD an active contributor to 
international peace and security.
    If confirmed, I plan to consult closely with this committee and 
other members of Congress, as well as their staffs.
    Thank you so much for the opportunity to come before you today. I 
look forward to any questions you may have.

    Senator Markey. Thank you, Mr. Wood, very much.
    Senator Barrasso.
    Senator Barrasso. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I will finish up.
    Mr. Lawson, I would like to visit just a little about 
Taiwan. June of last year, the House and the Senate unanimously 
passed a bill to require the development of a strategy to 
obtain observer status, as you know, for Taiwan at the 
Triennial International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly. 
It was signed. And then, in October, this past October, Taiwan 
attended the 38th Assembly meeting as a guest. This was welcome 
news, but, again, Taiwan was only invited as a guest, and only 
for that specific meeting.
    So, I would ask if you support Taiwan joining the 
International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly and Council 
as an observer, and, if so, what is your strategy to obtain 
that status?
    Mr. Lawson. Thank you for that question. The answer is 
``yes,'' we are absolutely committed to taking whatever steps, 
within my power, to achieve that goal.
    By way of background, it is United States policy to support 
membership status in any organization in which Taiwan--in which 
statehood is not a prerequisite, and to support meaningful 
participation in any organization in which statehood is a 
prerequisite.
    Statehood is a prerequisite at the U.N., and ICAO is an 
agency of the U.N. Taiwan does not have observer status at the 
U.N. Assembly. It can have observer status at the Council. 
Because of some arcane--``arcane'' is probably not the right 
word--because of some rule, issues with respect to the 
Assembly, it may be difficult for Taiwan to obtain observer 
status at the Assembly. I believe that it is possible for 
Taiwan to obtain observer status at the Council level. But, in 
each case, it depends on the consensus of the Council and the 
Assembly. The reason they only got--they were--only would get 
guest status was an issue with respect to the consensus. We 
will work diligently to counter that and make sure that they 
get observer status.
    It is very important--Taiwan's participation in the global 
airspace is highly important, and it is important that they get 
access to the information that the typical committees and 
bureaus at ICAO have available, on a timely basis.
    So, yes, a short answer, we will do all that we can to 
ensure that they get that.
    Senator Barrasso. All right. And that will include asking 
other nations to cooperate and support and----
    Mr. Lawson. Absolutely.
    Senator Barrasso. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Lawson.
    Mr. Wood, just a couple of quick questions. Fissile 
Material Cutoff Treaty. In your written testimony, you 
testified that the treaty is in the national security interest 
of the United States. And I am just going to ask you how you--
how will this treaty prevent countries, like North Korea, from 
producing more weapons-grade fissile material?
    Mr. Wood. Thank you for your question, Senator.
    This treaty, if we are able to reach a Fissile Material 
Cutoff Treaty, would halt the production of this very sensitive 
technology. And we think that is very important and in the 
national security interests of not only the United States, but 
other countries around the world. It is the first step, and it 
is the next logical step, frankly, in the Conference on 
Disarmament, in terms of our nonproliferation and arms control 
and disarmament objectives.
    So, we do think that this treaty will be very useful, in 
terms of meeting our national security interests. We hope to be 
able to get these negotiations going, but, as I mentioned in my 
statement, Pakistan has opposed starting negotiations in the 
CD. We hope to be able to try to persuade Pakistan to change 
its view. And, if confirmed, that will be one of my priority 
missions when I am in Geneva, because we think, again, as I 
said, that this treaty is in the best interests of the--the 
national interests of the United States, and it is the next 
logical step in moving forward.
    Senator Barrasso. I know you briefly mentioned President 
Obama's speech in Prague, I think in 2009, in your--at the 
time, he promised to get rid of the world--rid the world of 
nuclear weapons. During his remarks, the President also 
proclaimed, he said, ``Rules must be binding, violations must 
be punished, words must mean something.'' And I--as you nod 
your head, I assume you are in agreement with that, as we are.
    So, given the New York Times article last week that 
documented Russia's clear violation of its arms-control 
obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, 
why would we continue to negotiate nuclear arms reductions with 
Russia if we agree with the President's statement that the 
rules must be binding and arms-control treaty violations must 
be punished? I mean, it was a, you know, distressing, I think, 
news for many, the report last week.
    Mr. Wood. Thank you for this question.
    The issue of the INF Treaty is something that is not in my 
portfolio, but let me just say that issues of compliance, or 
noncompliance, are something that the United States Government 
takes very, very seriously. And it is important to have, you 
know, that trust and ability to be able to know that, when you 
enter into an agreement, that it is going to be abided by.
    But, you know, with regard to specific questions of 
compliance, I would have to refer for--you to the Annual 
Compliance Report that the Department compiles.
    Senator Barrasso. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Markey. The Chair will recognize himself.
    Mr. Lawson, last year, I led a bipartisan effort in 
Congress to prevent the TSA from allowing passengers to carry 
knives onto airplanes. The TSA had proposed a plan to allow 
knives back on passenger planes in the United States. And that 
legislation passed on the floor of the House of 
Representatives, but the TSA decided they changed their mind on 
that issue. And I think they made the wise decision.
    The TSA has proposed a plan, in part to harmonize, now, 
U.S. standards with that of Europe, which has a more lenient 
carry-on security standard. Are you committed to ensuring that 
the U.S. maintains its tougher security and that all planes 
traveling to American soil from abroad abide by our higher 
standards? And we can use knives on planes as a good example.
    Mr. Lawson. Thank you for that question.
    The short answer is, ``yes,'' I am in favor of the more 
stringent standard.
    Just to be clear, by way of background, ICAO, as a body, 
sets minimum standards for safety and security worldwide. 
Countries such as the United States can set standards that 
exceed the minimum standards that ICAO sets. And so, the United 
States is still free to impose the no-small-knives standard on 
flights departing from, or entering into, the United States, 
and should continue to do so.
    I understand the theoretical benefit of harmonizing the 
standards worldwide. It makes--there are some efficiencies 
involved in that. There are some issues that cannot be denied 
in this context, and one of them is that one of the aspects of 
safety and security is the perception of the passengers. And I 
believe that the United States citizens are still kind of 
reeling from 9/11, and one of the issues that we have to 
consider is their perception of their own safety during this 
period of time. So, I have no problem with the United States 
continuing with a higher standard.
    Whether we should impose that higher standard on flights 
that are not coming into the United States or leaving the 
United States, I defer on that question. I am not sure that 
there is a U.S. interest in doing so, other than, again, to 
harmonize and make it more efficient worldwide. But, our goal 
is to protect U.S. citizens, wherever they are. And so, it is 
one issue that I will look into, and I will give further 
thought to it.
    Senator Markey. Please. Thank you.
    The United States--you do agree, though, that the United 
States does have the authority to impose safety, security, and 
environmental requirements in U.S. airspace. Is that correct?
    Mr. Lawson. Absolutely, the United States has the authority 
to so----
    Senator Markey. And----
    Mr. Lawson [continuing]. With one caveat with respect to 
environmental issues. Under the--we have the--it is kind of a 
three-part question--we have the absolute authority to so, 
under domestic law, but we are also--under the Chicago 
Convention, we are bound to uphold the standards set by ICAO. 
And, in this regard, it is important to note that the standards 
that are set by ICAO oftentimes give us a leeway to set more 
stringent standards.
    Senator Markey. OK. So, responding to concerns from the 
United States and other countries about exerting authority 
beyond European airspace, the European Union is now proposing 
to include only aviation emissions from portions of flights 
within their airspace within the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. 
This has not satisfied all the critics of the EU's pollution 
reduction efforts. Even as ICAO works towards a global climate 
solution for aviation, if the United States were to support new 
efforts to limit the EU's authority over their own airspace, 
would we not put at risk our authority over our own airspace?
    Mr. Lawson. Not at all. The issue here is, in part, the 
interpretation of the resolution that was passed in September 
2013 by the Assembly. That resolution does not prohibit 
national or regional-based--market-based measures established 
by any particular country. But, the resolution does say that 
each country--or each region that does this should negotiate 
or--with the other countries that may be impacted by their 
market-based measures, to get agreement. It does not say 
``shall,'' it says ``should.''
    And so, the resolution itself does not, in and of itself, 
prevent the EU from establishing an airspace standard. On the 
other hand, establishing that airspace standard will act as a 
distraction from what the--what ICAO is bound to do, has, under 
this resolution, said that it will do by 2016.
    And the resolution also does not--so, it does not--the 
resolution does not endorse the airspace structure that the 
Commission has proposed. And, by the way, this is not--as you 
say, there are some factions that do not think they are going 
far enough, some factions in the EU that think that they are 
going too far. So, the ultimate resolution is not quite set 
just yet. But, the fact of the matter is that the way the 
resolution is drafted, we--by diplomatically and politically 
trying to get the EU to pull back from its airspace position--
does not preclude us, and does not preclude anyone, from moving 
forward, because the resolution does not mandate that these 
things not happen.
    Senator Markey. OK, great, thank you.
    My time is expired. Any other questions?
    Senator Barrasso.
    Senator Barrasso. Yea, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Ms. Crocker, the testimony you stated we need to continue 
our active engagement at the U.N. Human Rights Council to hold 
regimes accountable for violation of human rights. Over the 
years, the Council has lacked some action on a number of 
serious human rights crises, and disproportionally criticized 
Israel. The U.N. General Assembly has recently elected China, 
Cuba, and Russia to be new Council members in November.
    In response to--Ambassador Power stated, ``Fourteen 
countries were elected to the Human Rights Council today, 
including some that commit significant violations of the rights 
the Council is designated to advance and protect.''
    In your opinion, does the election of these countries hurt 
the credibility of the Council? And please identify, perhaps, 
some examples of how the U.N. Human Rights Council has held 
regimes accountable for violations against human rights.
    Ms. Crocker. Thank you for that question, Senator.
    The administration was obviously disappointed with the 
reelection of these members to the Council last November, with 
good reason. The United States has fought to ensure that 
countries with stellar human rights records, or at least good 
human rights records, get elected to membership on the Council, 
and not otherwise.
    That having been said, again, this is an example of why it 
is so important for the United States to be engaged as an 
active member on the Council, because we have dealt with these 
countries being on the Council before. They were on the Council 
when we joined, in 2009. And, in fact, we have shown that, by 
virtue of our being an active participant, we have been able to 
battle back against some of the influence of these countries.
    So, as an example, when Cuba was last on the Council, they 
fought hard against a lot of the things that the United States 
wanted to put in place. And they lost. We were able to get some 
of the things that I referenced earlier--the Commission of 
Inquiry on Syria, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in 
Iran, the Special Rapporteurs on Belarus, on Eritrea, on Sudan, 
the Commission of Inquiry on Libya, the creation, for the first 
time in 17 years, of a Special Rapporteur on a functional 
issue, which is on freedom of assembly and the importance of 
civil society organizations. All of these things were things 
that Cuba tried to defeat, and they were not able to defeat, by 
virtue of the United States successfully working, 
diplomatically, actively across regional groupings in the 
Council. And we fully expect that, going forward, we will 
similarly be able to limit the influence of these countries.
    We also work hard behind the scenes to ensure that the 
countries with the worst human rights records hopefully do not 
get elected onto the Council. And we were able, for example, 
last time around, to just persuade Iran not to run in its bid 
for membership on the Council.
    Senator Barrasso. Thanks.
    Mr. Wood, kind of following--you mentioned Iran. I would 
visit a question there. And I think you said you have a role in 
the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review process in your--it 
raises a question for me about the issues of Iran as a party to 
the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The interim deal related 
to Iran's nuclear program seems to have conceded a very major 
point, in that it references a future uranium enrichment 
program in Iran. So, does Iran really have a right to uranium 
enrichment or plutonium reprocessing technology, in your 
opinion, under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, 
specifically, or the nonproliferation regime, you know, just in 
general?
    Mr. Wood. Thank you for the question, Senator.
    I know that Under Secretary Sherman was before the 
committee earlier today, and I know she addressed that issue. 
But, let me just say, with regard to the question of the right 
to enrich, the right to enrich is not explicitly--not stated 
explicitly in the NPT.
    Senator Barrasso. And your opinion on that?
    Mr. Wood. Having read the NPT document, I would agree with 
that, sir.
    Senator Barrasso. All right. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Markey. Thank you.
    Mr. Wood, I have been a longtime advocate for the policy 
goals of the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, and I am glad that 
you mentioned this treaty will be a priority for you. I also 
believe the best way to achieve this goal is to stop the spread 
of the dangerous technologies that can create fissile material.
    Do you agree that stopping the spread of enrichment and 
reprocessing technology would help the goals of that treaty?
    Mr. Wood. Thank you for your question, Senator.
    The United States, as you know, has a longstanding policy 
of trying to prevent the proliferation of these sensitive 
technologies; specifically, enrichment and reprocessing 
technologies. I would just point out that, when the U.S. 
engages in bilateral negotiations with countries concerning 
civil cooperation agreements, we insist that these agreements, 
without question, have the most stringent nonproliferation 
conditions that are possible. And, in fact, I would submit that 
the United States, in terms of our civil nuclear cooperation 
agreements with other countries, have the most stringent, in 
terms of nonproliferation conditions, of any country.
    Senator Markey. Well, hopefully, that will turn out to be 
the case in the Iranian negotiations we are about to have, 
because I think it is going to send quite a signal, going 
forward. And, as you know, unfortunately, in the United Arab 
Emirate agreement for the transfer of nuclear technology, there 
is an ability, in the UAE, to enrich uranium as part of the 
agreement. So, I think that is a problem that we are going to 
have, going forward.
    But, at the end of the day, uniformity, consistency, that 
is what we are going to have to have on nuclear 
nonproliferation policy if we are going to be successful.
    So, again, I think all three of you are eminently well 
qualified for your position. Let me ask each of you to give us 
one minute, in summary, of what it is that you hope to 
accomplish--one minute--during the time that you will have this 
incredible privilege to represent our country in the positions 
that you will be confirmed for.
    So, we will begin with you, Mr. Wood, and we will come down 
the table.
    Mr. Wood. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    One of my primary objectives, if confirmed in my job at the 
CD, is to revive it. It has been 17 years since a treaty has 
been negotiated at the CD in Geneva. And, as I said in my 
statement to the committee, that the issue of a Fissile 
Material Cutoff Treaty is the priority for me, you know, if 
confirmed.
    The CD has a lot of potential. As I mentioned also in my 
statement, there have been a number of agreements, significant 
agreements, that have been negotiated there, and I think we can 
still do very, very important work there. And what I hope to 
do, as I said, is to try to revitalize that institution, 
because it does have a very important role to play in--you 
know, for U.S. national security interests.
    Thank you.
    Senator Markey. Mr. Lawson.
    Mr. Lawson. Thank you.
    I think that the one thing that--well, there are two things 
that I think are highest on my agenda.
    The first is getting the market-based measure and the 
environmental issues on the table and ready for approval by the 
Assembly in 2016. That is job one. It is not going to be easy, 
and it is going to take all of our efforts to get that done in 
the period of time that we have allotted to do it. It is a 
tremendous task, it is an important task, and that is going to 
be job one.
    Job number two will be making sure that I do my part to 
deal with management issues at ICAO, and make sure that they 
are fiscally responsible for--with the monies that the 
taxpayers are putting into this organization.
    Senator Markey. Thank you.
    Ms. Crocker.
    Ms. Crocker. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I have a few priorities that I will list, and they all lead 
up to sort of one thing, which I will mention briefly at the 
end.
    The first would be budget and general management reform 
issues at the United Nations. These are things that have been a 
major priority for the administration, and that, if confirmed, 
I will continue to push on. I have worked inside the U.N. 
system; I have seen the great things about it, and I have seen 
what needs to be fixed; and I am committed to continuing to 
work on that.
    The second, as I also mentioned in my testimony, will be 
the defense and the promotion and support of Israel throughout 
the U.N. system.
    I also want to take a hard look at what we are doing on the 
peacekeeping front, and ensure that we are making the best uses 
we can out of that tool, which is increasingly important for 
U.S. national security interests around the world.
    I want to keep up an active dialogue with this committee on 
all issues related to the U.N. and the issues that will fall 
under my purview, and I look forward to an active conversation 
on that.
    And, most importantly, I want to make sure that the United 
States and the administration are continuing to use the full 
gamut of U.N. organizations, agencies, funds, and programs to 
the best effect that we can to promote and defend U.S. 
interests and U.S. foreign--U.S. national security interests 
around the world.
    Thank you.
    Senator Markey. Thank you, Ms. Corker. And thank you for 
mentioning Israel specifically, as well.
    We want to thank each of you for your testimony, your 
willingness to serve our country. I am proud to support all of 
your nominations. I hope we can quickly confirm all three of 
these extremely well-qualified individuals.
    As amazing as our troops are, they cannot go everywhere or 
respond to every crisis in the world, they cannot defend us 
against a warming climate or the worsening natural disasters 
that will result if the world fails to act. They cannot force 
other countries to dismantle and ultimately abolish nuclear 
weapons. The State Department plays a crucial role in defending 
and advancing the interests of our country. And Secretary Kerry 
needs his team in place to do his job, as well.
    I ask unanimous consent that the witnesses' full statements 
be included in the record.
    Members of the committee will have until the close of 
business Wednesday, February 5, to submit questions for the 
record, with the request to the witnesses that they respond in 
writing to the committee in a timely fashion.
    With that, this hearing is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 4:10 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]
                              ----------                              


       Additional Questions and Answers Submitted for the Record


           Responses of Michael Anderson Lawson to Questions 
                Submitted by Senator Christopher Murphy

    Question. ICAO's effort to craft a strong and effective global 
market-based mechanism for airline emissions will falter without 
strong, robust efforts on the part of the U.S. representative to ICAO.

   What specific steps will your office take to rally like-
        minded nations to consistently push for a strong emissions-
        capping system at the 2016 ICAO Assembly?

    Answer. The United States worked closely with likeminded countries 
leading up to the 2013 Assembly to adopt an important climate change 
resolution that committed, among other things, to developing a global 
market-based measure. If confirmed, I intend to continue to work with 
likeminded countries directly through their representatives at ICAO and 
through such regional organizations as the European Civil Aviation 
Conference (ECAC), the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), the 
Latin American Civil Aviation Commission (LACAC), and key Asia 
partners. In the context of this outreach, I will continue to seek the 
input of the U.S. airline industry in the structure and design of any 
market-based measure that would be proposed at the 2016 ICAO Assembly, 
and I will work diligently to ensure that whatever is ultimately 
adopted will not adversely affect the U.S. airline industry or 
otherwise put the U.S. airline industry at a competitive disadvantage 
as compared with other airlines around the world--including airlines of 
developing member states.

    Question. Further, will you actively pursue an agreement that caps 
emissions at 2020 levels, and will you push for more ambitious targets 
in the out years?

    Answer. We support the ICAO goal of carbon neutral growth from 2020 
that is also supported by the international aviation industry. The 
United States also has a more ambitious domestic target of achieving 
carbon neutral growth by 2020 compared to the 2005 baseline. With 
respect to more ambitious targets in the out years, we plan to review 
targets for the out years, but are not yet at a point of proposing new 
targets.

    Question. What benchmarks should we judge your progress by?

    Answer. The benchmark by which we should judge is performance--
actually reducing fuel burn and CO2 emissions. ICAO is tracking fuel-
burn information for contracting states. The United States has had a 
great record of reducing fuel-burn and CO2 emissions, and we will 
continue to track our performance in efficiency improvements and CO2 
reductions.
                                 ______
                                 

              Responses of Bathsheba Crocker to Questions 
                 Submitted by Senator Edward J. Markey

    Question. How can the United States try to advance its priorities 
and respond to crises through the United Nations system when the 
Security Council is paralyzed? What role does your office play in such 
situations?

    Answer. U.S. engagement throughout the United Nations system allows 
us to leverage both resources and influence with other like-minded 
nations toward common goals and to advance American values around the 
world. Our engagement at the U.N. touches on almost every issue of 
importance to U.S. national security including maintaining 
international peace and security, preventing the proliferation of WMDs, 
responding to humanitarian crises, and addressing threats to global 
health and stability. The U.N., through the Security Council and other 
bodies such as the Human Rights Council, is a primary partner in 
addressing crises of international concern from Syria to the Central 
African Republic to Haiti to North Korea and many other issues of 
paramount concern to the United States.
    At the Security Council, the United States has differing 
perspectives with Russia on Syria, for example, but we share an 
interest in reducing violence; securing chemical weapons; and trying to 
create a political settlement on the basis of the Geneva Communique. 
This enabled us to work with Russia in the Security Council to impose 
on Syria responsibilities and a timeline for the destruction of its 
chemical weapons. We will continue to use these common interests as the 
basis for collaboration toward a resolution of the Syrian crisis.
    While the Council has struggled to achieve agreement on Syria, it 
has been highly effective in addressing other issues of importance to 
the United States. The Security Council has imposed strong sanctions on 
both Iran and North Korea, built robust peacekeeping missions in 
Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and helped strengthen 
fragile states from Afghanistan to Somalia. In 2011, the United States 
worked with our partners on the Security Council to prevent a massacre 
in Libya and help the Libyan people begin a transition to democracy 
after 40 years of brutal dictatorship. In Mali, U.N. peacekeepers have 
been critical to our efforts to restore stability, which will help 
prevent the creation of an al-Qaeda safe haven in the Sahel region.
    The United States also relies on the U.N. system to help address 
humanitarian crises that are too big for any one country to face alone. 
Organizations such as the World Food Programme, the World Health 
Organization, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and 
UNICEF have the expertise, capacity, and networks to reach refugees and 
conflict victims in highly insecure areas. For example, the U.N. has 
played a critical role in coordinating and delivering humanitarian 
assistance to millions of people affected by the violence in Syria, as 
well as over 2.4 million refugees from Syria who have fled to Turkey, 
Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt. Similarly, U.N. agencies play a 
critical role in U.S. and international efforts to strengthen global 
pandemic preparedness, fight infectious disease, improve food security, 
and promote development to alleviate poverty in the world's poorest 
regions.
    Finally, U.S. engagement in the U.N. helps advance human rights and 
fundamental American values including freedom of speech, assembly, and 
association, protection of minorities and the rights of women and 
children. Through the Human Rights Council, the United States has 
helped shine a spotlight on the worst human rights abusers, including 
North Korea, Syria, and Iran. We were also instrumental in helping to 
pass the U.N.'s first-ever resolution on the human rights of LGBT 
persons.
    The International Organization Affairs Bureau works within the U.N. 
system to promote U.S. interests, address international crises, and 
improve the effectiveness of the U.N. system to carry out its mandates. 
We work with U.N. members in all bodies to advance our mutual 
interests, engage in frank discussion of our policy differences, and 
firmly stand by our principles, our partners, and our allies. If 
confirmed, I will continue both our engagement with the U.N. in pursuit 
of U.S. interests, and our efforts to make the U.N. a stronger, more 
effective organization.

    Question. Short of a security council resolution, is there anything 
that can be done to reform United Nations rules that restrict agencies 
from delivering humanitarian aid and vaccinating children in rebel-held 
regions where the Syrian Government has tried to deny access?

    Answer. We commend the U.N. for carrying out aid deliveries across 
conflict lines in Syria and continue to urge all parties to allow 
unhindered humanitarian access so the U.N. can scale up aid for 
besieged and difficult-to-reach areas. The lack of humanitarian access 
to many areas in Syria is appalling and most of the blame lies with the 
Syrian regime.
    Despite access problems, humanitarian assistance provided by the 
U.N. and the International Committee of the Red Cross, funded by the 
United States, is reaching more than 4.2 million people in Syria, 
including opposition/contested areas. But these organizations do not 
have unfettered access to communities in need. This is not acceptable, 
and the United States, the U.N. and others have been pressing the 
regime to facilitate the implementation of humanitarian assistance, 
consistent with Syria's primary responsibility to provide and care for 
populations in need within its territory.
    We continue to engage with the Office of the Coordinator for 
Humanitarian Affairs to coordinate on how to best improve humanitarian 
access in Syria, and we are engaged in intensive bilateral and 
multilateral diplomacy with Russia and other key actors to seek a 
breakthrough in gaining access to those beyond the current reach of 
humanitarian organizations.
    Unfortunately, the Syrian regime has imposed undue restrictions on 
the U.N. and other humanitarian organizations, thereby severely 
curtailing their access to many communities in need. The Syrian regime 
bears the primary responsibility to protect and provide for its 
citizens, either directly or by giving humanitarian organizations 
access to help all those in need. At this time, the regime is failing 
to uphold such responsibilities. On the contrary, it is blocking access 
to some of the hardest-hit communities, including Al Hajar Al-Aswad, 
East Ghouta, Mouadhamiyah, Yarmouk Camp, as well as the Old City of 
Homs, and thereby preventing more than 250,000 people from accessing 
humanitarian assistance. The U.N.'s reach is also hampered by ongoing 
violence, shifting battle lines, and in negotiating for access with 
multiple armed factions.

    Question. If confirmed, will you work to discourage international 
bodies from upgrading the Palestinian Authority to full member state 
status outside a peace agreement between the Palestinian Authority and 
Israel?

    Answer. Yes. The administration has been absolutely clear that we 
will continue to oppose firmly any and all unilateral actions in 
international bodies or treaties that circumvent or prejudge the very 
outcomes that can only be negotiated between the parties, including 
Palestinian statehood. And, we will continue to stand up to efforts 
that seek to delegitimize Israel or undermine its security.
    We will continue to make clear, both with the parties and with 
international partners, that the only path for the Palestinians to 
realize their aspiration of statehood is direct negotiations, and that 
Palestinian efforts to pursue endorsements of statehood claims through 
the U.N. system outside of a negotiated settlement are 
counterproductive. The international community cannot impose a 
solution. A viable and sustainable peace agreement can come only from 
mutual agreement by the parties.
    We remain vigilant on this matter and work in extremely close 
coordination with the Israeli Government and our other international 
partners.

    Question. Many close allies of the U.S. support anti-Israel 
resolutions in the U.N. General Assembly and the Human Rights Council. 
Do you believe the United States can do more to leverage our global 
relationships to reduce anti-Israel activity at the U.N.?

    Answer. This administration has fought hard for fair and equal 
treatment for Israel across the U.N. system, including lobbying the 
member states of the U.N. to vote against biased anti-Israel 
resolutions at the General Assembly, Human Rights Council, and other 
U.N. fora. We continue to oppose anti-Israel statements, resolutions, 
and efforts to delegitimize Israel whenever and wherever raised in 
international organizations. As President Obama and Secretary Kerry 
have made clear, the United States believes that Middle East peace can 
only be resolved through direct negotiations between the parties, not 
through one-sided and provocative statements and resolutions against 
Israel at the United Nations.
    Despite concerted diplomatic efforts at U.N. fora, and in capitals 
around the globe, we have seen little change in the vote counts on 
Israel-related resolutions. But we have made some progress in reducing 
the number of those resolutions. For example, prior to American 
membership, over half of all of the country-specific resolutions the 
HRC adopted concerned Israel. This number has been reduced to well 
under one-third since the United States joined the Council. In bodies 
including the General Assembly and Human Rights Council, we will 
continue to use the U.S. voice and vote against anti-Israel 
resolutions, and in the HRC we use our influence to ensure that these 
resolutions do not pass by consensus.
    We will continue to engage foreign governments and coordinate 
closely with Israel and other like-minded states to work to shift the 
vote dynamics on anti-Israel resolutions and to improve Israel's status 
in various U.N. fora. Israel's recent admission to the Western European 
and Others Group in Geneva, which the United States lobbied 
aggressively for, and their subsequent reengagement with the Human 
Rights Council, will help to create a more positive atmosphere 
throughout the U.N. system. We will continue to work closely with 
Israel in this regard on continued efforts to improve their status at 
the United Nations.

    Question. I was disappointed that the government shutdown last fall 
forced the United States Government to reschedule its appearance before 
the U.N. Human Rights Committee on its Compliance with the 
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a treaty 
ratified under President George H.W. Bush that protects core freedoms. 
Could you describe the role your office will play in preparing for the 
upcoming review in March, and what other parts of the State Department 
have responsibilities for preparing for the ICCPR review?

    Answer. Preparation for the U.S. Government's presentation of its 
Fourth Periodic Report on its implementation of the International 
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a collaborative 
interagency effort. The Office of the Legal Adviser (L) has primary 
responsibility for preparing the report (submitted in December 2011), 
and for coordinating an interagency delegation to respond to the 
committee's questions during the upcoming March presentation. That 
office coordinates with many different U.S. Government agencies and 
bureaus within the State Department, such as the Bureau of 
International Organization Affairs (IO), the Bureau of Democracy, Human 
Rights, and Labor (DRL), the Bureau of Counterterrorism (CT), the 
Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), and the Office to 
Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP), among others, to 
update the committee on developments since the 2011 report and prepare 
delegation members for questions that are most likely to arise. The IO 
Bureau also provides, through the U.S. Mission in Geneva, critical on-
the-ground support for the U.S. presentation and related events, 
including a consultation with civil society organizations on the U.S. 
report. The IO Bureau will also participate in the delegation that 
appears before the Committee.

    Question. Will you continue the work of your predecessors to 
highlight in international forums Iran's gross human rights violations 
and Tehran's support for terrorist organizations?

    Answer. Yes. The United States is committed to continuing our 
efforts to hold Iran accountable for its egregious human rights record 
and state sponsorship of terrorism at the United Nations.
    The United States led efforts with Sweden in the U.N. Human Rights 
Council in March 2011 to create a Special Rapporteur on Iran, the first 
country-specific human rights rapporteur created since the HRC was 
established in 2006. Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed, a former Foreign 
Minister of the Maldives and respected human rights advocate, serves as 
an independent and credible voice to highlight human rights violations 
and abuses in Iran. Each year, the United States works to increase the 
vote margins on resolutions to renew Special Rapporteur Shaheed's 
mandate. These actions are more than symbolic, as the Iranian 
Government has released some prisoners and taken certain other positive 
steps when it comes under pressure from the United Nations and in other 
international fora.
    Additionally, every year the United States works with Canada on an 
annual U.N. General Assembly resolution condemning human rights 
violations and abuses in Iran. The United States plans to work closely 
with Canada and other allies to secure another strong condemnation of 
violations and abuses of human rights in Iran at this year's General 
Assembly. It is resolutions such as these that deepen the Iranian 
regime's isolation and underscore the international community's 
condemnation of Iran's abhorrent behavior against its own people, its 
concern for the rights of all Iranians, and its call for Iranian 
authorities to respect their government's international obligations.
    In the U.N., we will also continue to call attention to Iran's 
sponsorship of terrorism and work to maintain sanctions pressure on the 
regime in Tehran. Engagement at the United Nations has been an 
essential part of creating the toughest, most comprehensive sanctions 
to date on the Iranian regime. Our U.N. efforts, which include adoption 
of four U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on Iran under Chapter 
VII of the U.N. Charter since 2006, have resulted in strong 
international measures to counter Iran's illicit activities. The Iran 
Sanctions Committee, with the assistance of the Iran Sanctions Panel of 
Experts, has investigated and published detailed reports on Iranian 
noncompliance with its UNSC obligations and its attempts to evade the 
sanctions imposed on it. It has also outlined for member states through 
``Implementation Assistance Notices'' published on its Web site a 
number of evasion techniques used by Iran to circumvent sanctions, and 
made observations regarding member state obligations for implementing 
the sanctions.

    Question. Is there anything that can be done to address situations 
where countries serve on international bodies while violating the 
fundamental goals of those organizations--e.g., Iran or North Korea 
chairing international bodies on disarmament, or one-party 
dictatorships serving on the U.N. Human Rights Council?

    Answer. The United States remains very concerned about such 
situations. In the case of the HRC, the United States actively 
encourages countries with strong records to seek seats and promotes 
competitive elections for the HRC. Elections to the Council are done by 
secret ballot among all 193 members of the General Assembly. The United 
States has worked behind the scenes with other countries to 
successfully oppose the election of some of the worst human rights 
violators to the Human Rights Council and other important U.N. bodies 
on numerous occasions in the past, including efforts last year to 
pressure Iran to drop its HRC bid, which Iran did. The United States 
will continue to do so.
    In the Conference on Disarmament, the presidency of the CD serves 
to facilitate discussion among the CD member states and rotates among 
all members of the CD every 4 weeks. Because the CD operates by 
consensus, no decision can be taken by the CD president without the 
approval of the United States and other CD member states. While the 
presidency of the CD is largely ceremonial and involves no substantive 
responsibilities, the United States has taken appropriate action when a 
country's policies and actions contravene the fundamental goals of the 
Conference. For example, during Iran's presidency from May 28-June 24, 
2013, the United States was not represented at the ambassadorial level 
during any meeting presided over by Iran, did not meet with the Iranian 
President during his 4-week term, and continued to call for Iran to 
comply fully and without delay with all of its obligations under the 
relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions and to meet its obligations 
under its safeguards agreement. During North Korea's rotation to the CD 
presidency in July 2011, the United States also was not represented at 
the ambassadorial level, did not meet with the DPRK president during 
the 4 weeks of his term, and called on the DPRK to comply fully with 
U.N. Security Council resolutions, safeguards obligations, and its 
commitments under the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement.

 
        NOMINATIONS OF LUIS MORENO, JOHN ESTRADA, AND NOAH MAMET

                              ----------                              


                       THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
                              ----------                              

Luis G. Moreno, of Texas, to be Ambassador to Jamaica
John L. Estrada, of Florida, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
        of Trinidad and Tobago
Noah Bryson Mamet, of California, to be Ambassador to the 
        Argentine Republic
                              ----------                              

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 3 p.m., in room 
SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Robert Menendez 
(chairman of the committee) presiding.
    Present: Senators Menendez and Rubio.

          OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. ROBERT MENENDEZ, 
                  U.S. SENATOR FROM NEW JERSEY

    The Chairman. This hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations 
Committee will come to order.
    Thank you for your patience. As I think some of you may 
know, we were on the floor voting, including voting for the 
next U.S. Ambassador to China. So we appreciate your 
forbearance.
    We have three nominees before us. They are Luis Moreno to 
be Ambassador to Jamaica; John Estrada, nominated to be the 
Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; and Noah 
Bryson Mamet to be Ambassador to the Argentine Republic.
    Mr. Moreno is a career member of the Senior Foreign 
Service, class of minister counselor, as the Deputy Chief of 
Mission of the U.S. embassy in Madrid, Spain. From 2010 to 
2011, he served as Political Military Affairs Minister 
Counselor, as well as Force Strategic Engagement Cell Director, 
at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad in Iraq. He has also served as 
Deputy Chief of Mission in Tel Aviv, Israel; Counselor General 
Principle Officer in Monterey, Mexico; Deputy Chief of Mission 
at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; and a list of 
other experiences. And we appreciate your service.
    John Estrada is senior manager for Lockheed Martin Training 
Solutions, Incorporated. Prior to this career in the private 
sector, Sergeant Major Estrada served in the United States 
Marine Corps for 34 years, rising to become the 15th sergeant 
major of the United States Marine Corps, the Nation's highest 
ranking enlisted marine. And so we are pleased to have you 
here, Sergeant Major, to be the President's nominee as 
Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago.
    Our third nominee is Noah Bryson Mamet. Mr. Mamet is 
founder and president of Noah Mamet and Associates. He serves 
as a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, the 
American Council of Young Political Leaders. He also sits on 
the boards of the Los Angeles-based Green Dot Public Schools 
and NatureBridge. And we appreciate having him here as well.
    We welcome you all to the committee. We welcome any family, 
friends who may be joining us today to offer their support. And 
we know how proud you all must be. We also recognize the 
sacrifice of families who are willing to share their loved one 
in the service of the Nation, and we understand that it is an 
equal sacrifice to them as well. So we thank you for your 
support and your service.
    I understand that our distinguished colleague from Colorado 
is here to join in the introduction of Mr. Mamet, and I would 
like to recognize him at this time. Senator Bennet?

             STATEMENT OF HON. MICHAEL F. BENNET, 
                   U.S. SENATOR FROM COLORADO

    Senator Bennet. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and it is a 
privilege to be here with these nominees. And congratulations 
to you and the committee on the successful vote on our next 
Ambassador to China.
    It is also a privilege to introduce Noah Mamet, the 
President's nominee to serve as the Ambassador to the Argentine 
Republic. I have known Noah for a number of years, and I 
enthusiastically support his nomination.
    Throughout his career, Noah has worked to build democracy 
abroad and support international economic development. He 
represented the National Democratic Institute in monitoring the 
first democratic elections in Sierra Leone since the country's 
civil war.
    Noah was instrumental in helping to establish the Clinton 
Foundation. His work was critical in developing and producing 
the first Clinton Global Initiative, which has convened leaders 
from across the globe to create and implement practical, 
innovative solutions to some of the most pressing challenges 
our world faces.
    Noah's involvement with the U.S. Institute of Peace has 
helped bolster that organization's ability and reach its 
mission to help manage and resolve international conflicts 
through nonviolent means.
    He is also a member of the Pacific Council on International 
Policy. This association's focus on addressing global 
transformation from an eastern Pacific Ocean perspective I 
think will serve Noah well in this new role.
    These experiences have given him a deep understanding and 
appreciation of our Nation's role in the world and the 
challenges that we face abroad.
    Just another small point, but Noah also shares my 
commitment on the question of education and the need to improve 
outcomes for children living in poverty in this country. He has 
served on the board of the largest and most prominent public 
charter school operator in the country, Green Dot Public 
Schools.
    And, Mr. Chairman, with that, I can say I think we will be 
very well served by Noah Mamet.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    The Chairman. Thank you, Senator Bennet. I appreciate you 
making the introduction before the committee.
    I know your schedule, so please feel free to be excused at 
any time.
    Your full statements will be included in the record, 
without objection. I would ask you to summarize your statement 
in about 5 minutes or so so that the members of the committee 
can engage in a dialogue with you. We will start off with Mr. 
Moreno and then Mr. Estrada, as I introduced you, and Mr. 
Mamet.
    Mr. Moreno.

            STATEMENT OF LUIS G. MORENO, OF TEXAS, 
                  TO BE AMBASSADOR TO JAMAICA

    Mr. Moreno. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Rubio. Thank 
you for inviting me to appear before you today. I am honored to 
be the President's nominee to be the next U.S. Ambassador to 
Jamaica. I want to express my gratitude to the President and 
Secretary Kerry, as well as to Assistant Secretary Roberta 
Jacobson, for their trust and confidence.
    Please allow me the opportunity to introduce my wife, 
Gloria, who is here with me. Without her patience, 
unconditional support, and loving understanding, I certainly 
would not be sitting here in front of you. My oldest daughter, 
Sabina, is following online from Florida and my youngest 
daughter, Denise, along with my friends and colleagues from the 
Embassy, are also following online from Spain.
    As I acknowledge the support of my family, I would be 
remiss not to mention my parents, both deceased, who played a 
major role in my choice of career. My dad was a refugee, a 
medical doctor who fled the political violence in his native 
born Colombia and found refuge in New York City. His medical 
degree was not recognized and he did not speak a word of 
English. What followed was a classic American success story. 
During his career, he became the head of orthopedic surgery at 
Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and helped develop the 
artificial hip replacement. With my mom, a nursing student born 
in Cuba, he raised two boys in the United States, both of whom 
ended up in the senior ranks of the Department of State and in 
whom he ingrained a passion for service to their country. My 
brother Ed recently retired after 25 years of service from 
Diplomatic Security where he last served as the Assistant 
Director for Diplomatic Security, Domestic Operations. I know 
that both our parents would be very proud of the service of 
both of their sons if they were here today.
    I have been privileged to serve my country for 31 years in 
postings in the Western Hemisphere, the Middle East, Europe, 
and Washington, including three postings as Deputy Chief of 
Mission in Port-au-Prince, Tel Aviv, and most recently and 
presently in Madrid. In fact, in my 28 years of overseas 
postings, Madrid has been my only nondanger, nonhardship post. 
I have covered a wide range of issues throughout my career: 
narcotics and law enforcement, refugee issues in Haiti, and 
Kurds from northern Iraq that were resettled in the United 
States via Guam, political-military and transitional issues in 
Iraq, as well as playing a small role in the Middle East peace 
process while in Israel.
    While my assignments have afforded me a diverse and 
multifaceted background, there is a clear commonality among 
most of my assignments. I work toward team-building and finding 
solutions to challenges in tough places. If confirmed as 
Ambassador, it will be along those same lines that I will lead 
our mission in Jamaica. I will lead the Embassy team to find 
solutions to the toughest problems this close friend and 
neighbor is currently experiencing.
    The United States and Jamaica enjoy a strong, cooperative 
relationship that crosses many spheres, including citizen 
security, law enforcement, strengthening democratic 
institutions, the rule of law, respect for human rights, 
energy, climate change, and economic development. Jamaica has a 
well-earned reputation as a tourist destination, hosting over 2 
million American visitors every year. The safety and security 
of these visitors and the 40,000 Americans who currently live 
in Jamaica will be my highest priority.
    Despite this reputation as a tropical paradise, a well-
earned one, Jamaica, a mere 51 years after independence, is 
facing severe challenges which could have a long-lasting impact 
if we do not help Jamaica mitigate them now. I would like to 
highlight two of the most daunting challenges we have: the 
economic reform Jamaica has agreed to undertake as of last 
year, and ensuring the safety and security of both our nations 
and citizens. Jamaica, along with much of the Caribbean, is 
particularly vulnerable not only to these manmade risks but 
also to natural disasters such as devastating hurricanes or 
earthquakes.
    Mr. Chairman, ensuring stability abroad, both in terms of 
citizen security and economic development, in countries like 
Jamaica increases our own security at home. Our current 
assistance to Jamaica, including through the Caribbean Basin 
Security Initiative and USAID's bilateral assistance, seeks to 
partner with Jamaica to address shared regional challenges that 
affect the everyday concerns of Jamaica's citizens. If 
confirmed, I will work as Ambassador to most efficiently use 
the available resources to ensure Jamaica continues on the path 
of sustainable economic and social development. This is in the 
interest of both Jamaica and the United States.
    Last May, Jamaica signed an economic reform package with 
the IMF, the International Monetary Fund, to help tackle its 
huge public debt, almost 1\1/2\ times its annual gross domestic 
product, one of the highest ratios in the world. This package, 
together with loans from the World Bank and the Inter-American 
Development Bank, adds up to nearly $2 billion. Approximately 3 
years of this agreement remain for Jamaica to get its financial 
house in order and to begin to grow its economy, something it 
has not been able to do in three decades. If confirmed--most 
likely I will be there for the majority of that time--let me 
reassure you that this issue will be among my highest 
priorities. I will work with our Jamaican partners to encourage 
them through the difficult economic times that will, no doubt, 
take place while reminding them about the enduring and 
sustainable benefits of partnership with the United States and 
prospects that will emerge as a result of reform and more 
economic stability.
    I will skip ahead to the end, Senator, in the interest of 
time.
    This is a historic opportunity for Jamaicans to build a 
stronger, more prosperous country. If confirmed, I pledge to 
serve our country, just as I have for the past three decades, 
and to work with our Jamaican friends to continue to strengthen 
the partnership between our two countries.
    Mr. Chairman, Senator Rubio, thank you for the opportunity 
to appear before you today, and I certainly welcome your 
questions. Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Moreno follows:]

                  Prepared Statement of Luis G. Moreno

    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for inviting 
me to appear before you today. I am honored to be President Obama's 
nominee to be the next United States Ambassador to Jamaica. I want to 
express my gratitude to President Obama and Secretary Kerry, as well as 
to Assistant Secretary Roberta Jacobson for their trust and confidence.
    Please allow me the opportunity to introduce my wife, Gloria, who 
is here with me today. Without her patience, unconditional support and 
understanding, I would not be sitting here in front of you. My oldest 
daughter, Sabina, is following online from Florida and my youngest 
daughter, Denise, along with my friends and colleagues from the Embassy 
are also following online from Spain. As I acknowledge the support of 
my family, I would be remiss not to mention my parents, both deceased, 
and who played a major role in my choice of career. My dad was a 
refugee, a medical doctor who fled the political violence in his native 
born Colombia and found refuge in New York City. Naturally, his medical 
degree was not recognized and he did not speak a word of English. What 
followed was a classic American success story. During his career he 
became the head of orthopedic surgery at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital 
and helped develop the artificial hip replacement procedures. With my 
mom, a nursing student born in Cuba, he raised two boys born in the 
United States, both of whom ended up in the senior ranks of the 
Department of State, and in whom he ingrained a passion for service to 
their country. My brother, Ed recently retired after 25 years of 
service from Diplomatic Security where he last served as the Assistant 
Director of DS for Domestic Operations. I know our parents would be 
very proud of the service of both their sons if they were here today.
    I have been privileged to serve my country for 31 years in postings 
in the Western Hemisphere, the Middle East, Europe, and in Washington, 
including three postings as Deputy Chief of Mission in Port-au-Prince, 
Tel Aviv, and most recently, Madrid. In fact, in my 28 years of 
overseas postings, Madrid has been my only nondanger, nonhardship 
posting. I have covered a wide range of issues throughout my career: 
narcotics and law enforcement in Colombia, Peru, and Panama; refugee 
issues in Haiti and with Kurds from Northern Iraq that were resettled 
in the U.S. via Guam; political-military, and transitional issues in 
Iraq, as well as playing a small role in the Middle East peace process 
while in Israel. While my assignments have afforded me a diverse and 
multifaceted background, there is a clear commonality among most of my 
assignments--I work toward team-building and finding solutions to 
challenges in tough places. If confirmed as Ambassador, it will be 
along those same lines that I will lead our mission in Jamaica. I will 
lead the Embassy team to find solutions to the toughest problems this 
close friend and neighbor is currently experiencing.
    The United States and Jamaica enjoy a strong, cooperative 
relationship that crosses many spheres, including citizen security, law 
enforcement, strengthening democratic institutions, the rule of law, 
respect for human rights, energy, climate change, and economic 
development. Jamaica has a well-earned reputation as a tourist 
destination, hosting over 2 million American visitors every year. The 
safety and security of these visitors and the 40,000 Americans who 
currently live in Jamaica, will be my highest priority. Despite this 
reputation as a tropical paradise for tourists, Jamaica, a mere 51 
years after independence, is facing severe challenges which could have 
a long-lasting impact if we don't act to help Jamaica mitigate them 
now. I would like to highlight two of the most daunting challenges: the 
economic reform Jamaica agreed to undertake last year ensuring the 
security of both our nations and our citizens. Jamaica, along with much 
of the Caribbean, is particularly vulnerable to not only these man-made 
risks but also to natural disasters such as devastating hurricanes or 
earthquakes.
    Mr. Chairman, since 9/11 the U.S. has emphasized the need to 
strengthen our borders. The Caribbean is our third border. Ensuring 
stability abroad, both in terms of citizen security and economic 
development in countries like Jamaica, increases our own security at 
home. Our current assistance to Jamaica, including through the 
Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) and USAID's bilateral 
assistance, seeks to partner with Jamaica to address shared regional 
challenges that affect the everyday concerns of Jamaica's citizens. If 
confirmed, I will work as Ambassador to most efficiently use the 
available resources to ensure Jamaica continues on the path of 
sustainable economic and social development. This is in the interest of 
both Jamaica and the United States.
    Last May, Jamaica signed an economic reform package with the 
International Monetary Fund to help tackle its huge public debt--almost 
1\1/2\ times its annual Gross Domestic Product, one of the highest 
ratios in the world. This package, together with loans from the World 
Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, adds up to almost $2 
billion. Approximately 3 years of this agreement remain for Jamaica to 
get its financial house in order and begin to grow its economy--
something it hasn't been able to do in nearly three decades. If 
confirmed, I will likely be there during most of that time. Let me 
reassure you that this issue will be among my highest priorities. I 
will work with our Jamaican partners to encourage them through the 
difficult economic times that will no doubt take place, while reminding 
them about the enduring and sustainable benefits of partnership with 
the U.S. and the prospects that will emerge as a result of reform and 
more economic stability. The ingredients for success are evident. For 
example, through a USAID activity supporting Jamaica's Tax 
Administration, the Government of Jamaica has identified and recouped 
over $100 million in unpaid taxes, thereby increasing its revenue base 
and creating a foundation for sound, transparent, and self-sustaining 
revenue forecasting and collections.
    This is a historic opportunity for Jamaicans to build a stronger, 
more prosperous country. If confirmed, I pledge to serve our country 
just as I have been doing for the past three decades and to work with 
our Jamaican friends to continue to strengthen the partnership between 
our two countries.
    Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, thank you for the 
opportunity to appear before you today. I welcome your questions.

    The Chairman. Thank you very much.
    Let me, before I turn to Mr. Estrada, recognize the former 
United States Ambassador to Haiti and Croatia, James Foley. I 
appreciate you being here, Mr. Ambassador. I understand Mr. 
Moreno was your Deputy Chief of Mission in Haiti. So you are 
still backing him up here. So I appreciate it.
    Mr. Estrada.

 STATEMENT OF JOHN L. ESTRADA, OF FLORIDA, TO BE AMBASSADOR TO 
              THE REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

    Mr. Estrada. Mr. Chairman, Senator Rubio, good afternoon.
    It is an honor to appear before you today. I want to 
express my gratitude to President Obama and Secretary Kerry for 
the trust and confidence they have placed in me with this 
nomination to represent my country as the next Ambassador to 
the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
    Please allow me the opportunity to introduce my wife, Dr. 
Elizabeth Cote Estrada, who is here with me today.
    I am particularly thrilled at the prospect of representing 
the United States in the country of my birth, if confirmed. I 
was born in Trinidad and Tobago, and at age 14, I immigrated to 
the United States to forge a new life. I brought with me a 
respect for diversity and an inherent sense of the equal value 
of all people. I served with honor in the United States Marine 
Corps, attaining the Corps' highest enlisted rank, 15th 
Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. After retiring from the 
Marine Corps, I continued service to my country as a 
presidential appointed commissioner on the American Battle 
Monuments Commission and as a committee member on the Defense 
Advisory Committee for Women in the Services. In the private 
sector, I led Lockheed Martin Training Solutions, Incorporated, 
a company specializing in flight training and logistics 
solutions for our military.
    I firmly believe that one of the greatest aspirations of 
all free people is to live their lives to the fullest without 
limitations based on their ethnicity, class, race, gender, or 
sexual orientation. If confirmed as Ambassador, with that ideal 
as my guide, I would seek to strengthen the ties between the 
citizens and elected representatives of our two great nations.
    Trinidad and Tobago is an important Caribbean partner of 
the United States. The relationship between our countries rests 
on a strong foundation. We share a common language and a firm 
commitment to democratic principles, the rule of law, and a 
free market system.
    The United States mission to Trinidad and Tobago has three 
strategic objectives. On security, the mission works with the 
Government of Trinidad and Tobago to improve the capacity of 
Trinidadian law enforcement and just sector institutions to 
reduce violent crime and illicit trafficking, safeguard human 
rights, and create safer communities. The mission promotes 
increased commerce and a transparent investment climate to 
enhance our mutual prosperity. On social inclusion, the mission 
conducts extensive outreach and encourages regional leadership 
by Trinidad and Tobago to protect vulnerable populations, 
including at-risk youth. If confirmed, I look forward to 
leading our efforts in these crucial areas.
    The United States and Caribbean partners have developed the 
Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, an ongoing, multifaceted 
citizen security initiative for the Caribbean, of which 
Trinidad and Tobago is a key player. In creating the Caribbean 
Basin Security Initiative, the United States and Caribbean 
partners prioritized three pillars: substantially reducing 
illicit trafficking of narcotics and arms, increasing public 
safety and security, and promoting social justice. I will do my 
utmost, if confirmed, to increase cooperation and encourage 
Trinidad and Tobago to become a leader in security in the 
Caribbean.
    As a resource-rich country, Trinidad and Tobago is full of 
opportunities for energy companies. The United States works 
closely with Trinidad and Tobago to develop new avenues for 
regional energy and conservation. I am excited Trinidad and 
Tobago is playing a growing role in the region and promoting 
business relationships in the hemisphere. If confirmed, I would 
advocate on behalf of U.S. companies and commercial interests 
to assure a level playing field and support their engagement 
with Trinidad and Tobago.
    I firmly believe that my service in the Marine Corps and my 
experience in the private sector, coupled with my personal 
history, have prepared me to represent the government and the 
people of the United States to the government and the people of 
Trinidad and Tobago.
    If confirmed, it would be my great honor to work closely 
with this committee and others in Congress to advance our 
objectives in the Caribbean.
    Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to appear before 
this distinguished committee. I look forward to answering your 
questions.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Estrada follows:]

               Prepared Statement by John Learie Estrada

    Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of this committee, good 
afternoon. It is an honor to appear before you today. I want to express 
my gratitude to President Obama and Secretary Kerry for the trust and 
confidence they have placed in me with this nomination to represent my 
country as the next Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
    Please allow me the opportunity to introduce my wife, Elizabeth 
Anne Cote Estrada, who is with me here today.
    I am particularly thrilled at the prospect of representing the 
United States in the country of my birth, if confirmed. I was born in 
Trinidad and Tobago, and at age 14, I immigrated to the United States 
to forge a new life. I brought with me a respect for diversity and an 
inherent sense of the equal value of all people. I served with honor in 
the U.S. Marine Corps--attaining the Corps' highest enlisted rank as 
the 15th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. After retiring from the 
Marine Corps, I continued serving my country as a Presidential-
appointed Commission member of the American Battle Monuments Commission 
and as a committee member on the Defense Advisory Committee for Women 
in the Services. In the private sector, I led Lockheed Martin Training 
Solutions, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary company specializing in 
flight training and logistics solutions.
    I firmly believe that one of the greatest aspirations of all free 
people is to live their lives to the fullest without limitations based 
on their ethnicity, class, race, gender, or sexual orientation. If 
confirmed as Ambassador, with that ideal as my guide, I would seek to 
strengthen the ties between the citizens and elected representatives of 
our two great nations.
    Trinidad and Tobago is an important Caribbean partner of the United 
States. The relationship between our countries rests on a strong 
foundation. We share a common language and a firm commitment to 
democratic principles, the rule of law, and a free market system.
    The U.S. Mission to Trinidad and Tobago has three strategic 
objectives: On security, the Mission works with the Government of 
Trinidad and Tobago to improve the capacity of Trinidadian law 
enforcement and justice sector institutions to reduce violent crime and 
illicit trafficking, safeguard human rights, and create safer 
communities. The Mission promotes increased commerce and a transparent 
investment climate to enhance our mutual prosperity. On social 
inclusion, the Mission conducts extensive outreach and encourages 
regional leadership by Trinidad and Tobago to protect vulnerable 
populations, including at-risk youth. If confirmed, I look forward to 
leading our efforts in these crucial areas.
    The United States and Caribbean partners have developed the 
Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), an ongoing, multifaceted 
citizen security initiative for the Caribbean, of which Trinidad and 
Tobago is a key player. In creating CBSI, the United States and 
Caribbean partners prioritized three pillars: substantially reducing 
illicit trafficking of narcotics and arms, increasing public safety and 
security, and promoting social justice. I will do my utmost, if 
confirmed, to increase cooperation and encourage Trinidad and Tobago to 
become a leader in security in the Caribbean.
    As a resource-rich country, Trinidad and Tobago is full of 
opportunity for energy companies. The United States works cooperatively 
with Trinidad and Tobago to develop new avenues for regional energy 
security and conservation. I am excited Trinidad and Tobago is playing 
a growing role in regional integration and promoting business 
relationships in the hemisphere, including by hosting the upcoming 2014 
Americas Competitiveness Forum. The United States welcomes and supports 
Trinidad and Tobago's membership in and chairmanship of the Pathways to 
Prosperity initiative. If confirmed, I would advocate on behalf of U.S. 
companies and commercial interests to assure a level playing field and 
support their engagement with Trinidad and Tobago.
    Education is the foundation for economic growth. If confirmed, I 
will work with the government of Trinidad and Tobago to explore ways in 
which we can provide at-risk youth and other vulnerable populations 
with tools that can help them succeed.
    I firmly believe that my service in the Marine Corps and my 
experience in the private sector, coupled with my personal history, 
have prepared me to represent the government and people of the United 
States to the government and people of Trinidad and Tobago.
    If confirmed, it would be my great honor to work closely with this 
committee and others in Congress to advance our objectives in the 
Caribbean.Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to appear before 
this distinguished committee. I look forward to answering your 
questions.

    The Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Estrada. I am thankful that 
you did not put us through a Marine Corps drill. [Laughter.]
    That is a plus.
    Mr. Mamet.

        STATEMENT OF NOAH BRYSON MAMET, OF CALIFORNIA, 
           TO BE AMBASSADOR TO THE ARGENTINE REPUBLIC

    Mr. Mamet. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Rubio, and 
members of the committee.
    It is a privilege and an honor to be here today as the 
President's nominee to be the Ambassador of the United States 
to the Argentine Republic. I am deeply grateful to President 
Obama and Secretary Kerry for their confidence and trust and 
for sending my name to the Senate for your consideration. If 
confirmed, it will be my privilege to work closely with you, 
Mr. Chairman, this committee, and your distinguished colleagues 
on our partnership with Argentina.
    I would like to thank Senator Bennet for his kind 
introduction. I believe he is one of the great public servants 
in the country today.
    On a personal note, growing up in California, I was 
fortunate enough to have two wonderful and supportive parents, 
Bryan and Millie, who instilled in me the values of hard work, 
dedication, and love of country. I am thrilled that my mother 
was able to fly here today and is visiting the U.S. Senate for 
the very first time.
    Although my father is no longer with us, he would be proud 
beyond belief that I am here today in front of this 
distinguished committee. Rather uniquely, both my father and 
grandfather volunteered and served as enlisted men together in 
World War II. In fact, I believe my grandfather was one of the 
oldest enlisted men in the Navy at one point. Through them, I 
was raised to believe that public service in any capacity is 
the highest calling, so I am deeply honored to be here today.
    After spending many years in Washington, I founded my own 
company a decade ago. I have built a successful business, 
consulting for many companies, organizations, and NGOs, 
including the Clinton Global Initiative, the National 
Democratic Institute, as well as numerous national political 
leaders such as President Clinton and Secretary Albright. This 
experience has taught me the power of partnership, that no one 
sector alone can be as effective as the combined efforts of the 
public sector, the private sector, and civil society. If 
confirmed, I look forward to putting all of my experience into 
furthering our bilateral relationship with Argentina.
    The people of the United States and Argentina have a long 
history of friendship and close collaboration that stretches 
back nearly two centuries. The guiding principles for today's 
relationship are based on core democratic values, shared 
interests, and a natural affinity between two societies. If 
confirmed, I will work to expand cooperation with Argentina on 
mutually important issues, including energy, human rights, 
nuclear nonproliferation, and educational exchanges.
    Considering that nearly half of Argentina's population is 
under the age of 35, I will be committed to expanding 
educational exchange programs for students from both Argentina 
as well as the United States. If confirmed, I look forward to 
drawing on my extensive experience working with NGOs in the 
United States to strengthen our current relationships and build 
new ones with a vibrant Argentine civil society.
    Expanding scientific discovery and technological 
innovations is another promising area for greater cooperation. 
Our two countries have more than 60 joint projects underway in 
energy, health, science, and technology. In fact, a successful 
trip to Argentina by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden 
highlighted our longstanding cooperation on earth observation 
satellites.
    In addition to our bilateral partnership, the United States 
has a strong cooperation with Argentina in multilateral fora 
such as the U.N. and the IAEA, where Argentina is a strong 
voice in support of human rights and nuclear nonproliferation.
    Argentina's highly educated population and diversified 
industrial base have attracted more than 500 U.S. companies. 
The United States is strongly committed to working with 
Argentina to increase two-way trade that creates jobs in both 
countries. However, the United States and other governments 
remain concerned over some protectionist policies. If 
confirmed, I will continue the administration's efforts to 
address these concerns. I will also urge Argentine officials at 
the highest levels to resolve such economic legacy issues as 
Argentina's Paris Club arrears and to normalize relations with 
all of its creditors, both public and private.
    Although there are some challenges, I am optimistic that 
the future of our relationship with Argentina is bright. As 
Secretary Kerry has expressed, the United States has a vested 
and shared interest in a vibrant, strong, and prosperous 
Argentina. If confirmed, I look forward to working with the 
Argentine Government, their officials, as well as the private 
sector and civil society, as we further our bilateral 
relationship and strengthen longstanding ties between our two 
great nations.
    If confirmed, I look forward to working with you, Mr. 
Chairman, and your distinguished colleagues and staff to 
advance U.S. interests in Argentina.
    Thank you. I look forward to your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Mamet follows:]

                  Prepared Statement of Noah B. Mamet

    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, it is a privilege and an 
honor to be here today, as the President's nominee to be the Ambassador 
of the United States to the Argentine Republic. I am deeply grateful to 
President Obama and Secretary Kerry for their confidence and trust, and 
for sending my name to the Senate for your consideration. If confirmed, 
it will be my privilege to work closely with this committee and with 
your distinguished colleagues on our partnership with Argentina.
    I'd like to thank Senator Bennet for his kind introduction. On a 
personal note, growing up in California, I was lucky to have two 
wonderful and supportive parents, Bryan and Millie, who instilled in me 
the values of hard work, dedication, and love of country. I'm thrilled 
my mother was able to fly here today and is visiting the U.S. Senate 
for the first time. Although my father is no longer with us, he would 
be proud beyond belief that I am here today in front of this 
distinguished committee. Rather uniquely, both my father and 
grandfather volunteered and served together as enlisted servicemen in 
WWII at the same time. In fact, I believe my grandfather was one of the 
oldest enlisted men in the Navy at one point. Through them, I was 
raised to believe that public service, in any capacity, is the highest 
calling, so I am deeply honored to be here today.
    After spending many years in Washington, I founded my own company a 
decade ago. During these years, I've built a successful business, 
consulting for many companies and leaders in various sectors. I've also 
worked with many NGOs including the Clinton Global Initiative and the 
National Democratic Institute (NDI), as well as with numerous national 
and international political leaders, including President Bill Clinton, 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Secretary of State Madeleine 
Albright. This experience has taught me the power of partnership, the 
truth that no one sector alone can be as effective as the combined 
efforts of the public sector, the private sector, and civil society. If 
confirmed, I look forward to putting all of my experience into 
furthering our bilateral relationship with Argentina.
    The people of the United States and Argentina have a long history 
of friendship and close collaboration that stretches back nearly two 
centuries. The guiding principles for today's relationship are based on 
core democratic values, shared interests, and natural affinity between 
two societies. In fact, just over a month ago, Argentina celebrated the 
30th anniversary of its return to democracy, a very important milestone 
for the people of Argentina. If confirmed, I will work to expand 
cooperation with Argentina on mutually important issues, including 
energy, human rights, nuclear nonproliferation, and educational 
exchanges.
    I have always believed in the importance of public diplomacy and 
people-to-people relationships. Like much of the world, many Argentines 
maintain a great interest in American culture, and if confirmed, I look 
forward to drawing on my extensive experience working with NGOs in the 
United States to strengthen current relationships and build new ones 
with a vibrant Argentine civil society.
    Considering that nearly half of Argentina's population is under the 
age of 35, I will be committed to expanding educational exchange 
programs for students from both Argentina and the United States. If 
confirmed, I will broaden our ties through our 14 Binational Centers, 
English language programs, and exchanges.
    Expanding scientific discovery and technological innovations is 
another promising area for greater cooperation. Our two countries have 
more than 60 joint projects under way in energy, health, science, and 
technology. In fact, a successful trip to Argentina by NASA 
Administrator Charles Bolden highlighted our longstanding cooperation 
on earth observation satellites.
    In addition to our bilateral partnership, the United States has 
strong cooperation with Argentina in multilateral fora such as the U.N. 
and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), where Argentina is a 
strong voice in support of human rights and nuclear nonproliferation. 
If confirmed, I look forward to continuing cooperation with Argentina 
on these critical issues of mutual concern.
    Argentina's highly educated population and diversified industrial 
base have attracted more than 500 U.S. companies. The United States is 
strongly committed to working with Argentina to increase two-way trade 
that creates jobs in both countries. However, the United States and 
other governments remain concerned over some protectionist policies. If 
confirmed, I will continue the administration's efforts to address 
these concerns. I will also urge Argentine officials at the highest 
levels to resolve such economic legacy issues as Argentina's Paris Club 
arrears and its remaining debts to U.S. bondholders.
    Although there are some challenges that have been well documented 
in the media recently, I am optimistic and confident that the future of 
our relationship with Argentina is bright. As Secretary Kerry has 
expressed, the United States has a vested and shared interest in a 
vibrant, strong, and prosperous Argentina. If confirmed, I look forward 
to a productive dialogue with Argentine Government officials, as well 
as the private sector and civil society as we seek to further our 
bilateral relationship and strengthen the longstanding ties between our 
two great nations.
    If confirmed, I look forward to working with you and your 
distinguished colleagues and staff to advance U.S. objectives in 
Argentina.

    The Chairman. Thank you. Thank you all.
    Let me start off with a question I ask of all of our 
nominees, and I would like each of you to answer simply yes or 
no, if you can. If you feel you have to equivocate, we will 
start off on a difficult process.
    Do each of you commit to this committee that, if confirmed, 
you will be responsive to inquiries and questions that the 
committee poses as you are in your posts?
    Mr. Estrada.
    Mr. Estrada. Mr. Chairman, most definitely. I look forward 
to working very closely with this committee.
    The Chairman. Mr. Moreno.
    Mr. Moreno. Unequivocally, yes.
    The Chairman. Mr. Mamet.
    Mr. Mamet. Absolutely, yes.
    The Chairman. Good. So we are starting off well. 
[Laughter.]
    In recent years, Mr. Moreno, there has been a high level of 
concern about the increasing use of the Caribbean as a drug 
transit zone. According to the Department of State in its 2013 
International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Jamaica is the 
Caribbean's largest supplier of marijuana to the United States 
and reportedly an emerging transit point for cocaine passing 
through Central America destined to the United States.
    What is your assessment--I know you are not in post yet, 
but I am sure you have had discussions with the State 
Department--of the Jamaican Government's cooperation with the 
United States on antinarcotic efforts? And if confirmed, will 
you make this one of your significant issues at your post?
    Mr. Moreno. Certainly, Mr. Chairman. With my background, it 
is kind of a natural that it would be one of my priorities.
    I think that there is increasing analytical and anecdotal 
evidence that, in fact, as a transshipment point, the Jamaican 
corridor has really picked up. That is due, in a way, to the 
success we have had with the Merida Initiative, the success we 
have had in Colombia, and as you know, the balloon effect is 
now branching out.
    I want to take a very close look at resource allocation on 
our side as well. I want to make sure that we have the right 
resources pointed in the right direction and doing the right 
thing. We have a very big INL program, which is bolstered by 
funding from the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative. We work 
with the constabulary force. We work with the Jamaican defense 
forces. We have an FMF program that works on small ships and 
patrol boats that the Jamaican Coast Guard and Navy use.
    The cooperation has been good. We are seeing an increase of 
quite a high percentage, almost double the amount of cocaine 
seized in 2013 versus 2012, and I think they are probably at a 
record-setting margin this year.
    As you know, from my service in Colombia and Mexico, I have 
personally witnessed the damage that drug trafficking does to 
societies. Corruption including--as a matter of fact, many 
Jamaican politicians and leaders recognize that corruption 
perhaps is the most destructive facet of drug trafficking, and 
we are seeing that. But we are seeing the Jamaican Government 
address that. We have seen a commitment on their part to move 
with us. We work with the anticorruption force and the 
constabulary force. We work, along with the British and with 
the Canadians. We work with the major organized crime task 
force. We even set up a 1-800 corrupt cop number that INL pays 
for. We are also really urging the Jamaicans to move forward 
and create an independent commission that addresses corruption 
specifically.
    So we are engaged and the Jamaicans are engaged, but it is 
a tough battle and one which, as we can see what happened in 
Mexico, as we see the struggles that Colombia went through, 
that this is a very serious issue. And I think we need to 
address it and we need to look at resources and the way we 
allocate them.
    The Chairman. And in that regard, the Caribbean Basin 
Security Initiative that you alluded to--we have spent about 
$35 million in Jamaica in that respect. I hope that you will 
look at how Jamaica has used that money and what our evaluation 
of it is.
    One of the things that I am concerned about is law 
enforcement capacity-building. The other thing is ports and the 
security at ports and the screening and scanning, I should say, 
at ports because ultimately we trade with these countries, but 
they have access to our ports and those drugs end up here.
    Mr. Moreno. Yes, sir, absolutely. As a matter of fact, we 
are using antiterrorist funds administered by the Diplomatic 
Security to work with the port security program in Jamaica. I 
started the port security program in Cartagena, Colombia and in 
Barranquilla. So I am pretty familiar with how port security 
programs should work.
    We are addressing that, and the Caribbean, as you know, 
Basin Security Initiative, $263 million in total, of which 
Jamaica, as you mentioned--I am really anxious, if confirmed, 
to get down on the ground and see, as I said, about how 
resources are being allocated, how the Jamaicans have used 
their resources, and how we can continue to be more effective 
and more efficient in this because this is the kind of problem 
that once it starts--you will recall back in the 1980s and 
early 1990s when we put the above-the-horizon radars in and 
then we forced the traffickers again to go through the Central 
America-Mexico route, and we are seeing the consequences of 
that now. Now, as we apply pressure, I think we have to really 
pay close attention to that and really take a look at our 
resource allocation.
    The Chairman. Well, I appreciate that. I am very concerned 
as we squeeze elsewhere that the Caribbean becomes an 
increasingly large traffic point.
    And so that brings me to Mr. Estrada. With Venezuela 
increasingly becoming a primary transit point for the 
trafficking of drugs to markets in Europe and the United 
States, do you have a sense--and I recognize again you are not 
in post. But do you have a sense of what Trinidad and Tobago's 
proximity to the Venezuelan coast has made it vulnerable to 
trafficking operations?
    Mr. Estrada. Senator, I definitely agree because of the 
proximity. As you know, the closest point is about 7 miles off 
the coast of Venezuela. It has become a transshipment point. 
Just last month, there was a large cocaine bust in the port of 
Norfolk that originated in Trinidad and Tobago being 
transported in juice cans. So it shows that they do have a key 
challenge, and we are partnering with them to address this 
issue. We will continue to engage. And if confirmed, I will 
continue to lead our efforts in supporting the improvement of 
the Trinidad and Tobago law enforcement capacity to address 
this issue.
    The Chairman. Well, your example, an example of why I care 
so much about port security, is an example of how drugs end up 
on the streets of our community. And having the largest port in 
the Northeast, the Port of Elizabeth in Newark, I can see what, 
in fact, happens in our communities.
    Let me ask you. Also according to U.N. statistics, more 
than 13,000 people in Trinidad and Tobago are estimated to be 
living with HIV. In an effort to combat that, the country has 
received assistance under the President's PEPFAR program, which 
we recently reauthorized. How would you assess these efforts 
and the support the United States has provided to Trinidad and 
Tobago?
    Mr. Estrada. Senator, thank you for the question.
    The assistance that Trinidad has received thus far--a lot 
of it has to do with their prevention, strengthening their 
laboratory efforts, public outreach. And the CDC is on the 
ground in Trinidad and Tobago. Yes, there is a 1.5-percent 
prevalence in adult HIV rate. And this program thus far--again, 
through this assistance, it does seem to be working and with 
the embassy doing the outreach via social media and through 
other avenues that are available.
    The Chairman. And then finally, I will have questions for 
Mr. Mamet, but my time has expired. So I am going to turn to 
Senator Rubio.
    How is it going to feel to go back as the United States 
Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago which was originally your 
native country?
    Mr. Estrada. Senator, a great question, and I am glad you 
asked. As you very well know, I left as a 14-year-old.
    The Chairman. We only ask great questions. [Laughter.]
    Mr. Estrada. Yes, sir.
    The Chairman. At least members here think so.
    Mr. Estrada. I have been back to Trinidad probably four 
times since I left in March 1970. The first time I went back to 
Trinidad was in 2004 as a guest speaker for the Marine Corps 
Ball. I was a sitting sergeant major for the Marine Corps then. 
So I had not been.
    Yes, I do have family members--small family members still 
in the country. I respect Trinidad. It is a beautiful country. 
I look forward to working with the government and the people of 
Trinidad and Tobago and getting to know them very well. 
Obviously, I do not know them as much as I did when I left as a 
14-year-old.
    My loyalty with my distinguished service in the United 
States Marine Corps--there should be no doubt in anyone's mind 
where it stands. I am American and I represent the United 
States of America's interests.
    The Chairman. We have no doubt about that. I just wanted to 
have the emotional element of it.
    Senator Rubio.
    Senator Rubio. Thank you. Thanks to the chairman.
    Thank you all for being here, particularly Mr. Estrada and 
Moreno for your longtime service to our country. We are very 
grateful for that, and we are sure you will do a great job at 
these posts.
    Let me just overlay my questions with a general observation 
that in the Western Hemisphere in general there is this 
emerging trend, which I find as a direct threat, and that is 
the growing authoritarianism that really poses a risk to both 
free markets and the democratic consensus that we find 
throughout the region. One of the countries that will be 
discussed here today, unfortunately--Argentina--perhaps falls 
in that camp.
    I thought that situation, by the way, was on full display 
in Havana a few weeks ago when all these heads of state met 
under the auspices of the sole totalitarian regime and state 
sponsor of terrorism in our hemisphere and which yesterday, by 
the way, arrested, as you know, Mr. Chairman, a well-known 
dissident. We call him Antunez who had actually met with us. He 
traveled here to Washington. He was arrested, along with his 
wife I believe, yesterday.
    So for anyone who has fantasies about what Cuba is and to 
these heads of state that travel there, particularly the 
President of Argentina about 2 weeks ago, to gain advice from 
Fidel and Raul Castro, well, I am not sure what you are going 
to get advice in unless you are looking to become a 
totalitarian government because that is the only thing they are 
good at.
    And by the way, it is a tremendous hypocrisy. The only head 
of state in the Western Hemisphere that had the dignity to meet 
with members of the beleaguered democratic opposition was the 
President of Chile, Pinera--and I wanted to publicly 
acknowledge that--as he has done many times in the past as 
well.
    I am also concerned--and I am no longer the ranking member 
of this subcommittee, but I am glad I am here today--by what 
best can be characterized as an indifferent foreign policy--and 
both parties are guilty of this--toward the hemisphere and its 
issues and at worst is quite frankly negligence, this rising 
tide of authoritarianism that we find in the region.
    There are some issues as well largely focused on Argentina 
in the time that is permitted here today.
    But I did want to ask you, Mr. Moreno. You are an expert in 
counternarcotics. Jamaica is believed to be potentially the 
largest Caribbean supplier of marijuana to the United States. 
Is there any evidence that recent efforts to legalize the use 
of marijuana in certain States here have had an impact on the 
situation?
    Mr. Moreno. In fact, it has had an impact. There had been 
movement both in the Jamaican Parliament and in the press to 
argue for either legalization for medical reasons, religious 
reasons, or to decriminalize personal possession of small 
quantities. We have been very clear on what our position is, 
that marijuana is considered a category 3 dangerous drug and as 
such, we will continue to enforce all Federal statutes 
involving marijuana.
    Also, the Embassy has been instructed to--and they followed 
up magnificently in reporting all these developments.
    There is a pending piece of legislation in the Jamaican 
parliament--we are not sure how far that could possibly go--
that would decriminalize certain aspects of possession of 
marijuana. They make the argument that, oh, that is going to 
improve tourism, that it is going to help the small farmer, et 
cetera, et cetera. We, of course, reject those arguments and we 
maintain that marijuana is still a dangerous drug and we are 
going to enforce our Federal statutes.
    Senator Rubio. Marijuana-improved tourism. Will that be in 
their promotion material?
    Mr. Moreno. Not my argument, Senator.
    Senator Rubio. No, I understand. I know that is their 
argument.
    Anyway, more in the form of a statement than a question, 
the 2003 reporting period for the Trafficking in Persons report 
found that the Government of Jamaica did not convict any 
trafficking offenders or any officials complicit in human 
trafficking. And I would just encourage you, when you are in 
that post, to be a strong voice on behalf of those victims 
because Jamaica, I believe it is Tier 2. But in any event, 
there is a human trafficking problem there as there is here. 
And I hope that you will be a strong voice.
    Mr. Moreno. Absolutely. As a veteran Foreign Service 
officer I am well aware of how important that is. In the many 
posts that I have served, it has become a very serious issue.
    Senator Rubio. And then, Mr. Estrada, on the issue of 
Trinidad and Tobago, there was a citizen from there that was 
convicted and received a life sentence in U.S. Federal court 
for a 2007 plot to bomb a jet fuel pipeline at John F. Kennedy 
International Airport. The individual had ties to Trinidad's 
militant group that attempted to overthrow the government there 
back in the 1990s.
    By the way, the individual has also been linked by 
Argentina's special prosecutor to the 1994 terrorist attack 
that many believe Iran was behind. In fact, there is strong 
evidence that Iran was behind it.
    So my question is, do we have concerns that Islamic 
radicalism is a problem in Trinidad and Tobago?
    Mr. Estrada. Thank you for the question, Senator.
    The United States Government considers the Government of 
Trinidad and Tobago to be a committed partner in combating 
terrorism in the Caribbean and preventing terrorist attacks 
against the United States. If confirmed, I will continue to 
work the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to strengthen this 
partnership.
    As of now, there are no known indigenous terrorist groups 
based in Trinidad and Tobago, but we continue to monitor the 
situation.
    Senator Rubio. Along the lines of the statement that I made 
just a moment ago, in the same Trafficking in Persons report, 
Trinidad and Tobago is a Tier 2 Watch List country for 
trafficking. It means it is a destination and a transit country 
for adults and children that are subjected to both forced labor 
and to sex trafficking. There has been information that public 
officials there have been complicit in trafficking-related 
incidents. In fact, the 2013 report states that although the 
government had infrastructure to screen for trafficking 
victims, law enforcement officials repeatedly treated victims 
as criminals and charged them with solicitation charges.
    There has also been, by the way, certain public officials 
that have been identified as severely hampering the 
government's efforts to combat trafficking.
    So I would hope that--and I expect that you will, when you 
are in that post, be a strong voice on behalf of those victims 
and be willing to--I know it makes the operating space 
uncomfortable, but to be willing to be a forceful voice in 
condemning these actions to the extent that there is the 
unwillingness of these government officials to address this 
very serious human tragedy.
    Mr. Estrada. Senator, I fully concur. Like all countries, 
Trinidad and Tobago does face some challenges, but they have 
shown the will to try to address this issue. We will continue 
to partner with them. I will lead our efforts. I will be a 
strong advocate on behalf of human rights for all people in 
that area.
    The Chairman. Mr. Mamet, let me ask you. What is our 
national interest in Argentina?
    Mr. Mamet. Thank you, Senator.
    I think we have a number of national interests. As you 
know, number one, there are over 500 U.S. companies that are 
doing business in Argentina. Some have been there for nearly a 
century. They have, by all accounts, continued to do relatively 
well, but they have had issues I mentioned in my opening 
statement on regulation, on import-export controls, and other 
areas around that.
    I think it is very important to note, as you well know, 
that they are on the U.N. Security Council. They are at the 
IAEA and they have been a good, constructive partner with us on 
nuclear nonproliferation, as well as human rights, antihuman 
trafficking. So there is, I think, a range of international 
issues we work well on.
    There are a number of issues that we do not have the best 
relationship with, but as Ambassador, Senator, if I can work 
with you, work with this committee, and have the full force of 
the White House behind me, I will bring tough messages, when 
needed, to allies. I think that it is important to tell the 
truth. And we obviously have some irritants in our relationship 
largely around a number of economic issues and financial 
issues.
    The administration has strongly urged the Argentine 
Government to clear its arrears, both public and private, as 
well as to normalize its relations with the international 
financial community, as well as its creditors and investors.
    The Chairman. Well, I would have wanted to hear from you, 
although you alluded to it at the end there, that part of our 
national interest is having a country that meets its Paris Club 
debt, of which we hold a significant amount, that we have a 
series of bondholders that have not been paid and they have 
done nothing to not merit payment, that we have a real concern 
about judicial independence and press freedom in Argentina. So 
I think our national interests are broader, and I hope that you 
will think about it in that context.
    You know, last week, referring to mounting challenges 
stemming from currency depreciation, rising inflation, recent 
nationalizations and broader signs of macroeconomic 
instability, a New York Times editorial stated that Argentina 
was facing a financial crisis caused largely by misguided 
government policies. And a Washington Post editorial stated 
that Argentina is headed for another stretch of economic and 
perhaps political turmoil.
    Do you agree with that assessment?
    Mr. Mamet. Well, Senator, as you know, the administration 
follows very closely economic activity in the country. The 
Department of the Treasury obviously monitors this very 
closely.
    I agree with what you say. There are a number of issues 
that are irritants in our relationship. I think they have made 
some progress, not nearly as much as we would hope, on a number 
of fronts, whether that is presenting at least an outline of a 
payment plan to the Paris Club, which I think just last night, 
the Paris Club came back and said they want to have those 
negotiations and have those discussions. It has been a long 
time coming. No question about it, but that is one of the 
issues that we have pushed the government on, and I think it is 
too early. I do not want to prejudge how that comes out. We 
will see.
    I think later this month the Argentine Government is going 
to present to the IMF a new inflation index, a new CPI, and so 
obviously, we need to see how that plays out as well.
    The ICSID agreements, which you know are the final arbitral 
ICSID awards that they paid--I believe it was $667 million to 
three American companies.
    So those are, I think, at least positive steps in the right 
direction. There is a lot more to do. And although I know the 
Spanish company Repsol is not a U.S. company, that has been an 
issue on the docket that we have talked to them about. We have 
urged them, as other governments have as well, because 
unfortunately when they nationalized that, they did not deal 
with it for a long time. But now it does look like they are in 
final stages of a deal with that company.
    The Chairman. I know you mentioned the Paris Club. The 
offer to negotiate its Paris Club debt--is that any different 
than past offers? They have made past offers, but they have not 
followed through.
    Mr. Mamet. That is exactly why I said I did not want to 
prejudge yet to see what happens. I think we are right in the 
middle of that. I completely agree, Senator. It is an ongoing 
issue, as I called it an irritant in our relationship, that we 
need to deal with. I think that is exactly why we need to have 
an ambassador there to dialogue at the highest levels and 
deliver those tough messages.
    The Chairman. How does Argentina's default on U.S. 
Government debt affect other aspects of U.S. relations with the 
country?
    Mr. Mamet. On the Paris Club, among other things?
    I think there is that basket of issues, IMF, Paris Club. 
The ICSID agreements I think did actually move forward the 
relationship a little bit. But, unfortunately, I think we have 
to be vigilant and keep an eye every single day on what is 
going on. I think these import controls, export controls, some 
of the regulation I think has made it a very difficult place at 
times to do business, although U.S. businesses, as I understand 
it, Chairman, are doing OK. But at the same time, I think we 
really need to be engaged with the country every single day, 
have the full force of this committee and the White House 
pushing Argentina to do what is in their own best interest.
    The Chairman. How do you see Argentina aligned within that 
Western Hemisphere?
    Mr. Mamet. Well, Mr. Chairman, as you know, they are the 
third-largest economy in Latin America. They obviously are a 
major player on all sorts of issues. Internationally, as I 
said, they work pretty well with us on a number of issues, 
nuclear nonproliferation, human rights, antihuman trafficking. 
So they are a major country with a major economy that we work 
with at the U.N., the IAEA, and a number of other multilateral 
fora.
    The Chairman. Well, to piggyback on Senator Rubio, not only 
in Cuba, but President Kirchner has taken the country in 
alliance with those in many respects who do not share our 
values with Venezuela, with Bolivia, with Ecuador. It seems to 
be aligned in the universe of those who are willing to change 
their constitutions in order to perpetuate their existence in 
government and reelection even beyond the constitutional 
mandate. So they arbitrarily and capriciously change 
constitutions. As a matter of fact, is it not true that 
President Kirchner was looking to do exactly that in Argentina?
    Mr. Mamet. Well, Senator, in regards to Cuba, if I can just 
say that the administration, as you know, respects the rights 
of all countries to have their own bilateral relations, but 
this is a very important point. As you know, in my background, 
I have worked on democracy issues. This is something that is 
very important to me personally.
    And working with this committee, I think that we need to 
continue to encourage Argentina to show a strong commitment to 
democracy, the rule of law, freedom of expression, and to hold 
their partners and their neighbors in the region accountable to 
the same basic standards that they believe in. As you know, 
they just had a 30th anniversary of return to democracy. They 
know, as well as anybody I think, the benefits of democracy, 
but we have to hold them accountable to make sure they push 
their neighbors, push their partners on those issues that we 
cherish that I personally hold dear and I know you do as well.
    The Chairman. Well, beyond Cuba, certainly the countries 
they are engaging with and seem to align themselves with are 
generally not within the universe of U.S. national interests.
    I also get concerned at someone who is willing to change 
the constitution and may have only been thwarted because they 
did not win the majorities necessary in the Congress to 
ultimately change the constitution. Otherwise they likely would 
have.
    And then I look at last year's leading human rights 
organizations such as Human Rights Watch and the U.N. Special 
Rapporteur on the independence of judges, which expressed deep 
concern about reforms passed by the Argentine Congress and 
moves taken by the Kirchner administration that pose a risk to 
the independence of the judiciary in Argentina.
    And then I see what has happened with press freedom in 
Argentina with the Clarin, which is one of the few media 
outlets to challenge Ms. Fernandez's policies, being besieged 
by the Kirchner administration.
    So I have a larger view about what is happening in 
Argentina. And just a rosy view that we have business, yes, we 
have business there, but we have bondholders who do not get 
paid. We have debt to the United States that they keep playing 
with by saying we are going to renegotiate and never get to 
that renegotiation. We have judges that are being interfered 
with. We have freedom of the press that is being violated. And 
we have a currency crisis that is going on. So our national 
interest universe here is much broader.
    Senator Rubio.
    Senator Rubio. I just wanted to take off on that point and 
say--I think you have stated it accurately, Mr. Chairman. Here 
is what I would add. Mr. Mamet, have you been to Argentina?
    Mr. Mamet. Senator, I have not had the opportunity yet to 
be there. I have traveled pretty extensively around the world, 
but I have not yet had a chance.
    Senator Rubio. Well, here is why I ask--and this is with 
all due respect. You have an impressive resume of work and so 
forth, and obviously, we are very interested in your testimony 
and what we learn in the days to come leading up to your 
nomination. I think this is a very significant post because I 
think Argentina is right where the chairman is describing. We 
have this trend in Latin America of people who get elected but 
then do not govern democratically, and Argentina is an example 
of this. Now, are they where Venezuela is? Cuba did not even 
try to have elections. But Venezuela or Nicaragua or Bolivia or 
Ecuador? That is where they are headed and that is who they 
align with.
    The chairman talked for a moment about the government-
sanctioned censorship that you are seeing going on there. For 
example, Kirchner has replaced independent media regulators 
with a board charged with overseeing the distribution of media 
licenses. This was put in effect basically in order to repress 
opposition media outlets by imposing ridiculous restrictions 
upon them. You have an antiterrorism law passed in 2011 that 
now holds the media liable for reporting on issues that could, 
``terrorize the public.'' This is a trend throughout the 
region, and now Argentina is at the forefront of these sorts of 
things.
    I will bring another point up to you. In January 2013, the 
President of Argentina announced a memorandum of understanding 
with Iran to create what she calls a truth commission to 
reinvestigate the 1994 terrorist attack on the Argentine 
Israelite Mutual Association. This understanding is a reversal 
of years of work and of exhaustive reporting on that attack by 
a special prosecutor, whom I have met, Alberto Nisman, who 
concluded that the attacks were approved by the Supreme Leader 
of Iran himself and by senior officials in the Iranian 
Government.
    Again, these are things that are very concerning to us, and 
I bring these things to light because in your answer to the 
chairman's question a moment ago, you identified Argentina as 
an ally. Is Argentina truly an ally? I should not say the 
people of Argentina or even the nation. Is this government 
under this President in Argentina--is that country an ally of 
the United States?
    Mr. Mamet. Senator, in my perspective, they are an ally who 
we disagree with and have fundamental disagreements about 
certain policies. I think mature democracies can disagree and 
do it very directly and forcefully when needed, either publicly 
or privately. And I think that is all the more reason that we 
need to engage. We need to be down there talking to them at the 
very highest levels.
    Senator Rubio. Well, again, I do not disagree that we 
should not talk at the highest levels, but again, I take issue 
with the idea that Argentina is a mature democracy. Mature 
democracies do not target newspaper and media outlets. Mature 
democracies do not interfere with the judicial branch. Mature 
democracies do not take the sort of actions that they are 
taking. They certainly have elections. I am not disputing they 
have elections. But elections alone do not make you a 
democracy.
    Let me give you another example. The Argentine-United 
States security cooperation between our countries is virtually 
nonexistent and it is nonexistent because of their 
unwillingness to work with us. And as I am sure you are aware, 
even in the agreements that we had with them in the past--I 
think it was 3 years ago--led by the Foreign Minister himself--
they seized American equipment. Those are not the actions of an 
ally. I do not recall the last time that Canada seized our 
equipment. I do not recall the last time that Mexico seized our 
equipment. I do not recall the last time Israel, South Korea, 
Japan, or any of our other real allies seized our equipment.
    Again, this is not a reflection on the people of Argentina 
or even on the national character of a country that I do 
believe has strong affinities to our shared culture. But I do 
take issue with this government who I do not consider an ally 
of the United States, nor an enemy either. But they need to 
make a decision about who they are and where they are headed 
government-wise. And I can just tell you that these signals 
that we are getting are not the signals of a mature democracy 
and they are not the actions of an ally.
    I did want to raise one more point in particular, and I 
know the chairman has already raised it, but I have people in 
Florida that have been impacted by this. And that is, for more 
than a decade, they have refused to honor their bond 
obligations. They have repeatedly defied U.S. courts, and they 
refuse to negotiate in good faith with its foreign 
stakeholders, including U.S. creditors who hold bonds with a 
face value of $8.7 billion at the time of the 2001 default.
    And by the way, it looks like they are headed for another 
default because all the actions they are taking today seem to 
be designed to avoid a short-term default. But long term, their 
structural problems are extraordinary, which is that I 
anticipate, quite frankly, that there is a very high likelihood 
that, if you are confirmed, while you are in that post, you are 
going to have another similar collapse in Argentina to what you 
saw economically just a decade ago. This is a very serious 
problem.
    So let me ask you. If you are confirmed as an Ambassador, 
will you send a clear message to that government in Argentina 
that it must engage? If it wants to be an ally, if it wants to 
have a better relationship with the United States, it must 
engage in good faith negotiations with its creditors, and it 
must honor its international financial obligations.
    Mr. Mamet. Absolutely, Senator, I will do that, and I will 
have the backing of this committee, this chairman, and the 
White House as we go in and we talk about the exact issues that 
you mentioned. The JCET incident from a couple years ago 
obviously was--it was a very difficult part in our 
relationship--a very difficult time in our relationship between 
the two countries. They have been, though--Argentina has twice 
been a victim of a major terrorist attack. They understand. 
They are committed to fighting terrorism, and the 
administration does stand ready to increase cooperation on a 
number of fronts, if asked. So I think absolutely we need to be 
engaged. If you want, we can talk about the AMIA bombing or 
Iran. There are a lot of other things I know you brought up.
    But the answer to your question, whether it is debt to U.S. 
bondholders or the debt to the Paris Club or whether it is 
incidents like the JCET incident that you referenced, I think 
we absolutely have to have a frank and tough discussion. But I 
think allies can disagree, but at the same time, we need to be 
in there fighting for our interests. And if confirmed, Senator, 
that will be my top priority, working with you, to absolutely 
fight for our interests and, at the same time, look for those 
areas that we can cooperate on.
    Senator Rubio. This is the most unique ally I think we have 
in the world then because Argentina is an ally that, according 
to what you have said, Argentina is an ally that does not pay 
American bondholders the money they owe them, does not 
cooperate with our military, and basically is open to 
reinvestigating and in my opinion potentially reinterpreting 
the fact that a terrorist attack authorized--according to their 
own special prosecutor who found this evidence--authorized by 
the Supreme Leader of Iran was carried out against the Jewish 
community in Buenos Aires. I mean, if it was not Iran, who else 
was behind it? And the evidence is pretty compelling. And 
instead of taking the advice of their own special prosecutor, 
this ally of ours has now decided to reopen it in the hopes of 
reinterpreting it. These are, in my opinion, not the actions of 
an ally. It could change. There could be a new President and a 
new direction for their government.
    But last but not least, I would just say that the 
antidemocratic direction that Argentina is going reminds me a 
lot more of Ecuador and Bolivia and Venezuela than it does of 
Mexico and Chile and Peru and Colombia. Those are allies. I 
think the Argentinean Government needs to make up its mind what 
they are toward the United States.
    Thank you.
    The Chairman. One final set of questions.
    This assignment for which you have been nominated is a big 
country in terms of the access of--with all due respect to the 
other two nominees, those are important countries as well. But 
this is a big to-do about, in my opinion as someone who has 
followed the hemisphere for 21 years, where the hemisphere 
goes.
    How would you define Argentina's positions vis-a-vis 
intellectual property and narcotics trafficking and money 
laundering?
    Mr. Mamet. Well, Senator, as I mentioned earlier, we have 
had a good relationship over the years working with them on a 
number of fronts. Ever since the JCET incident, we have scaled 
back and there is little cooperation on whether it is defense-
related training exercises or other issues. The administration 
stands ready to increase cooperation, if asked, on that 
particular note.
    The Chairman. And on intellectual property rights?
    Mr. Mamet. Senator, on that, I do not have a full answer on 
that, but I would be happy to--because you deserve a full, 
complete answer on intellectual property. Obviously, it is very 
important for our companies that are doing business down there. 
And if I may get back to you on intellectual property, I would 
be happy to do that.
    [The written response submitted by Mr. Mamet to the 
requested information follows:]

    The United States carefully monitors intellectual property rights 
protection in Argentina and presses for more effective enforcement. 
Areas of concern include counterfeiting, online piracy, and the unfair 
commercial use and unauthorized disclosure of data submitted to 
regulatory agencies to obtain approval for the sale of pharmaceuticals. 
In these and related matters, Argentine courts have not provided 
adequate protection. Argentina also does not efficiently address patent 
issues and applications. For these and other reasons, the Office of the 
U.S. Trade Representative includes Argentina on its Priority Watch 
List.
    Argentina is making progress to better protect intellectual 
property rights, albeit slowly. In 2012, the number of enforcement 
raids increased and regulatory officials improved cooperation with 
industry actors. The judiciary granted a civil injunction related to 
the online distribution of pirated content, though criminal action has 
been lacking. We urge Argentina to devote more attention and 
investigative and prosecutorial resources to this issue. As a 
consultant to corporations that operate overseas, I recognize the vital 
role the U.S. Government plays in advocating for the protection of U.S. 
intellectual property. If confirmed, I would be a vigorous advocate for 
U.S. companies in Argentina, working closely with the local American 
Chamber of Commerce to identify and address the most serious 
intellectual property concerns.
    Argentina also should do more to curtail money laundering, which 
facilitates narcotics trafficking, corruption, and tax evasion. The 
United States is not alone in making this observation; since 2009, the 
Financial Action Task Force has been working with Argentina to address 
deficiencies in its legal framework and enforcement approach.
    I recognize the challenge Argentine authorities face in a country 
where cash is commonly used for transactions and a high percentage of 
economic activity occurs in the informal sector. Argentina has made 
progress implementing legislation and building its capacity to address 
technical deficiencies.
    Nevertheless, problems persist. If confirmed, I would urge 
Argentine officials to pay greater attention to this issue, improve 
regulatory coordination, and ensure that the appropriate laws and 
regulations are established and enforced. The Financial Action Task 
Force recommends that, in addition to technical compliance, 
effectiveness must be considered when evaluating a national antimoney 
laundering strategy.
    Argentina is an important transit zone for South American cocaine 
being shipped to Europe. Argentina is also seeing increased domestic 
consumption and, with it, a rise in violent crime. In my work in 
impoverished neighborhoods in Los Angeles, I have seen the awful 
consequences of illegal drugs on communities, particularly on youth, 
and I support Argentina's efforts to address trafficking and addiction.
    Argentina has focused its efforts in Greater Buenos Aires and in 
vulnerable, low-income communities. It has made new investments in 
demand reduction. Improved coordination among its federal and 
provincial law enforcement agencies and deployments in the country's 
north of additional equipment and personnel would bolster operational 
capacity. Additionally, Argentine courts face backlogs in drug cases 
that limit their ability to bring narcotics traffickers to justice and 
allow their punishments to serve as a deterrent.
    Argentina and the United States share an important interest in 
confronting this alarming increase in illicit drug trafficking. If 
confirmed, I would urge Argentina to resume the more robust level of 
information-sharing and case coordination that occurred before 
Argentina seized a U.S. military plane and cargo in 2011 and 
subsequently reduced its security cooperation with the United States. 
Argentina's Ministry of Security reactivated some cooperation with U.S. 
authorities, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, in 2012. 
These limited joint efforts led to significant arrests, most notably of 
Colombian national Henry Lopez Londono in Buenos Aires in October 2012. 
However, far greater collaboration is possible given the scope of the 
challenge and, if confirmed, I would make this a priority.

    The Chairman. Well, let me inform you a little bit. 
Argentina has been on the special 301 priority list of the 
United States for a number of years because of its deficiencies 
in intellectual property rights enforcement.
    And with reference to drug trafficking and money 
laundering, it is pretty outrageous that our bilateral 
cooperation on counternarcotics issues has decreased 
dramatically following Argentina's February 2011 seizure at the 
Buenos Aires airport of U.S. military cargo and training 
materials, materials for an exercise that had been approved by 
the Argentine Government.
    So this is why we have some real concerns about what this 
relationship is and what our nominee will do in this country 
because we love the Argentinean people. We think they deserve 
better, and we think that Americans who ultimately invest in 
Argentina deserve much better than what they have experienced.
    With no other members before the committee and with our 
thanks to all of you for your testimony, the record will remain 
open until the close of business tomorrow.
    I would urge the nominees, if they receive questions from 
the committee members who may not have been here today but will 
submit questions for the record, for you to answer them 
expeditiously. The sooner you answer them, the more likely we 
can consider you for a business meeting.
    And seeing no other member wishing to ask questions, this 
hearing is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 3:55 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]
                              ----------                              


       Additional Questions and Answers Submitted for the Record


               Responses of Luis G. Moreno to Questions 
                  Submitted by Senator Robert Menendez

    Question. What is your assessment of the Jamaican Government's 
cooperation with the U.S. on antinarcotics efforts? If confirmed, what 
efforts will you take to deepen this cooperation?

    Answer. The United States has a history of close and fruitful law 
enforcement cooperation with the Jamaican Government. If confirmed, I 
would continue this partnership with the Jamaican Government, working 
closely with the many U.S. agencies represented in our Embassy, and 
Jamaican counterparts focused on counterterrorism and counternarcotics 
activities. I would support Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) 
funding for programs focusing on capacity-building for security forces 
and the criminal justice system.
    Our joint efforts through the CBSI to counter the growing threat 
posed by narcotics and weapons trafficking to the security of our 
citizens and our economies have resulted in the arrest of lottery 
scammers, the extraditions of drug traffickers, and the seizure of 
illegal drugs and contraband. In 2013, Jamaican authorities, with U.S. 
support, seized 1,230 kg of cocaine, compared to 338 kg in 2012.
    U.S. relationships with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and 
Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) are excellent. Ship container and airport 
interdiction initiatives have proven beneficial in seizing drugs, 
identifying targets, and developing leads to the United States and 
other countries. The Embassy is working to assemble joint training for 
Jamaicans customs and select law enforcement groups, coordinated by 
U.S. and British law enforcement/security agencies, particularly in the 
area of drug interdiction.

    Question. What accounts for Jamaica's increased homicide rate in 
the past year? What is the Jamaican Government doing to curb violence? 
What role can U.S. assistance play?

    Answer. Jamaica recorded 1,197 murders in CY 2013, a 9-percent 
increase over 2012. Jamaican officials, including National Security 
Minister Peter Bunting, attributed the 2013 spike in homicides to 
increased use of violence in robberies, the recent prison releases of 
alleged gang leaders, a general increase in intragang battles, and a 
return to Caribbean drug routes--owing to law enforcement efforts in 
Mexico and Central America that brought with it an increase in weapons 
and drug trafficking.
    To curb this violence, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) 
launched Operation Resilience in October 2013, an antigang measure that 
resulted in hundreds of arrests and seized weapons. The Jamaican 
Government is building capacity by increasing the JCF's budget, and 
improving its organized crime and anticorruption task forces and its 
forensic capabilities.
    Jamaica is a partner in the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative 
(CBSI), through which the U.S. Government has been working in Jamaica 
since 2010 to increase the capacity of its rule of law institutions as 
well as address the root causes of crime.
    USAID's CBSI-funded Community Based Policing project provided a 
standard curriculum and training for every member of the JCF on 
improved interaction with community members and a partnership approach 
to policing. Other USAID CBSI activities focus on intervening with at-
risk youth, who are highly susceptible to choosing a life of crime and 
violence and providing them with life and job skills training.
    CBSI also provides nonlethal equipment and training, 
institutionalizes community-based policing, and supports the JCF's 
Anti-Corruption Branch. In 2012, with the assistance of INL-provided 
equipment the National Forensics Sciences Laboratory's ability to 
analyze and process ballistic evidence for the prosecution of gun 
crimes increased by 62 percent; firearms account for 70 percent of all 
murders in Jamaica.

    Question. How would you assess the Caribbean Basin Security 
Initiative in Jamaica? In your opinion, is this assistance having an 
impact?

    Answer. The Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) is 
positively contributing to improved Jamaican law enforcement responses 
to increasing transnational criminal activity throughout the region.
    As a member of the Caribbean-U.S. Joint Working Group, Jamaica 
played a key role in developing this initiative and plays a critical 
leadership role in the region. The initiative is improving the safety 
of the United States and improving the security of all countries in the 
region. USAID's CBSI-funded Community Based Policing (CBP) project 
provides a standard curriculum and training for every member of the 
Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) on improved interaction with community 
members and a partnership approach to policing. The CBP project has 
also been used as a template for other countries within the region to 
develop their own CBP activities. The next phase of the CBP project 
will improve community safety by increasing the capacity of 
communities, police, and other stakeholders to address the root causes 
of crime and insecurity. USAID is working with Jamaica's at-risk 
communities to ensure they play an active role in the fight against 
crime and violence.
    Other CBSI activities focus on intervening with at-risk youth who 
are highly susceptible to choosing a life of crime and violence, and 
providing them with life and job skills training. CBSI funding focused 
on law enforcement professionalization has provided 6,000 frontline JCF 
officers with nonlethal force equipment and training and supported the 
JCF internal affairs division.

    Question. How would you assess U.S assistance to Jamaica's efforts 
to combat HIV/AIDS? What progress has Jamaica made in combating the 
HIV/AIDS epidemic?

    Answer. The Government of Jamaica has been a robust partner with 
the United States in combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic. While the 
President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program began in FY 
2008, Jamaica was making investments with its own limited resources to 
address HIV/AIDs as far back as FY 2000. However, Jamaica has one of 
the highest levels of HIV prevalence in the Caribbean. Still, there are 
fewer deaths due to HIV/AIDS in recent years due to universal access to 
antiretroviral drugs and the increase in treatment sites.
    In 1999, the rate in the general population was 0.7 percent. In the 
2012 Global AIDS response report, the figure is 1.7 percent. There has 
been significant underreporting because it is estimated that 50 percent 
of the people living with HIV do not know their status as they are 
reluctant to be tested, even though testing is widely available in 
Jamaica. Stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV/AIDS 
drives the epidemic underground and there are challenges to ensure 
people adhere to the treatment program.
    The U.S. interagency PEPFAR team, along with UNAIDS, Global Fund, 
and the EU, consults with the Government of Jamaica to discuss strategy 
and avoid duplication of efforts. USAID works closely with the Ministry 
of Health to improve the capacity of civil society to respond to the 
epidemic and to enhance the sustainability of services and programs. 
The majority of resources and technical inputs have been in HIV 
prevention through behavioral changes targeting key populations (sex 
workers and out-of-school youth). The Jamaican Ministry of Health and 
key nongovernmental organizations are encouraging testing and 
counseling of the general population as well as supporting the 
reduction of stigma and discrimination among people living with HIV/
AIDS and key populations.

    Question. Jamaica has a law that in effect criminalizes 
homosexuality, and according to Jamaican human rights groups, LGBT 
people in Jamaica have been singled out and killed because of their 
sexual orientation. The Guardian newspaper reported that the British 
honorary consul in Montego Bay was found dead in 2009, with a note on 
his body reading ``This is what will happen to all gays.'' What 
specific steps will you take as the next U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica to 
promote greater tolerance and acceptance of LGBT rights? And, what 
specific U.S. programs and assistance will you prioritize to counter 
anti-LGBT sentiment in Jamaica and to support individuals and 
organizations working to build a safer environment for the Jamaican 
LGBT community?

    Answer. U.S. support for protecting the human rights of lesbian, 
gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons is grounded in our 
commitment to ``the equal and unalienable'' human rights enshrined in 
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reflected in our 
Constitution. If confirmed, I would work closely with our Embassy team 
and Jamaican partners to advance LGBT rights.
    Embassy Kingston maintains excellent access and strong relations 
with Jamaican officials, nongovernmental organizations, academic 
institutions, and community leaders. If comfirmed I will continue to 
engage with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Justice on human 
rights issues, including issues of specific concern to the LGBT 
community.
    U.S. programs and activities seek to enhance and expand 
understanding and appreciation for the human rights of LGBT individuals 
through internal discussion and dialogue. One important aspect of 
embassy activity is to meet regularly with local NGOs that engage on 
LGBT issues to gain insight on issues of discrimination and discuss 
opportunities for greater U.S. involvement.
    Priority programs include funding for ``Panos Caribbean'' that 
works to strengthen and improve the livelihoods of those in the gay 
community through public awareness campaigns. The program promotes 
tolerance and accountability for those impacted by HIV/AIDS. The 
Embassy also funded a ``Respect and Tolerance'' program with a local 
university that supports activities that promote a culture of respect 
and social tolerance for diversity.
    If confirmed, I will speak out on the needs of LGBT youth, women, 
and racial and ethnic minorities who often face multiple forms of 
discrimination. I will also maintain regular contact with academic 
institutions to stay informed on LGBT issues; ensure that the Embassy's 
Law Enforcement Working Group addresses LGBT issues in the criminal 
justice system; and work with other diplomatic missions in Kingston to 
promote respect for LGBT persons.
                                 ______
                                 

               Responses of John L. Estrada to Questions 
                  Submitted by Senator Robert Menendez

    Question. To what extent can Trinidad and Tobago supply its 
regional neighbors with natural gas and decrease the Caribbean's 
reliance on using oil and diesel for electricity generation? To what 
extent does Trinidad and Tobago have energy efficiency or renewable 
energy programs to improve environmental outcomes and free up more 
natural gas for export?

    Answer. Trinidad provides significant energy resources, mostly oil, 
to its Caribbean neighbors and it will continue to play an important 
role. While oil can be shipped without significant capital investment, 
the same is not true for natural gas. The capital cost to develop the 
infrastructure to transport natural gas is an important factor in the 
Eastern Caribbean energy market. The administration is advocating on 
behalf of a U.S. company that is working with partners from Trinidad 
and Tobago to develop a pipeline to Barbados and the neighboring French 
islands. If feasible, this project could increase energy security in 
the Eastern Caribbean. As a result of the shale gas revolution in the 
United States, Trinidad, and Tobago has already shifted its export 
market for its gas from the United States to Latin America and Asia.
    While Trinidad and Tobago is rich in oil and gas resources, its 
leaders recognize that renewable energy is critical to environmental 
protection and economic sustainability. They are considering how to 
expand renewables locally. Trinidad and Tobago has committed itself to 
renewable energy for the Caribbean region by signing a memorandum of 
understanding with the U.S. Government to launch a regional renewable 
energy center under the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas.

    Question. How would you assess Trinidad and Tobago's cooperation 
with the United States on counternarcotics programs and what steps 
would you take as our Ambassador to strengthen this collaboration? To 
what degree has Trinidad and Tobago's proximity to the Venezuelan coast 
made it vulnerable to trafficking operations?

    Answer. Trinidad and Tobago is an important partner in Caribbean 
Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) efforts to stem the flow of illegal 
drugs from South America. Through CBSI, the United States has 
instituted a comprehensive interagency anticrime and counternarcotics 
strategy aimed at assisting local law enforcement agencies to detect 
and interdict narcotics and to develop the skills to effectively 
prosecute these crimes. In Trinidad and Tobago, the government has 
struggled to coordinate and adequately fund its counternarcotics 
efforts; seizures in 2012 were down from 2011. If confirmed, I would 
bolster our CBSI programs and those initiated by the Drug Enforcement 
Administration to disrupt the flow of narcotics to the United States 
and would work with Trinidad and Tobago to strengthen its capacity to 
fight transnational criminals. I would also work to support its efforts 
to convince its youth to turn their backs on the false promise of the 
drug trade.

    Question. What factors account for the high level of violence in 
Trinidad and Tobago? How is the Trinidadian Government responding to 
the high murder rate? What steps would you take as U.S. Ambassador to 
help the Government of Trinidad and Tobago address violence in its 
country.

    Answer. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago recognizes violent 
crime as a key challenge and is seeking taking steps to address it, 
including to procuring the necessary equipment, training, and personnel 
to address it. I understand that through the Caribbean Basin Security 
Initiative (CBSI), the United States provides assistance to help the 
Government of Trinidad and Tobago to address the root causes of crime, 
which include the destabilizing effects of the illicit narcotics trade 
and lack of economic opportunity, and also by providing support to 
demand-reduction programs.
    There is no greater priority for a U.S. Embassy than protecting its 
citizens, including from crime. The U.S. Government has focused its 
efforts to combat crime by building Trinidad and Tobago's law 
enforcement capacity. If confirmed, I would seek to bolster the 
existing U.S. Government interagency efforts to combat crime and build 
Trinidad and Tobago's law enforcement capacity. Law enforcement efforts 
targeting other specific types of crime have resulted in a marked 
decrease in some of those categories of crime, such as kidnappings for 
ransom. If confirmed, I would promote these existing programs and work 
for their expansion.

    Question. According to U.N. statistics, more than 13,000 people in 
Trinidad and Tobago are estimated to be living with HIV and the adult 
prevalence rate in the country is 1.5 percent. In an effort to combat 
HIV/AIDS, Trinidad and Tobago receives assistance under the President's 
Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). How would you assess these 
efforts and the support that the United States has provided to Trinidad 
and Tobago to reduce the incidence and limit the spread of HIV/AIDS?

    Answer. Trinidad and Tobago has implemented a national program to 
combat HIV/AIDS. The country has a 1.5 percent adult HIV prevalence 
rate, with significantly higher rates among those engaged in high-risk 
behaviors.
    Trinidad and Tobago, along with 11 partnering Caribbean countries, 
signed the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) 
Partnership Framework in April 2010. The Framework guides the 
collaboration among the U.S. Government's PEPFAR implementing agencies 
and the participating host government partners. In Trinidad and Tobago, 
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the most 
active role of the U.S. Government's implementing agencies. CDC's 
programming focuses on improved data collection, prevention strategies, 
laboratory strengthening, and building public health capacity.
                                 ______
                                 

                 Responses of Noah Mamet to Questions 
                  Submitted by Senator Robert Menendez

    Question. A recent New York Times editorial stated that Argentina 
is ``facing a financial crisis caused largely by misguided government 
policies'' and a Washington Post editorial stated that Argentina is 
``headed for another stretch of economic and perhaps political 
turmoil.'' Do you agree with these assessments? Does the current 
economic situation in Argentina have the ability to potential to affect 
economies throughout the region?

    Answer. A stable and prosperous Argentina is in the best interest 
of Argentina, the United States, and the region. Encouraging sound 
economic policies is one of the key U.S. objectives in Argentina, and 
it would be one of my top priorities if confirmed as Ambassador. I 
believe strongly in the power of free and fair rules-based trade and 
the importance of a market-led economy for economic development.
    From 2003 to 2007, Argentina was buoyed by high demand and high 
prices for its agricultural exports. Government policies helped bring 
about fiscal and current account surpluses and the accumulation of 
international reserves. Recently, however, growth has slowed and 
Argentina has experienced imbalances in its fiscal and current 
accounts, due in part to increasing subsidies for energy. Many informed 
observers both inside and outside Argentina believe these imbalances 
must be addressed to put Argentina on a sustainable and prosperous 
trajectory.
    If confirmed, I will encourage the maintenance of a stable, 
transparent, and predictable investment climate that promotes 
investment and fair and open competition. I would also ensure that the 
U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires continues to serve as a strong advocate 
for the fair treatment of U.S. companies and investors.

    Question. What are the United States primary national interests in 
its bilateral relationship with Argentina with regard to trade, 
investment, energy, military, and counternarcotics issues.

    Answer. Notwithstanding important areas of disagreement in recent 
years, including Argentina's failure to honor its international 
obligations to public and private creditors and its inconsistent 
security cooperation, the United States and Argentina have a long 
history of cooperation. If confirmed, I will strongly advocate for U.S. 
interests in areas where our governments have not found common ground 
and in areas where we continue to cooperate.
    Our countries share many values that provide the foundation for 
collaboration on peacekeeping, human rights, nuclear nonproliferation, 
counterterrorism, education, and science. We do not always agree with 
Argentina's positions in international fora, but it has been a 
constructive partner at the International Atomic Energy Agency and the 
U.N. Human Rights Council. If confirmed, I will highlight the interests 
and values Americans and Argentines share, as well as the potential 
benefits of closer cooperation between our countries on the regional 
and global stages.
    My emphasis on cooperation should not be mistaken for reluctance to 
engage in areas of disagreement. Argentina's 2011 seizure of classified 
U.S. cargo brought into Argentina by a U.S. Army Joint Combined 
Exercise Training team was completely unjustified and unacceptable. 
Since this regrettable incident, we have been working to restore the 
level of trust necessary for more fulsome cooperation on security and 
counternarcotics.
    If confirmed, I will continue the administration's efforts to 
highlight Argentina's responsibility to meet its international trade 
and financial obligations, including by removing trade barriers in 
accordance with WTO rules and addressing other impediments to business 
and investment.
    Despite frustrations and difficulties, our economic relationship 
with Argentina is significant and mutually beneficial. More than 500 
U.S. companies operate in Argentina and employ more than 170,000 
Argentines. The United States is Argentina's largest foreign direct 
investor. The U.S. trade surplus with Argentina was $9.4 billion in 
2012. Given Argentina's educated workforce and natural resources, there 
is room for investment and trade to expand dramatically to the benefit 
of both economies.
    If confirmed, I will strongly encourage Argentina to take all 
appropriate steps to strengthen our economic ties.

    Question. What is your assessment of Argentina's participation in 
the Mercosur trade bloc and do you see Mercosur as an effective 
platform for economic integration and growth in South America?

    Answer. The administration welcomes all efforts at regional 
integration that aim to reduce obstacles to trade, further economic 
development, and increase shared prosperity. We appreciate that support 
for democracy is enshrined in Mercosur's foundational documents, and 
its implicit commitment to promote those values in the region.
    If confirmed, I would work to increase trade and investment with 
Argentina and ease market access for U.S. businesses.

    Question. In your opinion, who are Argentina's major political 
allies in Latin America? What is your assessment of relations between 
Argentina and Chile? And, what is your view on Argentina's closeness 
with the ALBA countries (Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, and 
Cuba).

    Answer. Argentina is active in a variety of regional multilateral 
bodies, including the Organization of American States, and it 
participates in the Summits of the Americas. It is also an active 
member of the Union of South American Nations and the Community of 
Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
    Argentina's relationship with neighboring Chile is cooperative, 
including participation in joint military exercises to coordinate 
potential joint peacekeeping deployments. Argentina and Chile are 
demonstrating their regional leadership on nonproliferation by 
organizing this year a joint exercise on response and mitigation to a 
potential terrorist attack involving the release of radioactive 
material.
    The Argentine Government maintains close ties to Venezuela, whose 
President, Nicolas Maduro, visited Argentina in May 2013. Although not 
a member of the Bolivarian alliance, Argentina has at times associated 
itself with the group's positions and objectives.
    Argentina and Cuba have had bilateral relations since 1973. In 
2009, Argentine President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner visited Cuba 
and signed a range of agreements. She returned to Havana last month to 
participate in a CELAC summit. Like any country, Argentina is free to 
choose its bilateral partners. That said, if confirmed, I would urge 
Argentina to take a stronger and more consistent position 
internationally on behalf of democratic values and fundamental human 
rights, consistent with its own national history.

    Question. What is your assessment as to why Argentina has been slow 
to settle its outstanding debts? As Ambassador, what tools will you 
have at your disposal to encourage the Argentine Government to settle 
its outstanding debts? Will you urge the Argentine Government to 
negotiate in good faith with its private creditors?

    Answer. Resolution of Argentina's legacy debt issues has dragged on 
for more than a decade, tarnishing Argentina's reputation among current 
and potential investors, damaging its international relationships, and 
resulting in certain restrictions to U.S. assistance.
    If confirmed, I will strongly urge Argentina to clear its arrears 
and normalize relations with all of its creditors, both public and 
private.
    In my outreach to senior Argentine officials, I will strongly 
emphasize that the settlement of these longstanding financial disputes 
is in Argentina's interest, as it would send a strong signal that 
Argentina is a reliable and attractive destination for foreign and 
domestic investment.

    Question. What is your assessment of Argentina's most recent offer 
to renegotiate its outstanding Paris Club arrears? How does Argentina's 
default on U.S. Government debt affect other aspects of U.S. relations 
with the country?

    Answer. Argentina's unpaid debt to the U.S. Government is a chronic 
source of tension in our relationship. If confirmed, I will urge 
Argentina to clear its $9 billion in outstanding arrears to the United 
States and other members of the Paris Club, and press Argentine 
officials to normalize relations with all of its creditors.
    Argentina's failure to pay its Paris Club debt has had 
consequences. The impasse has tarnished Argentina's reputation among 
current and potential investors, damaged its international 
relationships, resulted in certain restrictions to U.S. assistance, and 
a change in U.S. policies toward Argentina at the multilateral 
development banks and at the Export-Import Bank of the United States. 
For these reasons, the U.S. and other members of the Paris Club 
regarded the restarting of negotiations with Argentina as a positive 
step and a basis for further discussion.
    If confirmed, I will urge Argentina to reach an agreement with the 
Paris Club that brings about the prompt and full repayment of its 
debts.

    Question. Do you believe that judicial independence is under threat 
in Argentina? What message would you deliver to the Argentine 
Government regarding the links between upholding judicial independence 
and its ability to attract international investment and resolve 
financial challenges in the country?

    Answer. The separation of the executive, legislative, and judicial 
branches, and the protection of their independence, are fundamental 
components of democratic governance. The administration follows this 
issue closely throughout the hemisphere, including in Argentina.
    In 2013, the Argentine Government took steps to alter the size and 
selection process of the country's Council of Magistrates, which 
oversees the judiciary. It also sought to limit the use of judicial 
injunctions against the government, and to establish new appellate 
courts. The proposals prompted concerns about judicial independence, 
and provoked criticism from Human Rights Watch and the U.N.'s Special 
Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers. Argentina's 
Supreme Court ultimately struck down as unconstitutional the 
controversial election process of the Council of Magistrates proposed 
by the executive branch and approved by the legislature.
    In the Human Rights Report in 2011 and 2012, the United States 
cited risks to judicial independence in Argentina, noting in particular 
political pressure on judges to shape judicial outcomes. If confirmed, 
I will be steadfast in my defense of judicial independence, and 
emphasize that any future attempts at judicial reform not undermine its 
independence and the separation of powers.

    Question. Do you believe that the Kirchner administration is taking 
steps to undermine press freedom in Argentina? If confirmed, will you 
make issues of press freedom and the defense of internationally 
recognized democratic principles one of your priorities? What message 
would you have for the Argentine Government regarding its actions 
against Grupo Clarin?

    Answer. Freedom of expression, including for members of the press, 
is a fundamental right, and in the words of the Inter-American 
Democratic Charter, an ``essential component'' of a functioning 
democracy. Argentines enjoy a diverse media environment, which 
facilitates vibrant policy debates across the ideological and partisan 
spectrums. Journalists generally operate free of intimidation or 
violence. Criticism of the government is common in the most widely 
viewed print and electronic media.
    In recent years, however, this media environment has come under 
threat, and journalism advocates have raised concerns about government 
actions that they believe pose a threat to free expression. A 2009 
media law that reduced the concentration of TV and radio ownership was 
accompanied by a highly polarizing and intensified conflict between the 
government and certain private media groups, including Clarin. In 2011, 
counterterrorism legislation also raised concerns about potential 
constraints to the free exercise of journalism. The Argentine 
Government has defied local court orders to equitably distribute 
official advertising across all media outlets, instead favoring those 
sympathetic to government views. In 2013, the Argentine Government 
pressured major supermarkets and electronics retailers to cease 
advertising in certain newspapers, depriving critical outlets of an 
important revenue source. These and other actions led Freedom House to 
classify Argentina's media environment as only ``partly free'' in its 
2013 report. The organization warned that the government had ``hampered 
the public's ability to access unbiased information.''
    If confirmed, I will speak out both publicly and privately about 
the importance of free expression and the right of citizens to benefit 
from an independent and diverse media that operates without government 
interference.

    Question. Is the Argentine Government adequately addressing the 
underlying causes of macroeconomic instability? Are you concerned how 
the current environment could impact U.S. investment, particularly U.S. 
companies already invested in Argentina?

    Answer. The Obama administration closely monitors Argentina's 
economy and its macroeconomic policies, including actions related to 
the country's currency regime. In recent months, Argentina experienced 
rising inflation and a loss of reserves driven by imbalances in its 
fiscal and current accounts. As the third-largest economy in Latin 
America, its economic stability is critically important to the region. 
It is also important to the many U.S. companies with investments in 
Argentina; in 2012, two-way trade in goods and services totaled $23 
billion, and the U.S. trade surplus with Argentina was $10.4 billion.
    If confirmed, I will encourage the Argentine Government to adopt 
policies that will contribute to economic stability, including policies 
that promote a stable investment climate to encourage investment, both 
foreign and domestic. A stable and growing Argentine economy will help 
bring about shared prosperity in Argentina, while strengthening the 500 
U.S. businesses that operate in the country.

    Question. What is your understanding of the progress of 
negotiations between the Argentine Government and Spanish oil company 
Repsol? Do you believe that the nationalization of Repsol assets in 
Argentina has implications for U.S. companies seeking to invest in the 
country?

    Answer. The Obama administration has repeatedly expressed its 
concerns about Argentina's nationalization of Repsol-YPF, which 
proceeded initially without fair compensation. The administration 
called it a ``negative development'' that dampened the investment 
climate in Argentina.
    The administration has noted developments indicating that YPF and 
Repsol agreed in principle on a mutually satisfactory compensation 
arrangement. That appears to be a positive step for Argentina. Without 
question, an open and competitive market for commodities has proved the 
most successful path to modern, efficient, and innovative development 
of energy resources across the globe. In the United States, privately 
owned energy companies are global leaders that use advanced 
technologies and methods for energy exploration and production. U.S. 
firms have a lot to offer to countries that present a favorable 
investment environment.
    In Argentina, oil and natural gas production have been declining in 
recent years, and Argentina has gone from being a net exporter of 
energy to a net importer. Despite these trends, Argentina has enormous 
potential to help supply world energy markets and contribute to global 
energy security. The Department of Energy estimates that Argentina has 
some of the world's largest shale oil and gas resources. Attracting 
private investment, including from U.S. firms, will be essential for 
Argentina to regain energy self-sufficiency. The Argentine Government 
has demonstrated a clear interest in having U.S. companies act as 
partners in their efforts to re-invigorate their energy sector; several 
U.S. firms have begun to make sizable investments, including in 
Argentina's Vaca Muerta shale oil and shale gas field.
    If confirmed, I will continue to raise the administration's concern 
at the highest levels of the Government of Argentina about actions that 
negatively affect the investment climate in Argentina. At the same 
time, I will seek to build a strong bilateral partnership on energy 
issues, including through our Bilateral Energy Working Group, to 
advance the common interests of our countries.

    Question. How do you assess Argentina's IPR enforcement and what 
are the most significant efforts that Argentina could make that would 
take it off the Special 301 Priority Watch List?

    Answer. The United States carefully monitors intellectual property 
rights protection in Argentina and presses for more effective 
enforcement. Concerns include counterfeiting, online piracy, and the 
unfair commercial use and unauthorized disclosure of data submitted to 
regulatory agencies to obtain approval for the sale of pharmaceuticals. 
Argentine courts have not provided adequate protection. Argentina also 
does not efficiently address patent issues and applications. For these 
and other reasons, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative includes 
Argentina on its Priority Watch List. On February 12, 2014, it singled 
out Argentina in its Notorious Markets report, noting that Buenos Aires 
is home to South America's ``largest black market.''
    Argentina is making progress to better protect intellectual 
property rights, albeit slowly. In 2012, the number of enforcement 
raids increased and regulatory officials improved cooperation with 
industry actors. The judiciary granted a civil injunction related to 
the online distribution of pirated content, though criminal action has 
been lacking. If confirmed, I would urge Argentina to devote more 
attention and investigative and prosecutorial resources to this 
important issue.
    Having been a consultant to corporations that operate overseas, I 
recognize the vital role the U.S. Government plays in advocating for 
the protection of U.S. intellectual property. If confirmed, I would be 
a vigorous advocate for U.S. companies in Argentina, working closely 
with the local American Chamber of Commerce to identify and address the 
most serious intellectual property concerns.

    Question. What is your assessment of Argentina's efforts to 
confront illicit trafficking networks in the Tri-Border area? What is 
your assessment of U.S.-Argentine counternarcotics cooperation?

    Answer. The Tri-Border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay 
remains an important regional nexus of arms, narcotics, and human 
smuggling, counterfeiting, pirated goods, and money laundering--all 
potential funding sources for terrorist organizations. If confirmed, I 
will ensure that we continue to monitor this region closely and 
maintain close communication with this committee on this important 
issue.
    Argentina recognizes the need for continued to focus on policing 
its remote northern and northeastern borders--including the Tri-Border 
area--against such threats as illicit drug and human trafficking, 
contraband smuggling, and other forms of transnational crime. In my 
work in impoverished neighborhoods in Los Angeles, I have seen the 
awful consequences of illegal drugs on communities, particularly on 
youth, and I support Argentina's efforts to address trafficking and 
addiction.
    Argentina also focuses on Greater Buenos Aires and vulnerable, low-
income communities. It made new investments in demand reduction. 
Improved coordination among its federal and provincial law enforcement 
agencies and deployments in the country's north of additional equipment 
and personnel would bolster operational capacity. Argentine courts face 
backlogs in drug cases that limit their ability to bring narcotics 
traffickers to justice and allow their punishments to serve as a 
deterrent.
    Argentina and the United States share an important interest in 
confronting this alarming increase in illicit drug trafficking. The 
most consistent cooperation to date is Immigration and Customs 
Enforcement's work with Argentine customs. If confirmed, I would urge 
Argentina to resume the more robust level of information-sharing and 
case coordination that occurred before Argentina seized a U.S. military 
plane and cargo in 2011 that resulted in a subsequent reductionin 
effective security and law enforcement cooperation with the United 
States. Argentina's Ministry of Security reactivated some cooperation 
with U.S. authorities, including with the Drug Enforcement 
Administration, in 2012. These limited joint efforts led to significant 
arrests, most notably of Colombian national Henry Lopez Londono in 
Buenos Aires in October 2012. However, far greater collaboration is 
possible given the scope of the challenge and, if confirmed, I would 
make this a priority.

    Question. In your opinion, what are the factors contributing to 
money laundering in Argentina? What is the State Department's 
assessment of the extent of this problem and what steps would you take 
as Ambassador to develop greater bilateral cooperation to address these 
issues?

    Answer. Argentina should take additional steps to curtail money 
laundering, which facilitates narcotics trafficking, corruption, and 
tax evasion. We are not alone in making this observation; since 2009, 
the Financial Action Task Force has been working with Argentina to 
address deficiencies in its legal framework and enforcement approach.
    I recognize the challenge Argentine authorities face in a country 
where cash is commonly used for transactions and a high percentage of 
economic activity occurs in the informal sector. Argentina has made 
progress implementing legislation and building its capacity to address 
money laundering.
    Nevertheless, serious problems persist. If confirmed, I would urge 
Argentine officials to pay greater attention to this issue, improve the 
capacity and coordination among regulatory, law enforcement and 
judicial elements to ensure that the appropriate laws and regulations 
are fully implemented and enforced. The Financial Action Task Force 
recommends that, in addition to technical compliance, effectiveness 
must be considered when evaluating a national antimoney laundering 
strategy.

    Question. What is your assessment of special prosecutor Alberto 
Nisman's reports on Iranian involvement in the 1994 bombing of the 
Argentine Israeli Mutual Association? What is the State Department's 
position on the Argentina-Iran ``truth commission?''

    Answer. The U.S. position on the AMIA bombing is clear and 
consistent. For nearly 20 years, the United States and the 
international community have joined the Argentine Government and 
victims of this horrific terrorist attack in demanding justice. I am 
familiar with Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman's findings, and I know 
that our Embassy personnel have met with Nisman on a number of 
occasions. If confirmed, I would reach out to Special Prosecutor Nisman 
as one of my first acts as Ambassador.
    The Obama administration is highly skeptical that a solution can be 
found to the AMIA case through the January 2013 Argentina-Iran 
agreement, which includes the establishment of a truth commission. 
Jewish groups in Argentina share that perspective, and they have 
expressed concern that Argentina's cooperation with Iran will only 
cause further delays. In recent months, the Argentine Government itself 
has acknowledged a lack of progress, though it remains committed to the 
agreement.
    If confirmed, I will ensure the U.S. Government continues to 
support the AMIA investigation so that nearly two decades after the 
bombing in Buenos Aires killed 85 people and wounded 300, the 
perpetrators might finally be held accountable. I take this issue 
extremely seriously, and I will do all I can to help bring justice to 
the victims and their families.

    Question. What is the State Department's assessment of Argentina's 
current nuclear power sector? Also, what is your assessment of U.S.-
Argentine cooperation in the nuclear power sector, including issues of 
safety and research?

    Answer. Argentina operates two nuclear power reactors capable of 
generating up to 10 percent of Argentina's total energy production. 
Argentina is expected to begin operating a third reactor this year. 
Both General Electric and Westinghouse are interested in supplying new 
reactors to Argentina. The United States and Argentina coordinate 
effectively on nuclear safety, nuclear security, nuclear research and 
development, nuclear safeguards, and nonproliferation through the U.S.-
Argentina Binational Energy Working Group and the U.S.-Argentina Joint 
Standing Committee on Nuclear Energy Cooperation, the Nuclear Suppliers 
Group, and at the International Atomic Energy Agency, where Argentina 
has been a constructive and like-minded partner on issues related to 
Iran.
    The United States and Argentina have long cooperated in addressing 
our shared energy needs and economic opportunities in the energy 
sector, and we continue to do so, including at the next meeting of the 
Joint Standing Committee on Nuclear Energy Cooperation, to be held in 
Argentina later this year.

    Question. What is your assessment of the Kirchner administration's 
claims that the Falklands are Argentine territory? Should President 
Kirchner seek to refer this case to the International Court of Justice 
at The Hague, what position would you recommend that the United States 
take?

    Answer. The U.S. Government acknowledges that there are conflicting 
claims of sovereignty between Argentina and the United Kingdom. As a 
matter of long-standing policy, the United States recognizes de facto 
British administration of the islands, but takes no position regarding 
sovereignty claims of either party.
    If confirmed, I would encourage British and Argentine cooperation 
on practical matters related to the islands, while urging a peaceful 
resolution to the core issue.
                                 ______
                                 

                  Response of Noah Mamet to Question 
                  Submitted by Senator Jeanne Shaheen

    Question. The Argentinian Government's ongoing failure to pay past 
debts remains a significant concern, undermining its credibility in the 
global marketplace.
    The Republic of Argentina has refused to settle debts owed by Caja 
National de Ahorra Y Seguro (CAJA) to the TIG Insurance Company (TIG) 
from my home State of New Hampshire. I have written a number of letters 
to the Argentinian authorities urging them to resolve these outstanding 
debts. The legitimacy of TIG's claim was validated by two final U.S. 
District Court judgments in 2001 and 2002, and the company has made 
five settlement offers to which the Argentine Government has never 
responded.

    Will you continue to emphasize the importance of resolving 
        outstanding debt issues between the Argentinian Government and 
        American debt holders? What are we doing to encourage Argentina 
        to settle their obligations, including to TIG?

    Answer. If confirmed, resolution of Argentina's outstanding debt 
issues will be a priority for me, just as it has been for the U.S. 
Embassy in Buenos Aires and U.S. agencies in Washington, who raise the 
issue with the Argentine Government at every appropriate opportunity. 
It is in Argentina's interest to normalize its relationship with the 
international financial and investment communities by clearing its 
arrears to the U.S. Government and other public and private creditors. 
Settling its disputes with U.S. and foreign firms is an important part 
of that process, and I would strongly urge senior Argentine officials 
to do so.
    Argentina has taken positive steps in recent months, including the 
settlement of outstanding arbitral awards with three U.S. companies, 
and the resumption of discussions regarding the payment of Argentina's 
debts to Paris Club members. These preliminary steps are encouraging, 
but much more needs to be done. If confirmed, I will press Argentina to 
honor all of its international financial commitments. The resolution of 
long-standing financial disputes would improve Argentina's investment 
climate and strengthen our bilateral relationship.
                                 ______
                                 

                 Responses of Noah Mamet to Questions 
                    Submitted by Senator Marco Rubio

    Question. During your confirmation hearing on February 6, you 
repeatedly described the Government of Argentina as an ally of the 
United States. Please describe the status of our bilateral relations 
and U.S. interests in Argentina.

    Answer. Notwithstanding important areas of disagreement in recent 
years, including Argentina's failure to honor its international 
obligations to public and private creditors, the United States and 
Argentina have a long history of cooperation. If confirmed, I will work 
to strengthen that partnership, while strongly advocating for U.S. 
interests in areas where our governments have not found common ground 
and delivering tough messages when necessary.
    Our countries share many values that provide the foundation for 
important collaboration on areas of mutual interest, such as 
peacekeeping, human rights, nuclear nonproliferation, counterterrorism, 
and science. We do not always agree with Argentina's positions in 
international fora, but they have often been a constructive partner on 
key issues at bodies like the IAEA in Vienna, and the Human Rights 
Council in Geneva.
    If confirmed, I will highlight the common interests and values 
Americans and Argentines share, as well as the potential benefits of 
closer cooperation between our countries on the regional and global 
stages.
    People-to-people connections through education, tourism, science, 
and business are strong between our countries. During the 2011-2012 
academic year, 1,800 Argentine students studied in the United States 
while 4,500 U.S. students did so in Argentina. U.S. tourism to 
Argentina has grown in recent years, and our consular section in Buenos 
Aires is one of the top visa-issuing posts in the world with more than 
600,000 Argentines having visited the United States in 2012. This 
interchange strengthens the U.S. economy while helping Argentines 
better understand U.S. culture.
    If confirmed, I will seek to bring prominent Americans to Argentina 
to highlight the dynamism, diversity, and openness of our country. It 
is my hope that through these efforts, Argentines will increasingly 
look to the United States as a partner in nurturing a peaceful, 
prosperous, and sustainable global community.
    My emphasis on cooperation should not be mistaken for reluctance to 
engage in areas of disagreement. Argentina's 2011 seizure of classified 
U.S. cargo brought into Argentina by a U.S. Army Joint Combined 
Exercise Training team was completely unjustified and should never 
happen again. If confirmed, I will continue the administration's 
efforts to highlight Argentina's responsibility to meet its 
international financial obligations, as well as its need to remove 
trade barriers and address related policies. I will aggressively 
address these and other areas of disagreement, while finding 
opportunities to advance mutual interests.

    Question. How would you characterize the current status of media 
freedom in Argentina?

    Answer. Freedom of expression, including for members of the press, 
is fundamental and in the words of the Inter-American Democratic 
Charter, an ``essential component'' of a functioning democracy. I 
couldn't agree more.
    Argentines enjoy a diverse and active media environment, which 
facilitates vibrant policy debates across the ideological and partisan 
spectrums. Journalists operate generally free of intimidation or 
violence. Criticism of the government is common in the most widely 
viewed print and electronic media.
    In recent years, this media environment has come under threat, and 
journalism advocates have raised concerns about government actions that 
they believe are obstacles to free expression. A 2009 law reduced the 
concentration of TV and radio ownership, but was accompanied by a 
highly polarizing and intensified conflict between the government and 
certain specific private media groups. In 2011, counterterrorism 
legislation raised concerns about potential constraints to journalism. 
In recent years, the Argentine Government has defied local court orders 
to equitably distribute official advertising across all media outlets, 
instead favoring those more sympathetic to government views. In 2013, 
the Argentine Government pressured major supermarkets and electronics 
retailers to cease advertising in newspapers, thereby depriving 
critical outlets of yet another important revenue source. These and 
other actions led Freedom House to classify Argentina's media 
environment as only ``partly free'' in its 2013 report. The 
organization warned that the government had ``hampered the public's 
ability to access unbiased information.''
    If confirmed, I will speak out both publicly and privately about 
the importance of free expression and the right of citizens to benefit 
from an independent and diverse media that operates without government 
interference.

    Question. What is your view of efforts by the Argentine Government 
in 2013 to provide for the election of magistrates to oversee the 
judiciary?

    Answer. The separation of the executive, legislative, and judicial 
branches, and the protection of their independence, are fundamental 
components of democratic governance. An independent judiciary provides 
a vital check on the powers of the other branches of government, and 
offers a venue for the peaceful and fair settlement of disputes. The 
administration follows these issues closely in the hemisphere, 
including in Argentina.
    In 2013, the Argentine Government took steps to alter the size and 
selection process of the country's Council of Magistrates, which 
oversees the judiciary. It also sought to limit the use of judicial 
injunctions against the government, and to establish new appellate 
courts. The proposals prompted concerns about risks to judicial 
independence, and provoked criticism from Human Rights Watch and the 
U.N.'s Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers. 
Argentina's Supreme Court ultimately struck down as unconstitutional 
the controversial election process of the Council of Magistrates 
proposed by the executive branch and approved by the legislature.
    In the Human Rights Report in 2011 and 2012, the U.S. 
administration cited the risks to judicial independence in Argentina, 
noting in particular political pressure on judges to shape judicial 
outcomes. If confirmed, I will be steadfast in my defense of judicial 
independence.

    Question. What is your assessment of the current state of democracy 
in Argentina?

    Answer. Throughout its history, Argentina has experienced episodes 
of economic turbulence and political instability, with only five 
Presidents completing their terms over the past seven decades.
    Encouragingly, in in 2013, Argentina celebrated the 30th 
anniversary of its return to democracy following a tragic period of 
dictatorship and civil conflict. In the so-called ``dirty war,'' as 
many as 30,000 Argentines died at the hands of the country's security 
forces. That national trauma instilled in Argentines a deep 
appreciation for human rights and democratic norms, such as free and 
fair elections. Argentina has several well-established political 
parties and movements that hold office at various levels and compete 
vigorously in elections, most recently, in October 2013, Argentina held 
free and fair national mid-term elections. Argentina's democratic 
values are also evident in many of its positions the country has taken 
at international fora such as the Organization of American States and 
the U.N. Human Rights Council.
    As in all democratic societies, maintaining the proper checks and 
balances between among Argentina's public government institutions 
requires vigilance. In recent years, some executive and legislative 
actions have been seen as providing unfair electoral advantages to the 
governing party, and in other cases in Argentina have threatened the 
independence of the judiciary. Democracy consists of more than holding 
elections. If confirmed, I will promote strong institutions that 
provide fair and impartial application of national law and citizen 
rights, supported by appropriate separation of powers that guarantees 
checks and balances among government branches.
    I would also hope that Argentina's national experience over the 
past three decades with the defense of democratic values would 
consistently translate into a defense of those same values 
internationally. Unfortunately, Argentina's foreign policy has not 
always reflected its domestic commitment to democracy. This is most 
notably evident in our hemisphere, where Argentina has steadfastly 
defended one-party rule and the denial of basic human rights for the 
people of Cuba. It has embraced the authoritarian regime in Havana. By 
expressing solidarity with that government, where citizens are denied 
the right to choose their leaders or express opinions on matters of 
national importance and journalists cannot operate freely, Argentina 
does a disservice to its own historical legacy and interest in 
strengthening democracy worldwide.
    If confirmed, I would promote continued cooperation with Argentina 
both bilaterally and multilaterally to spread our shared democratic 
values, while urging Argentina to hold its neighbors in the region and 
countries around the world to the same standards for political freedoms 
and human rights.

    Question. Is the Government of Argentina is following a prudent 
economic model--the ``modelo'' as it is called?

    Answer. A stable and prosperous Argentina is in the best interest 
of Argentina, the United States, and the entire region. Encouraging 
sound economic policies is 
one of the key objectives of U.S. policy in Argentina, and it would be 
one of my top priorities if confirmed as Ambassador. I believe strongly 
in the power of free and fair rules-based trade and the importance of a 
market-led economy for economic development.
    From 2003 to 2007, Argentina was buoyed by high demand and high 
prices for its agricultural exports. Government policies helped bring 
about fiscal and current account surpluses and the accumulation of 
international reserves. Recently, however, growth has slowed and 
Argentina has experienced imbalances in its fiscal and current 
accounts, due in part to increasing subsidies for energy. Many 
economists believe these imbalances must be addressed to put Argentina 
on a sustainable and prosperous trajectory.
    It is also important that Argentina normalize its relationship with 
the international financial and investment communities by clearing its 
arrears to the U.S. Government and other public and private creditors. 
The administration has raised these issues at high levels with the 
Government of Argentina for several years. Recently, Argentina has 
taken positive steps, including paying arbitral awards to U.S. 
companies; working toward implementation of a new consumer price index 
in coordination with the International Monetary Fund to improve its 
economic data; and resuming discussions regarding repaying Argentina's 
debts to Paris Club members.
    These preliminary steps are encouraging, but if confirmed, I will 
urge Argentina to deepen its efforts to resolve these longstanding 
irritants in our relationship. I will encourage the maintenance of a 
stable, transparent, and predictable investment climate that promotes 
investment and fair and open competition. I would also ensure that the 
U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires continues to serve as an advocate for the 
fair treatment of U.S. companies and investors.

    Question. What will your message be to the Argentine Government 
relative to their interventionist economic policies and the impact that 
has had on inflation, business, trade, and commerce?

    Answer. In any country, predictable and transparent economic 
policies offer the best environment for broadly inclusive national 
development and for attracting investment. Business investment, both 
local and foreign, generates economic opportunity and promotes shared 
prosperity.
    If confirmed, I will urge the Government of Argentina to adopt 
transparent and predictable policies and regulations that promote fair 
and open competition. Policies that protect intellectual property are 
an important component of a favorable business climate, as is an 
independent judiciary.
    The United States has expressed serious concern, both bilaterally 
and at the World Trade Organization (WTO), regarding Argentine measures 
that restrict imports in an arbitrary and nontransparent manner, 
including in a WTO complaint the United States filed against Argentina 
in August 2012.
    More than 500 U.S. companies operate in Argentina and employ more 
than 170,000 Argentines. The United States is Argentina's largest 
foreign-direct investor. Meanwhile, the U.S. trade surplus with 
Argentina in goods and services reached approximately $9.4 billion in 
2012. Given Argentina's workforce and natural resources, there is room 
for this investment and trade to expand dramatically to the benefit of 
both national economies. If confirmed, I will strongly encourage 
Argentina to take all appropriate steps to strengthen our economic 
relationship.

    Question. Argentina relies heavily on the sale of commodities like 
soy to support their economy. Should there be a decline in soy prices, 
or the Argentines ability to produce soy for soy hungry nations like 
China, what impact would that have on the Argentine economy?

    Answer. Argentina has long benefited from its remarkably fertile 
and plentiful agricultural land. Led by agricultural production, 
including soy, its exports totaled $75.2 billion in 2012.
    Agricultural prices are often volatile, and all economies benefit 
from diversification in exports and trading partners. A decline in soy 
prices would have a negative impact on Argentina's revenue collection 
as well as its balance of payments. That said, the Argentine economy 
exports a range of other products and services, in agriculture, energy, 
and other sectors. The United States consumes more than 5 percent of 
Argentine exports; in 2012, it imported $411 million in iron and steel 
products from Argentina, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in 
fresh fruit, wine, and aluminum. Argentina also exports oil and natural 
gas to the United States and other trading partners.

    Question. With alarming government expansion into the private 
market expected to continue under President Fernandez de Kirchner, what 
impact do you foresee on the Argentine people and economy? If 
confirmed, how would you recommend the U.S. engage on these issues?

    Answer. Argentines benefit when private economic activity serves as 
an engine of growth, creates jobs, and provides government revenue to 
address social needs. U.S. companies have long identified opportunities 
in Argentina, and more than 500 operate in that country today.
    Businesses in Argentina, both domestic and foreign, have faced 
serious obstacles in recent years. These include nationalizations 
without prompt, fair, and effective compensation; restrictions on 
imports; limited access to foreign currency; barriers to the 
repatriation of profits; price controls; and inadequate protection of 
intellectual property. These policies discourage local and foreign 
investment.
    If confirmed, I will be a tireless champion for the U.S. business 
community in Argentina and urge better cooperation between the private 
sector and the government. As I learned first-hand during my years 
working for Members of the U.S. Congress and later as a business 
consultant, an effective partnership between businesses and government 
is essential for countries to reach their full economic potential. I 
will work closely with my colleagues throughout the U.S. Government--
including at the Departments of State, Commerce, Treasury, Agriculture, 
Energy, Labor, and Justice, and at the Office of the U.S. Trade 
Representative and the U.S. Congress--to ensure that our national 
economic interests are promoted in Argentina and that Argentina honors 
its international obligations.

    Question. In 2012, the Government of Argentina renationalized the 
country's largest oil company, YPF, which accounts for 35 percent of 
Argentina's oil and gas market. What impact is this likely to have on 
energy prices and production?

    Answer. The administration has long expressed its concerns about 
the Government of Argentina's nationalization of Repsol-YPF, which 
proceeded initially without due compensation. At the time, we called it 
a ``negative development,'' and we believe it clearly dampened the 
investment climate in Argentina. More recently, we have noted 
developments indicating that YPF and Repsol have agreed in principle on 
a mutually satisfactory compensation arrangement. Without question, an 
open and competitive market for energy and other commodities has proved 
the most successful path to modern, efficient and innovative 
development of energy resources across the globe.
    Oil and natural gas production in Argentina are declining. 
Argentina has gone from being a net exporter of energy to a net 
importer. Despite these trends, Argentina has enormous potential to 
help supply world energy markets and contribute to global energy 
security. Attracting private investment will be essential for Argentina 
to regain energy self-sufficiency. The Argentine Government has 
demonstrated a clear interest in having U.S. companies be partners in 
their efforts to reinvigorate their energy sector.
    If confirmed, I will continue to raise the administration's concern 
at the highest levels of the Government of Argentina about actions that 
negatively affect the investment climate in Argentina. At the same 
time, I will seek to build a strong bilateral partnership on energy 
issues, based upon the common interests of our countries.

    Question. There are several failed models in Latin America of 
nationalized energy firms. How would you work with other agencies of 
the U.S. Government and American firms to try and prevent Argentina 
from duplicating mistakes made elsewhere in the region?

    Answer. In the United States, privately owned energy companies are 
global leaders that use advanced technologies and methods for energy 
exploration and production. U.S. firms have a lot to offer to countries 
that present a favorable investment environment.
    Every country has the sovereign right to decide how to best take 
advantage of its natural resource endowments. All policies need to 
adhere to requirements under local and international law. Regardless of 
the system, what matters most are transparency, efficiency, 
accountability, predictability, and responsible business practices.
    If confirmed, I would encourage Argentina to adopt predictable and 
competitive policies to attract the level of investment it needs to 
meet the country's vast energy potential. I would work with U.S. 
Government agencies--including the Departments of Energy and Interior--
to share U.S. best practices with Argentine counterparts on 
environmental and regulatory matters, including through our Bilateral 
Energy Working Group. There are several U.S. companies interested in 
investing and offering their services to develop Argentina's shale oil 
and gas fields, which are among the largest in the world. I would 
consult regularly with these and other U.S. firms and when appropriate, 
advocate with Argentine authorities on their behalf.

    Question. U.S.-Argentine security cooperation, particularly between 
our militaries, has been nonexistent due to Argentine unwillingness to 
work with us.

   (a) If confirmed, what steps should the Argentine 
        Government take to improve military-military relationship?
   (b) Is the Argentine Government a committed U.S. partner in 
        the fight against terrorism?

    Answer. If confirmed, I will try to build renewed trust between our 
governments and reestablish a constructive partnership based on mutual 
interests and mutual respect, and I will look for similar intent from 
the Argentine Government. After all, our countries share many security 
priorities. Defending national borders against the flow of illegal 
narcotics, for example, is a goal of both our nations. Argentina, twice 
a victim of major terrorist attacks in the 1990s, also shares the U.S. 
commitment to combat international terrorism, and cooperation in this 
area continues.
    Security cooperation with Argentina has been limited since 
Argentina's 2011 seizure of classified U.S. cargo brought into 
Argentina by a U.S. Army Joint Combined Exercise Training team. The 
team had proper prior authorization from Argentine authorities, and 
there was no legitimate reason for the seizure. Differing perspectives 
in multilateral defense and security fora have further complicated our 
bilateral cooperation.
    While many aspects of our defense relationship today remain 
challenging, U.S. security and defense cooperation and training are 
important goals for the administration, including for international 
peacekeeping capacity-building, emergency response preparedness, and 
for regional counternarcotics efforts. The United States engages the 
Argentine Armed Forces through commercial and foreign military sales. 
Some exchange of students between our militaries also continues, 
including through the International Military Educational and Training 
program.

    Question. The intelligence relationship between Argentina and the 
U.S. is important. The Tri-Border region between Argentina, Brazil, and 
Paraguay contains a large illicit trade and trafficking zone where 
foreign operators like Hezbollah are able to sell counterfeit goods, 
launder money, and raise funds for Shia groups and Iranian proxies like 
Hezbollah.

   If confirmed, will you pledge to focus on the Tri-Border 
        area and work to commit the U.S. to monitor Islamic influence 
        and activities in the Southern Cone and work with Argentina, 
        Paraguay, and Brazil on this matter?

    Answer. The Tri-Border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay 
remains an important regional nexus of arms, narcotics, and human 
smuggling, counterfeiting, pirated goods, and money laundering--all 
potential funding sources for terrorist organizations. If confirmed, I 
will work to ensure that we continue to monitor this region closely and 
maintain close communication with this committee on this issue.
    Ideological sympathizers in South America and the Caribbean 
continue to provide financial support to terrorist groups in the Middle 
East and South Asia. If confirmed, I will work with my U.S. Government 
colleagues and the Government of Argentina to expose and combat such 
activity. I will urge Argentine officials to improve domestic law 
enforcement and regulatory coordination, and to establish and enforce 
appropriate laws and regulations to curtail money laundering. I will 
emphasize to Argentina the importance of working with its neighbors, 
Brazil and Paraguay, as well as others in the region to adopt 
complementary measures.
    If confirmed, I will make heightened cooperation a priority.

    Question. In January 2013, President Fernandez de Kirchner 
announced a memorandum of understanding with Iran to create a so-called 
``truth commission'' to reinvestigate the 1994 terrorist attack on the 
Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA).
    The MOU is a reversal of years of work and exhaustive reporting on 
the AMIA attack by Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who has concluded 
that the attack was approved by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and senior 
officials in the Iranian Government.

   (a) What is the U.S. Government's assessment of the work of 
        Special Prosecutor Nisman?
   (b) Are you familiar with his 2006 and 2013 reports?
   (c) What are the administration's views on this so-called 
        ``truth commission?''

    Answer. The U.S. position on the AMIA bombing is clear and 
consistent. For 20 years, the United States and the international 
community have joined the Argentine Government and victims of this 
horrific terrorist attack in demanding justice. I am familiar with 
Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman's findings, and I understand that our 
Embassy personnel have met with him on a number of occasions to discuss 
them.
    The Obama administration is highly skeptical that a solution can be 
found to the AMIA case through the January 2013 Argentina-Iran 
agreement, which includes the establishment of a truth commission. 
Jewish groups in Argentina share that perspective, and they have 
expressed concern that Argentina's cooperation with Iran will only 
cause further delays. In recent months, the Argentine Government itself 
has acknowledged a lack of progress, though it remains committed to the 
agreement.
    If confirmed, I will ensure that the U.S. Government continues to 
support the AMIA investigation so that nearly two decades after the 
bombing in Buenos Aires killed 85 people and wounded 300, the 
perpetrators might finally be held accountable. I take this issue 
extremely seriously, and I will do all I can to help bring justice to 
the victims and their families.

    Question. Argentina is a Tier 2 country for sex and labor 
trafficking according to the 2013 Trafficking in Persons report. 
Argentine women and children from the rural areas are often subjected 
to trafficking in the urban centers.

   (a) If confirmed, how will you engage with the government 
        on the issue of trafficking?
   (b) What specific steps should the Argentine Government 
        take to prevent the trafficking of rural citizens to urban 
        centers?

    Answer. As the Government of Argentina itself has recognized, far 
too many men, women, and children in Argentina are subjected to sex 
trafficking, forced labor in sweatshops and homes, and forced 
prostitution in cities. In spite of progress made by the Government of 
Argentina in the fight against trafficking in persons during the past 
year, serious challenges remain.
    Notable recent accomplishments include passage of a federal 
antitrafficking law, the conviction of 17 trafficking offenders in 
2012, and law enforcement efforts to arrest trafficking suspects and 
rescue victims.
    This has been an area of constructive bilateral engagement in 
recent years. The U.S. Government provided advanced training to 
national and provincial authorities, facilitated by the Immigration and 
Customs Enforcement agency, to combat trafficking in persons. We have 
also provided material support to NGOs engaged in strengthening the 
protection and rights of victims of trafficking.
    Argentina remains a Tier 2 country on the U.S. Government's annual 
Trafficking in Persons report. If confirmed, I will support the 
Government of Argentina in its efforts to strengthen its 
antitrafficking regime, including prevention activities, victim 
services, and the conviction of criminals who profit from this 
destructive activity.

 
  NOMINATIONS OF MATTHEW TUELLER, DOUGLAS SILLIMAN, MARK GILBERT, AND 
                            JOSEPH WESTPHAL

                              ----------                              


                      THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2014

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
                              ----------                              

Matthew Tueller, of Utah, to be Ambassador of the Republic of 
        Yemen
Douglas Alan Silliman, of Texas, to be Ambassador to the State 
        of Kuwait
Mark Gilbert, of Florida, to be Ambassador to New Zealand and 
        to serve concurrently as Ambassador to Samoa
Joseph William Westphal, of New York, to be Ambassador to the 
        Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
                              ----------                              

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:01 p.m., in 
room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Tim Kaine 
presiding.
    Present: Senators Kaine, Risch, and Barrasso.
    Also present: Senator Susan M. Collins.

             OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. TIM KAINE, 
                   U.S. SENATOR FROM VIRGINIA

    Senator Kaine. This meeting of the United States Senate 
Committee on Foreign Relations is called to order. I want to 
thank all who are attending on this day, when both the Federal 
Government and the Senate are shut down. But this is an 
important hearing and I am glad we were able to hold it, and I 
especially appreciate my ranking member, Senator Risch's, 
willingness to do this hearing today.
    The hearing is about ambassadorial nominees to four 
critical allies and partners of the United States: Saudi 
Arabia, New Zealand, Yemen, and Kuwait. Some of the nominees 
have waited for a bit and so we wanted to make sure that we 
could do this today, and I appreciate everyone making this 
happen.
    I will make a few introductory comments about each of our 
four nominees today. I will ask Senator Risch as ranking member 
of the Subcommittee on Near East, South and Central Asian 
Affairs to make opening comments as well. At that point, we are 
fortunate to have with us Senator Collins of Maine, who will 
introduce one of our nominees, Secretary Westphal.
    After that introduction--and we would understand if the 
Senator--everybody is making moves--might need to leave at that 
point. We would certainly understand that. I will ask each of 
the nominees, beginning with Ambassador Tueller and just moving 
across the line, to make opening statements. At that point we 
will move into 7-minute rounds of questions and we may do that 
for a bit. But nevertheless, welcome to all.
    A word about each of the four nominees in no particular 
order. Dr. Westphal, welcome, nominated to be the Ambassador to 
Saudi Arabia, a very, very important partner of the United 
States in the Middle East. Dr. Westphal was appointed Under 
Secretary of the Army in 2009, has quite a bit of experience 
across the Federal Government both in the Department of Defense 
and in other agencies, including the EPA, as well as an 
extensive academic background.
    Dr. Westphal's background as a scholar and public servant 
will come in handy, and especially his work at the DOD will be 
important in his position with Saudi Arabia, one of our 
critical military partners in terms of so many important issues 
in the Middle East.
    Dr. Westphal goes to Riyadh at a very critical time, when 
there has been some at least public strain in the narrative or 
friction in the relationship. Dr. Westphal's skills will help 
us find ways where our countries, who are partners, but who 
will nevertheless have differences, as all partners do, find 
ways to communicate those differences and continue to work in 
partnership. Dr. Westphal, we are glad to have you with us 
today.
    Mark Gilbert is the President's nominee to be Ambassador to 
New Zealand. I said to Mr. Gilbert, who is a friend: You are 
kind of--if they look at the lineup of countries, who does not 
belong here? Well, we have three Middle Eastern countries and 
New Zealand. But we are rearranging geography because it is 
important that Mark, whose nomination has been up for a while, 
is here today, and we are glad to have you and your family.
    Mark has an interesting background: a long-time business 
background in the financial sector for a number of companies--
Goldman Sachs, currently Barclay's, where he has done a lot of 
important economic development work, and with the New Zealand 
trade relationship that will come in handy. But one of the 
interesting things about Mark is he also played pro baseball 
for the Chicago White Sox and other minor league teams, and 
Mark is somebody who has been a very, very good friend and 
would bring a lot to bear. He and his family will be wonderful 
representatives of the country.
    Senator Nelson was going to be here to introduce Mark today 
and was not able to come because of the weather, but submitted 
a statement. The entire statement will be included in the 
record, but let me just read an excerpt from Senator Nelson's 
statement: ``I'm very pleased to introduce to the committee an 
outstanding Floridian, Mr. Mark Gilbert, to be our next 
Ambassador to New Zealand. Mark has been a friend of mine for 
many years and is without a doubt a terrific candidate for this 
important post. Mark has a background in economics, having 
served as a director of Barclay's Wealth in West Palm Beach, 
senior vice president of Goldman Sachs in Miami, and senior 
vice president, sales manager, of Drexel Burnham Lambert in 
Boca Raton. Before his successful career in finance, Mark was a 
professional baseball player for several years, even playing in 
the major leagues with the Chicago White Sox in 1985.
    ``Mark's combined skills and professional experience make 
him an excellent nominee to serve as our next U.S. Ambassador 
to New Zealand. A major trade and regional partner, New Zealand 
will continue to pay a crucial role in U.S. efforts.
    ``I am so pleased that the President has recognized Mark 
and named him to this important post and I look forward to 
supporting his speedy confirmation by the full Senate.''
    The entire statement will be included in the record, but I 
wanted you to know that Senator Nelson thinks so highly of the 
nomination.
    [The prepared statement of Senator Nelson follows:]

               Prepared Statement of Senator Bill Nelson 
                    Introducing Nominee Mark Gilbert

    I am very pleased to introduce to the committee an outstanding 
Floridian--Mr. Mark Gilbert--to be our next Ambassador to New Zealand.
    Mark has been a friend of mine for many years and is, without a 
doubt, a terrific candidate for this important post.
    Mark has a background in economics--having served as a director at 
Barclays Wealth in West Palm Beach; senior vice president of Goldman 
Sachs in Miami; and the senior vice president sales manager of Drexel 
Burnham Lambert in Boca Raton.
    Before his successful career in finance, Mark was a professional 
baseball player for several years--even playing in the major leagues 
with the Chicago White Sox in 1985.
    Mark's combined skills and professional experiences make him an 
excellent nominee to serve as our next U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand.
    A major trade and regional partner, New Zealand will continue to 
play a crucial role in U.S. rebalance efforts toward Asia.
    In addition to being a strong economic partner, helping to forge 
the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement, we have a 
significant bilateral trade relationship--totaling $11 billion in 2011.
    And while New Zealand is currently our 56th-largest trading 
partner, I'm certain that Mark will help lower that number once he has 
settled in the post.
    Mark will also represent the United States to a crucial military 
partner. Like its neighbor Australia, New Zealand has fought alongside 
the United States time and again.
    New Zealand's military commitment in Afghanistan has been vastly 
importantly. Their special forces have been deployed there since 2001, 
contributing to ISAF headquarters and the U.N. mission in Afghanistan. 
They've also contributed to the Provincial Reconstruction Team in 
Bamyan province, strengthening security and stability there.
    During the last few years, I've been pleased to see a new chapter 
in our bilateral, defense cooperation. Joint operations in the region 
now include maritime security, counterterrorism, humanitarian 
assistance, and disaster relief.
    New Zealand's participation in recent, multination military 
exercises has greatly increased our interoperability throughout the 
pacific.
    Our continued security and economic cooperation with New Zealand 
will continue to be very important. I'm certain that as Ambassador, 
Mark will reinforce and build upon this strong and mutually beneficial 
relationship.
    I'm so pleased that the President has recognized Mark and named him 
to this important post, and I look forward to supporting his speedy 
confirmation by the full Senate.

    Senator Kaine. In Kuwait, the nominee we will hear from 
today is Mr. Doug Silliman of Texas, who has had a superb and 
an extensive record as a career Foreign Service officer. Both 
he and the next nominee, Ambassador Tueller, have served in 
very difficult and challenging environments, sometimes able to 
take their families, sometimes not able to take their families. 
But they relish challenges, and Kuwait is a very important 
position.
    Mr. Silliman embodies a wonderful tradition within the 
Foreign Service. He speaks Arabic, French, and Turkish and he 
has years of experience in the Middle East. During a time of 
growing security tension across the Middle East and concerns 
over Iran and Syria, our close partnership with Kuwait, formed 
both in peace and in war, is more crucial than ever.
    A career diplomat like Mr. Silliman, who represents the 
best of our Foreign Service, who is just returning from a 
posting in Baghdad, where he was able to see what a lot of 
people thought would not be possible, the reestablishment and 
actually formation of very strong relations between Iraq and 
Kuwait, gives him exactly the kinds of experiences necessary to 
handle our important relationship with our ally in Kuwait.
    You follow in the footsteps of an illustrious predecessor, 
the next man I will introduce, Ambassador Tueller. Ambassador 
Tueller is just completing service in Kuwait and has been 
nominated for the important, challenging position of U.S. 
Ambassador to Yemen. Mr. Tueller is also a career Foreign 
Service officer. Actually, he had a career before he had a 
career, because he grew up as the son of a Foreign Service 
officer and served with his family originally as a child in 
Latin America.
    His career in the Foreign Service has been in both Latin 
America and in the Middle East, and he has served with 
distinction, most recently in Kuwait, and is now assuming, upon 
confirmation, upon vote of the Senate, this position in Yemen.
    Every day American diplomats risk their lives around the 
world and nowhere is that more true than Yemen, a country where 
political and economic normalization is in the direct security 
interests of the United States. Mr. Tueller, who most recently 
served in Kuwait, was previously posted in Yemen at a time in 
the early 2000s, has familiarity with the country, and brings a 
great deal of experience to this important task, where there is 
an ongoing national dialogue about the formation of a new 
government that might be a federal government--these were just 
announced earlier in the week--where there are potential issues 
from the U.S. security and counterintelligence programs to 
Guantanamo. All impact this mission in Yemen.
    We are pleased to have you here, and all the nominees, 
congratulations on your recommendations, nominations by the 
President, and we look forward to this hearing today.
    With that, I will turn the meeting over to my ranking 
member, Senator Risch, for his comments as well.

           OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES E. RISCH, 
                    U.S. SENATOR FROM IDAHO

    Senator Risch. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. From what 
I can tell, this must be an extremely important hearing, 
inasmuch from what I can tell everybody left in Washington, DC, 
is in this room. [Laughter.]
    Senator Risch. Thank you for holding the hearing. Certainly 
some of these countries are real challenges. I look forward to 
hearing the testimony of the three nominees and I suspect we 
will have some exhilarating questions after that. Thank you, 
Mr. Chair.
    Senator Kaine. Thank you. I also appreciate Senator 
Barrasso for joining us today.
    Senator Collins is here, Senator from Maine, to offer a 
word of recommendation about the nominee to be Ambassador to 
Saudi Arabia, Dr. Westphal. Senator Collins, great to have you 
here.

              STATEMENT OF HON. SUSAN M. COLLINS, 
                    U.S. SENATOR FROM MAINE

    Senator Collins. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Mr. 
Chairman, I would expect that your two colleagues and I, 
because of the States we come from, would be able to brave this 
weather and think nothing of it. But I am particularly 
impressed that someone from Virginia, the Commonwealth of 
Virginia, is able to be with us today and to preside over this 
hearing. So with that, I will begin my formal comments.
    Chairman Kaine, Ranking Member Risch, I am pleased to 
appear before you today to introduce Dr. Joseph Westphal, who 
has been nominated to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the 
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I have known and worked with Dr. 
Westphal in two different capacities, both here in Washington, 
where he serves as Under Secretary of the Army, and back home 
in Maine, where he was Chancellor of the University of Maine 
System from 2006 to 2009.
    Dr. Westphal has a reputation as a talented leader and 
manager in both the Federal and State government. His extensive 
experience and knowledge of national security policy are just 
two of the essential skills that he will bring to the task of 
strengthening our bilateral relationships with the Saudis 
during what is a turbulent, complicated time in the Middle 
East.
    Dr. Westphal's long career in academia and public service 
began when he received his Ph.D. in political science from the 
University of Missouri and then taught for 12 years at Oklahoma 
State University. His career took a turn toward public policy 
when he went to work for one of our colleagues, Senator Thad 
Cochran, from 1995 through 1997. He also served as a Senior 
Policy Advisor at the Environmental Protection Agency, before 
becoming an Assistant Secretary of the Army in 1998. In 2001 he 
served as Acting Secretary of the Army, responsible for 
organizing, training, and equipping the 1.1 million men and 
women serving in that branch of our military services.
    Since being nominated and confirmed as Under Secretary of 
the Army in 2009, Joe has dedicated his considerable energy to 
keeping our country safe. I have worked very closely with him 
on several issues affecting military readiness and personnel 
and I can attest to his dedication to public service, his 
pragmatic approach to solving problems, and his unwavering 
commitment to our troops.
    Secretary Westphal is also a charter member of the Deputy 
Secretary of Defense Advisory Group, which deals with all 
matters related to strategy, policy, budgeting, acquisition, 
personnel, and readiness in the Department. This group also 
provides advice to the Secretary of Defense on matters related 
to Department activities in support of operations in the Middle 
East and gulf region, and it has focused on issues related to 
Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, and other countries in 
the Central Command area of responsibility.
    Secretary Westphal has been heavily involved in this group 
and as a result has a deep understanding of the strategic 
challenges faced by the United States in this region.
    Mr. Chairman, again thank you for this opportunity to 
introduce Dr. Joseph Westphal. I am confident that if confirmed 
he will carry out the duties of this important position with 
the same commitment and unique set of practical and policy 
skills that he has brought to every position that he has held 
in his extensive previous public service.
    Thank you very much, and I thank the members of this 
committee.
    Senator Kaine. Thank you, Senator Collins. We understand 
that you may need to depart, but we appreciate you being here 
today to offer those words on behalf of Dr. Westphal.
    Senator Collins. Thank you.
    Senator Kaine. We will now move into opening statements by 
our nominees. I think we will start with Ambassador Tueller and 
move across the table. Your entire written statement will be 
included in the record. Iwould like to ask you to make your 
opening comments to about 5 minutes. The entire written 
statement will be included.
    Ambassador Tueller, welcome.

  STATEMENT OF HON. MATTHEW TUELLER, OF UTAH, NOMINATED TO BE 
              AMBASSADOR TO THE REPUBLIC OF YEMEN

    Ambassador Tueller. Thank you. Chairman Kaine, Ranking 
Member Risch, members of the committee, let me first extend my 
personal gratitude, and I think I can speak on behalf of all my 
fellow nominees, for your dedication in ensuring that this 
hearing goes ahead today despite the weather conditions.
    It is an honor to appear before you today as President 
Obama's nominee to serve as Ambassador to the Republic of 
Yemen. I am grateful to the President for his nomination and to 
Secretary Kerry for his continued trust and confidence. I am 
sorry that my wife Denise and our five children are unable to 
attend today's session, but thank them for their continued love 
and support.
    I welcome the opportunity to discuss Yemen today and ask 
that my full testimony be submitted for the record.
    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, if confirmed I 
will work to advance critical U.S. foreign policy and national 
security interests in Yemen. My top priorities will be to 
support the people of Yemen in their ongoing transition to 
democracy, to bolster U.S. security cooperation with the Yemeni 
Government, to foster greater regional and global security, and 
ensure the safety and security of U.S. citizens and embassy 
employees.
    The United States has a strong and growing partnership with 
Yemen. Since the November 2011 signing of Yemen's transition 
agreement, the people of Yemen have accomplished what many 
thought impossible. Under the leadership of President Hadi, 
Yemen has embarked on a serious reform effort to better meet 
the political, economic, security, and social aspirations of 
its citizens.
    If confirmed, I will work to promote the various reforms 
underpinning this transition. A successful transition will also 
bolster our domestic security as the Yemeni Government develops 
its capacity to directly counter the threat of terrorism and 
root out the underlying causes of violent extremism.
    President Obama underscored last May that AQAP is the most 
active organization plotting against the United States. This 
threat emanates from Yemen. The Yemeni people have borne the 
brunt of AQAP's vicious attacks. President Hadi and the Yemeni 
people stand strongly committed to stamping out this threat to 
the peace and security of their country. If confirmed, I will 
work to deepen our two nations' commitment to close 
coordination in this shared fight by continuing strong United 
States support for programs that develop the capability of 
Yemen's security forces, counter violent extremism, and build 
the capacity of law enforcement.
    Despite Yemen's transition accomplishments, significant 
humanitarian challenges remain. The gains in political and 
security sector reforms have not yet translated into large-
scale improvements in the daily life of average Yemenis and 
over half of the population is in need of some form of 
humanitarian assistance.
    Yemen's transitional government is working to address these 
issues, but the support of the international community will 
remain critical to prevent these acute needs from derailing the 
transition process. If confirmed, I will continue our efforts 
to address Yemen's most pressing needs while assisting Yemen on 
its path to sustainability and self-sufficiency through 
economic reform and development.
    Above all, if confirmed my most important responsibility 
will be to protect our Embassy and our mission staff. We must 
continue to have a strong presence in Yemen despite the threat 
environment.
    Mr. Chairman, I have had the extraordinary privilege of 
serving as a Foreign Service officer for nearly 30 years now, 
currently as Ambassador to Kuwait. Growing up as the child of a 
Foreign Service officer, I learned early of both the privileges 
and responsibilities that come from a commitment to service to 
one's country. My formative years in North Africa, Europe, and 
Latin America inspired a desire to pursue a career building 
ties between the United States and our partners around the 
world. My service in Baghdad, Riyadh, Cairo, among other 
challenging posts, has helped prepare me to represent our 
country in Yemen.
    In October 2000 after the attack on the USS COLE, I was 
given the task of opening and heading a U.S. office in Aden in 
support of the investigation. For me that was an early 
indicator of the pressing need to develop partnerships across 
the region so that the United States could meet the threat 
posed by violent extremists. It is gratifying to see how much 
progress has been made in this respect in our counterterrorism 
cooperation with the Government of Yemen. If confirmed, I 
pledge to continue this important work, furthering United 
States interests in Yemen and in the region.
    Again, I am honored by this nomination and greatly 
appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today. I will 
be pleased to answer any questions. Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Ambassador Tueller follows:]

          Prepared Statement of Ambassador Matthew H. Tueller

    Chairman Kaine, Ranking Member Risch, members of the committee, it 
is an honor to appear before you today as President Obama's nominee to 
serve as Ambassador to the Republic of Yemen. I am grateful to the 
President for his nomination and to Secretary Kerry for his continued 
trust and confidence. If confirmed, I will work steadfastly to advance 
critical U.S. foreign policy and national security interests in Yemen. 
In service of those U.S. interests, my top priorities will be to 
support the people of Yemen in their ongoing transition to democracy, 
bolster U.S. security cooperation with the Yemeni Government to foster 
greater regional and global stability and combat the threat posed by 
al-Qaeda, and, of course, ensure the safety and security of U.S. 
citizens and Embassy employees.
    Mr. Chairman, the United States has a strong and growing 
partnership with Yemen. Yemen, itself, is in the midst of a historic 
transition. Since the November 2011 signing of the Gulf Cooperation 
Council (GCC)-brokered political transition initiative, the people of 
Yemen have accomplished what many thought impossible. Under the 
leadership of President Hadi, Yemen has embarked on a serious reform 
effort to better meet the needs of its citizens, facilitate a 
democratic process, and participate more fully as a partner in 
supporting regional security. If confirmed, I will work to expand our 
broad engagement to continue promoting the various political, economic, 
and security sector reforms underpinning this transition, which support 
our U.S. foreign policy and national security interests of a stable, 
secure, and democratic Yemen. The ultimate success of Yemen's 
transition will not only impact our interests in the region, but also 
our domestic security as the Yemeni Government develops its capacity to 
directly counter the significant threat from Al Qaeda in the Arabian 
Peninsula (AQAP) and root out the underlying causes of violent 
extremism, in part, through a bolstered ability to meet Yemeni 
citizens' economic, humanitarian, and political needs.
    On January 25, the people of Yemen achieved a critical milestone in 
their ongoing transition process, with the conclusion of the National 
Dialogue Conference. The dialogue marked the first time representatives 
from diverse segments of Yemeni society--including political elites, 
tribal elders, women, youth, civil society, former disenfranchised 
southerners, and religious minorities--met for substantive discussions 
about the country's political future. This conversation represented a 
sea-change in Yemeni politics. If confirmed, I will work to ensure that 
these varied groups continue to have a voice in the political process--
particularly since it is these voices that call most loudly for 
equality, for prosperity, and for the rights of women, children, and 
other vulnerable groups. In addition to working to ensure that these 
groups have a voice in the political process, I will also work to 
ensure that the rights of women, children, and all individuals in Yemen 
are respected and protected.
    As Yemen works to shape its future, I will work to guarantee that 
the United States and the international community--particularly Yemen's 
GCC neighbors--remain firmly supportive of Yemen's efforts, despite the 
myriad hot-spots in the region. U.S. and international engagement will 
continue to be essential as Yemen moves forward with the next steps in 
the transition process, including constitutional reform, a 
constitutional referendum, and, ultimately, national elections, 
expected within the next year.
    A democratic, unified, and stable Yemen will also be able to 
participate more fully as a partner in supporting regional security and 
combating terrorism. Yemen continues to face frequent terrorist attacks 
by AQAP operating within its borders. President Obama underscored in 
May that AQAP is the most active organization plotting against the 
United States--and that this threat emanates from Yemen. The Yemeni 
people have borne the brunt of AQAP's vicious attacks. The assault on 
the Ministry of Defense hospital in December 2013 underscored the 
deplorable tactics employed against civilians by this terrorist group. 
The Yemeni people and the international community were horrified at 
video footage of terrorists shooting unarmed patients in their beds, 
viciously murdering doctors and nurses, and stalking through hallways 
to kill survivors. President Hadi and the Yemeni people stand strongly 
committed to stamping out this threat to the safety of their families, 
the peace and security of their country, and the citizens of its 
international partners.
    If confirmed, I will work to deepen our two nations' commitment to 
close coordination in this shared fight against terrorism. To this end, 
our assistance programs to Yemen seek to develop the capacity of 
Yemen's security forces to conduct counterterrorism operations and to 
secure maritime and land borders and territorial waters. We also 
support programs to counter violent extremism in Yemen, including a 
focus on the role that civil society can play in speaking out against 
violence. And we are assisting Yemeni efforts to build the capacity of 
law enforcement to better respond to the security concerns of Yemeni 
communities. The United States will continue to employ the full range 
of counterterrorism tools to support Yemen's fight against AQAP.
    With U.S. support, President Hadi has also taken important steps 
toward restructuring the military and security services and to enhance 
the professionalism and capacity of Yemen's Armed Forces. If confirmed, 
I will encourage the Yemeni Government to continue progress on this 
important aspect of the transition, which will strengthen Yemeni 
capacity to secure the country against threats and enhance regional 
security. I will also support international efforts to assist the 
Yemenis in countering the spread of violent extremism. The 
establishment of a credible, sustainable extremist rehabilitation 
program would be an important step for the Yemeni Government toward 
bolstering its counterterrorism capabilities.
    Finally, there still remains the significant challenge posed by the 
Guantanamo Bay detention facility. More than half of the remaining 
detainees at Guantanamo are Yemeni nationals. If confirmed, I will work 
with the administration and with Congress to support efforts to 
responsibly close the facility while protecting our U.S. national 
security interests.
    Despite Yemen's transition accomplishments to date, significant 
challenges remain. The gains in political and security sector reform 
have not yet translated into large-scale improvements in the daily life 
of average Yemenis. Almost 15 million Yemenis--over half the 
population--are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. More 
than 13 million do not have access to safe water and sanitation, 10.5 
million are food-insecure, and more than 1 million children do not have 
access to education. As the result of years of conflict, there are also 
more than 300,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are in 
desperate need of assistance. Large-scale migration will continue to 
present humanitarian and security challenges. There are nearly a 
quarter million refugees and 147,500 migrants, mostly from the Horn of 
Africa, many of whom arrive destitute and in poor health. In addition, 
Yemen is now coping with the return of approximately 400,000 Yemeni 
laborers recently deported from Saudi Arabia.
    Yemen's transitional government is working to address these issues, 
but the support of the international community will remain critical in 
the near-term to help meet acute needs and prevent them from 
overwhelming the transition process. If confirmed, I will continue our 
efforts to address Yemen's most pressing needs to create the space for 
the transition to succeed, through bilateral assistance and partnership 
with the international community through the Friends of Yemen and the 
U.N. Humanitarian Response Plan. Focusing on the longer term, I will 
also work to assist Yemen on its path to sustainability and self-
sufficiency through economic reform and development.
    Economic reform will be an essential underpinning of the ongoing 
transition's ultimate success. Without significant structural reform 
and the development of a sustainable private sector, many of the Yemeni 
citizens' key economic demands will not be met. These key reforms will 
include rebalancing government spending priorities, transitioning 
toward a more targeted and efficient social safety net, and increasing 
investments in long-term growth. The development of a robust private 
sector will also be critical to addressing Yemenis' demands for jobs 
and economic development. I will steadfastly support the President and 
Secretary's agenda in bolstering regional economic integration and 
reform. I will build on my predecessor's successful efforts at 
expanding ties between the Yemeni and American business communities. I 
will also look for ways to maximize the benefit from Yemen's WTO 
accession as an opportunity to boost regional economic development 
cooperation. Economic development and reform will not only help the 
Yemeni Government meet the needs of all Yemeni citizens, but it will 
also empower Yemenis to build better lives for themselves through 
private enterprise while developing long-term relationships with 
American and international partners across the fields of science, 
health, technology, and commerce.
    I take seriously our obligation to protect our embassies and 
embassy staff abroad and am satisfied to know that, if confirmed, I 
would lead an embassy with an excellent security team. We must continue 
to have a strong presence in Yemen, despite the threat environment, and 
remain firmly committed to our comprehensive partnership with President 
Hadi and the Yemeni people.
    Mr. Chairman, I have had the extraordinary privilege of serving as 
a Foreign Service officer for nearly 30 years, currently as Ambassador 
to Kuwait. Growing up as the dependent of a Foreign Service officer, I 
learned early of both the privileges and responsibilities that come 
from a commitment to service to one's country. My formative years 
growing up in North Africa, Europe, and Latin America inspired a strong 
desire to pursue a career building ties between the United States and 
partners around the world. Service in Baghdad, Riyadh, and Cairo, among 
other challenging posts, has helped prepare me to represent our country 
in Yemen.
    In October 2000 after the attack on the USS Cole in the Port of 
Aden, I was given the task of opening and leading a U.S. Office in Aden 
in support of the investigation into the attack. For me, that was an 
early indicator of the pressing need to develop partnerships across the 
region so that the U.S. could meet the threat posed by violent 
extremists. Serving in Riyadh on September 11, 2001, highlighted for me 
that the threat to our interests and our citizens posed by terrorists 
was a critical foreign policy priority and that our ability to counter 
this threat would be enhanced by the extent to which we could engage 
our partners in the region in standing with us against the threat. It 
is gratifying to see how much progress has been made in this respect in 
our counterterrorism cooperation with the Government of Yemen. I am 
proud to say we enjoy a close partnership with President Hadi and the 
Yemeni Government, and we share a commitment to a democratic transition 
and regional security. If confirmed, I pledge to continue this 
important work in Yemen, furthering U.S. interests there and in the 
region.
    Again, I am honored by this nomination and greatly appreciate the 
opportunity to appear before you today. I will be pleased to answer any 
questions. Thank you.

    Senator Kaine. Thank you, Ambassador Tueller.
    Mr. Silliman.

 STATEMENT OF DOUGLAS ALAN SILLIMAN, OF TEXAS, NOMINATED TO BE 
               AMBASSADOR TO THE STATE OF KUWAIT

    Mr. Silliman. Chairman Kaine, Ranking Member Risch, I am 
honored to appear before the committee today and gratified by 
the trust that the President has placed in me by nominating me 
as the Ambassador to the State of Kuwait. I have submitted my 
full written testimony to the committee for the record and 
welcome this opportunity to say a few short words.
    I would like to start by thanking my family for their love 
and support as I have dragged them across North Africa, the 
Middle East, and South Asia over my career. My wife, Catherine, 
and my younger son, Zachary, are here with me. My older son, 
Benjamin, as the chairman knows, is at William and Mary 
University and could not be with us. I also want to thank my 
father, who supported me in this career from the very 
beginning, when others had some doubts whether this was the 
right path.
    I also want to acknowledge Ambassador Matt Tueller, sitting 
next to me at the table, for his exemplary service as the 
Ambassador in Kuwait over the past 2\1/2\ years. I hope that I 
can fill his very large shoes.
    If confirmed, I pledge to work closely with this committee 
and with the entire Congress, and I look forward to seeing you 
and your staffs in Kuwait, and to consulting with you and your 
staffs whenever I am back in Washington.
    If confirmed, foremost among my priorities will be the 
safety of American citizens, those in the Embassy, deployed 
U.S. service members, and the many private Americans who live 
in and visit Kuwait.
    Mr. Chairman, there are few U.S. friends or allies as 
steadfast as Kuwait. This strong relationship was forged in the 
heat of battle during the first gulf war as brave Americans and 
Kuwaitis fought to liberate Kuwait from occupation. One of 
those Americans was my father-in-law, Doctor and retired Army 
Medical Corps Colonel, Ted Raia, who led a combat support 
hospital during the war.
    If confirmed, I will seek to deepen United States-Kuwait 
cooperation on defense and security. This includes continued 
strong American support for the defense of Kuwait, for the 
security of the wider region, and the fight against terrorism 
and terrorism financing. Our U.S. military presence in Kuwait 
is concrete proof of our country's commitment to these 
principles.
    The regional security is more than just military relations. 
As President Obama said during the visit of Emir Sheikh 
Zaballah to Washington this past September, Kuwait is one of 
our most important partners in the region, working together on 
a whole range of economic and social and security issues. In 
particular, Kuwait has led international assistance efforts for 
Syrian refugees, hosting United Nations humanitarian pledging 
conferences for Syria in 2013 and 2014 and itself donating $500 
million in assistance this year alone.
    United States-Kuwait economic and energy ties are strong, 
but can grow stronger. If confirmed, I will vigorously pursue 
opportunities for United States businesses in Kuwait and work 
to attract Kuwaiti investment into the United States.
    Kuwait has a vibrant political system with strong 
constitutional traditions. Women vote and run for office and 
currently serve in the Kuwaiti Parliament and the Cabinet. If 
confirmed, I will engage with Kuwaitis to explore how Kuwait 
might expand human rights and protections for vulnerable 
populations.
    About 60 percent of Kuwaitis are under the age of 30 and 
the United States must stay connected to this new generation, 
mostly born since the liberation of Kuwait. If confirmed, I 
will prioritize outreach to younger Kuwaitis, emphasizing the 
fundamental American values of education and tolerance.
    Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Risch, Senator Barrasso, I 
have had the privilege of serving the American people as a 
diplomat for nearly three decades. During my career, including 
as deputy chief of mission in Iraq and in Turkey, I have 
encouraged democracy and human rights, defended the homeland 
and my posts against terrorism, advocated for American 
companies, developed the professional skills of my staff, 
promoted entrepreneurship, and even sponsored the teaching of 
American jazz. And through it all I have done my best to 
shepherd American taxpayers' dollars wisely.
    I am confident that I have the skills necessary to succeed 
as our next Ambassador to Kuwait and I hope that this committee 
and the full Senate concur.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you again for the opportunity to be 
here today, especially under these conditions. I would be very 
pleased to answer any questions the committee has.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Silliman follows:]

               Prepared Statement of Douglas A. Silliman

    Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I am honored to appear 
before this committee today, and gratified by the trust that President 
Obama and Secretary Kerry have shown by nominating me to serve as 
Ambassador to the State of Kuwait. If you will permit me, I would also 
like to thank my family for their support throughout my career. My 
wife, Catherine, and younger son, Zachary, are here with us today.
    I would also like to express my thanks to my friends and to the 
many colleagues across the U.S. Government with whom I have worked 
during my nearly 30 years in the Foreign Service. I particularly want 
to acknowledge Ambassador Matt Tueller, sitting here at the table with 
me today, for his exemplary service as the U.S. Ambassador in Kuwait 
over the past 2\1/2\ years. If confirmed, I will strive to follow his 
example as I pursue U.S. national interests. I also pledge to work 
closely with this committee and others in the Congress to sustain and 
enhance relations with Kuwait, and of course, we would welcome the 
opportunity to see you and your staff in Kuwait.
    There are few U.S. friends or allies in the world as steadfast as 
Kuwait, particularly in the strategically important and always dynamic 
Middle East. Of course, the strong foundation of this relationship was 
forged in the heat of battle during the first gulf war and in the 
sacrifices of the brave men and women from the U.S. military and Kuwait 
who fought to liberate Kuwait from occupation. If confirmed, my mission 
will be to continue to deepen and broaden the strategic U.S.-Kuwait 
partnership, to include not just military-to-military ties but also 
substantial academic, commercial and cultural relations.
    Foremost among my priorities will be the protection of American 
citizens in Kuwait--those working in the U.S. mission, U.S. military 
personnel deployed forward, and the numerous private Americans who live 
in, work in, or visit Kuwait.
    If confirmed, I will also seek to deepen U.S.-Kuwaiti cooperation 
on defense and security. This includes continued strong and concrete 
American support for the defense of Kuwait and the stability of the 
wider region, as evidenced by the presence of U.S. military personnel 
in Kuwait.
    Of course, regional security is not only about military-to-military 
relations but also about ensuring strong diplomatic coordination. 
Fortunately, the United States and Kuwait share a very similar outlook 
on regional developments. During the visit of Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-
Ahmad Al-Sabah to Washington this past September, he reviewed with 
President Obama and Vice President Biden the full range of regional 
issues that affect both of our nations--including Syria, Iraq, and 
Yemen, and efforts to secure Middle East peace. The two leaders agreed 
to continue to pursue shared objectives on these issues. Kuwait has 
also played a globally important role as a leading contributor to 
humanitarian assistance efforts for conflict victims and refugees 
fleeing the brutal war in Syria: in January it hosted for the second 
time a U.N. assistance conference that raised $2.6 billion in new 
assistance for the humanitarian response, including a new Kuwaiti 
pledge of $500 million.
    I was fortunate to observe first-hand from Baghdad the courageous 
steps that Iraq and Kuwait took to finally and fully normalize 
relations, and Kuwait's rapprochement with Iraq now serves as the model 
for reintegrating Iraq into the immediate neighborhood, from which it 
was so long estranged, and the wider Arab world. Meanwhile, Kuwait's 
financial assistance to Yemen and support for its political transition 
have been important factors in our ongoing efforts to ensure long-term 
stability throughout the region. Significantly, our two governments are 
also working to strengthen our joint efforts to fight against terrorism 
and terrorism financing throughout the region.
    Energy is another important issue in Kuwait. Kuwait holds about 7 
percent of the world's proven oil reserves and will remain a 
significant producer of hydrocarbons for many years to come. If 
confirmed, I will promote U.S. technical assistance as an important 
tool to help Kuwait protect and modernize its oil and gas 
infrastructure. There are also realizable opportunities to improve 
Kuwait's energy efficiency through simple steps such as further 
reducing the flaring of natural gas and increasing the energy 
efficiency of new buildings.
    These priorities should also provide new commercial opportunities 
for American companies in Kuwait. According to the International 
Monetary Fund, Kuwait has run regular and large budget surpluses for 
more than a decade--including more than $50 billion last year. At the 
same time, Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund is the region's oldest, 
controlling more than $400 billion in assets. If confirmed, I will 
vigorously pursue commercial opportunities for U.S. businesses in 
Kuwait, particularly in Kuwait's rapidly expanding infrastructure and 
housing sectors. I will also work to attract more Kuwaiti investment 
into the United States, where Kuwait represents one of our country's 
fast growing sources of incoming foreign direct investment.
    Kuwait stands out in the region for its vibrant politics and its 
outspoken press and I look forward to witnessing Kuwaiti politics first 
hand. The Kuwaiti Constitution remains the framework for political 
discussion in all its forms, and Kuwait's National Assembly is an 
empowered legislative body with significant oversight authorities. 
Women have voted and run for office since 2006, and women currently sit 
in both the Cabinet and Parliament. If confirmed, I will continue the 
regular engagement we have long enjoyed with Kuwaiti politicians, 
opinion leaders and the full range of Kuwaitis to highlight democracy 
in the United States and its impact on civil and human rights, 
increased protection for vulnerable populations, improved labor 
standards and providing better economic opportunities for all.
    I will also devote my attention to Kuwait's important youth 
population. With nearly half of the country's population under the age 
of 25, many Kuwaitis coming of age today were not yet born when U.S. 
forces helped liberate their country. Because they are growing up in a 
fundamentally different world than previous generations, the United 
States must strive to tell these Kuwaitis our story and continue to 
establish new relationships that will last far into the future.
    That is a task we can accomplish. American culture is as popular 
among Kuwaiti youth as it is elsewhere around the globe. They love to 
visit the United States, and they understand that speaking English and 
getting an American education teaches them how to connect, how to solve 
problems and how to be a world citizen in the new era of globalization. 
Right now, there are at least 6,500 Kuwaiti students enrolled in U.S. 
colleges and universities, with plans to expand their presence, and 
tens of thousands more Kuwaitis visit each year for tourism, medical, 
and business reasons, bringing with them billions of dollars to be 
injected into the U.S. economy.
    The United States uses exchange programs, English language 
scholarships, and other opportunities to engage the rising generation 
of Kuwaitis. If confirmed, I will prioritize mission engagement with 
younger Kuwaitis, emphasizing the fundamental American values of 
education, tolerance, and inclusion that are the backbone of U.S. 
success.
    Mr. Chairman, I have had the extraordinary privilege of serving the 
American people as a diplomat for nearly three decades. I began my 
career adjudicating visas in Haiti, where I quickly learned how 
fortunate we are to be American citizens. My time in the Middle East 
and South Asia taught me how compelling American values truly are. 
Throughout my career I have promoted human rights, countered terrorism, 
strengthened military-to-military ties and advocated on behalf of U.S. 
companies. Most recently, I served as the Deputy Chief of Mission in 
Iraq during the withdrawal of our troops and scaling-down of our 
Embassy; prior to that I served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Turkey. 
In these positions I was responsible for thousands of American direct 
hire personnel and many more thousands of contractors and locally 
engaged staff. Through it all, I have experienced first-hand the strong 
returns of investing in people, ensuring their personal security and 
that of their families, and prioritizing career development and mission 
morale. I am confident that during these past 30 years I have acquired 
the skills necessary to succeed as a chief of mission.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you again for the opportunity to appear here 
today. I will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.

    Senator Kaine. Thank you, Mr. Silliman.
    Mr. Gilbert.

    STATEMENT OF MARK GILBERT, OF FLORIDA, NOMINATED TO BE 
    AMBASSADOR TO NEW ZEALAND AND TO SERVE CONCURRENTLY AS 
                      AMBASSADOR TO SAMOA

    Mr. Gilbert. Chairman Kaine, Ranking Member Risch, Senator 
Barrasso, I am honored to appear before you today as President 
Obama's nominee to serve as United States Ambassador to New 
Zealand and to the independent state of Samoa. I am grateful to 
the President and to Secretary Kerry for their trust and 
confidence in nominating me, and I am equally grateful to 
receive this committee's consideration.
    With the chairman's permission, I would like to introduce 
my wife, Nancy, and daughter, Danielle, who are with me today, 
and also acknowledge my daughter, Elizabeth, who unfortunately 
because of the weather was not able to be here. They are the 
driving force behind everything that I do.
    Mr. Chairman, I can imagine no higher honor than to be 
asked to serve my country as Ambassador to New Zealand and 
Samoa. Connected by the Pacific Ocean, we are partners 
committed to expanding global trade, promoting democratic 
values, while pursuing peace and security. With almost three 
decades of experience in global finance and investment, I 
appreciate our enduring economic ties to New Zealand and the 
economic opportunities in Samoa and the Pacific region as a 
whole. If confirmed, I will strive to advance our Nation's 
interests, nurture those economic ties, and build on our 
growing relationships.
    The United States is one of New Zealand's top trading 
partners. We have collaborated closely on the Trans-Pacific 
Partnership negotiations. If confirmed, I will work to promote 
an even stronger economic link between our countries, 
capitalizing on opportunities to not only increase U.S. 
investment in New Zealand, but to also expand New Zealand 
investment here at home.
    New Zealand is an active partner in the United Nations, 
committed to resolving conflict through negotiation. It plays a 
far larger role on the world stage than the country size would 
suggest. Its Armed Forces have led and participated in numerous 
peacekeeping missions around the globe and have worked side by 
side with our troops in Afghanistan.
    In 2010 our nations signed the Wellington Declaration, 
pledging increased diplomatic ties and regional cooperation. In 
2012 we laid the foundation for the strengthened defense 
cooperation in the Washington Declaration.
    New Zealand is an integral link in the global effort 
against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and 
actively works in the Asia-Pacific region on counterterrorism 
issues as well. As an island nation with a culture and an 
economy deeply rooted in its natural resources, New Zealand 
understands the seriousness of global scientific and public 
policy challenges, including greenhouse gas emissions and 
climate change.
    Fifty years ago we forged a scientific partnership with New 
Zealand and Antarctica. Christchurch serves as the U.S. 
Antarctic program's gateway for operations, including vital 
environmental research at McMurdo Station and our South Pole 
Base. We closely cooperate in multilateral settings, working to 
provide technical assistance to Pacific Island economies in 
education, in energy policy, and the training of the local 
workforce.
    As the first independent country to be formed out of island 
territories in the Pacific, Samoa is a leader in security and 
economic stability in the Pacific region. Its commitment to 
free trade was enhanced by its entry to the World Trade 
Organization, where it has exhibited unique leadership in 
forging a stronger partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum. 
In our bilateral relationship, the Peace Corps has deepened our 
ties between Samoans and the people of the United States by 
sending volunteers for more than four decades to work in 
communities throughout Samoa.
    Its capital, Apia, is the home of the Secretariat of the 
Pacific Regional Environmental Programme, which cooperates with 
our scientists and researchers on projects like climate change 
and the protection of vital marine habitats and resources.
    The United States conducted the first exercise of the 2012 
Shiprider Agreement between Samoa and the U.S. Coast Guard to 
achieve sustainable fisheries and to combat illegal fishing.
    Mr. Chairman, I have been incredibly fortunate to have had 
a diverse and interesting career in business, community 
engagement, and professional athletics. I am humbled to be 
nominated to represent the United States to countries as 
diverse as New Zealand and Samoa. If confirmed, it will be my 
great honor to lead a strong team of Foreign Service, civil 
service, military experts, and local staff. I also look forward 
to working closely with this committee and other Members of 
Congress to promote and protect the interests of the United 
States.
    Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. 
Thank you for being here today, and I would be pleased to 
answer any questions you might have.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Gilbert follows:]

                   Prepared Statement of Mark Gilbert

    Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee, I am 
honored to appear before you today as President Obama's nominee to 
serve as the United States Ambassador to New Zealand and to the 
Independent State of Samoa. I am grateful to the President and to 
Secretary Kerry for their trust and confidence in nominating me, and I 
am equally grateful to receive this committee's consideration.
    With the chairman's permission, I would like to introduce my 
family: my wife, Nancy, and daughters, Danielle and Elizabeth. They are 
the driving force behind everything I do. I'm so delighted that they 
are here today.
    Mr. Chairman, I can imagine no higher honor than to be asked to 
serve my country as Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. Connected by 
the Pacific Ocean, we have partners committed to expanding global trade 
and promoting democratic values while pursuing peace and security.
    With almost three decades of experience in global finance and 
investment, I appreciate our enduring economic ties to New Zealand and 
economic opportunities in Samoa, and the Pacific region as a whole. If 
confirmed, I will strive to advance our nation's interests, nurture 
those economic ties, and build on our growing relationships.
    Our relationship with New Zealand is stronger now than it has been 
in nearly three decades. In 2010, our nations signed the Wellington 
Declaration, pledging increased diplomatic ties and regional 
cooperation, and in 2012 laid the foundation for strengthened defense 
cooperation in the Washington Declaration. Over the past few years, we 
have initiated senior-level policy and military dialogues and resumed 
joint military training exercises. Despite being separated by thousands 
of miles of Pacific Ocean, our two countries share the values of 
democracy, fair economic opportunity, and a more open global community. 
We actively collaborate in advancing those shared values. In 
Wellington, we have a partner committed to expanding global trade and 
promoting democratic values while pursuing peace and security. These 
are exactly the sort of diplomatic relationships we seek to forge 
around the globe, and we will continue to expand our connections to the 
next generation of New Zealanders of all backgrounds to renew and 
strengthen our partnership.
    The United States is one of New Zealand's top trading partners and 
we have collaborated closely on the Trans-Pacific Partnership 
negotiations. If confirmed, I will work to promote an even stronger 
economic link between our countries--capitalizing on opportunities not 
only to increase U.S. investment in New Zealand, but also to expand New 
Zealand investment here at home.
    New Zealand is an active partner in the United Nations, committed 
to resolving conflict through negotiation. It plays a far larger role 
on the world stage than the country's size would suggest. Its armed 
forces have led and participated in numerous peacekeeping missions 
around the globe and have worked side by side with our troops in 
Afghanistan.
    New Zealand is an integral link in the global effort against the 
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and actively works in the 
Asia-Pacific region on counterterrorism issues as well.
    As an island nation with a culture and economy deeply rooted in its 
natural resources, New Zealand understands the seriousness of global 
scientific and public policy challenges, including greenhouse gas 
emissions and climate change.
    Fifty years ago we forged a scientific partnership with New Zealand 
in Antarctica. Christchurch serves as the U.S. Antarctic Program's 
gateway city for operations--conducting vital environmental research at 
McMurdo Station and our South Pole Base.
    And we closely cooperate in multilateral settings--working to 
provide technical assistance to Pacific Island economies--in education, 
in energy policy, and in training of the local workforce.
    As the first independent country to be formed out of island 
territories in the Pacific, Samoa is a leader in security and economic 
stability in the Pacific region. Its commitment to free trade was 
enhanced by its entry into the World Trade Organization, where it has 
exhibited unique leadership in forging a stronger partnership with the 
Pacific Islands Forum. In our bilateral relationship, the Peace Corps 
has deepened our ties between Samoans and the people of the United 
States by sending volunteers for more than four decades to work in 
communities throughout Samoa.
    Its capital, Apia, is the home of the Secretariat of the Pacific 
Regional Environmental Programme, which cooperates with our scientists 
and researchers on projects like climate change and the protection of 
vital marine habitats and resources.
    The United States is committed to engagement with Samoa. Last year, 
the U.S. Navy was in Samoa for 10 days, working with our Samoan and 
international partners through the Pacific Partnership to provide a 
range of assistance. And just a short time ago, we opened a brand new 
U.S. funded medical center there. We also work closely with Samoa in 
protecting important natural resources. In fiscal year 2013, we 
conducted the first exercise of our 2012 Shiprider Agreement between 
the U.S. Coast Guard and Samoa to achieve sustainable management of 
Pacific fisheries resources and combat illegal fishing.
    Mr. Chairman, I have been fortunate to have had a diverse and 
interesting career in business, community engagement, and professional 
athletics. I am humbled to be nominated to represent the United States 
to countries as diverse as New Zealand and Samoa. If confirmed, it will 
be my great honor to lead a strong team of Foreign Service, civil 
service, military experts, and local staff. I also look forward to 
working closely with this committee and other Members of Congress to 
promote and protect the interests of the United States.
    Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. I would 
be pleased to answer any questions that you might have.

    Senator Kaine. Thank you, Mr. Gilbert.
    Secretary Westphal.

   STATEMENT OF JOSEPH WILLIAM WESTPHAL, PH.D., OF NEW YORK, 
   NOMINATED TO BE AMBASSADOR TO THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA

    Dr. Westphal. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ranking Member 
Risch, Senator Risch, thank you for being here. Senator 
Barrasso, thank you for being here. It is a great honor to be 
here. It is somewhat humbling to sit next to Senator Collins 
and have her say all those really elegant things about me, 
especially since I had the temerity to ask her to do it a 
second time. She did it when I was nominated to be the Under 
Secretary of the Army. So I am especially grateful for her. She 
called me this morning and I thought she was in Maine, and I 
asked her how the weather was in Maine. She said: ``Well, I am 
in Washington and it is probably the same as it is in Maine.'' 
So I am very grateful to her, and I am very grateful to sit 
with these great three colleagues here who are before you 
today.
    I am honored to be the President's nominee to be the next 
Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and I am also deeply 
thankful to Senator Kerry for his support and confidence that 
he has shown in my nomination. Serving as the Ambassador to 
Saudi Arabia would be a great honor and I am humbled by the 
opportunity to continue my career of public service.
    If confirmed, I will represent the United States and the 
American people to the best of my ability, advancing American 
political, security, and economic interests with a key ally in 
the region, and continue to strengthen our strategic 
relationship.
    I should also, Mr. Chairman, like my colleagues, introduce 
my wife, my wife of 45 years who has put up with all of these 
different positions that I have had. I feel like we have moved 
so many times I should have been in the Army. My wife, Linda, 
Linda Westphal, behind me here. We have four kids and six 
grandkids and I think they are probably all tuning in right now 
to watch this hearing. I thank them for their support and their 
love. They are all married, they all have kids, and they all 
have jobs, which is really good.
    Most recently I have had the great honor and privilege of 
working to support our brave men and women in uniform as they 
serve our Nation at home and abroad. In my current position as 
the Under Secretary of the Army and its Chief Management 
Officer, I am responsible for managing one of the world's 
largest organizations during a period of significant change, 
great budget uncertainty, and continued threats to our national 
security. Managing the globally deployed U.S. Army and the 
large number of our forces serving in the Middle East has given 
me a great insight into the complexity of this region's 
strategic environment.
    This vital area is beset by change and turmoil, and it is 
undergoing historical transformations in its social, economic, 
and political development.
    Mr. Chairman and members of this committee, the United 
States and Saudi Arabia enjoy a long and enduring partnership 
which, contrary to some press reports, continues to be strong 
and resilient. Saudi Arabia is a crucially important partner in 
the region with whom we share important interests in 
confronting regional challenges.
    The United States is committed to political transition in 
Syria, a new government that is representative of the Syrian 
people. The Saudi Government shares that goal. Saudi Arabia 
shares our commitment to ensuring that international assistance 
does not fail--does not fall into the hands of violent 
extremists, including groups connected to al-Qaeda. The Saudis 
have publicly endorsed the international efforts to eliminate 
Syria's chemical weapons in accordance with the U.N. Security 
Council Resolution 2118 and the related OPCW Executive Council 
decision, while emphasizing the need to hold the Assad regime 
accountable for barbarically using these weapons against the 
Syrian people.
    The United States and Saudi Arabia both are committed to 
ensuring that Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons. We share 
the long-term goal of a Middle East free of weapons of mass 
destruction and their delivery systems. The administration has 
made clear to Saudi Arabia and to our other gulf allies that 
progress on the nuclear issue means a comprehensive solution 
and the ability to verify that Iran will not be able to produce 
nuclear weapons. In addition, we both recognize Iran's 
destabilizing activities in support of the Assad regime and 
terrorist groups in such countries as Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon.
    We continue to engage the Saudi Government on how best to 
build Egypt's economy, while emphasizing to all parties that 
Egypt's economic success requires stability that only will be 
achieved by inclusive democratic institutions. In Egypt, we 
believe that the Egyptian people should be represented by an 
inclusive democratically elected civilian government.
    Secretary Kerry, Secretary Hagel, and other senior 
administration officials continue regular high-level 
discussions with Saudi leaders about how best to influence 
progress toward this objective.
    On Middle East peace, Secretary Kerry noted recently in 
meetings with King Abdullah that we value Saudi Arabia's 
support for continuing negotiations to achieve the 
administration's goals of ending the Israeli-Palestinian 
conflict through a permanent status agreement and bringing 
stability to region.
    Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I would conclude by 
summarizing that our longstanding friendship with Saudi Arabia 
includes a durable and critically important security and 
counterterrorism partnership, significant economic and 
commercial ties, with strong interest in maintaining stability 
of energy markets and prices. We are the educational hub for 
more than 74,000 Saudi students studying in this country, 
thereby increasing employment and development opportunities for 
young Saudi men and women.
    Finally, we have had a very strong and enduring military 
and security partnership. Our security assistance efforts to 
train, advise, and assist the Saudi Arabian Armed Forces and 
the Saudi Arabian National Guard are only two large aspects of 
one of our most robust foreign military sales in the world, 
valued at approximately $97 billion.
    If you confirm me to be our Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, I 
would work to strengthen and sustain these important interests, 
but I would also work to promote universal rights, including 
religious freedom and the rights of women. But the first thing 
I would turn upon and I would do upon arriving in country would 
be to review our security procedures and get fully briefed on 
the security environment from our Embassy team, since my first 
priority will always be the security and protection of our 
citizens.
    Mr. Chairman, Senator Risch, Ranking Member Risch, Senator 
Barrasso, I commit to keeping the committee and this Congress 
informed and engaged and seek your counsel in matters important 
to this committee and to the Congress.
    I thank you all for your service to our country and if 
confirmed I thank you for the opportunity to continue to serve. 
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    [The prepared statement of Dr. Westphal follows:]

               Prepared Statement of Dr. Joseph Westphal

    Chairman Kaine, Ranking Member Risch, and members of the committee, 
I am honored by President Obama's nomination to be the next U.S. 
Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I also would like to thank 
Secretary Kerry for his support and the confidence he has shown in my 
nomination. Serving as Ambassador to Saudi Arabia would be a great 
honor and I am humbled by the opportunity to continue my career of 
public service. If confirmed, I will represent the United States and 
the American people to the best of my ability, advancing American 
political, security, and economic interests with a key ally in the 
region and continue to strengthen our strategic relationship.
    I have devoted my career to public service, both in government and 
academia. Most recently, I have had the great honor and privilege of 
working to support our brave men and women in uniform as they serve our 
Nation at home and abroad. In my current position as the Under 
Secretary of the Army and its Chief Management Officer, I am 
responsible for managing one of the world's largest organizations 
during a period of significant change, great budget uncertainty and 
continued threats to our national security. Managing the globally 
deployed U.S. Army and the large number of our forces serving in the 
Middle East has given me insights into the complexity of this strategic 
region's environment. This vital area is beset by change and turmoil, 
and is undergoing historical transformations in its social, economic 
and political development.
    As the Chief of Mission in Saudi Arabia, I will prioritize taking 
care of our people. Only 9 years ago, our consulate general in Jeddah 
suffered a terrorist attack in which five local staff members lost 
their lives. The safety and security of our mission, its employees and 
family members in Riyadh, Dhahran, and Jeddah will be my top priority, 
as it is for President Obama and Secretary Kerry. I will work with you 
and my colleagues at the Department to ensure that our mission 
personnel have the correct security posture and necessary resources to 
do their jobs safely and effectively. To that end, the safety and 
security of all Americans will be my uncompromising priority.
    The United States and Saudi Arabia have a long and enduring 
partnership which, contrary to some press reports, continues to be 
strong and resilient. In addition to numerous visits by senior 
administration officials and members of this committee, the President 
now plans a visit in March to reinforce our broad cooperation. If 
confirmed, I will work across the wide set of our national priorities 
to advance critical U.S. interests through our diplomatic, security, 
and commercial engagements.
    Saudi Arabia is a crucially important partner in the region. We 
share important interests in confronting regional challenges, including 
the crisis in Syria, Iran's nuclear program and regional aspirations, 
and providing support for democratic and economic development in Yemen. 
Saudi Arabia's important role in the Gulf Cooperation Council and our 
strong desire to see the Council be ``an anchor for regional 
stability,'' as Secretary Hagel stated in his Manama Dialogue speech, 
means that if I am confirmed by the Senate, I will work to reinforce 
this important multilateral framework.
    We also have a critical security partnership; Saudi Arabia is our 
largest Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customer, with 338 active and open 
cases valued at $96.8 billion dollars, all supporting American skilled 
manufacturing jobs, while increasing interoperability between our 
forces for training and any potential operations. We saw the importance 
of this as our forces stood together during Operations Desert Shield 
and Desert Storm. On counterterrorism, our countries are very aware 
through tragic experience of the threat posed by al-Qaeda terrorists, 
and we have forged a critical partnership with the Saudis on this 
issue, which I will discuss further.
    Apart from political and security cooperation, the U.S. and Saudi 
Arabia enjoy robust commercial and business relationships, and I look 
forward to further strengthening trade and promoting American exports. 
On energy, the United States and Saudi Arabia share an interest in 
maintaining stable, reliable sources of oil and price stability. We 
also are committed to working with the Government of Saudi Arabia on 
its efforts to diversify energy sources and reduce domestic oil 
consumption. If confirmed, I will engage proactively in all aspects of 
energy policy and sustainability of mutual interest to the United 
States and Saudi Arabia.
    Secretary Kerry in his speech of January 24 in Davos stated, ``you 
cannot find another country . . . not one country . . . that is as 
proactively engaged, that is partnering with so many Middle Eastern 
countries as constructively as we are on so many high stake fronts. 
And, I want to emphasize that last point: partnering.'' I will emulate 
the Secretary's active approach in strengthening our partnership with 
Saudi Arabia, engaging Saudi officials and the Saudi people to advance 
the policy objectives of the administration and the Congress.
    Earlier in this statement, I mentioned Saudi Arabia's importance in 
regional politics. This is a region beset by change and great turmoil 
but also great opportunity. If confirmed, I will work closely with 
governmental and nongovernmental entities in Saudi Arabia to find 
constructive and collaborative means to achieve security, peace, 
economic prosperity, and the advancement of human rights. This includes 
expanding opportunities for women to participate fully in society, 
politics, and the economy. I will promote transparency, friendship, and 
proactive engagement in the relationship while working with my 
colleagues in the region to safeguard U.S. interests.
    There are many ways our mutual interests converge and I will 
briefly explain our coordination with the Saudi leadership as we 
advance U.S. policy priorities.
    First, the United States is committed to political transition in 
Syria and a new government that is representative of the Syrian people. 
The Saudi Government shares this goal and has contributed over a 
billion dollars to support Syrian civilian and refugee needs, while 
supporting nonextremist opposition groups under the political umbrella 
of the Syrian National Coalition. The Saudis share our commitment to 
ensuring that international assistance does not fall into the hands of 
violent extremists, including groups connected to al-Qaeda. We may have 
tactical differences in our approaches to Syria at times, but Saudi 
Arabia shares our goal of ending the horrible violence in Syria through 
a political transition to a representative government, and has 
exercised positive influence in Geneva as we strive to achieve common 
goals. Additionally, the Saudis have publically endorsed the 
international effort to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons, in 
accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2118 and the related 
OPCW Executive Council decision, while emphasizing the need to hold the 
Assad regime accountable for barbarically using these weapons against 
the Syrian people.
    Similarly, the United States and Saudi Arabia are both committed to 
ensuring that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon. We share the 
long-term goal of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction and 
their delivery systems. Saudi Arabia remains as concerned as we are 
about Iranian activities in the region. The administration has made it 
clear to Saudi Arabia and our other gulf allies that progress on the 
nuclear issue will not lead to a decrease in U.S. concern about, or in 
action to deter and combat, Iran's destabilizing activities, whether 
its support for the Assad regime in Syria, or its lethal aid and 
training of militants in Yemen and Bahrain. The United States and Saudi 
Arabia also want to counter Hezbollah's attempts to undermine the 
Lebanese Government; we both support building up the capabilities of 
the Lebanese Armed Forces.
    In Egypt, we believe that the Egyptian people should be represented 
by an inclusive, democratically elected, civilian government. Secretary 
Kerry, Secretary Hagel and other senior administration officials 
continue regular high-level discussions with Saudi leaders about how 
best to influence progress toward this objective. In the last year, 
Saudi Arabia has provided Egypt's interim government with over $2 
billion in grants, deposits, and energy credits, and billions more in 
investments, while encouraging large contributions from other Gulf 
States. We continue to engage the Saudi Government on how best to build 
Egypt's economy, while emphasizing to all parties that Egypt's economic 
success requires stability that only will be achieved by inclusive 
democratic institutions.
    On Middle East Peace, as Secretary Kerry noted in recent meetings 
with King Abdullah, we value Saudi Arabia's support for continuing 
negotiations to achieve the administration's goal of ending the 
Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a permanent status agreement, and 
to bring stability to the region. We are counting on Saudi Arabia to 
help build support for our shared efforts, and to continue financial 
assistance to the Palestinian Authority.
    Saudi Arabia also has played a critical role in stabilizing, 
launching and promoting a successful political transition in Yemen. 
Saudi Arabia is the largest international assistance contributor to 
Yemen, and shares our important interest in combating Al Qaeda in the 
Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and other violent extremists groups, while 
assisting efforts to provide security, support economic development, 
and address critical humanitarian challenges.
    The reemergence of violent extremism in Iraq also is a critical 
concern for the United States, and one for which we believe Saudi 
Arabia can play a constructive role. As Ambassador, I will encourage 
productive relationships and open dialogue between Saudi Arabia and 
Iraq, including support for Iraq's efforts to flush the Islamic State 
of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) out of Anbar province--a conflict that 
has broader implications for the region. I will reinforce our message 
that progress on current problems is not gained through rehashing 
conflicts of the past or drawing sectarian lines, but by finding areas 
of mutual interest, and that violent extremist groups are a threat to 
us all.
    The Syrian crisis, turmoil in Iraq, transition in Yemen, and the 
role of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups demand stronger, 
coordinated efforts to combat terrorism in the region. The Government 
of Saudi Arabia values our combined efforts in counterterrorism, and 
sees al-Qaeda as just as much a threat to Saudi Arabia as to the United 
States. I note that the Saudi Government actively discourages its 
citizens from participating in foreign conflicts, and issued a new law 
in early February that provides for long prison sentences for those who 
join jihadist groups in Syria or elsewhere. If confirmed, I will work 
diligently through our interagency process to strengthen further our 
counterterrorism cooperation and our overall security relationship.
    We have built durable and critically important security and 
counterterrorism ties with Saudi Arabia, with a range of programs that 
protect the citizens and institutions of both of our countries. These 
include coordination to stem the abuse of financial and charitable 
channels that fund terrorism in the region and beyond, and cooperation 
on combating violent extremist messages. If confirmed, I intend to work 
with the leadership of Saudi Arabia to further build our partnerships 
in these areas.
    As mentioned, another key priority I will work toward is growing 
U.S.-Saudi economic and commercial ties. Saudi Arabia is our 10th-
largest trading partner; in the first three quarters of last year, 
bilateral trade with Saudi Arabia amounted to approximately $52 
billion. I will work to expand and diversify our bilateral trade and 
help create new opportunities for American business in Saudi Arabia.
    We also have a significant interest in stable energy markets and 
prices. Today we import approximately about 1.3 million barrels per day 
of crude oil from Saudi Arabia which represents 15 percent of Saudi 
Arabia's total global exports. This makes Saudi Arabia our second-
largest oil supplier, after Canada. As the world's only current oil 
producer with significant spare production capacity, Saudi Arabia plays 
a critical global role in price stability. The price our trucking 
companies and airlines pay for fuel, and the price the American 
consumer pays at the pump, are heavily influenced by trends in global 
oil markets. As two of the largest oil producers in the world, the 
United States and Saudi Arabia have a mutual interest in ensuring that 
energy markets remain sufficiently supplied and support global economic 
growth.
    Shifting to education, I first observe that the quality of American 
educational institutions is well-known and highly prized among Saudis. 
I note that over 74,000 students from Saudi Arabia now study in the 
United States. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of U.S. 
education in developing the skills and perceptions of the next 
generation of Saudi leaders. Students will return home with a better 
understanding of the United States and our people, and will bring back 
American ideals that can be an important influence as Saudi society 
develops.
    Saudi Arabia is a young country, with nearly two-thirds of the 
population under 25. Saudi youth expect their leadership to adapt and 
respond to the whole population's needs, including the 50 percent 
that's female. I believe the Saudi leadership understands these 
challenges. King Abdullah has taken important steps, such as scheduling 
another round of municipal elections for 2015 in which women can vote 
and run as candidates, and decreeing that at least 20 percent of 
appointees to the national consultative council should be women. I look 
forward to monitoring these developments with my team. The Saudi 
leadership also has expanded scholarship opportunities, including for 
women, and sponsored interreligious dialogue. More than 40 percent of 
students receiving the King Abdullah Scholarship for study abroad are 
women. However, much more needs to be done to ensure expanded 
opportunities for Saudi young people, for women, and to increase 
citizens' roles in government affairs. I look forward to working with 
the Saudi leadership to help them provide these opportunities.
    If confirmed as Ambassador, I will not shy away from topics where 
we disagree, such as promoting women's full participation in society, 
supporting the rights to religious freedom and free association, or 
encouraging greater respect for labor rights and protections for the 
country's foreign workers. As Ambassador, I will support home-grown 
reform efforts and will be an advocate for full respect for the basic 
rights of all citizens and residents. I will provide public support for 
Saudis' rights to freely associate, to report corruption, wrongdoing, 
or abuse by public officials, and to petition their government for 
redress of grievances. We will make it clear that basic human rights 
are universal and we advocate that Saudi Arabia meet its international 
commitments.
    Allow me to close by noting that, although American society differs 
greatly from that of Saudi Arabia, we cannot allow our differences to 
prevent solid continuing cooperation on political, security, and 
economic challenges and opportunities. The ties between the U.S. and 
Saudi Arabia are deep and historic, and serve core American interests. 
I look forward to strengthening these relationships while maintaining 
frank and productive dialogue for issues where our views do not fully 
align.
    Thank you for this opportunity to testify today and I welcome the 
opportunity to answer any questions you may have.

    Senator Kaine. Thank you, Secretary Westphal.
    We will now begin rounds of questioning. It would be our 
intent to do questions in 7-minute rounds. Because there are 
four of you, we might not get to all of you in the first round. 
If that happens, do not breathe a sigh of relief and do not 
feel offended because we will likely have second rounds because 
of the number of nominees on the panel.
    Senator Risch. And do not leave.
    Senator Kaine. And do not waive.
    Senator Risch. Do not leave.
    Senator Kaine. Oh, do not leave. Yes, do not leave. Do not 
leave. [Laughter.]
    Senator Kaine. Especially since we have stayed here, do not 
leave.
    To begin, I will start actually. Secretary Westphal, I have 
some questions about Saudi Arabia. This is a very important 
partnership and yet it is a partnership that has some 
challenges right now. On the United States side, we have 
concerns about the treatment of women, we have concerns about 
the funding of particular elements within the Syrian 
opposition. We have concerns about some human rights issues 
with respect to journalists or freedom of religion.
    On the Saudi Arabia side, they have expressed some concerns 
about actions that we have taken even as they have supported 
with us the role of a nonnuclear Iran. They have expressed 
concern about the degree to which we have communicated with 
them about our strategy. They were concerned about United 
States action in Egypt. They have been concerned about United 
States action in Syria.
    So it is a partnership that has been an important one, but 
there are also a number of rifts, perceived rifts in the 
partnership. How would you as Ambassador try to deal with these 
issues? Without ceding any issue important to us, even on 
issues where there are differences, how would you work to kind 
of get over the little friction that has been pretty obvious in 
the relationship in recent years?
    Dr. Westphal. Mr. Chairman, I think, first of all, I think 
within the context of the broader strategy that we have, that 
the President has laid down for this region, to continue to 
fight the threat of violent extremism, counter the 
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, eliminate 
terrorist networks, and of course keep energy flowing, energy 
prices stable, important to all our economies, in the framework 
of that context all of these issues are issues of policy where 
generally speaking on the issues of strategy we agree on, we 
may disagree on tactics about some of the solutions to those 
problems.
    On the issues of human rights and religious tolerance, 
those are issues that we will need to continue to engage with 
the Saudi Government to ensure that they can move forward.
    I think King Abdullah has done a remarkable thing since he 
came the ruler of Saudi Arabia. He has moved this country--I 
will admit that by us it seems like a glacial pace. But he has 
moved this country toward a series of reforms. They are small 
in scale, but they are significant. I mentioned that we had 
74,000 students studying here from Saudi Arabia on scholarship 
from him. There are almost 100,000 worldwide and I am told that 
about 40 percent of those are women.
    So there is a movement going forward to address this. But I 
will say that our relationship is robust, it is resilient, it 
is strong. It is evidenced by the multiple engagements that we 
have had just this year alone, conversations between the King 
and the President, the visit by the Secretary of State and the 
Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Energy, a number of other 
leaders who have been there recently, visits by them. Muhammed 
bin Nayef is here right now, the Minister of Interior, engaged 
in very, very important conversations with us on 
counterterrorism and all the issues you mentioned.
    So I think that is a very strong relationship and 
partnership. They want to be partners with us. We want to be 
partners with them and we will make that relationship continue 
to work. If I am confirmed, I will do my utmost to engage very 
proactively, very openly, with every element of the Saudi 
Government to address these issues that you mentioned.
    Senator Kaine. Secretary Westphal, obviously defense is a 
leading pillar of the relationship, as you indicated. You come 
into this nomination from the Department of Defense in your 
role with the Army. What do you intend to do to further this 
particular aspect of the relationship, the defense partnership, 
and what major platforms, if any, do you see Saudi Arabia 
potentially purchasing in the near future, given your 
background on acquisition issues?
    Dr. Westphal. Thank you, Senator. Well, Mr. Chairman, I 
think there are a number of things that one can do there. One 
of the most important foreign military sales pieces that we 
have with Saudi Arabia and we have had for a number of years is 
the training mission. We train their defense forces and we 
train their national guard. That is a huge, huge undertaking by 
us because it means that we can calibrate the way in which 
their professionalism, their military, and their security 
forces can really become more professional and do the jobs that 
sustain the ability of Saudi Arabia to transform itself into a 
more open society.
    I think we need to fortify that. We need to pay more 
attention to that and engage more deeply with them in how to do 
that. They are looking to do more work on fortifying their 
facilities, their energy facilities. They are looking to grow, 
to your question on what foreign military sales could be in the 
future, they are really looking to build, strengthen their 
navy, build a coast guard.
    Those are all areas where we are going to compete with 
other foreign countries. We must be energized. We must work 
with our defense industry. We must work to build support from 
them to look our way, because we think we have the best in the 
world in all these categories.
    Senator Kaine. Last question. Since the Eisenhower 
administration we have had a partnership with Saudi Arabia very 
heavily focused on petroleum. There has been some speculation 
that the great developments in the United States domestically 
produced energy just by themselves really could cause a 
significant change in the relationship with Saudi Arabia. Do 
you see the growing U.S. energy economy as a big game-changer 
in the relationship with Saudi Arabia or is that maybe 
overplayed a bit?
    Dr. Westphal. I do not see it as a big game-changer, under 
the following conditions. First of all, I think, wisely, the 
King and the Government of Saudi Arabia do see that they need 
to diversify their economic portfolio, that they are consuming 
too much of their own product. So it is very incumbent on us to 
help them transition to other forms of energy, whether it's 
solar, wind, and nuclear.
    Nuclear is going to be the next step and we have got lots 
of opportunities there to help them generate nuclear in a 
peaceful way to sustain their economy.
    That being said, world energy prices are what could become 
the worst problem for us. So we have to be very careful in 
working with them to continue to make sure that the markets are 
open and that they can freely export their oil to keep prices 
level, because for us domestically as we improve our domestic 
production it is the increase in prices that could affect us 
negatively. So if I am confirmed that is what I would engage in 
very seriously.
    Senator Kaine. Thank you.
    Senator Risch.
    Senator Risch. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Westphal--first of all, to all four of you: Thank you 
for your service to America. I think probably one of the most 
underappreciated functions of the Federal Government is what 
you people in the State Department do in representing Americans 
all over the world.
    Mr. Westphal, I am going to be critical here for a second. 
I want to say this in the kindest and gentlest way. I read your 
testimony very carefully and I have got to tell you I am 
disappointed in not addressing really what I think are some 
serious, serious fractures in the relationship between Saudi 
Arabia and the United States.
    There is no doubt that your description is a great 
description of what traditionally our relationship has been 
with Saudi Arabia. They have been a great partner, they have 
been a great friend. We have pulled the wagon together. We have 
serious differences with them and have had over the years over 
issues, particularly women's rights issues, and they have 
tolerated us nudging them in the direction we think that they 
ought to go.
    They have become angry with us over the last 6 to 12 
months, and particularly with this arrangement that the 
administration has chosen to enter into with Iran. I know you 
are well aware of it. I am sure you have read all the things 
that have come out of Saudi Arabia. They have taken action 
which is adverse to the United States. They make no bones about 
it. They were very public about it.
    I was hoping you would address that a bit more. We all hope 
that the agreement that was put on the table as far as Iran is 
concerned will work, that the people in Iran will change their 
ways, that they will slap themselves on the forehead and say: 
Gee, we have been bad actors over the years, but we are going 
to change our ways. To be honest with you, I do not think that 
is going to happen. I have been very critical of it. Other 
members of this body have been critical of it. The Saudis have 
been as critical as we have, if not more so. As I said, they 
have taken actions that are adverse to us.
    How are you going to handle that? Let us assume for a 
moment that the administration is wrong, Iran does not change 
its ways, that it is the same old same old, that they use us in 
order to take the time to further develop their nuclear 
ambitions. I do not think we will ever get the genie back in 
the bottle again as far as the sanctions are concerned. I hope 
we do, but I think that is going to be very difficult.
    What is going to happen? What are you going to say when you 
have to walk up to the palace and talk to the King and tell 
him, well, this has not worked out? How are you going to handle 
that?
    Dr. Westphal. Well, Senator, I think that is going to 
evolve from our decision that what the Iranians are doing is 
not verifiable, they are not committing to the terms of any 
agreement that we may have with them in the near future, that 
they are simply not abiding by the terms. And the Secretary of 
State and the President, of course, will make that decision to 
take a different route.
    I think the evidence that the Saudis would like to see this 
whole situation be, the tension be reduced, is marked by their 
participation in the London 11, by their participation in 
Geneva. They agree with us that Iran should not, cannot have a 
nuclear weapon. So I think we agree on the terms. We agree on 
the conditions. We agree on the end result. The question is 
will the terms of any agreement be verifiable, and that is 
something that we have to wait to see what the administration 
finds on that.
    Senator Risch. Mr. Westphal, I agree with you that we are, 
I think, in full sync with them as far as the objective. The 
Saudis really, really do not want the Iranians to have a 
nuclear weapon. They agree with us on that objective.
    I think that they were badly offended by, first of all, the 
process and the way they were kept in the loop, or lack of 
being kept in the loop; and secondly was the finality of where 
we wound up in this first step of trusting them to do something 
and giving them something before they performed, as opposed to 
reversing that. For the life of me, I cannot understand why 
anyone would do that when you are dealing with the Iranians. 
But the administration did it.
    So you have got your work cut out for you there. You have 
been around long enough that I know that you know that there 
are serious problems here, and it is going to take 
substantially more work than it has taken in the past, because, 
again, this relationship is drifting in the wrong direction. I 
hope you are the right guy to bring it back. Certainly the 
President needs to work on that. The Saudis are critical 
partners in the region.
    Thank you for your service and thank you for your 
willingness to do that.
    Dr. Westphal. May I?
    Senator Risch. Certainly, please.
    Dr. Westphal. Senator, I agree with what you said. And I 
also want to say, and I said this at the end of my remarks and 
I mean this very sincerely, we are a representative democracy, 
so we ourselves are having a large and broad debate on this 
issue openly and in a very clear fashion. So I do believe that 
you play a role. I do intend to be very connected to this 
committee and to the Congress to understand what your 
sensibilities are on this, and translate that to the Saudi 
Government.
    But in addition to that, I would say that the 
relationships, like any good relationship, you are going to 
have disagreements, you are going to have issues where perhaps 
we did not consult them early enough, perhaps we did not engage 
with them in this way and that way. But we are very transparent 
in our conversations with them. Everything that I have been 
briefed about and come to know at this point in time--I have 
not been in these conversations, so I cannot tell you exactly 
what has transpired. But I am confident that from the President 
on down we are deeply and very seriously and very openly and 
very, very clear about our direction and our policies with 
them.
    Senator Risch. Mr. Tueller, on a personal note, will you be 
taking your family to Yemen, your wife and your five children?
    Ambassador Tueller. Senator, at the moment we do not have 
accompanied status in Yemen. So employees are there without 
families.
    Senator Risch. I appreciate that. It is probably wise under 
the circumstances on the ground. You have your work cut out for 
you.
    Mr. Gilbert, I am almost out of time. But Mr. Gilbert, I 
have gone all through this, all through the papers you have 
given me, and somehow you missed it. We do not seem to have 
your lifetime batting average here with the Cubs and with the 
Reds and the White Sox. So maybe if you could submit that for 
the record it would be helpful as we move forward on your 
confirmation.
    Mr. Gilbert. Of course, sir. I could tell you now that in 
the major leagues it was .273. My career average for 8 years 
playing was .284.
    Senator Risch. Respectable. Thank you.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you. My time is up, and you are going 
to have to excuse me.
    Senator Kaine. Yes, thank you.
    Senator Barrasso.
    Senator Barrasso. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    I would like to follow up, Mr. Chairman, on some of your 
comments as well as Senator Risch's just about the important 
relationship and partnership with Saudi Arabia, and talk about 
things that are happening there, because it is key to the 
stability of the region. The relationship between our two 
countries has been strained. In the past, I think as you have 
said, Mr. Westphal, perhaps we did not consult them early 
enough on things.
    I look at this and say King Abdullah's going to be 90 years 
old this year. At the end of the King's reign, it is 
anticipated there is going to be a leadership change to the 
next generation. So in trying to get ahead of this, in trying 
to consult them early enough, can you talk about what 
individuals in the line of succession to the King are there, 
how that next King is going to be selected, and how this may 
play a role as we look to the future?
    Dr. Westphal. Well, what I know, given my limited insight 
into the inner workings of the royal family, is that there is a 
crown prince and he is the successor to the King. Apart from 
that, that is how we are operating. I think as a government we 
expect that to be the case, and from that will emanate other 
changes as he takes over at some eventual point in time.
    King Abdullah to my knowledge is very engaged, even at his 
age. He is about to receive a visit from our President. I think 
this is an important meeting. I think that the King is very 
much aware of all of the issues that are taking place. So we 
are operating with that government, with that crown prince, and 
with those ministries as they are today.
    Senator Barrasso. Well, the reason I ask is that former 
Ambassador James Smith, who was our Ambassador to Saudi Arabia 
from 2009 to 2013, he warned that Saudi Arabia may become, as 
he said, a kingdom of different heads and a decentralized 
monarchy, he said, consisting of multiple fiefdoms. That is 
what makes me concerned.
    So I am just wondering, in your analysis of this division 
of the various ministries and the possibility of 
decentralization, how do we deal with that, because it is 
entirely possible that that would happen on your watch.
    Dr. Westphal. Senator, I do know he said that, but I have 
not seen any evidence of that in anything that I have read or 
anything that I have seen from anybody else. So I am loath to 
speak to that because I am assuming that they have a succession 
plan that right now is what it is. If I am confirmed as the 
Ambassador, I will certainly be very focused on making sure 
that we are very well connected within all of the ministries 
and all of the agencies of that government, that we are engaged 
with what we perceive will be future leadership.
    I think people do that when they come to this country. They 
look at who the future leaders of this you will be and engage 
with them. I think that is incumbent for me to do that.
    I appreciate your question. Just I believe that responsibly 
we must deal with the government that we are dealing with 
today.
    Senator Barrasso. I have been to the region a couple times 
in the last 3 months. Last year Saudi Arabia was elected to a 
2-year term as a rotating temporary member of the United 
Nations Security Council. They then announced that they were 
rejecting the Security Council seat just this past October, 
after months of actually engaging in the lobbying. As a 
founding member of the U.N., the Kingdom declared it would 
renounce the Security Council seat.
    I just wonder if you could have a little discussion about 
what you thought the reasons were that they declined the seat 
in the United Nations Security Council, and then how they view 
their role with the international community?
    Dr. Westphal. Senator, a good question. I think part of 
this is going to be my own sort of personal view of this. I 
think that as they looked at the situation in Syria and in 
other parts of the world becoming much more critical, a seat, a 
permanent seat--excuse me--a seat in the Security Council for 
them would not have been a permanent seat, so they would have 
to be involved in casting votes for which they would have no 
ability to follow through on in the future.
    In turn, they took a seat in the U.N. Human Rights 
Commission. I think that is an important, really important seat 
for them and for us for them to hold that seat. I think that 
means that they are looking, and they have made some very 
positive statements about addressing human rights issues. It 
helps us, I think, to move that agenda forward, not just in 
Saudi Arabia, but with them throughout the world.
    Senator Barrasso. What do you believe is the greatest 
threat to Saudi Arabian national security today?
    Dr. Westphal. Well, I think certainly terrorism. They are 
doing a great deal. We are working very closely with them to 
stop the movement of their citizens into Syria and into Iraq 
and other parts, into Yemen. They are looking very hard at 
rehabilitating people who come back from those wars.
    But the spillover of terrorist activities into Saudi Arabia 
is always a great danger that they are concerned with. So one 
of our strongest elements of our relationship with them is 
counterterrorism. We do not have as strong a relationship with 
almost any other country in the gulf region than with them on 
this matter. We certainly have one very strong in the Middle 
East with Israel and other countries, but with this particular 
threat we have a great relationship with them. We exchange a 
great deal of information.
    Again, the Minister was here. He was engaged in 
conversations with our government on these matters. They have 
done a lot to curb the flow of money into Syria and into Iraq. 
They have the banking rules that limit some of that. They are a 
little bit more advanced, I think, than other gulf countries in 
prohibiting and limiting and regulating that. We are working 
closely with them.
    So I think we have all the tools with them to engage in 
what is their biggest threat, but it is also our biggest 
threat. It is certainly in our national interest to ensure that 
that counterterrorism piece is strong and viable and supported.
    Senator Barrasso. I think it was interesting, Reuters 
reported just a couple days ago a decree by King Abdullah 
imposing prison terms of from 3 to 20 years on Saudis who go 
abroad to fight, and the concerns there. So it is interesting. 
I think there is a significant impact of the conflict in Syria 
and how it is impacting the security in Saudi Arabia. So we 
will see what happens in terms of shifts in the future.
    I am out of time, Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much.
    Senator Kaine. Thank you, Senator Barrasso.
    We will move to a second round of questions. In this and 
any subsequent rounds if necessary, we will move with 5 
minutes.
    Secretary Westphal, one last item. Senator Durbin had hoped 
to ask some questions, if here, concerning human rights issues, 
imprisonment of activists, journalists, folks persecuted under 
concerns around religious freedom. We are going to keep the 
record open for written submission of questions until the end 
of the day tomorrow, and there may be a written question 
submitted on that issue to you about how you would intend to 
deal with those issues. So I will just give you that heads up.
    Mr. Gilbert, with respect to New Zealand, New Zealand has 
been a key supporter of expanded international trade and a 
partner with the United States as we work for the Trans-Pacific 
Partnership process. Obviously, with your financial background 
and expertise, trade and commerce between New Zealand and the 
United States will be a key issue. Talk to me a little bit 
about what your priorities will be in advancing United States 
trade interests with New Zealand?
    Mr. Gilbert. Thank you, Senator. Next week is the next 
working group and then ministerial group meetings in Singapore 
regarding TPP. The work on TPP done by the U.S. Trade 
Representative, they are trying to get to a final agreement, a 
high-level, high-quality, very comprehensive agreement between 
the 12 nations that are currently negotiating on TPP.
    Our relationship with New Zealand has been a very strong 
one and has increased with trade. This is an agreement that we 
believe that will benefit not only our two countries, but all 
12 countries. Earlier today their Trade Minister Groser was 
speaking to a business group, talking about the predictions for 
TPP. He quoted the Peterson Institute here. He talked about 
their internal numbers and believes that these numbers could be 
dramatically understated.
    They signed a free trade agreement with China a few years 
back and all the projections there were greatly underestimated. 
As a matter of fact, their trade has grown 10 times faster than 
they believe that it would. So they have been a great partner 
in working on TPP and if TPP is concluded and if I am confirmed 
I look forward to working with them in helping execute the 
agreement.
    Senator Kaine. Thank you, Mr. Gilbert.
    One of the major defense policy adjustments in the last few 
years has been the President's announcement of the rebalancing, 
shift, pivot, toward Asia. While a lot of people who are not in 
Asia hear that and they get nervous, and particularly maybe 
some real estate for the rest of the panel, New Zealand has 
been a strong supporter of this announced strategy and the 
reestablishment of military-to-military ties with New Zealand 
has been a real positive during the last few years as our 
bilateral working relationships are increasing.
    Talk a little bit about what you would intend to do in your 
role as Ambassador to further the growing military-to-mil 
cooperation between the United States and New Zealand?
    Mr. Gilbert. Thank you. As I mentioned in my opening 
statement, on the back of both the Wellington Declaration and 
the Washington Declaration we have seen both our diplomatic and 
our military relationship with New Zealand strengthen. That is 
something that we believe that will continue.
    Secretary Mabus was just in New Zealand at the beginning of 
this month meeting with his counterparts there. He also, while 
he was there, met with Prime Minister Key and Foreign Affairs 
McCully. We have been doing joint military exercises for the 
first time and the Royal New Zealand Frigate, the TE MANA, is 
serving with a multinational force in the Gulf of Aden and in 
the Indian Ocean on antipiracy patrols. The TE MANA also docked 
in Guam last year and it was the first time that a Royal New 
Zealand ship had docked in a United States port in many 
decades.
    We believe that this relationship continues to move 
forward. Secretary of Defense Hagel has already given 
prepermission for the Royal New Zealand Navy to dock at Pearl 
for the Rim of Pacific fleet exercises this summer. So we are 
seeing more exercises with them. We have seen the mil-to-mil 
relationship grow, and if confirmed I look forward to being 
part of keeping that momentum going.
    Senator Kaine. One last question. My time has expired, but 
there is no one here to stop me, so I am just going to run 
wild. There is an interesting issue about the United States and 
New Zealand working together to establish a marine-protected 
reserve in the Ross Sea. But that is currently opposed--that 
proposal is currently opposed by Russia and China. Do you have 
any thoughts on that particular item? I found that interesting. 
It sounds like a good idea to me.
    Mr. Gilbert. I believe that both countries were a little 
disappointed. They had dramatically reduced the size of the 
MPA, by almost 40 percent, because they thought that that was a 
number that they would do to--actually, to have Russia and the 
Ukraine sign off on the agreement. So they were disappointed, 
both countries, we were disappointed, New Zealand was 
disappointed.
    We are continuing to work on that and there will be 
meetings later this fall that will continue that discussion. 
But it is something that the United States and New Zealand both 
believe is critically important.
    Senator Kaine. Thank you, Mr. Gilbert.
    Mr. Silliman, first I just--it is so interesting, you going 
from Baghdad to Kuwait. When we discussed this in my office 
recently, the reestablishment of fairly strong relationships 
between Iraq and Kuwait might have been something that I think 
I would have and others might have predicted would be pretty 
difficult. Talk a little bit about that effort and what that 
positive relationship does for Kuwait at this moment?
    Mr. Silliman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This is in fact one 
of the few things that I have been able to accomplish within my 
tenure while in the Foreign Service. I have started many 
projects, but this was one that I think we were able to begin 
and execute fairly well.
    At the end of 2011, we at the Embassy in Baghdad, 
Ambassador Tueller in the Embassy in Kuwait, and the United 
States Mission to the United Nations in New York tried to find 
ways to spark an improved relationship between Iraq and Kuwait. 
It was actually the visit of the Kuwaiti emir, Sheikh Sabah, to 
the Arab League summit in Baghdad in early 2012 that really 
broke this open. It started a chain of events that permitted 
us, in coordination with the U.N., to demarcate the border, 
work through claims on air transport and airlines going back to 
the 1990s, and to work through the last pieces of the U.N. 
Security Council structure that was meant to protect Kuwait and 
make sure that all of the bad effects of the war were 
addressed.
    We were able last June to get through the Security Council 
a Security Council resolution essentially closing the chapter 
on most of the parts of Saddam's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. 
All that remains is Iraqi payment of some war reparations, 
which they have been doing regularly. This has opened up a 
Kuwaiti Embassy in Baghdad, possibly Kuwaiti consulates in 
other parts of the country, and the possibility of new trade 
and cooperation in the region.
    Kuwait has been in some ways a bridge between Iraq and 
other countries in the region, and one of the best results of 
this has been the resumption of air flights between Kuwait City 
and Baghdad last year. So it has been very positive for 
regional security.
    Senator Kaine. We have been having a number of hearings 
about the destabilizing or sort of decreasing security 
situation in Iraq. But as I gather from our discussion so far, 
that has not really affected the Iraq-Kuwait relationship or 
border issues in north Kuwait?
    Mr. Silliman. Yes, Mr. Chairman, that is correct. It really 
has not had any impact on Kuwait. I think they watch nervously 
the developments in their much larger neighbors in all 
directions, but they have been very careful to maintain an 
excellent relationship with the Iraqi Government and have been 
consulting closely. We have been consulting closely with them 
as well, and thus far there has been no spillover into Kuwait, 
and we frankly do not expect any spillover into Kuwait.
    Senator Kaine. It appears that domestic political unrest in 
Kuwait has quieted in recent months. Some of that may be 
economic in nature. Those of us working on budget issues were 
envious when we saw that Kuwait was announcing a surplus that 
was 40 percent of its GDP, a budgetary surplus. But what do you 
think the future is of political system reform in Kuwait going 
forward?
    Mr. Silliman. Senator, that is an excellent question and 
this is a question on which there is a very lively debate in 
Kuwait itself. Kuwait already has a political system that 
stands out in the region. As I said, women are full 
participants in the political system. There is a very lively 
press. There is very lively participation in social media, 
although with some controls from the government that we wish 
they did not try to impose.
    I believe that it is the openness of the political system 
that makes it possible for Kuwaitis to move forward more 
rationally and calmly than many other countries that do not 
have such an open system. It is one of the great benefits of 
democracy that we have here and I think Kuwait benefits from 
that.
    We will continue, I will continue if confirmed, to 
encourage expanded freedom of expression, freedom of 
association and other ways, so that Kuwaitis themselves can 
have open discussions and decide what their political future 
ought to be.
    Senator Kaine. One of the issues we also frequently discuss 
in both Foreign Relations and Armed Services is sort of the 
growing sectarian nature of conflict in this region between 
Sunni and Shia Islamic populations. Yet Kuwait has been a 
little bit immune from that, and I wonder if you would talk 
about why?
    Mr. Silliman. Certainly, Senator. Kuwait is fortunate in 
the region in that they do not have the same social or economic 
differences tied to sect or religion that other countries in 
the region do. About 30 percent of the Kuwaiti population is 
Shia. It is a minority, but it is very well integrated socially 
and economically. Kuwait Shia to my understanding do not feel 
themselves second-class citizens. They participate fully in 
political life and in social life. So I think this is one of 
the reasons that you have not seen spillover from other 
sectarian conflicts in the region.
    Again, if confirmed we will watch this very carefully. But 
I think that the situation in Kuwait is much more optimistic, 
or I am more optimistic about the situation in Kuwait than in 
many other places in the region.
    Senator Kaine. One last question. What is the current state 
of the Kuwaiti reaction to the United States-Iran negotiations, 
the P5+1 discussions?
    Mr. Silliman. An excellent question. The Kuwaiti has 
publicly welcomed the joint plan of action and said also that 
they hope that the joint plan of action leads to a permanent 
agreement that will resolve the nuclear issues of Iran, because 
they believe it will increase regional security in this region 
and other parts of the world. That said, they are still nervous 
about some of the other activities of Iran that we too are 
nervous about, support of terrorism and revolutionary movements 
elsewhere in the region and the world.
    So the Kuwaitis are not being Pollyannish when they are in 
favor of the joint plan of action. But thus far they have been 
supportive, and we have consulted with them closely.
    Senator Kaine. Great. Thank you, Mr. Silliman.
    Ambassador Tueller, in news of the week there was news this 
week about Yemen considering or on the path to adopt a six-
region federal structure. Based on your experience, including 
your earlier posting in Yemen, do you think this structure make 
sense and will hold? Is there lingering possibility that 
southerners will not see this as a viable structure? What has 
been the initial kind of response to this in Yemen and what are 
your thoughts about it?
    Ambassador Tueller. Senator, that is an important step that 
has taken place in this continuing process that began with the 
GCC initiative. The national dialogue brought together 
representatives from political elites, from different regions 
of the country, the different parties, included women, 
representatives of broad swaths of society, including of course 
southerners. In the process of the national dialogue, of course 
these issues were discussed. There were recommendations made.
    It is clear that there is still a need for further 
discussion on this. But the national dialogue concluded quite 
recently, January 25. The next phase of the process called for 
a study and the recommendations for a federal system, 
devolution of power from the center. So the recommendations 
that have come out for a six-region federal system are 
consistent with the national dialogue process.
    The issues are still very much alive. We expect that 
President Hadi is going to have to continue to exercise the 
type of leadership that he has over the course of this process 
as the country moves to the next phases of drafting the 
constitution, having a referendum to approve the constitution. 
I expect that there will be challenges and we will have to be 
continuously engaged along with other partners to ensure that 
the process is not derailed or spoiled by those who would like 
to oppose it.
    Senator Kaine. Just on that point, there has been an 
ongoing Houthi rebellion in a portion of Yemen and that 
rebellion has received, revolt has received support from Iran 
and has been a serious threat to security in Yemen. Is the 
political process as it is working sort of responding to 
grievances and dampening them, or is there likely to be an 
effort by this revolt to unwind or attack the political process 
that is ongoing?
    Ambassador Tueller. Senator, first on the question of the 
Houthi rebellion. There are legitimate grievances. The Houthis 
participated in the national dialogue, so that was a positive 
step. Nonetheless, the conflict continues.
    As you mention, there is strong evidence that Iran has been 
providing support to the elements of the Houthi rebellion, 
including last year Yemen seized a dhow with weapons, referred 
the case to the U.N., and the U.N. concluded that Iran was 
likely behind the shipment of weapons to the Houthis.
    We and Yemen share a strong interest in preventing Iran 
from meddling in and exerting its influence inside Yemen. So if 
confirmed one of my major efforts will be to assist the Yemeni 
Government both in addressing on the political, social, and 
economic level grievances that will allow the rebellion to be 
fought back, but also in preventing Iran from exploiting those 
tensions inside Yemen.
    Senator Kaine. You testified a bit about AQAP and how it 
has been such a significant challenge. One of the issues really 
raised as you dig into this is the success of counterterrorism 
in one country can create problems in a neighbor. So much of 
the AQAP membership has been Saudi natives who, because of 
Saudi efforts to crack down on terrorism, have found it easier 
to move across borders into Yemen and created problems in 
Yemen.
    Talk a little bit about the current status of the Yemen-
Saudi security cooperation in dealing with AQAP and what the 
United States is doing to try to help facilitate that?
    Ambassador Tueller. Senator, you have touched exactly on 
the issue behind AQAP's growth. It of course was formed in 2009 
as a result of the unification, putting one banner over both 
the al-Qaeda elements in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, with Yemen 
providing, because of ungoverned spaces and weak central 
government authority, the opportunity for elements of Saudi 
Arabia to take root inside Yemen.
    The question of how we combat that, of course, really goes 
to creating conditions where the Government in Yemen can begin 
to exert control in those ungoverned spaces, that it can begin 
to counter extremism, and that it can, with our assistance and 
the assistance of others, have the type of law enforcement 
security services that can counter the threat posed by 
terrorists.
    Saudi Arabia has actually played a very, very constructive 
role in Yemen. It played a very important part in bringing 
about the GCC initiative that brought the country back from the 
brink of civil war. So we believe also that continued 
involvement with Saudi Arabia as a partner in addressing the 
issues in Yemen is going to be important to the success of our 
efforts there.
    Senator Kaine. In the aftermath of the horrific bombing of 
the hospital in Yemen in December, AQAP took the unusual step 
of apologizing and saying they had made a mistake and that 
there was sort of a really just acknowledging that they had 
done wrong. Has the horrific nature of that particular crime 
weakened any attachment or support that they would receive from 
elements within the Yemeni population?
    Ambassador Tueller. Sir, again and again the primary 
victims of AQAP have been Yemenis. They have attacked Yemeni 
civilians, Yemeni infrastructure. The attack on the hospital 
and I believe the statement that you are referring to afterward 
is indicative of the type of challenge we face in countering 
their propaganda efforts. To carry out that sort of vicious 
attack and then come out afterward and try to apologize, while 
that may have some appeal to some people, I believe that we 
will be able to counter that and, with the help of the 
government that is engaged in the fight with us, to make sure 
that that extremist message, the lies they tell, do not take 
hold amongst the Yemeni people.
    Senator Kaine. Talk a little bit about the security 
challenge for your personnel in Yemen. I think Senator Risch's 
question to you about would your family be attending was 
getting at that issue. Yemen might be one of the most 
challenging assignments in the United States Foreign Service 
because of security. I understand all the employees of the 
Embassy, U.S. employees, live in a single building that is a 
converted hotel. If you would just talk a bit about the 
security challenges and how you will tackle them when you are 
there.
    Ambassador Tueller. Yes, Senator. It is something that, it 
is a dynamic situation, one that I believe we constantly have 
to evaluate, look and see what the nature of the threat is, 
what are effective countermeasures, what is the nature of the 
footprint on the ground, are we doing everything possible.
    Senator, if confirmed I will spend every morning and every 
evening giving serious thought to whether we are doing the 
things in Yemen that make sense, that we have got the right mix 
of people there, that we are taking all the appropriate 
countermeasures. I am confident with the experience that we 
have gained and continue to gain that we are putting in place 
best practices to protect our facilities and our people. But I 
am not going to rest for one moment and feel complacent about 
the steps in place and will be constantly evaluating whether we 
are doing the right thing.
    Senator Kaine. Mr. Ambassador, I was struck when we talked 
privately, based on your experiences in being in Yemen earlier, 
but you pointed out that in the Arab world, in this part of the 
world, Yemen is the poorest country. So in terms of resources 
to deal with the challenges, from a physical resource 
standpoint, they are very, very stressed. And yet you really 
seem to convey that, given the level of resources they have, 
there are reasons for optimism about how they are handling the 
challenges that they face, with AQAP notwithstanding. Have I 
fairly characterized your thoughts?
    Ambassador Tueller. Yes, Senator, I do feel optimistic 
about that. I think the level of economic assistance that we 
are providing is enabling the Yemeni Government to begin to 
improve its ability to deliver services, to exert its influence 
into ungoverned areas, to create jobs, to foster private 
enterprise. Frankly, there are a number of other very committed 
partners also, including Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries.
    So if together we can move that, there is great potential 
for Yemen to move from where it is now or has been over the 
past decades to a country, particularly as we see the political 
process begin to allow a government to function properly and be 
responsive to the needs of its citizens. I am optimistic about 
where that is headed.
    Senator Kaine. A last question. In the National Defense 
Authorizing Act that we passed at the end of 2013, the language 
that was hammered out between the House and the Senate with 
respect to Guantanamo opened up the prospect for more transfers 
of Guantanamo detainees back to countries of origin, with sort 
of two components: transfers to countries of origin, transfers 
to the United States for trial in Article 3 courts.
    We did not change the fundamental law with respect to the 
Article 3 courts, but we did open up more prospects for 
transfers back to countries of origin. A huge number of the 
remaining detainees, a sizeable percentage of the remaining 
detainees at Guantanamo, are Yemenis. Talk a little bit about, 
with greater congressional authority for such transfers, talk a 
bit about the important goal of returning to Yemen those who 
have been cleared for return at this point?
    Ambassador Tueller. Senator, the administration is very 
grateful for the greater flexibility that the legislation has 
provided the President, who has made clear that it is the 
policy of this administration to close Guantanamo. It has not 
been effective. It has not served our national security 
interests. So that flexibility that allows the administration 
to look at, in the case of Yemen, a case-by-case examination of 
each individual detainee to determine whether the conditions 
can be met to make a transfer either to Yemen or to a third 
country.
    So we will continue to look at that process. Again, it is 
going to be a case-by-case basis, looking at the specific 
circumstances of each individual and what assurances would be 
required so that we make sure that our national security 
interests are taken care of before any return takes place.
    Senator Kaine. Thank you, Ambassador Tueller, for your 
testimony and to all the witnesses and all who are here in 
support of them. I am glad we were able to have this hearing 
today. Each of your countries are very, very important allies 
for the United States and it is important that we have our best 
representing us there.
    The record of this hearing, and especially because of the 
timing of it, will remain open until the close of business next 
Thursday to allow members to submit questions for the record, 
and we ask your prompt response to such questions as they are 
submitted.
    With that, the hearing is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 3:24 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]
                              ----------                              


       Additional Questions and Answers Submitted for the Record


            Responses of Douglas Alan Silliman to Questions 
                    Submitted by Senator Bob Corker

    Question. What are the vital U.S. national security interests in 
Kuwait? What are the other national security interests in Kuwait?

    Answer. Kuwait is a steadfast ally in the strategically important 
gulf region and a valued partner in promoting policies that strengthen 
regional security and stability, including supporting efforts to reach 
a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, resolving 
the Syria crisis, including addressing the humanitarian needs of the 
Syrian people, and confronting Iran's destabilizing policies in the 
region. Our longstanding strategic partnership includes excellent 
military-to-military relations; Kuwait's proven track record as a 
supportive host of U.S. Army Central is critical to our ability to 
deter threats to our own homeland and to our allies. One of our highest 
priorities is sustaining and enhancing our security partnership, 
especially with respect to countering the threat of terrorism and 
violent extremism against the United States, U.S. personnel in the 
region and U.S. allies abroad. Kuwait, which holds the rotating Gulf 
Cooperation Council presidency for 2014 and will host the Arab League 
summit March 25-26, is increasingly assuming a regional leadership role 
on issues of shared importance such as the Syria humanitarian crisis 
and Iraq's regional reintegration. Finally, Kuwait holds roughly 7 
percent of the world's proven oil reserves, and U.S. companies actively 
compete for massive contracts in Kuwait's transportation, heath, and 
infrastructure sectors.

    Question. What are the three most important goals of U.S. policy in 
Kuwait?

    Answer. Sustaining and deepening our security partnership will 
continue to be our first priority, as it is essential to ensuring U.S. 
security, and the security and stability of the broader gulf and Middle 
East regions. This includes the protection of official U.S. personnel 
in Kuwait, as well as the more than 50,000 U.S. citizens living, 
working, and visiting Kuwait City; in that respect, the Government of 
Kuwait provides outstanding cooperation in both of these areas. 
Protecting access to energy resources is a second, critically important 
objective. Kuwait produces roughly 2.7 million barrels a day and 
exports more than 2 million barrels a day; it is in our mutual interest 
to help ensure that Kuwait remains a reliable supplier to global energy 
markets far into the future. A final objective involves strengthening 
U.S.-Kuwaiti commercial ties. Kuwait has consistently run large budget 
surpluses, and the Government of Kuwait is directing a sizeable portion 
of these funds into modernizing the country's infrastructure and 
improving the Kuwaiti health and education sectors, opportunities for 
which U.S. companies can expect to be exceptionally competitive. At the 
same, the government has also increased its yearly contributions to 
Kuwait's Future Generations Fund, an investment fund to which Kuwait 
contributes a percentage of annual oil revenues. If I am confirmed, I 
will work to sustain the recent increase in Kuwaiti investment in U.S. 
assets and companies, where Kuwait ranks as our 13th-fastest growing 
source of Foreign Direct Investment.

    Question. How does achieving these goals in Kuwait align with a 
broader regional strategy?

    Answer. Deepening our security, political, and economic partnership 
with Kuwait is a key component in advancing our regional goal of 
countering threats and promoting stability. As evidenced by the Kuwaiti 
Amir's September 2013 visit to Washington and Secretary Kerry's two 
trips to Kuwait in the last 9 months, our two nations work 
collaboratively on a range of bilateral, regional, and international 
issues of utmost importance to U.S. national security. For example, as 
the Gulf Cooperation Council president for 2014, Kuwait will facilitate 
our multilateral engagement with that entity, including on ballistic 
missile defense. Kuwait has also welcomed the Joint Plan of Action as 
an important first step toward a comprehensive nuclear agreement with 
Iran, and Kuwaiti assistance has been critical to short-term economic 
stability in Egypt. To address the dire humanitarian needs stemming 
from the ongoing violence in Syria, meanwhile, Kuwait's Amir cohosted 
with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon a second-annual high level 
donors' conference that spurred a collective $4.2 billion in new 
pledges of humanitarian assistance. Finally, I had the privilege of 
personally working to advance the normalization of Iraq-Kuwait 
relations over the past 18 months, which greatly contributed to 
regional stability and continues to serve as a powerful example of the 
potential for Iraq's re-integration into the immediate neighborhood, 
from which it has been so long estranged.
                                 ______
                                 

               Responses of Matthew Tueller to Questions 
                    Submitted by Senator Bob Corker

    Question. What are the vital U.S. national security interests in 
Yemen? What are the other national security interests in Yemen?

    Answer. Our vital U.S. national security interests in Yemen center 
on addressing near-term security threats to the United States and our 
regional interests by supporting President Hadi and the Yemeni 
Government's efforts to counter Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula 
(AQAP) and to complete an historic democratic transition. In supporting 
Yemen's transition process, the U.S. thereby bolsters the Yemeni 
Government's ability to meet its citizens' economic, humanitarian, and 
political needs, undercutting the lure of extremist movements.
    Our objectives include: enhancing the Yemeni Government's ability 
to protect its borders and coastlines; enabling Yemen to participate 
more fully as a regional security, political, and economic partner; 
supporting the Yemeni Government in extending control over its 
territory and ungoverned spaces to prevent use by terrorists and 
transnational criminals; facilitating Yemeni efforts to modernize its 
military and improve interoperability with U.S. and coalition forces; 
and, encouraging bolstered rule of law and human rights best practices.

    Question. What are the three most important goals of U.S. policy in 
Yemen?

    Answer. The three most important goals of U.S. policy in Yemen are 
to: (1) counter the threat from AQAP and other violent extremists, in 
partnership with President Hadi and the Yemeni Government; (2) support 
Yemen as it implements the political, economic, and social reforms 
underpinning the country's historic transition to democracy, fostering 
a more stable and prosperous Yemen; and, (3) protect and promote U.S. 
citizens, personnel, and interests in Yemen.

    Question. How does achieving these goals in Yemen align with a 
broader regional strategy?

    Answer. Achieving these goals in Yemen aligns with our broader 
regional strategy by promoting peace, security and stability, enhancing 
economic cooperation, expanding opportunities for broader trade and 
investment, and supporting aspirations for more inclusive, responsive 
governance which addresses basic universal rights and needs.
                                 ______
                                 

           Responses of Joseph William Westphal to Questions 
                    Submitted by Senator Bob Corker

    Question. What are the vital U.S. national security interests in 
Saudi Arabia? What are the other national security interests in Saudi 
Arabia?

    Answer. In his September 24, 2013 address to the U.N. General 
Assembly, President Obama outlined U.S. core interests in the region, 
which also define our vital interests in Saudi Arabia:

          We will confront external aggression against our allies and 
        partners, as we did in the gulf war . . .
          We will ensure the free flow of energy from the region to the 
        world . . .
          We will dismantle terrorist networks that threaten our 
        people.

    If confirmed, I will work to advance our defense and security 
partnerships, energy coordination, and counterterrorism relationships, 
which truly are critical to our national security.
    However, as President Obama also noted: [T]o say that these are 
America's core interests is not to say that they are our only 
interests. We deeply believe it is in our interests to see a Middle 
East and North Africa that is peaceful and prosperous, and will 
continue to promote democracy and human rights and open markets, 
because we believe these practices achieve peace and prosperity.
    Building our commercial relationships, including increasing Saudi 
imports of American products and bolstering the success of American 
firms in winning Saudi contracts and forming successful business 
partnerships, will be a high Embassy priority during my tenure as 
Ambassador.
    Likewise, if confirmed I will prioritize engagement with Saudi 
Arabia on affording opportunities for women to participate fully in the 
public and economic life of the country, and allowing citizens basic 
rights, such as freedom of association and assembly. I will not shy 
away from advocacy of Saudi reforms in these areas or from offering 
support to those fighting for protection of these rights.
    Finally, the safety and security of the many American citizens in 
Saudi Arabia, both private and official, will be a first priority for 
me as Ambassador if confirmed.

    Question. What are the three most important goals of U.S. policy in 
Saudi Arabia?

    Answer. The most critical U.S. policy goals necessarily follow the 
U.S. core interests outlined above. We must continue to maintain our 
deep security partnership while continuing to sustain our robust 
Foreign Military Sales program with a current value of more than $96 
billion. Building Saudi defense capabilities and maintaining our 
partnerships in security and counterterrorism are essential matters of 
our national security strategy. We must also work closely with Saudi 
leaders on energy matters to ensure stability in global markets, and 
further enhance our cooperation on counterterrorism which is a critical 
policy goal that I will work to advance if confirmed, in whole-of-
government fashion. I further look forward to visits from and 
consultation with members of the committee to discuss our approaches to 
these issues and how best to achieve our goals.

    Question. How does achieving these goals in Saudi Arabia align with 
a broader regional strategy?

    Answer. While our bilateral partnership with Saudi Arabia remains 
critical in its own right, it also is very much a component of the 
broader regional strategy that you reference. Saudi Arabia is an 
influential regional actor and plays a key role in every major issue 
confronting the region, from Syria to Iran. We need Saudi coordination 
and assistance to deal effectively with these complex regional 
challenges. As the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) collective, grows 
increasingly important as a political, security, and economic body, we 
must work with Saudi Arabia, the largest GCC member state, to 
strengthen our partnerships in the region and enhance regional economic 
and military ties. We must continue regular engagement with the GCC 
states through the U.S.-GCC Strategic Cooperation Forum to develop 
broader cooperative ties with the six GCC member states, including on 
matters such as gulf security and ballistic missile defense.
                                 ______
                                 

           Responses of Joseph William Westphal to Questions 
                   Submitted by Senator Barbara Boxer

    Question. As you are well aware, women in Saudi Arabia are 
effectively treated as legal minors due to the country's male 
guardianship system and are unable to do many of things that women here 
in the United States take for granted. In fact, according to a recent 
report from the World Bank, the economic potential of Saudi women is 
the most limited in the world due to their legal status.
    In recent years however, Saudi Arabia has made several advancements 
in women's rights. For example, in the upcoming Saudi election in 2015, 
women will, for the first time, be able to stand as candidates and vote 
in municipal elections. The majority of these advancements made by King 
Abdullah have been largely symbolic but I hope that they can at the 
very least represent a turning point for women in Saudi Arabia.

   What will you do to engage with the Saudi Government on 
        women's issues and how will you work to advocate on behalf of 
        women especially in light of the upcoming 2015 elections?

    Answer. If confirmed as Ambassador, I will engage Saudi leaders on 
the need to accelerate reforms that allow women to participate fully in 
the political and economic life of the country and that protect women 
and girls from abuse or discrimination. I will express the view that 
Saudi Arabia will never reach its full potential if it does not allow 
half of its citizens to contribute to the country's future and 
prosperity. The historic appointment of 30 women to the Kingdom's 
Consultative Council was a positive step in this direction; however, 
much more needs to be done for the full inclusion of women in Saudi 
public life. As Saudi women prepare to vote and to run for office for 
the first time in the upcoming 2015 municipal council elections, I will 
closely monitor these important elections and encourage the women of 
Saudi Arabia to seize this important opportunity to participate in 
their country's political life. I will also engage with key Saudi women 
leaders in business and government.
    As I engage with Saudi officials, I will be clear that the U.S. 
Government supports women's freedom of movement and all opportunities 
afforded to men, including the removal of restrictions on women in 
transportation, employment, and public life. Saudi women are working 
hard to change social and government views inside their country, noting 
the illogic of current policies and practices, and they have generated 
vigorous public debate within Saudi Arabia about the role of women in 
Saudi society--a debate the Saudi leadership has at least tacitly 
supported. The recent driving campaign is just one example of the many 
home-grown campaigns that Saudis of both genders have initiated in 
recent years to press for increased opportunities and rights for Saudi 
women.

    Question. Further, how do you believe the United States can best 
work to improve economic prospects for Saudi women?

    Answer. Many women in Saudi Arabia have little ability to fulfill 
their talents and career and entrepreneurial ambitions because of 
societal and governmental strictures. If confirmed, I will examine ways 
to expand women's opportunities by showcasing Saudi women entrepreneurs 
through the use of social media and other mission resources and will 
facilitate networking among established women entrepreneurs and those 
just starting out so that others can gain from those with track 
records. I will also support increasing the number of Saudi students in 
the U.S. I will promote exchanges and training opportunities, and will 
examine partnerships for Saudi female entrepreneurs and professionals 
with peers in the U.S. I will also discuss with American companies 
operating in Saudi Arabia how they can help increase opportunities for 
women and youth and pave the way for more women to enter the labor 
force. Expanded U.S. educational offerings, network-building, and 
mentoring opportunities will benefit Saudi women just like they assist 
professionals everywhere, and over time will help expand the space 
available to women in Saudi Arabia to fully contribute to their 
country's success.
                                 ______
                                 

               Responses of Matthew Tueller to Questions 
                 Submitted by Senator Edward J. Markey

    Question. The busiest liquefied natural gas import terminal in the 
country is in my home State of Massachusetts. In fact, over the last 5 
years, 40 percent of all U.S. imports have come through Boston Harbor. 
Fourteen percent of the LNG brought into the port originates in Yemen. 
That figure is declining due to terrorists repeatedly blowing up the 
main gas pipeline in Yemen.

   What is your assessment of the current security situation 
        as it relates to the country's oil and gas infrastructure? Do 
        you believe Yemen is a reliable source of natural gas for 
        Massachusetts consumers?

    Answer. Yemen continues to face frequent attacks by Al Qaeda in the 
Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and other armed groups seeking to undermine 
the political transition. This has included attacks on the country's 
oil and gas infrastructure. President Hadi and the Yemeni Government 
remain committed to improving the security environment and to 
protecting--and developing--Yemen's energy infrastructure. The Yemeni 
Government has made some progress reclaiming territory in the south 
previously under AQAP control, and is working to prevent attacks on 
Yemen's oil infrastructure. However, AQAP and tribal militias still 
routinely launch small scale attacks, particularly in remote areas, 
which disrupt energy production.
    The United States supports programs to help build the capacity of 
Yemen's security forces to conduct counterterrorism operations and 
protect the Yemeni people, officials, and infrastructure from terrorist 
attacks. Our success in this initiative will contribute directly to 
Yemen's reliability as a provider of LNG to the people of 
Massachusetts.

    Question. The United States has not merely given military aid to 
Yemen since that country's political transition began in 2011 we have 
also provided humanitarian and economic development assistance. In 
fact, over the previous 2 fiscal years, we have provided over $100 
million in economic aid. Yet, much more work is needed to transition 
Yemen's political system and economy into the 21st century, 
particularly the country's electric grid. Yemen suffers chronic 
blackouts, even in the capital. Reliable power is a cornerstone of 
stability.

   Is there anything we can do to improve the reliability and 
        security of Yemen's electric grid with our assistance, so that 
        it can move further toward self-sustaining development?

    Answer. Our security strategy in Yemen includes a strong focus on 
increasing Yemeni capacity to secure the country against AQAP and other 
threats, which will in turn build Yemeni capability to protect critical 
infrastructure. We seek to develop Yemen's security forces to conduct 
counterterrorism operations, extend government control in ungoverned 
spaces to prevent use by terrorists, and to secure maritime and land 
borders.
    We routinely engage with the Yemeni Government on discussions over 
critical infrastructure--particularly Yemen's electric grid--and, in 
tandem with the international community, continue to support efforts to 
improve the reliability and safety of the energy grid, including 
through infrastructure development programs linked to the country's 
Mutual Accountability Framework, which is critical to ensuring donor 
confidence and continued support.
    We are also working with Yemen to develop more sustainable uses of 
energy and support the establishment of ties between Yemeni and 
American business communities to promote sustainable development, 
including in the areas of renewable energy.
    Finally, we continue to advocate for U.S. businesses looking to 
work with the Yemeni Government to increase electricity generation 
capacity.

    Question. In your opinion, what should be the focus of the United 
States economic development goals in Yemen?

    Answer. The United States economic development goals in Yemen 
should continue to focus on supporting near-term development and growth 
as well as longer term macroeconomic reform to achieve stability and 
underpin the gains of the country's ongoing transition process. In 
particular, our goals should include: (1) assisting the Yemenis in 
addressing economic reform priorities, which will set Yemen on a more 
sustainable path while increasing opportunities for private enterprise; 
(2) strengthening the capacity of the Yemeni Government, including the 
Mutual Accountability Framework (MAF) Executive Bureau, to support the 
country's efforts to implement reform commitments; (3) encouraging 
other international donors to fulfill assistance pledges which will 
enable the Yemeni Government to pursue meaningful reform and 
development; and, (4) assisting the Yemeni Government in meeting the 
critical humanitarian needs of the Yemeni people to foster the 
stability required to serve as a foundation for meaningful change.
    Significant structural reform and the development of a sustainable 
private sector remain essential to addressing many of the Yemeni 
citizens' key economic-focused demands. The Yemeni Government, however, 
has limited technical capacity to undertake sweeping institutional and 
economic reforms on its own. Our development goals in Yemen should 
focus on supporting Yemen's transitional government as it works to 
advance much-needed economic and structural reforms, while coordinating 
with the international community to maximize the utility of our 
assistance.

 
                  NOMINATIONS OF DEBORAH BIRX; SUZAN 
              LeVINE; MAUREEN CORMACK; AND PETER SELFRIDGE

                              ----------                              


                        THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
                              ----------                              

Deborah L. Birx, of Maryland, to be Ambassador at Large and 
        Coordinator of United States Government Activities to 
        Combat HIV/AIDS Globally
Suzan G. LeVine, of Washington, to be Ambassador to the Swiss 
        Confederation, and to serve concurrently and without 
        additional compensation as Ambassador to the 
        Principality of Liechtenstein
Maureen Elizabeth Cormack, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to 
        Bosnia and Herzegovina
Peter A. Selfridge, of Minnesota, to be Chief of Protocol, and 
        to have the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of 
        service
                              ----------                              

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:15 p.m., in 
room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Edward J. 
Markey presiding.
    Present: Senators Markey, Cardin, Murphy, Kaine, Corker, 
and Barrasso.
    Also Present: Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.

          OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. EDWARD J. MARKEY, 
                 U.S SENATOR FROM MASSACHUSETTS

    Senator Markey. This hearing will come to order and we 
welcome all of you this afternoon. Today we welcome four 
distinguished individuals who have been nominated for senior 
positions in our Nation's State Department. I want to express 
my appreciation to the ranking member, Mr. Barrasso, as we 
begin our hearing today and I want to thank our panel for being 
here.
    Our first nominee is Deborah Birx, who has been nominated 
to serve as Ambassador at Large and Coordinator of United 
States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS Globally. Dr. 
Birx has been a renowned leader and innovator in the HIV/AIDS 
field for decades. I could go on singing Dr. Birx's praises, 
but my colleague and fellow Senate Foreign Relations Committee 
member, Senator Cardin, is going to arrive here soon in order 
to graciously deliver Dr. Birx's introduction, so that is all 
that I will have to say for right now.
    Our second nominee is Susan LeVine. After a storied career 
at Microsoft, Ms. LeVine has been nominated by the President to 
be our Ambassador to Switzerland and the Principality of 
Liechtenstein. Ms. LeVine has substantial experience in the 
private sector, including at Microsoft, and we are fortunate to 
have both of her distinguished Senators from Washington who 
have also offered to introduce her to the Foreign Relations 
Committee.
    I will note at this point that there is a roll call on the 
Senate floor right now, so we are going to have an imminent 
arrival of several distinguished Senators in order to properly 
extol the virtues of our candidates.
    We also have before us Maureen Elizabeth Cormack, who has 
been nominated by President Obama to serve as our next 
Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ms. Cormack brings a 
wealth of experience at the State Department, most recently as 
the Principal Deputy Coordinator of the Department's Bureau of 
International Information Programs. As the Deputy Coordinator, 
Ms. Cormack provided skillful leadership to our Nation's public 
diplomacy communications operation.
    Since she began her career at the State Department in 1989, 
Ms. Cormack has demonstrated exemplary service both at home and 
overseas. I believe her background will enable her to bring 
strong leadership to our Foreign Service as the next Ambassador 
to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
    Last but certainly not least, we welcome Peter Selfridge, 
who has been nominated by the President to serve as the Chief 
of Protocol at the State Department. Mr. Selfridge has a long 
and impressive track record of ensuring that the highest 
profile Presidential trips go off without a hitch, no small 
feat. He has demonstrated this as the Director of Advance and 
Operations at the White House. That is precisely the sort of 
experience needed in our Chief of Protocol.
    As our Nation's first contact that welcomes foreign leaders 
and diplomats to our Nation, the Chief of Protocol plays a 
crucial role in our Nation's diplomatic operations. Put simply, 
our Chief of Protocol makes person to person diplomacy 
possible.
    Mr. Selfridge began his career right here in the United 
States Senate as a staff assistant and legislative 
correspondent in the office of Senator Tom Harkin, and we are 
glad to welcome him back today as we consider his nomination to 
this position. Unlike many Senators, he has made his way to the 
White House. So we congratulate you on that.
    With that, I would like to stop and actually begin to allow 
our witnesses to testify. As the Senators arrive, I am going to 
interrupt at that point so that each of the Senators can make 
their welcoming comments as well. So why do we not we begin 
with you, Ms. Birx. Whenever you feel comfortable, please 
begin.

 STATEMENT OF DEBORAH L. BIRX, M.D., OF MARYLAND, NOMINATED TO 
    BE AMBASSADOR AT LARGE AND COORDINATOR OF UNITED STATES 
       GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES TO COMBAT HIV/AIDS GLOBALLY

    Dr. Birx. Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to 
meet with you today. Let me begin by acknowledging the much 
appreciated and unheralded work of this committee and many in 
this room who have persistently and effectively moved AIDS from 
the shadows to the center of our global health agenda.
    I am deeply grateful to President Obama for his continuing 
support and investment and in challenging us to do more, to 
Secretary Kerry for his long-term commitment to changing the 
course of this pandemic, to Secretary Clinton for the blueprint 
for an AIDS-free generation, and to President Bush for creating 
PEPFAR.
    Let me also take a personal moment to acknowledge my 
parents here today, who taught me to live my life focused on 
others, and my daughters, age 27 and 30. I am very proud of 
them and grateful for their patience and sacrifice.
    Senator Markey. Could they stand for a second so we can 
recognize them for the fantastic work they did.
    [Parents stand.] [Applause.]
    Senator Markey. Beautiful. Thank you all for being here.
    Dr. Birx. As you know, the AIDS pandemic has been 
devastating. Since the first cases were recognized in 1981, 
more than 30 million people have died of HIV and more than 30 
million people today live with HIV. But the AIDS story has 
changed dramatically over the last decade. It is no longer one 
of overwhelming despair. It has by sheer determination forged a 
different path, driven from the amalgamation of literally 
millions of untold and often heroic personal, political, and 
programmatic choices. Now the tide of this relentless pandemic 
is turning.
    Because of activists and analysts, scientists and religious 
leaders, parents and parliamentarians, we stand on the verge of 
achieving what many of us thought impossible just a few short 
years ago, the ends of the AIDS epidemic as we know it.
    My own 34-year professional journey, most of it in uniform 
in our Nation's armed services, has been intertwined with the 
path of this epidemic from the beginning. My path has been 
marked by humility, inspiration, and discovery: humility 
because at Walter Reed in the early 1980s we were caring for 
young soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who were suffering 
and dying from a mysterious illness and we could not save them; 
inspiration from Africa in the late 1990s, when pregnant women 
dying of HIV/AIDS still came forward, were tested, and 
confronted stigma and discrimination, forsaking their own lives 
to save their babies from HIV, and we could do nothing to save 
them; discovery for the potential pathway to an effective HIV 
vaccine through a partnership with NIH, DOD, and Thailand, and 
discovering through PEPFAR that we have not only saved lives 
but changed the course of this epidemic.
    The United States political leadership of this global 
response have also taken risks, defying conventional wisdom, 
across multiple administrations and Congresses. This committee 
was instrumental in creating PEPFAR in 2003, which has twice 
been reauthorized with strong bipartisan support.
    It only looks possible in hindsight that the whole of 
government coming together to achieve a common goal. the 
Department of State and USAID, the Departments of DOD and HHS 
and their components, as well as the Peace Corps, working 
together every day to implement PEPFAR.
    Among the lasting legacies has been the speed at which 
outstanding science and innovation has been translated into 
sound policy and programming at scale. Looking forward, our 
chance to realize an AIDS regeneration is within reach. We have 
arrived at a critical moment in time where we can redefine the 
trajectory of this epidemic.
    But our challenge is to remain--is maintaining our focus. 
If we begin to drift, if we lessen our aspirations or we leave 
our science behind, we will have squandered all of this 
investment and allowed the accomplishments of the last decade 
to unravel, with enormous negative consequences.
    We have arrived at an AIDS-free generation--we can arrive 
at an AIDS-free generation through PEPFAR and our vision is one 
that reflects shared responsibility, accountability, and 
impact. First, we need to follow the PEPFAR blueprint and the 
clear recommendations from external reviews. Second, we need to 
work together to achieve the vision of PEPFAR, holding each 
other accountable by harnessing the power of science to create 
new paths and tools, the power of scale in our programming, to 
continue to demonstrate to the sometimes-skeptical world that 
we are both capable of saving lives as well as changing the 
very face of this epidemic, the power of partnerships to create 
genuine synergies and to hold each of us accountable to our 
commitments, and the power of activism to translate our 
aspirations into our policies.
    Finally, we must stay focused in four key areas: scaling of 
effective interventions, strengthening countries' capacities 
and systems, sharing responsibility to address the epidemic, 
and most important ensuring transparency, accountability, and 
oversight.
    I believe we can accomplish what was truly unthinkable just 
a few short years ago. I look forward to the opportunity of 
working with this committee as we bring this to fruition, and 
let me stop here and express my deep appreciation and take any 
questions.
    [The prepared statement of Dr. Birx follows:]

               Prepared Statement of Dr. Deborah L. Birx

    Thank you Senator Markey, Senator Barrasso, Chairman Menendez, 
Ranking Member Corker and distinguished members of the committee. I am 
deeply honored to have been nominated by President Obama, with the 
strong support of Secretary Kerry, to serve as the United States Global 
AIDS Coordinator and to lead the global HIV/AIDS efforts on behalf of 
our Nation. It is a particular pleasure to have this opportunity to 
appear before your committee, which has so persistently and effectively 
moved AIDS from the shadows to the center of our global health agenda. 
I would like to applaud the members of this committee and your 
congressional colleagues for your unwavering bipartisan support of the 
U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and for the 
recent passage of the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act of 2013. You 
are to be commended for your leadership in moving this legislation 
forward and with each reauthorization strengthening PEPFAR's investment 
strategy and program oversight to ensure maximum impact on the epidemic 
to achieve an AIDS-free generation.
    Please know that if confirmed, I will continue to work with you and 
the larger global health community to further strengthen and accelerate 
our global HIV/AIDS efforts to ensure that our programs have an even 
greater impact in saving lives, changing the course of the HIV 
epidemic, and taking a major step forward in achieving an AIDS-free 
generation. I will also ensure effective oversight, accountability, and 
enhanced transparency to you and the American people so that our 
investment of tax dollars reaps the greatest dividends. Our investments 
must continue to be smart, strategic, and impactful if we are to 
ultimately win the global battle against HIV/AIDS.
    The AIDS pandemic has devastated individuals and communities in the 
United States and around the world. Since the first cases were 
recognized in 1981, more than 30 million people have died from AIDS and 
millions more are now living with HIV, with an estimated 1.6 million 
deaths in the past year. Countless others have been affected by untold 
personal and economic loss. In recent years, however, the story of AIDS 
has changed dramatically. It is no longer just a story of devastation 
and despair--it is one of healing and hope. By sheer determination and 
millions of heroic personal, political, and programmatic choices, the 
tide of this relentless epidemic is turning.
    The U.S. global HIV/AIDS effort has both launched and anchored the 
largest and longest lasting global health collaboration in history. 
Working together we have brought about extraordinary achievements that 
have transformed individuals, communities, societies, and countries. 
Over the last decade we have seen impressive gains. We have reached, 
and in many cases exceeded, PEPFAR's targets defined by the President. 
In FY 2013, PEPFAR directly supported 6.7 million men, women, and 
children worldwide with life-saving medicines; supported HIV testing 
and counseling to more than 12.8 million pregnant women; and provided 
antiretroviral medications to prevent mother-to-child transmission of 
the virus to 780,000 women. Last June, Secretary Kerry made the 
historic announcement that PEPFAR had achieved a milestone--1 million 
babies born HIV-free. We have supported more than 4.7 million voluntary 
medical male circumcision procedures in east and southern Africa. And 
PEPFAR supported 17 million people with care and support, including 
more than 5 million orphans and vulnerable children, in 2013.
    These efforts have saved millions of lives and illustrate the 
critical role of American leadership in global health. Within the 
global response to the epidemic, PEPFAR has served as a remarkable 
example of cooperation across the breadth of our Government and our 
Nation with countless partners around the globe. This success owes a 
great debt to the leadership of President George W. Bush and the 
members of his administration for creating PEPFAR. To President Obama, 
former Secretary of State Clinton, and Secretary of State Kerry for 
their deep commitment as outlined in the ``PEPFAR Blueprint for an AIDS 
Free Generation'' to further extend our efforts. And to the visionary 
leaders in this and earlier Congresses, who had the foresight to 
propose, support and guide this program in its development. We also owe 
a debt of gratitude to Ambassadors Eric Goosby and Mark Dybul for their 
effective stewardship of PEPFAR during the current and past 
administrations. And we are grateful as well to the pioneers who 
created the Leadership and Investment in Fighting the Epidemic (LIFE) 
Initiative in the Clinton administration. The U.S. global response to 
HIV has been uniquely uninterrupted, and each administration has 
contributed its own vision while maintaining the fundamentals, securing 
bipartisan bicameral support through each reauthorization, and 
reflecting the enduring compassion of the American people.
    My entire professional career has been focused on the AIDS 
epidemic, interacting with it from a number of different perspectives 
both in the United States and throughout the world. As a physician I 
have cared for patients, beginning in the 1980s at Walter Reed Army 
Medical Center, before we knew a deadly virus was causing this 
horrendous disease. I made scientific contributions in understanding 
how this virus destroys the body's defense mechanisms.
    And while leading the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research work 
on HIV/AIDS, I was able to acquire a more thorough appreciation of the 
potential and limitations of groundbreaking vaccine research. As a 
proud Army Veteran, having risen to the rank of Colonel, I brought 
together the Navy, Army, and Air Force in a new model of cooperation--
whose lessons I would hope to adapt in this role to ensure that the 
full U.S. Government interagency PEPFAR collaboration is enhanced. 
Finally, in my current role as the Director of the U.S. Centers for 
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Global HIV/AIDS, I 
have had the privilege of working with and across the full array of 
U.S. Government PEPFAR implementing agencies, where I developed a 
unique understanding and appreciation of the complementary roles of 
each. These diverse and demanding experiences have challenged me 
personally while reinforcing my confidence in our collective 
capacities--and my optimism that our chance to create an AIDS-free 
generation is within reach.
    Our challenge is to maintain our focus. If we begin to drift, to 
lessen our aspirations, or to stray from the scientific method, we will 
have squandered our accumulated assets and allowed the accomplishments 
of the last decade to unravel, with enormous negative consequence to a 
great many young lives. To achieve an AIDS-free generation--we need to 
refocus our efforts, reenergize our partnerships, and reaffirm our 
commitments to achieving our objectives. My confidence in our eventual 
success derives from what we have seen and experienced thus far in the 
global effort.
    We have seen our many partners in clinics and communities across 
five continents persevere and prevail in their efforts to bring sound 
science to the service of social justice.
    We have seen the compassion and passion of AIDS advocates and 
activists at the forefront of the global response drawing support to 
the organizations, health care providers and community health workers 
who directly touch the lives of those we are privileged to serve.
    Within the U.S. Government efforts, we have seen in action the 
leadership at the Department of State, including the important 
contributions of ambassadors to the field, as well as the Office of the 
Global AIDS Coordinator, and USAID; the Department of Health and Human 
Services and its agencies, including CDC, HRSA, and NIH, and the Office 
of Global Affairs; the Department of Defense; the Peace Corps; the 
Department of Labor; and the many dedicated career staff working here 
and overseas bringing their complementary expertise and shared 
commitment to this effort.
    We have seen the increased efforts of other governments, our 
multilateral partners, the private sector and a wide array of 
community, faith-based and civil society organizations, including those 
living with HIV/AIDS join forces to create a global response, which 
brought the political will of the global community to bear at the front 
line of the epidemic.
    Together we have experienced the power of activism, to translate 
our aspirations into our policies; the power of science, to create new 
paths and tools where the ones we have in hand fall short; the power of 
scale in our programming, to continue to demonstrate to a sometimes 
skeptical world that we are capable of changing the very course of the 
epidemic; the power of partnerships, to create genuine synergies and 
hold each of us accountable to our commitments; and the power of our 
collective will and generosity of the American people. Together we have 
achieved what was once thought to be unachievable.
    Looking forward, our vision is to achieve an AIDS-free generation 
through shared responsibility, accountability, and impact. First we 
need to pursue both the agenda defined by the ``PEPFAR Blueprint,'' 
reflecting lessons learned from 10 years of experience in supporting 
countries to rapidly scale up HIV prevention, treatment, and care 
services, as well as recommendations from external reviews available to 
help guide PEPFAR's next steps. Second, we need to work together with 
all our partners to realize our vision, holding each other accountable 
and continuing to work together as activists, scientists, policymakers, 
and service providers to turn the tide of this epidemic together.
    To realize this vision we must stay focused on four key areas. 
First, we need to use country-driven analyses to accelerate action to 
scale up effective interventions for maximum impact in saving lives. 
Second, we must focus on strengthening country capacities and systems 
for longer term accountability and sustained impact. Third, we need to 
establish innovative Country Health Partnerships that ensure shared 
responsibility of the epidemic with country and other global 
stakeholders, including more robust engagement of country governments 
and civil society. Finally, we need to ensure enhanced transparency and 
accountability of program objectives, impact, investments, and quality.
                   scaling of effective interventions
    As a physician and epidemiologist, I am strongly committed to 
ensuring that country-driven analysis steers efforts to accelerate 
action to rapidly scale up effective interventions for maximum impact 
and controlling the HIV epidemic. Science, epidemiology, and dynamic 
data systems are essential. We will work with partner countries toward 
scaling up the best models for facility- and community-based service 
delivery that ensures that our resources go to the right people at the 
right time. We will prioritize reduction of sexual transmission by 
driving programs using epidemiological data and intervention 
effectiveness. To achieve an AIDS-free generation, we must analyze the 
epidemic country by country and tailor our approach to those most at-
risk, to: eliminate new HIV infections among children and keep mothers 
alive; increase coverage of HIV treatment to reduce AIDS-related 
mortality and enhance HIV prevention; end stigma and discrimination 
against people living with HIV and key populations (e.g., men who have 
sex with men, sex workers, and people who inject drugs), improving 
their access to, and uptake of, comprehensive HIV services; increase 
the number of males who are voluntarily circumcised for HIV prevention; 
and increase access to, and uptake of, HIV testing and counseling, 
condoms and other evidence-based interventions.
              strengthened country capacities and systems
    I am committed to ensuring that our PEPFAR programs are designed, 
implemented, and measured to strengthen country ownership and that we 
build long-term capacity of governments and civil society in countries 
through innovative Country Health Partnerships. These efforts to 
strengthen country ownership enjoy strong international support, and 
working with our partners we will maintain a concerted focus in health 
systems in a results-oriented manner that will be critical for 
sustaining the response to HIV prevention, care, and treatment. Through 
our work we will ensure we effectively support countries in 
strengthening their health systems over time with metrics and 
strategies that align with PEPFAR's vision. I am committed to ensuring 
that civil society engagement will be enhanced to make sure that those 
voices are involved in decisionmaking, implementation, and oversight 
activities of all PEPFAR programs.
                 shared responsibility of the epidemic
    Nothing is possible alone, ``shared responsibility'' is an 
established U.S. Government perspective and I believe everything is 
possible through this perspective and partnership. This means a joint 
approach toward country led, managed, and implemented responses with 
civil society, multilateral, and bilateral partners, including key 
collaboration with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and 
Malaria, the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, UNICEF, other 
multilateral, nongovernmental organizations and faith-based 
organizations. PEPFAR and the Global Fund financed programs are 
complementary and intertwined in countries where both exist. If 
confirmed, I will be vigilant in ensuring that we continue to realize 
strong program coordination, decreased costs, greater impact and 
efficiencies between Global Fund and U.S. investments--so that we are 
getting the best return on all available resources to fight HIV/AIDS in 
countries. Similarly, private sector mobilization is critical to 
service delivery and sustainable programs. We will continue to work 
toward shared accountability so that countries are in a position to 
manage and control their own epidemics. We will apply lessons learned 
from PEPFAR and our development partners across the health and economic 
sectors to more effectively deploy our transition policy in a stepwise 
manner that is consistent and aligned with epidemiology, strategy, and 
financing.
              transparency, accountability, and oversight
    If confirmed, I am committed to ensuring enhanced transparency and 
accountability of program impact, cost, and quality by clearly and 
transparently aligning vision, strategy, and resources. We must 
strengthen key management and accountability relationships between 
multiple agencies, countries, and recipients in support of common 
health goals. We will use health economic data, including in-depth cost 
studies and expenditure analyses, to better manage program 
accountability to demonstrate PEPFAR's contributions to partner-country 
programs. We will use a comprehensive knowledge management framework, 
including a program monitoring and evaluation strategy, a prioritized 
and targeted research portfolio, and systems for knowledge 
dissemination, improved implementation and oversight--not only by the 
United States but also by the countries themselves.
    The history of the end of the 20th century will be forever recorded 
with the emergence of a new and deadly viral plague that challenged us 
scientifically, socially and politically. Fortunately, that history 
will also record that--eventually--we faced our own fears of the 
disease and embraced those infected and affected with the open arms of 
compassion, creative research, and determined solutions. Our task is to 
ensure that the history of the beginning of the 21st century records 
that we continued to bring our collective scientific and care-giving 
potentials together around the globe. And that with confidence in our 
tools and capacities, we focused them with unwavering urgency to 
control this pandemic. We demonstrated that this chronic disease could 
be managed in resource-limited settings. And when the end of HIV/AIDS 
epidemic was within our reach, we grasped it and held on tightly. We 
cannot permit complacency to allow this pandemic to reemerge stronger 
and deadlier than it was before.
    Mr. Chairman, though the road ahead will be challenging, I am 
confident that we will prevail. If confirmed, I will work tirelessly to 
support and further the work of our many colleagues and partners whose 
determined effort is an inspiration to us all. It is essential that the 
United States of America continue to lead the global fight against HIV 
and AIDS until we achieve our overarching objective, as envisioned by 
the President. Those who remain skeptical might find heart in Nelson 
Mandela's encouragement to us that: ``It always seems impossible until 
it is done.'' The challenge in front of us is indeed immense, but we 
have learned a great deal from our efforts and success to date. The 
time has come where we can confidently translate our aspirations into 
operations, and systematically reign in this epidemic.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you for this opportunity to appear before you 
today. I look forward to answering your questions.

    Senator Markey. Our next witness, Ms. LeVine; whenever you 
are ready, please begin.

 STATEMENT OF SUSAN G. LeVINE, OF WASHINGTON, NOMINATED TO BE 
      AMBASSADOR TO THE SWISS CONFEDERATION, AND TO SERVE 
CONCURRENTLY AND WITHOUT ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION AS AMBASSADOR 
              TO THE PRINCIPALITY OF LIECHTENSTEIN

    Ms. LeVine. Thank you so much. Chairman Markey and 
distinguished members of the committee, it is an honor to 
appear before you today as the President's nominee to be the 
next United States Ambassador to both the Swiss Confederation 
and the Principality of Liechtenstein. I am profoundly humbled 
by this opportunity and thank President Obama and Secretary 
Kerry for the trust and confidence that they are placing in me 
with this nomination. I would also like to thank Senator Murray 
and Senator Cantwell, when they get here, for their generous 
remarks on my behalf.
    If I may, I would like to introduce you to some of the 
members of my family who are here today. I would like to 
introduce you to my mother, Phyllis Davidson, my husband, Eric 
LeVine, and my children, Sydney and Talia. It is through their 
love and support that I am here today.
    Lastly, I would like to mention that I am sure my father, 
Maurice Davidson, may he rest in peace, who proudly served as 
an Army physician in Vietnam, is with us today in our hearts. 
Patriotism and service to our country were paramount to him and 
he instilled those values in me and my siblings throughout his 
life.
    Over the last----
    Senator Markey. Can I ask your family to stand up, too, so 
we can see them?
    Ms. LeVine. Absolutely.
    Senator Markey. Oscar in a supporting role here.
    [Family stands.] [Applause.]
    Senator Markey. Thank you.
    Ms. LeVine. Thank you.
    Over the last 20-plus years, be it as a leader in business, 
both as a director at Microsoft and a vice president at 
Expedia, or as an intern at NASA, or as a volunteer and leader 
in the nonprofit sector, or as a mother, I have pursued 
opportunities and overcome challenges. I have led teams, built 
partnerships, organized communities, grown businesses, created 
and cultivated social media spaces, and conducted youth 
outreach. Above all, I have achieved results.
    Throughout my career, I have focused my efforts on 
technology, innovation, education, travel, early learning, and 
social responsibility, all key areas of partnership with 
Switzerland and Liechtenstein. As two of the oldest federal 
republics in the world, the United States and Switzerland are 
close friends and partners. Our relationship spans important 
areas of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, from human 
rights to regional stability.
    As in any mature relationship, sometimes we have different 
perspectives. The issue of bank secrecy and tax evasion was a 
difficult one, but the U.S. and Swiss Governments have reached 
important agreements in this area and we are turning the page. 
Liechtenstein has also made great progress in the sharing of 
bank information.
    I believe the mission for this position is to foster 
bilateral relationships with both Switzerland and Liechtenstein 
that enhance prosperity, stability, and security in our 
respective nations and around the world. Thus, if confirmed I 
would leverage my experience and knowledge to execute three key 
strategies: one, further grow our economic ties; two, expand 
global security and development collaboration; three, increase 
awareness and appreciation for each other's culture, values, 
and policies.
    Let me elaborate. From the economic standpoint, we will 
start from a strong base. Switzerland is one of the top foreign 
direct investors into the United States, accounting for 
hundreds of thousands of American jobs. Switzerland is also a 
top-20 export market for American goods and services. 
Liechtenstein, even with a population of about 36,000, has key 
companies that account for thousands of U.S. jobs. If 
confirmed, I would make it a priority to tap into the rich 
potential for even more foreign direct investment and exports 
with these two partners.
    Second, throughout my career I have built and stewarded 
partnerships where we tackled bigger opportunities and 
challenges than we could have alone and at the same time 
reduced redundancy and cost. The United States, Switzerland, 
and Liechtenstein have done some outstanding work together on 
this front. For example, along with the Swiss we are founding 
members of the Global Counterterrorism Forum. In addition, with 
Switzerland serving as the 2014 Chairman in Office of the OSCE, 
we have the opportunity to work together for security, 
prosperity, and human rights in Europe and Eurasia. If 
confirmed, I would explore how we might better leverage and 
expand existing partnerships or create new collaborations to 
further our shared global priorities.
    Finally, if confirmed I hope to increase awareness and 
appreciation of culture, values, and policies between our 
nations. For example, as Americans among our many values we 
pursue fairness, protect our environment, and respect 
diversity. On the policy front, we are working closely with the 
Swiss on a number of policy priorities, including on the NATO-
led Kosovo force, steering humanitarian assistance, and 
conflict mediation.
    To be effective at increasing awareness and appreciation, 
it is important to understand at least one of the core Swiss 
values and policies, that of neutrality, and how they 
demonstrate that neutrality does not mean hands off. For 
example, in January alone Switzerland took over the 
chairmanship in office of the OSCE, hosted the Geneva talks on 
Syria, and hosted the World Economic Forum in Davos. If 
confirmed, I will ensure that our global priorities and 
policies are articulated to both the Swiss and Liechtenstein 
Governments and their people.
    In all of these areas and endeavors, if confirmed I will 
rely on our highly skilled embassy staff, both local and 
American.
    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you again 
for inviting me to testify before you today. If confirmed, I 
commit to serving with integrity and to proudly and humbly 
applying my experience to this position. I look forward to 
collaborating with this esteemed committee and the Congress to 
foster our relationships between the United States and the 
Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein in 
the global diplomatic, development, and economic spheres.
    Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to 
answering any questions you may have.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. LeVine follows:]

                 Prepared Statement of Suzan G. LeVine

    Chairman Markey, Ranking Member Barrasso, and distinguished members 
of the committee, it is an honor to appear before you today as the 
President's nominee to be the next United States Ambassador to both the 
Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein.
    I am profoundly humbled by this opportunity and thank President 
Obama and Secretary Kerry for the trust and confidence that they are 
placing in me with this nomination.
    I would also like to thank Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell for 
their generous remarks on my behalf. I have known both for many years 
and hope that I can live up to the very high standards that each sets 
as an incredible public servant--whether as the ultimate mom in tennis 
shoes or as a tech exec doing good.
    If I may, I would like to take just a few moments to introduce you 
to some of the very special members of my family who are here today. 
First, I'd like to introduce you to my mother, Phyllis Davidson--who 
grew up not far from here and whose parents, my grandmother and 
grandfather, a WWI veteran and cofounder of the American Legion, are 
buried in Arlington Cemetery. Next, I'd like to introduce you to my 
husband, Eric LeVine, and my wonderful children, Sidney and Talia. It 
is through their love and support that I am here today. Lastly, I'd 
like to mention that I'm sure my father, Maurice Davidson, may he rest 
in peace, who proudly served as an Army physician in Vietnam, is with 
us today in our hearts. Patriotism and service to our country were 
paramount to him and he instilled those values in me and my siblings 
throughout his life.
    Over the last 20-plus years, be it as a leader in business, both as 
a Director at Microsoft and a vice president at Expedia, or as an 
intern at NASA, or as a volunteer and leader in the nonprofit sector, 
or as a mother, I have pursued opportunities and overcome challenges. I 
have led teams, built partnerships, organized communities, grown 
businesses, created and cultivated social media spaces, and conducted 
youth outreach. Above all, I have achieved results. It is my great hope 
that the Senate will permit me the opportunity to use my skills and 
experiences to further our vital relationship with Switzerland and 
Liechtenstein.
    My dual degrees in English and Engineering reflect my unique 
approach to leadership--I am a translator and a connector. Throughout 
my career I have focused my efforts on my passions, including 
technology, innovation, education, travel, early learning, and social 
responsibility--all core sectors of excellence for both Switzerland and 
Liechtenstein, and key issues of partnership in our bilateral 
relationship.
    As two of the oldest federal republics in the world, the United 
States and Switzerland are close friends and partners. Our relationship 
is deep and strong, covering a wide range of important areas of 
bilateral and multilateral cooperation, from human rights to regional 
stability. We share many of the same values.
    The United States and Switzerland partner together in many areas, 
including in venues such as the Organization for Security and 
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), of which Switzerland is the Chairman-in-
Office in 2014, the NATO Partnership for Peace, multiple U.N. bodies, 
and international financial institutions. Switzerland's neutrality 
allows it to play a unique mediating role, which can help address key 
U.S. foreign policy priorities.
    As in any mature relationship, sometimes we have different 
perspectives on how to address certain issues. The issue of bank 
secrecy and tax evasion was a difficult one, but the U.S. and Swiss 
Governments have reached important agreements in this area, and we are 
turning the page. Liechtenstein has also made great progress in the 
sharing of banking information.
    I believe the mission for the job to which I have been nominated is 
to foster bilateral relationships with both Switzerland and 
Liechtenstein that enhance prosperity, stability, and security in our 
respective nations and around the world. Thus, if confirmed, I would 
leverage my experience and knowledge to execute three key strategies:

          (1) Further grow our economic ties;
          (2) Expand global security and development collaboration; and
          (3) Increase awareness and appreciation for each other's 
        culture, values, and policies.

    From an economic standpoint, the growth we pursue will start from a 
strong base. Both Switzerland and Liechtenstein have an outsized impact 
in economic matters. Switzerland is one of the top foreign direct 
investors in the United States, ahead of countries many times its size, 
and Swiss companies account for hundreds of thousands of American jobs. 
Switzerland is also a top 20 export market for American goods and 
services. Liechtenstein, even with a population of about 36,000, has 
key companies that account for thousands of U.S. jobs. If confirmed, I 
would make it a priority to tap into the rich potential for even more 
foreign direct investment and exports with these two partners.
    The second strategy I want to highlight, if confirmed, will be to 
expand our global security and development collaboration. I firmly 
believe in the value of partnering on difficult issues. Throughout my 
career, I have built and stewarded so-called ``1+1 = 3 partnerships''--
where we tackled bigger opportunities and challenges than we could have 
alone and, at the same time, reduced redundancy and cost. This type of 
collaboration is critical when it comes to both global security and 
development, and the United States, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein have 
done some outstanding work together on this front. For example, along 
with the Swiss we are founding members of the Global Counterterrorism 
Forum, which aims to stop terrorism before it begins. In addition, with 
Switzerland serving as the 2014 Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE, we have 
a great opportunity to work together for security, prosperity, and 
human rights in Europe and Eurasia. If confirmed, I would explore how 
we might better leverage and expand U.S.-Swiss and U.S.-Liechtenstein 
partnerships, and other collaborations, to further our shared global 
priorities.
    Finally, if confirmed, I hope to work to increase awareness and 
appreciation of culture, values, and policies between our nations. For 
example, as Americans, among our many values, we pursue fairness, 
protect our environment, and respect diversity. On the policy front, we 
are working with the Swiss Government on a number of foreign policy 
priorities, both in Switzerland's backyard and further afield. Within 
Europe, Switzerland is a major troop contributor to the NATO-led Kosovo 
Force. Beyond Europe, Switzerland has provided over $70 million in 
humanitarian assistance for the people affected by the Syrian crisis, 
and helped to mediate among the factions in Mali. If confirmed, I will 
work with the highly skilled team at Embassy Bern to ensure awareness 
of these and other policies and values.
    Mr. Chairman, as you know, the Swiss hold neutrality as a key value 
and policy. I got a taste of this fact in 1988 when, on the first day 
of my first trip to Switzerland, I was stunned to meet my hometown 
rabbi. He was there to escort a group of students on their trip from 
Poland to Israel; since these two countries did not share diplomatic 
ties at that time, Switzerland was the way-station. This experience 
powerfully imbued me with a sense of just how important the Swiss are 
in building bridges.
    While the political landscape has changed dramatically since 1988, 
Switzerland's role as mediator and neutral broker has not. If anything, 
Switzerland has taken its global position to a whole new level. For 
example, in January alone, Switzerland took over the Chairmanship-in-
Office of the OSCE; hosted the Geneva 2 talks on Syria; and hosted the 
World Economic Forum in Davos. They are actively showing that 
neutrality does not mean hands off.
    Fundamentally, if confirmed, I believe my key responsibility is to 
ensure that our global priorities are articulated to both the Swiss and 
Liechtenstein governments and their people so that we may partner 
wherever possible on key global challenges.
    In all of these areas and endeavors, if confirmed, I will rely on 
our Embassy and its staff, both local and American. I have heard great 
things about the staff, and if confirmed I will seek to engender a true 
team spirit at the Embassy.
    Mr. Chairman, members of the committee--thank you, again, for 
inviting me to testify before you today. I feel honored to be nominated 
and, if confirmed, I commit to serving with integrity, and to proudly 
and humbly apply my professional, nonprofit, and community experience 
to this position. I look forward to collaborating with this esteemed 
committee, and the Congress, to foster our relationships between the 
United States and the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of 
Liechtenstein in the global diplomatic, development, and economic 
spheres.
    Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to answering 
any questions you may have.

    Senator Markey. Thank you, Ms. LeVine.
    Next we will hear from Maureen Elizabeth Cormack. Welcome.

STATEMENT OF MAUREEN ELIZABETH CORMACK, OF VIRGINIA, NOMINATED 
           TO BE AMBASSADOR TO BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

    Ms. Cormack. Mr. Chairman, it is a privilege to appear 
before you today as President Obama's nominee to be the U.S. 
Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am deeply honored by 
the confidence placed in me by the President and Secretary 
Kerry. I would like to thank this committee for giving me the 
opportunity to appear before you today. If confirmed, I will 
seek to merit your trust and avail myself of any opportunities 
to consult with you, as I know many Members of Congress have 
spent a great deal of time over the last two decades working to 
help ensure that Bosnia and Herzegovina moves toward a better 
future.
    Mr. Chairman, my husband, William Cormack, who is also a 
State Department employee, has been my support and partner for 
24 years. He has just transferred to an assignment in Pakistan 
and is very sorry not to be with us today. My oldest daughter 
is launching a new product with her colleagues at a startup in 
your great State of Massachusetts in Cambridge. My son William 
is----
    Senator Markey. A very good excuse. [Laughter.]
    Ms. Cormack. It is a good excuse.
    My son, William, is a freshman out in Colorado, and my 
daughter, Margaret, is on a semester abroad. So they are all 
here in spirit. We are a very Foreign Service family.
    Senator Markey. Thank you all so much for all that you did, 
the family, as you are watching this on a computer someplace. 
Welcome.
    Ms. Cormack. Thank you.
    Senator Markey. Please continue.
    Ms. Cormack. Thank you. I have some wonderful neighbors and 
Department colleagues who are here today and I thank them 
warmly for their support.
    Mr. Chairman, I have on several occasions in my career been 
fortunate to work on Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Balkans. My 
relationship goes back to the mid-1920s, when as European 
personnel officer for the U.S. Information Agency my first 
assignment in 1996 was to assign staff to the public diplomacy 
section of our Embassy in Sarajevo at the conclusion of the 
Dayton Accords. Those I assigned were sent on three-month tours 
to a city riddled with bomb craters.
    While serving at Embassy Paris in 1999, I was on the press 
staff for the Rambouillet Peace Talks, and as director of 
Western European Affairs in 2010 I worked with our European 
partners to ensure their contributions to the still-critical 
stabilization missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as 
Kosovo.
    Thanks in large part to the key role played by the United 
States through the implementation of the Dayton Accords, Bosnia 
and Herzegovina has made strides since those early days. Much 
remains to be done, however, and the risk of backsliding cannot 
be discounted.
    Starting with the Dayton peace process in 1995 that ended 
the horrific war that claimed over 100,000 lives, the United 
States has invested huge amounts of political, human, and 
economic capital to bring peace and stability to Bosnia and 
Herzegovina and build its postwar institutions. We continue 
this work today with efforts to strengthen Bosnia and 
Herzegovina's democracy, foster good governance, increase 
respect for human rights, and promote economic prosperity.
    We have a special bond with the people of Bosnia and 
Herzegovina as a result of our leading role in helping to end 
the war and build the peace, as well as through the thousands 
of Bosnians who immigrated to the United States. My goal, if 
confirmed, will be to work with the people of Bosnia and 
Herzegovina to build a stable, multiethnic, democratic, and 
prosperous country. We support the aspirations of the people of 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, who want to see their country join the 
European Union and NATO so they too can share in the political 
stability and economic opportunities afforded by membership in 
these institutions.
    The United States is concerned, however, by Bosnia and 
Herzegovina's lack of progress on the path to EU and NATO 
membership. Bosnian politicians and government leaders pledged 
their support for advancing the country's Euro-Atlantic 
aspirations, but have failed to take the basic steps required 
to move toward membership in those institutions. Constitutional 
changes are urgently needed to progress towards EU membership 
and make the government more efficient and responsive to 
citizens. Defense reforms for NATO integration and the 
conditions for transition of the Office of the High 
Representative remain unmet.
    As evidenced in the protests throughout the country last 
month, the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina are frustrated with 
their political leadership, who have done little in recent 
years to improve the lives of their citizens and respond to the 
terrible economic situation. Politicians exploit zero-sum 
nationalism at the expense of the country as a whole, which 
prevents compromise on critical reforms.
    Despite these challenges, there are signs of progress and 
opportunities to pursue. Recent demonstrations and the 
formation of citizens forums are a hopeful sign of citizen 
engagement, though it is critical that protests remain 
peaceful.
    Our Embassy has a long history of working with civil 
society. If confirmed, I will build on these efforts to work 
directly with citizens in support of their shared aspirations 
instead of what divides them. The citizens will have the 
opportunity to hold their leaders accountable in general 
elections in October, a message I intend to strongly reinforce 
in public and private if confirmed.
    Croatia's entry into the EU and progress made by Serbia and 
others in the region offers the potential to motivate Bosnia 
and Herzegovina to resolve long-standing obstacles to the 
country's EU integration.
    Bosnia and Herzegovina remains a strong bilateral partner 
to the United States. Their troops recently returned from a 
deployment alongside the Maryland National Guard in Afghanistan 
and the staff of our Embassy in Sarajevo and branch offices in 
Banja Luca and Mostar is exceptionally talented and dedicated 
to our mission.
    If confirmed, I will continue our crucial efforts to 
support the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and their 
aspirations for a peaceful and prosperous Euro-Atlantic future.
    Mr. Chairman, I am so grateful to appear before this 
committee today and I look forward to answering your questions. 
Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Cormack follows:]

                Prepared Statement of Maureen E. Cormack

    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, it is a privilege to 
appear before you today as President Obama's nominee to be the U.S. 
Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am deeply honored by the 
confidence placed in me by President Obama and Secretary Kerry.
    I would like to thank this committee for giving me the opportunity 
to appear before you today. If confirmed, I will seek to fully merit 
your trust and avail myself of any opportunities to consult with you, 
as I know many Members of Congress have spent a great deal of time over 
the last two decades working to help ensure that Bosnia and Herzegovina 
moves toward a better future.
    Mr. Chairman, my husband, William Cormack, who is also a State 
Department employee, has been my support and partner throughout 24 
years in the Foreign Service. He has just transferred to an assignment 
in Pakistan and is very sorry not to be here today. Our daughter, 
Elizabeth, is launching a new product with her colleagues at a startup 
in Cambridge, MA, today, our son, William, is a freshman in college, 
and our daughter, Margaret, is on a semester abroad, and so they are 
all with me in spirit. Some wonderful neighbors and Department 
colleagues are here and I thank them warmly for their support.
    Mr. Chairman, I have on several occasions in my career been 
fortunate enough to work on Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Balkans. My 
relationship goes back to the mid-1990s, when as the European Personnel 
Officer for the U.S. Information Agency, my first assignment in early 
1996 was to assign staff to the Public Diplomacy section of our Embassy 
in Sarajevo after the conclusion of the Dayton Accords. Those I 
assigned were sent on 3-month tours to a city still riddled with bomb 
craters, whose citizens still lived in great hardship. While serving at 
Embassy Paris in 1999, I was on the press staff for the Rambouillet 
Peace Talks, and as Director of Western European Affairs in 2010, I 
worked with our European partners to ensure their contributions to the 
still critical stabilization missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well 
as Kosovo.
    Thanks in large part to the key role played by the United States 
through the implementation of the Dayton Accords, Bosnia and 
Herzegovina has made strides since those early days. Much more remains 
to be done, however, and the risk of backsliding cannot be discounted 
as we look at the situation today.
    Starting with the Dayton peace process in 1995 that ended the 
horrific war that claimed over 100,000 lives, the United States has 
invested huge amounts of political, human, and economic capital to 
bring peace and stability to Bosnia and Herzegovina and build its post-
war institutions. We continue this work today, with efforts to 
strengthen Bosnia and Herzegovina's democracy, foster good governance, 
increase respect for human rights, and promote economic prosperity. We 
have a special bond with the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a 
result of our leading role in helping end the war and build the peace, 
as well as through the thousands of Bosnians who immigrated to the 
United States. My goal, if confirmed, will be to work with the people 
of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to build a stable, multiethnic, democratic, 
and prosperous country. We support the aspirations of the people of 
Bosnia and Herzegovina who want to see their country join the European 
Union and NATO, so they too can share in the political stability and 
economic opportunities afforded by membership in these institutions. 
Supporting these aspirations, in close cooperation with our European 
allies, will be one of my top priorities, if confirmed.
    The United States is concerned, however, by Bosnia and 
Herzegovina's lack of progress on the path to EU and NATO membership. 
Bosnian politicians and government leaders pledge their support for 
advancing the country's Euro-Atlantic aspirations, but have failed to 
take the basic steps required to move toward membership in these 
institutions. Constitutional changes are urgently needed to progress 
toward EU membership and make the government more efficient and 
responsive to citizens. Defense reforms required for NATO integration 
and the conditions for transition of the Office of the High 
Representative remain unmet.
    As evidenced in the protests throughout the country last month, the 
people of Bosnia and Herzegovina are frustrated with their political 
leaders, who have done little in recent years to improve the lives of 
their citizens and respond to the terrible economic situation. 
Politicians exploit zero-sum nationalism at the expense of the country 
as a whole, which in turn prevents compromise on critical reforms 
needed to grow the economy, improve governance, and move toward Euro-
Atlantic integration.
    Despite these challenges, there are both signs of progress and 
opportunities to pursue. Recent demonstrations and the formation of 
citizen forums are a hopeful sign of citizen engagement, though it is 
critical that protests remain peaceful. The Embassy has a long history 
of working with civil society in Bosnia and Herzegovina. If confirmed, 
I will build on previous efforts to work directly with citizens in 
support of their focus on shared aspirations instead of what divides 
them. The citizens will have the opportunity to hold their leaders 
accountable in the general elections in October, a message I intend to 
strongly reinforce in public and in private if confirmed. Croatia's 
entry into the EU, and progress made by Serbia and others in the region 
on their EU paths, offer the potential to motivate Bosnia and 
Herzegovina to resolve longstanding obstacles to the country's EU path.
    Bosnia and Herzegovina remains a strong bilateral partner to the 
United States. Bosnian troops recently returned from a deployment 
alongside the Maryland National Guard in Afghanistan, and the country 
remains an ISAF contributor. The staff of our Embassy in Sarajevo and 
branch offices in Banja Luka and Mostar is exceptionally talented and 
deeply dedicated to our mission.
    With the strong support of Congress, U.S. assistance continues to 
support democratic development, good governance, rule of law, economic 
growth, defense reform, and interethnic reconciliation. If confirmed, I 
will continue our crucial efforts to support the people of Bosnia and 
Herzegovina in their aspirations for a peaceful and prosperous Euro-
Atlantic future, and in their efforts to demand greater accountability 
from their leaders.
    Mr. Chairman, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to appear 
before this committee today. I look forward to answering your 
questions. Thank you.

    Senator Markey. Thank you so much.
    Mr. Selfridge, another rollcall has gone off on the Senate 
floor. So I apologize to you. We are going to take a brief 
recess and then we will return and reconvene the hearing. So 
the chair calls this hearing to a recess and we will return in 
approximately 10 minutes.

[Pause.]

    Senator Barrasso [presiding]. Mr. Selfridge, if I could 
just welcome you on behalf of the other members who are here 
and congratulate each and every one of you. We are lucky to be 
joined by the two Senators from Washington State, who have both 
come to the committee today to first make a statement of 
introduction--and I apologize, due to votes. Senator Murray and 
Senator Cantwell, thank you so much for being here. I know you 
have an important message to bring to the committee as well as 
to the Senate, and whenever you are ready, Senator Murray, I 
turn to you.

                STATEMENT OF HON. PATTY MURRAY, 
                  U.S. SENATOR FROM WASHINGTON

    Senator Murray. Thank you so much, Senator Barrasso, and 
Senator Markey as well, for chairing this hearing today. I 
really appreciate the opportunity to be here today with Senator 
Cantwell to introduce Suzie LeVine from our home State of 
Washington as this committee considers her nomination for 
Ambassador to the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of 
Liechtenstein.
    I know you have a lot of nominations here today, so I just 
wanted to make a few points about Suzie. I first got to know 
her well around 7 years ago and, like most people when they 
first meet her, I was really struck by her energy and her 
passion and her commitment to her community, her country, and 
to making the world a better place. She has deep roots in 
Washington State's technology and business world, was put into 
leadership roles in Microsoft and Expedia. She is an 
experienced and proven manager and has earned deep respect 
throughout the industry for her ability to translate and 
communicate complex tech issues to customers and stakeholders, 
as well as for her understanding of consumer needs and how 
technology and innovation can meet them.
    Throughout her career she has demonstrated a strong ability 
to assess problems, ask smart and insightful questions, find 
solutions, and motivate and inspire her team to act. When she 
sees a problem that needs to be solved, she is focused, 
engaged, and absolutely driven to get results.
    But she combines that drive and energy with a true ability 
to listen to people and build relationships and a deep 
compassion and caring for others. These skills were invaluable 
in the business world and she brought them with her into her 
work in the community as well. She cofounded Kavana, a 
nationally recognized Jewish community organization in Seattle. 
She started and chaired the advisory board for ILABS, the 
University of Washington's Early Learning Research Lab, and 
through her work on education issues at Microsoft brought 
people together and built partnerships to support the thousands 
of students from around the world in the Imagine Cup, the 
company's global student technology competition.
    She is clearly committed to her community and her country 
and it is clear that this patriotic spirit and love for America 
is something she and her husband Eric value deeply and have 
passed along to their children.
    Suzy is all about having a positive impact wherever she is. 
It is clear she wakes up every morning thinking about how she 
can make a difference and then spends the rest of the day going 
out and making that happen. She has done it in the business 
world, she has done that for her community and for the students 
that she has worked with across the globe. She has done it with 
a smile, a positive attitude, a relentless energy, and a true 
spirit of compassion.
    I am very confident that she will represent our country 
well and bring that same energy to her role as Ambassador. With 
all that is going on right now in Europe and across the world, 
we need people representing our country abroad who take these 
challenges seriously, who can bring people together, and who 
will stand up for our interests and represent our values.
    So I am very proud today to introduce her to the committee, 
and I am delighted to be here with my colleague Senator 
Cantwell as well.
    Senator Barrasso. Thank you, Senator Murray.
    Senator Cantwell.

               STATEMENT OF HON. MARIA CANTWELL, 
                  U.S. SENATOR FROM WASHINGTON

    Senator Cantwell. Thank you, Chairman Barrasso, and it is a 
pleasure to be here with my colleague Senator Murray and to 
introduce Suzy LeVine from Seattle to the Senate Foreign 
Relations Committee for her consideration for Ambassador to the 
Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein.
    Before I get started, I just want to acknowledge Suzy's 
family who are with her here today: her husband, Eric, and her 
children, Sydney and Talia, who I have gotten to meet before, 
and her mother Phyllis Davidson. I just want to thank them, 
because oftentimes these things are a responsibility that goes 
beyond just the Ambassador role, but the family sacrifices as 
well. So we want to thank them for their sacrifices in this 
effort and the support of Suzy.
    In Seattle, as Senator Murray said, Suzy is well known as a 
savvy business leader and a trusted community advocate. In 
Washington State we are proud of our innovation economy, 
whether that is fuel efficient planes or medical breakthroughs 
or innovation in technology, and I think Suzy LeVine represents 
the best of Washington State. She knows how to build strong 
relationships, management teams with driven results, and 
whether it is working with Fortune 500 companies or major 
research institutions, she has done a lot.
    At Microsoft she helped launch the Windows 95. As vice 
president of sales and marketing at Expedia, she was part of 
the senior management team that took the company public and 
helped it become the number one online travel company. Just 
recently at Microsoft, she was responsible for building a 
strategic partnership for the Imagine Cup, which built 
partnerships with major companies like Coca-Cola and Nokia. 
During that time she highlighted the innovation of students 
from 60 countries around the world.
    So, like the Swiss students who designed a text-to-speech 
app called ``Text For All,'' Suzy knows how important an 
innovation economy is, and I know that that will be very 
important in her role in Switzerland. That is because in 
Switzerland it was ranked the number one innovation economy in 
2013 by the Global Index of Innovation. Switzerland is home to 
the largest physics lab in the world, CERN, and it has been a 
leader in research and innovation.
    So Suzy has the right background from the tech world to hit 
the ground running in Switzerland and their very high tech 
economy. And she is a proven manager and can follow through on 
level policies and operations. She has also led a recognized 
nonprofit in Washington State and understands the important 
role of civil activities.
    The Swiss have a system of a people's referendum. They an 
propose legislation and even reverse legislation approved by 
parliament. Suzy is familiar with the many initiatives we have 
in Washington State, something I know that both the chairman 
and Senator Barrasso know from their home States as well. So 
she understands what community issues are and how they need to 
be heard, and throughout her life she has demonstrated that she 
is a good, proven team-builder.
    So I am happy to be here and I wish her well in this new 
endeavor. I am confident she will do an excellent job 
representing our country in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and 
I urge the committee to confirm her without delay.
    Senator Barrasso. Thank you, Senator Cantwell. Thank you, 
Senator Murray. I know you have very pressing schedules, but 
thank you so much for taking the time to be with us.
    Senator Murray. Thank you.
    Senator Cantwell. Thank you very much.
    Senator Barrasso. Thank you.
    We are joined also by Senator Cardin. Senator Cardin, thank 
you for joining us. I know you have a statement to introduce 
one of the nominees.

             STATEMENT OF HON. BENJAMIN L. CARDIN, 
                   U.S. SENATOR FROM MARYLAND

    Senator Cardin. Senator Barrasso, thank you very much. I 
appreciate this courtesy. I first want to offer my 
congratulations and thanks to all the nominees that are at the 
dais and thank them for their service to our country, their 
willingness to continue to serve our country, and we thank your 
families also because we know this is a joint sacrifice.
    Mr. Chairman, I am particularly proud of the Marylander 
that is on this panel, Dr. Deborah L. Birx of Maryland. Dr. 
Birx is a long-time Marylander and a world-renowned global 
health leader and scientist studying HIV/AIDS. Maryland is home 
to the very best medical researchers in the world. So I am 
pleased that President Obama has nominated Baltimore-born Dr. 
Deborah Birx to such an essential post.
    Dr. Birx is a model Marylander. She is a pioneer in HIV/
AIDS research who has dedicated her life's work to public 
service. Dr. Birx moved to Silver Spring, MD, in 1979 to begin 
training at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, then in D.C.--
it is now in Maryland--and completed a joint fellowship with 
NIH at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious 
Diseases.
    For nearly 30 years since the beginning of the epidemic, 
Dr. Birx has dedicated her professional career to understanding 
and changing the course of HIV/AIDS both in the United States 
and throughout the world. Dr. Birx has been on the front lines 
of the HIV/AIDS epidemic before even we knew what the disease 
was. While serving at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Dr. 
Birx led its work on HIV/AIDS, including HIV vaccine research 
in domestic and global settings. Dr. Birx was part of the cadre 
of researchers that were instrumental in helping us first 
understand the disease.
    Throughout the 1990s and through 2005, she served as the 
Director of the U.S. Military HIV/AIDS Research Program in the 
Department of Defense and received the Legion of Merit Award 
for her innovation, management, and leadership in HIV/AIDS 
research and program implementation. She rose to the rank of 
colonel, bringing together the Army, Navy, and Air Force in a 
new model of cooperation, increasing the efficiency and 
effectiveness of the U.S. military's HIV/AIDS efforts through 
the inter- and intra-agency collaboration.
    While in the Army, Dr. Birx served as Director of the U.S. 
Military HIV/AIDS Research Program and as Director of the 
Division of Retrovirology at Walter Reed Army Institute of 
Research from 1996 to 2005. Having served on Active Duty in the 
U.S. Army for 29 years, Dr. Birx retired in 2008 with the rank 
of colonel. Dr. Birx earned the prestigious U.S. Meritorious 
Service Medal for her leadership in refining, validating, and 
standardizing immunity testing in HIV-infected patients. She 
helped lead one of the most influential HIV vaccine trials in 
history, known as RV-144 or the Thai Trial, which provided the 
first supporting evidence of any vaccine being effective in 
lowering the risk of contracting HIV. She was awarded another 
U.S. Meritorious Service Medal for that effort.
    Since 2005, as the Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention Division of Global HIV/AIDS, she led and 
managed its President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, PEPFAR, 
global effort. She has published over 200 HIV-related 
publications on domestic and global epidemiology, treatment, 
vaccine development, and public health programs, policy 
implementation, and health systems strengthening, in addition 
to serving on over a dozen scientific and advisory boards.
    She received her medical degree from Hershey School of 
Medicine, Pennsylvania State University, trained in internal 
medicine and basic clinical immunology at the Walter Reed Army 
Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health.
    Today we can envision an HIV-free generation within our 
lifetime. Dr. Birx is one of the trailblazers who has dedicated 
her life to making this vision a reality. Her support for 
PEPFAR's investments in programs to prevent mother-to-child 
transmission of HIV has paid great dividends. PEPFAR has 
averted more than one million pediatric HIV infections thanks 
to researchers like Dr. Birx and her colleagues.
    So, Mr. Chairman, before there was PEPFAR and the Global 
Fund Dr. Birx was leading the charge against this disease. I 
can think of no more qualified person to be our Ambassador at 
Large and Coordinator of the United States Government 
Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS Globally than Dr. Deborah Birx.
    Let me just say in concluding remarks, we all get the 
opportunity every once in a while to introduce people from our 
State that have been nominated for a particular post. I do not 
think I have ever introduced a person who is more qualified, 
who has done more in her lifetime, than Dr. Birx. We are very 
proud of her work and I am proud that she has been nominated to 
this important post. [Applause.]
    Senator Barrasso. Well, thank you very much, Senator 
Cardin.
    Senator Cardin. They are all Marylanders behind me.
    Senator Barrasso. I do not blame them.
    Thank you, Senator Cardin. I know you have a busy and 
pressing schedule. So thanks so much for joining us, and you 
are excused if that works for you. Thank you.
    Now back to Mr. Selfridge, who has been nominated to be 
Chief of Protocol. Your flexibility in allowing us to go to 
three other Senators shows that you are already very qualified 
for the position.

STATEMENT OF PETER A. SELFRIDGE, OF MINNESOTA, NOMINATED TO BE 
 CHIEF OF PROTOCOL, AND TO HAVE THE RANK OF AMBASSADOR DURING 
                     HIS TENURE OF SERVICE

    Mr. Selfridge. My resume is not as impressive.
    I am, needless to say, very humbled by the company I share 
on both sides of this table. Ranking Member Barrasso, thank you 
for the opportunity to speak with you today. It is a tremendous 
honor for me to appear before this distinguished body as 
President Obama's nominee for Chief of Protocol of the United 
States. I deeply appreciate the confidence of both President 
Obama and Secretary Kerry in nominating me for this position.
    If you would allow me, I would also like to recognize my 
wonderfully supportive wife, Parita, my cousin, Ami, and my 
long-time high school friends who have joined me here today.
    Senator Barrasso. Could I ask them to please stand and be 
recognized.
    [They stand.] [Applause.]
    Senator Barrasso. Thank you.
    Mr. Selfridge. Thank you, sir.
    My story is not unlike those of many in this room today. I 
am a descendant of immigrants and a proud son of the Midwest. 
My mother hailed from Germany, where she was born and raised in 
the shadow of World War II. My father is a second generation 
Chicagoland native of Scottish and Irish heritage. My wife's 
parents hail from Gujarat, India, and came to America, as did 
my mother and grandparents decades prior, in search of a dream 
that they will gratefully tell you has been fulfilled many 
times over, thanks to the opportunities afforded to them by 
this great country.
    My father taught me at an early age that good etiquette and 
decorum are not only useful tools for navigating society, but a 
reflection of the person wielding them. Treating others as you 
would be treated is a virtue for everyday life and is one of 
the guiding principles of protocol.
    I have had the honor of serving as the White House's lead 
logistical representative on official travel overseas and have 
had the privilege of working with some of the best and 
brightest American ambassadors and diplomats at our missions 
and consulates abroad. I have interacted with many of the very 
same protocol officers and foreign government officials who, if 
confirmed, I would hope to work closely with as Chief of 
Protocol.
    Ranking Member Barrasso, as you and the members of this 
esteemed committee know well, the office of the Chief of 
Protocol plans an important role in advancing the foreign 
policy goals of the United States. The person selected for this 
post serves as the President's representative to visiting 
foreign leaders and their delegations, as well as the members 
of the diplomatic corps based in the United States. Not only is 
this a great honor, it also provides remarkable opportunities 
to create an environment for successful diplomacy, to promote 
cross-cultural exchanges, and to build new bridges of 
understanding.
    I believe that we are obliged to use every diplomatic tool 
at our disposal to broaden our bilateral relationships as well 
as to set the stage where diplomacy can be made to work. The 
Office of Protocol provides many such tools to our government 
and its representatives. The team at Blair House works 
tirelessly to ensure that foreign dignitaries are properly 
accommodated as well as provided for and protected during their 
stays. The Ceremonials Division plans and executes official 
events hosted by the Secretary of State. This dedicated staff, 
who I have had the privilege to meet, meticulously provides for 
the participation of the diplomatic corps in special events and 
public events, including joint sessions of Congress, 
inaugurations, funerals, and other ceremonies.
    The Diplomatic Affairs Division diligently oversees the 
accreditation of foreign ambassadors, diplomatic agents, and 
consular officials, thousands of individuals posted throughout 
the United States. The Diplomatic Partnership Division works to 
strengthen and deepen our government and our Nation's 
relationships with the diplomatic corps through programming 
designed to promote new partnerships, enhance mutual 
understanding between our countries and their own.
    Protocol's Visits Division manages the logistical planning 
behind hundreds of visits of foreign dignitaries to the United 
States, as well as all official engagements by President Obama, 
Vice President Biden, Secretary Kerry, and other officials 
overseas. This team also helps to plan and execute U.S.-hosted 
summits and other multilateral events.
    Protocol also assists with the selection of gifts given by 
the President, the Vice President, First Lady, Secretary of 
State in their engagements with foreign leaders.
    The work of the Office of Protocol provides a unique 
opportunity to showcase the very best America has to offer, not 
only as hosts, but as true partners in diplomacy.
    Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking Member, thank you very much for 
the opportunity to appear before you today and for your 
consideration of my nomination. I look forward to your 
questions.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Selfridge follows:]

                Prepared Statement of Peter A. Selfridge

    Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, thank you for the 
opportunity to speak with you today. It is a tremendous honor for me to 
appear before this distinguished body as President Obama's nominee for 
Chief of Protocol of the United States. I deeply appreciate the 
confidences of the President and Secretary Kerry in nominating me for 
this position.
    My story is not unlike those of many in this room today. I am a 
descendant of immigrants and a proud son of the Midwest. I was born in 
Illinois, raised in Minnesota, and educated in Iowa. My mother hailed 
from Germany where she was born and raised in the shadow of World War 
II; my father is a second generation Chicagoland native of Scottish and 
Irish heritage. My wife's parents hail from Gujrat, India, and came to 
America, as did my mother and grandparents decades prior, in search of 
a dream that they will gratefully tell you has been fulfilled many 
times over thanks to opportunities offered by this great country.
    My father taught me at an early age that good etiquette and decorum 
are not only useful tools for navigating society, but a reflection of 
the person wielding them. Treating others as you would be treated is a 
virtue for everyday life, and it is one of the guiding principles of 
Protocol.
    As Director of Advance and Operations for the President and in a 
similar role for the Vice President before that, I have had the honor 
of serving as the White House's lead logistical representative on 
official travel overseas. I have had the privilege of working with some 
of the best and brightest American ambassadors and diplomats at our 
missions and consulates abroad and interacted with many of the very 
same protocol officers and foreign government officials who, if 
confirmed, I hope to work closely with as Chief of Protocol.
    Mr. Chairman, as you and the members of this esteemed committee 
know well, the Office of the Chief of Protocol plays an important role 
in advancing the foreign policy goals of the United States. The person 
selected for this post serves as the President's representative to 
visiting foreign leaders and their delegations, as well as the members 
of the foreign Diplomatic Corps and consular communities based in the 
United States. Not only is this a great honor, it also provides 
remarkable opportunities to create an environment for successful 
diplomacy, to promote cross-cultural exchanges, and to build new 
bridges of understanding with leaders, governments, and citizens 
throughout the world.
    I believe that we are obligated to use every diplomatic tool at our 
disposal to broaden our bilateral relationships, as well as to set the 
stage where diplomacy can be made to work. The Office of Protocol 
provides many such tools to our government and its representatives. The 
talented people who work in Protocol serve on the front lines of 
diplomatic engagement, and, if confirmed, it would be a great privilege 
to join them in carrying out this critical mission.
    The team at Blair House--the President's Guest House--works 
tirelessly to ensure that foreign dignitaries are properly 
accommodated, as well as provided for and protected during their stay. 
What's more, it's a living museum that houses a considerable collection 
of treasured art and artifacts--many of which bear witness to pivotal 
moments in our Nation's history.
    The Ceremonials division plans and executes official events hosted 
by the Secretary of State. This dedicated staff meticulously provides 
for the participation of the Diplomatic Corps in special events and 
official public functions including Joint Sessions of Congress, 
inaugurations, funerals, and other ceremonies, large and small.
    The Diplomatic Affairs division diligently oversees the 
accreditation of foreign ambassadors, diplomatic agents, and consular 
officers--thousands of individuals posted throughout the United States.
    And the Diplomatic Partnerships Division works to strengthen and 
deepen our government's--our Nation's--relationships with the 
Diplomatic Corps. As you know, there are more than 180 foreign 
ambassadors sent to the United States to represent their country's 
interests. This expert team engages those diplomats through a wide 
array of programming designed to foster good will, promote new 
partnerships, and enhance mutual understanding between their countries 
and our own.
    Protocol's Visits division manages the logistical planning behind 
hundreds of visits by foreign dignitaries to the United States, as well 
as all official engagements with President Obama, Vice President Biden, 
Secretary Kerry, and other officials. Through their important work, the 
Chief of Protocol extends the first hand that welcomes these chiefs of 
state and heads of government to our country. This team also helps to 
plan and execute U.S.-hosted summits and other multilateral events, as 
well as supports Presidential delegations in their travel abroad.
    Protocol also assists with the selection of gifts given by the 
President, Vice President, First Lady, and Secretary of State in their 
engagements with foreign leaders.
    The work of the Office of Protocol provides a unique opportunity to 
showcase the very best America has to offer, not only as hosts, but as 
true partners in diplomacy.
    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you very much for 
the opportunity to appear before you today, and for your consideration 
of my nomination. I look forward to your questions.

    Senator Markey [presiding]. Thank you, Mr. Selfridge, very 
much. We thank the other Senators who have come to introduce 
our witnesses.
    The chair will recognize himself and Iam going to begin 
with you, Dr. Birx. Recent antihomosexuality laws enacted in 
Uganda and Nigeria compromise the ability of PEPFAR programs to 
effectively reach the LGBT population with public health 
services and possibly put health workers at risk of retribution 
or imprisonment. For example, the new law in Uganda calls on 
individuals to report acts of homosexuality, but it is not 
clear what that provision means for doctor-patient 
confidentiality.
    What strategies do you think that we should put in place to 
maintain and sustain effective HIV programming in these 
difficult and challenging environments as they unfold?
    Dr. Birx. Thank you, Senator Markey, for that question 
because, as with everyone in this room, we are deeply 
disheartened by the changes in both Uganda and Nigeria. It 
represents an entire step backward to a place where many of us 
were 35 years ago when this disease was first discovered. To 
move backward at a time when we should be moving forward and 
controlling the epidemic is concerning to all of us, and I 
think you have seen the wonderful statements made by President 
Obama, Secretary Kerry, and a series of Senators and House 
members who have spoken out against this specific legislation.
    We are very concerned about the public health impact of 
such of these bills because having it has an impact on services 
that people can no longer access because of their fear of 
retribution will be a huge step back for all of this epidemic 
control. It is particularly concerning to me for Uganda because 
Uganda was one of the few countries that had early control of 
its epidemic and then had over the last few years a real 
reversion and an increase in their incidence. At a time when 
they need to really concentrate every effort on controlling 
this epidemic, to pass this kind of legislation that will again 
cause the epidemic to expand and have people not access 
services is extraordinarily concerning to all of us in the 
field.
    Senator Markey. Let me follow up by asking you: In your 
testimony you covered the unprecedented results that PEPFAR has 
achieved so far. They bear repeating. PEPFAR has supported 
antiretroviral treatment for more than 6.7 million people, 
cared for 17 million, including 5 million orphans and 
vulnerable children, and last year announced 1 million babies 
have been born HIV-free, 1 million babies born HIV-free.
    Beyond the measured results, PEPFAR transformed the 
thinking of what is possible for nations from AIDS futility to 
an AIDS-free future through leadership, science, and sound 
investments.
    Your testimony has highlighted your strategic goals and 
priorities for PEPFAR. What priority results should this 
committee hold you responsible for, this administration 
responsible for, and on what time line? What are your goals?
    Dr. Birx. Thank you, Senator. Reading through the 
legislation and the reauthorizations from this committee really 
shows the knowledge that the committee has about this disease. 
The reporting requirements have evolved with the epidemic. The 
last act had very precise reporting requirements, but 
importantly also asked the office to look very carefully at 
prevalence and incidence in each of these countries and to 
measure clear impact.
    We are working very hard to measure clear impact and that 
should be a goal that the committee should hold the office, the 
coordinator's office, responsible for, to really show country-
by-country impact on this epidemic. Working backward from that, 
you absolutely have to have the treatment, the male 
circumcision, the counseling and testing, and the prevention of 
mother-to-child transmission, which are all covered in the 
reporting requirements to this committee.
    So you ought to hold me responsible to the roadmap that was 
laid out well a year and a half ago and to all of the elements 
that we know are responsible and the tools that we need to 
control this epidemic.
    Senator Markey. So how will you use science and evaluation 
with regard to costs and efficiency to drive these targets and 
results?
    Dr. Birx. Over the last couple of years at CDC, we have 
integrated the costing analyses with site-level monitoring, so 
that we can actually analyze each site for its performance, how 
much it costs to achieve that performance, the actual quality 
of the services delivered, and also measuring the impact on the 
community as far as controlling the HIV epidemic. This has been 
really important, to have that level of detail, and that is the 
level of detail we will need to bring to the office in order to 
ensure that we are having the impact that we are investing in.
    Senator Markey. What is the role of prevention, 
specifically combination HIV prevention that brings together 
structural, behavioral, and biomedical interventions in 
achieving those results?
    Dr. Birx. Thank you for that question. That has been an 
important component of the office for the last 3 years. 
Ambassador Goosby, recognizing the importance of this 
particular approach, has launched two large combination 
prevention intervention trials that will actually look at this 
question in a very rigorous scientific methodology to ensure 
that we can answer the very question that you just asked.
    These questions have been answered in very double-blinded, 
controlled trials, but when you take that to actual community 
implementation there is always the question, does it work as 
well? So these particular trials are actually launching 
services at the community level and then looking at their 
impact, and we will be able to tell you the components that 
have the largest impact on decreasing incidence.
    Senator Markey. Great. Thank you so much for that great 
answer.
    Let me ask you, Ms. Cormack, if you could just briefly 
summarize how optimistic you are about making progress in 
Bosnia and Herzegovina? Do you have some sense that progress 
can be made?
    Ms. Cormack. Mr. Chairman, thank you for that question. I 
think that optimism is an integral component of diplomacy. So 
yes, I always go out with an optimistic approach, but also a 
realistic approach. The United States, as I noted in my 
testimony, has invested significant time and effort in helping 
Bosnia and Herzegovina emerge from a very difficult war and 
rebuild the country, rebuild the institutions of governance, 
and start to build the civil society.
    It is a period in time when we see citizens there starting 
to stand up and hold their leaders accountable, to take into 
their own hands some of the processes of democracy. I hope as I 
go out--I am a public diplomacy officer by training--to work 
directly with the people and really try to understand their 
concerns and see how we support them going forward into what we 
hope will be a Euro-Atlantic future.
    Senator Markey. Thank you so much.
    Ms. Cormack. Thank you.
    Senator Markey. Let me turn now and recognize the gentleman 
from Virginia, Mr. Kaine--oh, I am sorry. Senator Barrasso.
    Senator Kaine. I defer to my colleague.
    Senator Markey. Let me turn and recognize the ranking 
member of the full committee, Senator Corker.
    Senator Corker. Well, thank you. I enjoyed our conversation 
on the earlier panel today.
    Senator Markey. Senator Kaine and I are now in 8-minute 
seats up here.
    Senator Corker. Very good.
    Senator Markey. It is a carryover joke from the earlier 
period.
    Senator Corker. I am going to have mine for about a minute 
and a half. So I thank you for this.
    I thank all of you for what you are doing and getting ready 
to do. I just want to ask one question to Dr. Birx if I could. 
I am going to give a little preface for it. She is probably 
expecting this question. I want to thank you for being here 
today and I appreciated the meeting and discussion that we had 
regarding the PEPFAR program in my office.
    One of the many laudable achievements accomplished by the 
PEPFAR program is the fact that 6.7 million people have been 
put on treatment by the end of the year 2013. The 
prioritization of treatment and care has been a hallmark of the 
PEPFAR program, as you know well. Focusing on the goals of both 
the implementing partners and U.S.-funded initiatives, in the 
PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act we included a provision 
that has been part of the program since the beginning, the 
requirement that at least 50 percent of PEPFAR dollars must be 
spent on treatment and care programs. However, because the GAO 
report pointed out in a report in March 2013 that the 
administration has been excluding a significant portion of the 
PEPFAR funding from this 50-percent calculation, we clarified 
the language, and I know you and I talked about that. The 
language now states that the calculation must be made from all 
amounts appropriated or otherwise made available to carry out 
the provisions of Section 104[a] of the Foreign Assistance Act 
of 1961.
    So the question, after that preface. Senator Coburn and I 
wrote a letter to the administration asking a number of 
questions about the history of the treatment and care provision 
and we received their response shortly after our meeting. Today 
I would like to ask you about one of the specific answers we 
received in that response.
    We asked the administration if they are planning to modify 
current policies in order to comply with the new language in 
the Stewardship Act, and they responded that they will consider 
it. My question to you, Dr. Birx: If confirmed, will you ensure 
that the agency conforms to this clarification in law regarding 
the treatment and care calculation? Will you work in your new 
position to change any necessary policies or guidance to make 
sure it is implemented in compliance with the law?
    Dr. Birx. Yes, sir, we will be compliant with the as-
written in the legislation.
    Senator Corker. Thank you so much. I look forward to your 
confirmation.
    Thank you for letting me do that on the record. If you want 
to talk about energy policy or anything else----
    [Laughter.]
    Senator Markey. I thank the ranking member for coming. 
Thank you, sir.
    The gentleman from--the Senator from Virginia, Senator 
Kaine.
    Senator Kaine. He called me ``gentleman,'' but then he 
corrected it to ``Senator.''
    Senator Markey. As a Congressman you are called 
``gentleman'' and I was in the House for 37 years, calling 
people the ``gentleman.'' But in the Senate you just call 
people ``Senator.'' They are never ``gentleman'' over here in 
the Senate.
    Senator Kaine. Very true.
    Senator Markey. The Senator from Virginia.
    Senator Kaine. Dr. Birx, I think I walked in as you were 
answering a question that the chair posed to you. But I think I 
want to come back to it. The legislative activity in Uganda is 
very, very troubling. I use that as an example for the 
possibility of other such action anywhere in the world that 
would stereotype or stigmatize folks because of their sexual 
orientation. Very possible that such legislation is something 
that we could--we will see, continue to see, in other parts of 
the world. That kind of legislation can promote an attitude, 
frankly, that will be counter to your mission of trying to 
educate, inform, eradicate and treat HIV/AIDS.
    I imagine there are other parts of the U.S. Government, 
human rights offices and things, that are charged with dealing 
with those challenges when they come up. But I would also think 
part of your portfolio could be education and using the tools 
at your disposal to try to give people, give policymakers, the 
information they need so that they do not go down the path of 
discriminatory legislation. If you could talk just a little bit 
about what you see your role as in that important educational 
effort, I would appreciate it.
    Dr. Birx. Thank you, Senator. There are many gentlemen in 
the South, including from Virginia. So thank you.
    This is an extraordinary time where we are making 
incredible progress. So to have this as a clear setback, and I 
think we all hear and share that this is an incredible setback 
to the people to be able to access services. If people cannot 
come forward for services, they cannot be tested. They will not 
know their status. They cannot receive lifesaving treatment 
and, more importantly, they cannot lower their viral load to a 
nontransmittable state.
    So it is in all countries' interest to do all of their 
program, policies, and legal framework to encourage access to 
all public health services. I share your concern. I know the 
President shares your concern. Many Senators share your concern 
and have been very outspoken on this issue, as well as 
Secretary Kerry. I know that Secretary Kerry and the White 
House are working on this right now, and the Ambassador from 
Uganda is coming to Washington for this specific discussion 
during a chief of missions meeting, and we are working--I hope 
to work very closely.
    But you are right, it is not just Uganda and Nigeria. There 
are similar laws on the books, not quite as restrictive and not 
quite as violent as Uganda's, in many of our countries in sub-
Saharan Africa, and this legal framework has to be addressed in 
the future to have full successful control of the epidemic.
    Senator Kaine. Thank you, Dr. Birx.
    Ms. LeVine, congratulations on your nomination. You will 
succeed, I am confident, a dear friend of mine, Ambassador Don 
Beyer, who did a wonderful job.
    Senator Markey and I are strong supporters of immigration 
reform. The question I wanted to ask you is about immigration, 
particularly your kind of interpretation--explain to us what 
you can about the Swiss vote on February 9, that was a narrow 
backing of a referendum to put immigration caps on immigration 
from EU countries. Why did the Swiss populace back that? What 
can we learn from it?
    Ms. LeVine. Thank you very much for that question, Senator 
Kaine. I know that this is near and dear to your heart, also 
from your background in spending time in other parts of the 
world. The referendum itself is an internal Swiss matter and in 
terms of the implications to the United States or other parts 
of the world we do not yet know what those implications are and 
the ramifications of that referendum.
    But I think that what we can take away from it is it is 
sort of a fascinating demonstration of Swiss direct democracy. 
They have an interplay of direct and representative democracy 
with which Western States, like Washingtonians and 
Massachusetts, have this interplay between having initiatives 
and representative democracy. I think what we take away from 
that is an opportunity to work more with the Swiss people.
    I am moved by Peter's testimony earlier with regards to his 
being an immigrant and coming from an immigrant background. I 
think the American story about immigration is an incredible 
one. I would suspect that 95 percent of the people in this room 
have come here some time within the past four generations. When 
I look at people like a gentleman named Hadi Partovi, who 
worked at Microsoft for a very long time, came to the United 
States as a young man, as a young boy in fact, from Iran. He 
succeeded wildly in technology and now he has created a 
nonprofit called Code.org to help people become ready for the 
22nd century, never mind the 21st century.
    We have an extraordinary story to tell, and if confirmed I 
would love the opportunity to tell that story. I think that 
that is what we as Americans can do in articulating and in 
reaching out. I also think that, if confirmed, I would love the 
opportunity to work with organizations that bridge the gap 
between different communities and continue some of the 
fantastic work that Ambassador Beyer had done, especially 
around gender equality and reaching out to women and 
technology, and to get more women into technology, of which I 
am one.
    Senator Kaine. Thank you, Ms. LeVine. Wonderful answer.
    Ms. Cormack, talk a little bit about the dynamics about the 
possible joining of NATO by Bosnia?
    Ms. Cormack. Thank you very much, Senator Kaine. Bosnia has 
pursued the track of joining NATO. It is, along with their 
accession to the European Union, something that polls show the 
majority of the population supports. As so much at the moment 
in Bosnia and Herzegovina, they have not been able to take the 
specific steps needed to move firmly onto the track of a map, 
the process for NATO.
    In the case of NATO, that is simply registering defense 
properties that have been identified by the ministry of defense 
as essential. These are unmovable defense properties that the 
ministry believes that they need for their functions. It is we 
consider a step that is fairly basic, and if confirmed I look 
forward to working with the Bosnians to try to help them move 
in that direction.
    Senator Kaine. You do not read the failure of the Bosnians 
to take those steps yet as any equivocation about wanting to 
pursue NATO? You think this is a kind of a practical matter 
that we should be able to address productively?
    Ms. Cormack. I think there are different perspectives among 
the population. Some people are probably less enthusiastic. 
Others are more so. But I do believe that, together with our 
NATO partners, we can try to move in this direction.
    Senator Kaine. Thank you.
    Mr. Chair, with your permission--I am right at the end--
could I ask Mr. Selfridge a question?
    Senator Markey. Yes.
    Senator Kaine. Mr. Selfridge, your experience in directing 
advance and operations at the White House to me seems like the 
perfect background for this protocol job, because I understand 
a little bit about that position and I think it is pretty much 
the job description for protocol officer almost. But then there 
is the issue of challenging international sort of diplomatic 
perspectives and the fact that we sometimes see things 
differently than even our friends.
    I just was curious about this. There have been some recent 
controversies relating to criminal charges against foreign 
diplomats in the United States and they have made headlines. 
These are things you hope do not happen, but they happen--
episodes related to Medicaid fraud, 49 New York-based Russian 
diplomats and spouses allegedly obtaining Medicaid benefits; 
and then the very controversial and widely publicized incident 
in December of 2013 about the arrest of an Indian deputy consul 
general in New York City on charges related to household 
employment.
    To your knowledge, to what extent in your position, Chief 
of Protocol, are you engaged in addressing or helping other 
officials within the U.S. Government figure out a way to 
address problems like that in a sensitive way?
    Mr. Selfridge. Thank you, Senator, for that question. This 
is an issue of great importance to the Department, as you know, 
and to Secretary Kerry. I think protocol's best weapon in these 
circumstances is communication. While we do not directly cover 
the visa process, we nonetheless can inject ourselves into that 
process by educating the workers themselves and the missions, 
foreign governments and their missions here in the United 
States.
    I think that is the most important step. We believe, the 
Department believes, that it has been very effective as far as 
getting information that was not previously available to these 
workers out, including hot lines, other actionable items that 
these workers can take.
    I think, as far as I guess post-infraction, the Office of 
Protocol acts as a coordinator, so to speak. They make sure the 
mission is aware of the infraction and encourage investigations 
of their own to correct them, and they can make recommendations 
in that regard. They also cooperate very closely with law 
enforcement to make sure that the missions and their diplomats 
and staff follow the law. Regardless of immunity, we expect all 
diplomats serving here to abide by U.S. law.
    So in the case of Dr. Khobragade, we believe that the 
system functioned as it should. It is unfortunate that it had 
to get to the point that it did. But the case is still pending. 
Should she return to the United States, she would face charges. 
So again, this is something, if confirmed, that I would have a 
great staff working on these issues and I would intend to make 
that a top priority.
    Senator Kaine. Thank you to each of you, and thank you, Mr. 
Chair.
    Senator Markey. Thank you, gentlemen. I thank the Senator.
    The chair recognizes the Senator from Connecticut, Mr. 
Murphy.
    Senator Murphy. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Welcome to all of you. I think some of the ground that I 
wanted to cover has already been covered you my colleagues. Ms. 
Cormack, great to see you here. I enjoyed our time together.
    Ms. Cormack. Thank you.
    Senator Murphy. I wish you well in your new endeavor. I 
wanted to maybe ask you a broader issue about the challenges 
that confront the Balkans today and how the division of labor 
should be allocated between a historic United States leadership 
role in the Balkans and an emerging role for the EU in trying 
to moderate some of these disputes. There is all sorts of 
issues, but the three that sort of emerge at the top of the 
list over and over again are the question you will be 
confronted regarding Bosnian governance, the issue over the 
Macedonian name dispute with Greece, and then the conflict 
between Serbia and Kosovo, which is obviously getting better 
with the new agreement, but still has lingering issues.
    So when I talk to friends in the Balkans they are welcoming 
of Lady Ashton's vigor on many of these issues, but are looking 
for a return to U.S. leadership on these questions. What do you 
see as the future of the European Union's ability to moderate 
some of these disputes and how does that dovetail with what I 
hope is a renaissance of American interest in the region in the 
coming years?
    Ms. Cormack. Thank you very much, Senator Murphy. I also 
enjoyed our conversation, so thank you.
    The United States commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina 
remains strong. We also strongly support Bosnia's accession 
process to the European Union and NATO. We partner very closely 
with our European allies on the ground. There is an excellent 
European Union senior representative in Sarajevo. We work very 
closely with their Enlargement Commissioner. We really feel 
that we both play an important role. As you note, the United 
States has a very historic role in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our 
commitment is something that I certainly, if confirmed, intend 
to fully maintain. I look forward to working closely with the 
people of the country and really finding out how we can work 
together to help them move to a Euro-Atlantic future.
    As we see countries like Croatia join the European Union, 
as Serbia and other countries move in that direction, Bosnia is 
in a region where they risk being isolated if they do not also 
follow that path. So it is the European Union that needs to 
have the lead in ensuring that Bosnia moves in the 
institutional sense in the direction that they need to if they 
are going to join Europe. But the United States certainly 
intends to be a key partner in that process.
    Senator Murphy. It certainly appears that the carrots that 
Europe has offered so far has not been sufficient to change the 
political dynamics on the ground in Bosnia. So I wonder whether 
there is a different set of incentives or a renewed road map 
that may be necessary in order to stimulate the domestic 
reforms necessary. I do not expect you to have a fulsome 
critique of what that road map should be, but it appears to me 
that we should know by now that whatever we have used is maybe 
insufficient and it is going to take a new set of criteria, 
both sticks and carrots I guess, to get them to change their 
calculus.
    Ms. Cormack. Thank you, Senator. If confirmed I certainly 
would look forward to working with our European partners to 
have that conversation, because you are right, we are very 
disappointed, honestly, that Bosnia and Herzegovina has not 
been able to take the first basic steps to move toward the EU 
and NATO.
    I do think that the demonstrations that we have seen in 
Bosnia and Herzegovina in recent weeks show an increasing 
frustration from the population with their leaders. These were 
economic demonstrations, people wanting jobs, wanting proper 
salaries, pensions, things that are very basic and that would 
certainly accrue to them if they start making the changes 
necessary to move down the European path.
    So figuring out what that is, what would put the political 
will in place to get that process going, is something that I 
would look forward to working on.
    Senator Murphy. Great. Well, I think you are going to be a 
fantastic ambassador. I really appreciate your service.
    Ms. LeVine, we had a chance to talk as well and I am glad 
that Senator Kaine covered with you the topic that we spent 
some time discussing, which is the rather disturbing anti-
immigration trends, not just in Switzerland but throughout the 
continent. As we sort of think about the future path for 
Ukraine, we of course envision them joining the EU. But that 
prospect is dimmed in some respect by the fact that there is 
going to be an EU that may be even more Euro-skeptic than 
before and countries like Switzerland, which are having a 
little bit harder time rapping their hands around the concept 
of free flow of peoples. So I am glad to hear your commitment 
to work on that issue.
    I wanted to just ask you about the pending free trade 
agreement with the European Union and just talk to you about 
the role that the Swiss will play and the role which your 
Embassy will play in trying to talk about ultimately the 
benefits that flow to all of Europe if we are able to ink a 
free trade agreement with the continent.
    Ms. LeVine. Well, to be clear--thank you very much for that 
question, Senator Murphy. I also enjoyed our time yesterday, 
albeit brief. I look forward to more time to discuss some of 
these matters if confirmed.
    With respect to TTIP, Switzerland is not in the EU. They 
are in the European Free Trade Area. So while they are not part 
of the negotiations themselves, I think that the role that the 
embassy plays in the State Department plays is to continue to 
keep them updated on the progress of those conversations and 
identify those areas that would impact trade with Switzerland 
because of both the role that Switzerland plays in trade with 
Europe and of course as a top 20 export market for the United 
States and as a generator of over 400,000 American jobs, Swiss 
companies care deeply about the impact of TTIP.
    So I think it is incumbent upon the State Department and 
the embassy team, and if confirmed myself as Ambassador I will 
make it a priority to continue to keep the Swiss Government 
updated and to facilitate in whatever way is necessary the USTR 
as they continue to negotiate this so that they keep the Swiss 
informed and involved.
    Senator Murphy. I appreciate that. There are all sorts of 
non-EU countries who have partnerships in various ways, shapes, 
and forms with the EU that are going to benefit from this free 
trade agreement. Switzerland will benefit from this agreement. 
Other countries on the edges of the EU will no doubt benefit. 
And we want to the extent possible to have them partners with 
us in trying to sell this, both internally and globally, as we 
move forward. So I appreciate your focus on this.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you for allowing me to ask some 
questions.
    Senator Markey. If the Senator has any other questions----
    Senator Murphy. I am good.
    Senator Markey. Beautiful.
    Let me just ask you, Ms. LeVine, one quick question. 
Switzerland is shutting down its five nuclear power plants. It 
is going to decommission them and they are moving more toward a 
renewable energy future. Do you as a businesswoman see any 
opportunities for the United States in partnership with 
Switzerland to be engaging in business transactions that can 
help both Switzerland and the United States in that area?
    Ms. LeVine. Senator Markey, I especially appreciate that 
question given your history with the environment and being an 
incredible steward for renewable energy development in the 
United States and jobs related to renewable energy. So thank 
you very much for that question.
    The short answer is yes. In addition to that, I think that 
there are a few areas related to this. Now, the Swiss have been 
leaders in clean tech funding and in fact clean tech from my 
understanding comprises about--clean tech jobs comprise about 5 
percent of the jobs in Switzerland. There are over 160,000 
people who are employed in that area. They are incredible 
funders, including sustainable asset management, green tech. 
There are emerald technology ventures.
    If confirmed, Senator, I look forward to applying my skills 
in building partnerships and in understanding and reaching out 
to entities--previously Senator Cantwell talked about work that 
I did when I was at Microsoft engaging Coca-Cola, engaging 
Nokia, to work with our students, or when I was at Expedia I 
worked with tourism boards to engage them with travel agencies, 
to increase travel. I would apply those same skills and the 
success that I have had in that domain to understand the 
respective interests and opportunities from among the clean 
tech funders in Switzerland and then, similarly, reach out to 
innovators, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders in the United 
States to gauge what are their needs, and to try to do that 
matchmaking, and with that to make sure that it is sustainable 
and mutually beneficial.
    Senator Markey. I think you are the perfect person, 
honestly, to capture that----
    Ms. LeVine. Thank you.
    Senator Markey [continuing]. Economic opportunity for both 
countries. It is going to happen. This revolution is occurring. 
Switzerland believes that the planet is warming, that there are 
no emergency rooms for planets, and that we have to engage in 
preventative care, and Switzerland is a country that accepts 
that. They have the Alps. They can see what is happening. So we 
thank you for that.
    What I am going to do here is to ask each of you, in 
reverse order, to give us the 1-minute, tell us the 1-minute 
thing you would want us to remember about what it is that you 
hope to achieve for our country in the positions that you have 
been nominated to fill. Give us your vision of what it is that 
you hope to provide for our country in this incredible 
opportunity that you are each being given. We will go in 
reverse order from the opening statements, so we will begin 
with you, Mr. Selfridge.
    Mr. Selfridge. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. That is a great 
question. I am thinking out loud right now because----
    Senator Markey. And you would like to go last. [Laughter.]
    Mr. Selfridge. I am used to that order, yes, sir.
    I am going to be thinking out loud a little bit here 
because I think the first thought that popped into my head is 
the Chief of Protocol, while somewhat--while very visible, I 
guess, when it comes to foreign diplomacy, is nonetheless 
supposed to I guess be seen and not heard. So I would like to 
be remembered as an excellent steward of the office.
    That being said, I think there is always room, to borrow 
Secretary Kerry's line, for modernization and innovation, and I 
hope to look for those opportunities in the office, to perhaps 
be the Chief of Protocol, if confirmed, that invigorates the 
office in that respect. I also want to be known as a steward of 
the taxpayer dollars. I think this is one office that does 
quite a bit with very little.
    I see my time is up. I will leave it at that and thank you 
again, Senator.
    Senator Markey. Thank you, sir.
    Ms. Cormack.
    Ms. Cormack. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. As I go 
out, if confirmed, to Bosnia and Herzegovina, I have three 
overarching goals. I have heard from everyone in the U.S. 
interagency that I have one of the best missions they have 
worked with, and I look forward to taking the leadership role 
of a wonderful group of people and really hoping to inspire and 
empower them to do wonderful work.
    Secondly, I hope to use my public diplomacy skills and 
reach out far more extensively to the people of Bosnia and 
Herzegovina in order to, first of all, listen and really 
understand their concerns, and then find out how the United 
States can support their aspirations.
    Finally, really support the people of Bosnia and 
Herzegovina as they move toward a Euro-Atlantic future. I do 
believe that their future, multi-ethnic, democratic, and 
prosperous, should be rooted in Euro-Atlantic institutions.
    So thank you so much.
    Senator Markey. Thank you so much.
    Ms. LeVine.
    Ms. LeVine. Chairman Markey, if confirmed I look forward to 
applying my skills, my experience, and my passion to increasing 
our economic ties, especially as measured by foreign direct 
investment and exports. I look forward to expanding our 
collaborations, existing and new, whether it is through the 
OSCE, whether it is through the Global Counterterrorism Forum, 
or whether it is creating new ones, public-private partnerships 
like ones recently announced between the Gates Foundation and 
the Swiss Government.
    I also look forward to increasing awareness and 
appreciation, especially given what we discussed before in 
terms of direct democracy and outreach to the Swiss and 
Liechtenstein people, especially the youth and the students, 
and especially in the technology community.
    Senator, I hope that I have been able to demonstrate today 
and through my submissions that, while nonlinear, my wide array 
of experiences, from working at Microsoft, Expedia, even at 
NASA, to volunteering and starting up nonprofits, and also to 
being a mom, equip me to serve our country proudly, humbly, and 
well.
    Senator Markey. Thank you, Ms. Levine.
    Ms. Birx.
    Dr. Birx. Those were all wonderful answers. I think I feel 
a lot of pressure to continue the amazing work that has been 
done in the field, and building on that coalition of activists 
and their insights, civil society and their insights, and 
linking that with the scientific innovations that we have found 
to be most helpful, and continue to take them to scale.
    In addition, making it clear that the interagency process 
is the reason why PEPFAR has been successful. It was a 
brilliant idea to harness the whole of government. It made it 
clear that no one agency could do it alone. It has been 
amazingly successful in that we have learned from each other, 
yet still built on our individual agency strengths. The control 
of the epidemic that we have today is due to that.
    Then finally, be able to demonstrate that we can 
definitively control the epidemic, and finding that country or 
those countries that we can do that in will be the absolute 
goal of the next 3 years.
    Senator Markey. I thank you, Ms. Birx.
    Well, we have four supremely qualified candidates for your 
positions. We thank each of you for your willingness to serve 
our country. I think you each have a background that fits the 
job that you have been asked to serve in perfectly, and we are 
very proud to have you as Americans willing to serve our 
country. I wish a speedy confirmation for each of you and I 
will try to help in any way that I can in order to accomplish 
that goal. So we thank you for that.
    For the other members who were not able to attend, I just 
make the public announcement that they will have until the 
close of business tomorrow to submit questions to our 
witnesses, because we hope to be able to move forward quickly 
on these nominations.
    So with that and the thanks of our country, this hearing is 
adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 3:30 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]
                              ----------                              


                   Material Submitted for the Record


              Responses of Dr. Deborah Birx to Questions 
                  Submitted by Senator Robert Menendez

    Burma is a PEPFAR bilateral country. In late February 2014, Doctors 
without Borders (MSF) was ejected from Rakhine State by the Government 
of Burma, which falsely alleged that MSF was stoking ethnic tensions. 
MSF is reportedly one of the biggest providers of HIV/AIDS drugs in 
Burma and also treats thousands of tuberculosis patients.

    Question. How will MSF's ejection from Burma impact the health of 
the HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis patients they were treating in the 
country?

    Answer. MSF Burma, represented by MSF-Holland (MSF-H) and MSF-
Switzerland, has been working in Burma for over 20 years, providing 
basic and maternal health care and treatment for HIV and tuberculosis 
(TB). The current situation only applies to activities conducted by 
MSF-Holland. MSF-Switzerland has not been impacted by the recent 
developments in Rakhine.
    MSF-H has significant operations in Rangoon and Kachin, Shan and 
Rakhine States. Currently, MSF-H is providing life-saving 
antiretroviral therapy to over 30,000 HIV positive patients and 
tuberculosis treatment to over 3,000 patients.
    On February 27, 2014, MSF-H received a written order from the 
Government of Burma to cease all operations in the country pending 
renewal of its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the government. 
This led to a closure of all MSF-H clinics on February 28. On February 
28, the Government of Burma allowed MSF-H to resume activities in all 
areas except Rakhine State. Seven hundred patients on antiretroviral 
therapy at MSF-H sites in Rakhine State have been impacted by the 
closure.

    Question. What possible impacts will MSF's ejection from Burma have 
on the spread of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in the country?

    Answer. At the end of 2013, MSF was providing antiretroviral 
therapy to 31,276 patients across the country. This represents nearly 
half of the total number of people on antiretroviral therapy in Burma. 
In addition to antiretroviral drugs, MSF is also supporting additional 
key TB/HIV services, which is a critical given that the HIV rate among 
new tuberculosis patients is estimated to be nearly 10 percent.
    Because MSF's HIV/AIDS and TB activities in most of the country 
were resumed after a single day of suspension, no significant impacts 
are expected on the spread of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in Burma 
nationally. The Ministry of Health has assured continuity of treatment 
services for those patients in Rakhine State. It will be critical for 
the MOH to continue these services in order to ensure the current gains 
in combating HIV/AIDS and TB in Rakhine State are not lost.

    Question. What actions has the U.S. Government taken to encourage 
the Government of Burma to allow MSF back into the country?

    Answer. MSF clinics continue to operate in many parts of Burma. The 
current suspension affects the MSF-Holland clinics in Rakine State. 
U.S. Embassy Rangoon remains in regular contact with the Government of 
Burma and with local and international humanitarian assistance 
providers regarding the situation on the ground. Ambassador Derek 
Mitchell personally has been in frequent and active communication with 
both Government of Burma senior officials and MSF-H to encourage 
continued private dialogue in negotiating a way forward to ensure no 
gap in necessary humanitarian services and to work toward a restoration 
of MSF-Holland services in Rakhine State. As part of this effort, on 
the day of MSF's suspension, Ambassador Mitchell highlighted for 
Burmese officials from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Home 
Affairs, and the Ministry of Border Affairs, the humanitarian 
consequences of MSF-H not being allowed to continue provision of its 
life-saving services. Ambassador Mitchell also encouraged the GOB to 
continue dialogue with MSF toward ensuring unfettered access for 
humanitarian agencies to people in need. USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah 
joined with Ambassador Mitchell in expressing strong concern about the 
events of February 28 to government ministers with the Burmese 
President's Office. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs 
Wendy Sherman also raised the issue with senior Burmese officials 
during her March 6-7 visit to Burma.
    U.S. Embassy Rangoon continues to engage daily with MSF-H and with 
the Government of Burma on this issue, urging the government to abide 
by international standards on humanitarian access and provision of 
services.

    Question. How much PEPFAR assistance goes to Burma through MSF? Are 
there other PEPFAR partner organizations that can adequately treat the 
30,000 HIV/AIDS patients that were under MSF's care?

    Answer. PEPFAR does not provide any direct financial assistance to 
MSF, nor does it support direct treatment service delivery in Burma 
through any other partners. MSF is currently providing treatment 
services to over half of all patients currently enrolled on 
antiretroviral therapy in Burma, and there are no other organizations 
that can absorb 30,000 patients at this time.

    Question. How much Global Fund assistance goes to Burma through 
MSF-H? Are there other Global Fund partner organizations that can 
adequately treat the 3,000 tuberculosis patients that were under MSF's 
care?

    Answer. MSF-H received $3.4 million USD in 2013 from the Global 
Fund, and is budgeted to receive $4.1 million in 2014. As MSF 
activities have resumed in most of the country, the U.S. Government is 
optimistic that nearly all of the 3,000 tuberculosis patients on 
treatment will continue to receive services through MSF sites. For the 
patients on tuberculosis treatment at currently shuttered MSF sites in 
Rakhine State, the Ministry of Health has made a commitment to provide 
treatment to these patients until MSF is allowed to resume activities. 
Health agencies working in Rakhine State, including other Global Fund 
partner organizations, do not have the capacity to assume the treatment 
burden for MSF's caseload.
                                 ______
                                 

              Responses of Dr. Deborah Birx to Questions 
                    Submitted by Senator Bob Corker

    Question. The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) 
has enjoyed broad, bipartisan support since its launch in 2003. Last 
year, this bipartisan tradition continued with the PEPFAR Stewardship 
and Oversight Act, which passed unanimously in the Senate and by a 
voice vote in the House. The program's support stems largely from the 
fact that Congress has a clear picture of what Americans get for their 
contributions by setting ambitious bilateral targets and goals 
specifically for PEPFAR and measuring progress toward those targets. 
However, this year the administration did not announce any new 
bilateral treatment or prevention goals for PEPFAR.
    The PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act requires the 
administration to report on bilateral annual targets for treatment and 
prevention programs specific to PEPFAR.

   (a). How important do you think bilateral targets are to 
        the performance, accountability, and focus of PEPFAR?

    Answer. Annual bilateral country targets are a core marker for 
measuring performance and implementing partner accountability for 
contributing to impactful HIV prevention and treatment programs. Annual 
targets are used to build implementing partner budgets, and allow for 
the PEPFAR country team to plan and collaborate with the host 
government and the Global Fund on what can be achieved in core 
prevention and treatment programs in a given year, and how these 
targets contribute to increased levels of treatment and prevention 
program coverage.
    PEPFAR's targets for prevention, care, and treatment have been a 
critical factor in enabling both Congress and the American people to 
understand how their investments have been saving lives in countries 
around the world. In addition to these annual targets, PEPFAR works 
jointly with local and international partners to define measurable 
commitments that contribute to creating an AIDS-free generation, 
including commitments around legal reform, supply chain improvements, 
and increased domestic contributions for HIV/AIDS--all areas of work 
that ensure that treatment and care programs maximize their impact and 
meet or exceed any bilateral targets that have been set.
    PEPFAR will continue, per P.L. 113-56, the PEPFAR Stewardship and 
Oversight Act, to use bilateral targets as an essential component of 
its efforts to save lives and increase efficiencies. Fighting the AIDS 
pandemic will require global solidarity, and PEPFAR is only one of 
several donors working with partner countries on this epidemic. The act 
focuses not only on the bilateral targets established by PEPFAR in each 
partner country, but also the national targets established by the 
country itself, to which PEPFAR will contribute.

   (b). How will you ensure that the bilateral target 
        requirements in the Stewardship Act are met?

    Answer. On a semiannual and annual basis the Office of the U.S. 
Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) requires all implementing agencies to 
report core prevention and treatment achievements drawn from an 
established set of program indicators. At the semiannual check-in 
point, the intent is to identify those countries (and implementing 
partners within countries) that are not on track to reach annual 
targets established, determine the problems, and develop a plan of 
corrective action. When warranted, technical support is deployed to 
country teams from headquarters to provide further assistance. Close 
monitoring of country achievements to targets and corrected action has 
enabled PEPFAR to meet annual and multiyear targets in prevention, 
care, and treatment.

   (c). When will this year's bilateral PEPFAR targets be 
        released publicly?

    Answer. PEPFAR is committed to staying in regular communication 
with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and other 
congressional committees of jurisdiction on progress toward setting FY 
2014 bilateral PEPFAR targets. The FY 2014 PEPFAR Country Operational 
Plans (COPs), the source of 2014 targets by implementing partner by 
country, will be reviewed in April/May and and finalized in the summer 
of 2014. In September/October, the 2014 COPs and targets will be made 
available to Congress and will also be posted publicly on the 
PEPFAR.gov Web site after a process of redaction has taken place to 
ensure that procurement sensitive information has been removed. The 
2014 COP will be implemented in FY 2015. Currently PEPFAR teams are 
implementing COP 2013, and all 2013 COPs have been posted publicly.
    In addition, in December 2013, the President called for the new 
U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, once confirmed, to convene our partners 
to develop joint HIV prevention and treatment goals to ensure we are 
making progress against this epidemic together. We will engage SFRC 
closely in our processes toward setting these global targets.

    Question. PEPFAR has begun to transition from an emergency response 
to a sustainable, long-term program, including shifting toward greater 
country responsibility. While it is important for host countries to 
assume greater leadership in combating their HIV/AIDS epidemic, I am 
concerned by accounts that transitions to greater country ownership are 
driven by factors other than scientific data and country capacity. How 
those transitions are planned and executed is critically important and 
can involve significant risk to the more than $40 billion we have 
invested as well as a tremendous risk to the people who depend on these 
programs for life and health.
    What lessons have we learned from the transition process so far, 
and how do you intend to ensure that transitions to greater country 
ownership continue to increase the impact of core interventions, as 
well as protect our investments and the patients on the ground who are 
counting on us to get this right?

    Answer. Greater country ownership is key to ensuring that the 
PEPFAR investments, systems, and capacities that have been established 
in the program to date continue in the long term. Through our 
partnerships, we have saved millions of lives, and our paramount 
responsibility is ensuring that those to whom we provide treatment and 
care continue to receive treatment and care during our transitions.
    Under PEPFAR we have learned that political leadership, local 
management and technical capabilities, supportive public health 
institutions and communities, and mutual accountability are factors 
that affect the degree to which countries are ready to assume 
responsibility for the prevention, treatment, and care of people 
dependent on services that the United States has been providing. With 
our partner countries, we need to share the common goal of using 
scientific data with adequate financing to invest in proven 
interventions and key populations to achieve continued progress toward 
an AIDS-free generation.
    In countries where PEPFAR funds have been used to provide support 
for direct service delivery in prevention, care, and treatment 
programs, PEPFAR teams have delivered transition successes in 
conjunction with their country counterparts. Health care workers 
previously trained and funded by PEPFAR are now funded by the 
government. Delivery of clinical services has transitioned from 
international NGOs to the Ministry of Health, local NGOs, and faith-
based local providers. National procurement and delivery of commodities 
are funded by domestic resources. In all cases, these successes have 
been possible due to strong partnerships and sustained because of 
strong political will and commitment. In addition, across multiple 
countries, PEPFAR has registered successful transfers of 
responsibilities for the care of key populations--groups that may have 
difficulties accessing health and support services--to local civil 
society.
    Across former focus countries, district- and provincial-level 
government and nongovernmental entities have assumed the role of direct 
service provider, enabling efficiencies and maintaining or improving 
performance. We are monitoring the use and impact of evidenced-based 
scientific interventions through our newly launched quality strategy. 
To optimize the impact of investments, expand population coverage, and 
retain more patients in care, PEPFAR is developing, in partnership with 
host countries, strategies for strengthening the quality of clinical 
services with a focus on improving linkage, engagement, and retention 
in care. These strategies are rooted in sound international standards 
and locally relevant strategies for quality management so that the best 
possible results are achieved from PEPFAR and domestic investments.
    PEPFAR is also monitoring the readiness for and impact of 
transitions through a series of joint assessments with countries that 
will be taking on additional responsibility. These assessments focus on 
identifying what additional capacities are required for local 
partners--governments, research, development, and academic 
institutions, NGOs, the private sector, and civil society networks and 
communities--to lead, manage, and monitor internal and external efforts 
to address HIV/AIDS in country. Part of this process includes 
supporting a country's ability to drive the process to identify, 
source, and manage ongoing capacity-building efforts as a sustained 
government-led effort to target change, facilitated by capacity-
building frameworks and indicators developed by PEPFAR in conjunction 
with our partners.
    Our health partnership with South Africa is a model we are learning 
from, and continue to evolve with our partners in other countries, for 
transition to greater country ownership. Throughout the evolution of 
all of our partnerships, we have never lost sight of our shared goals: 
to enable more people in need of HIV/AIDS services to receive them, and 
ensure that those who already receive these services continue doing so. 
Strong partnerships with many diverse stakeholders are vital to 
achieving these goals. Where we face challenges, we work jointly to 
address them. For example, as some patients move from one facility to 
another, they can get lost in the system. Preventing this ``loss to 
follow up'' is a challenge in any health system, including within the 
United States. PEPFAR continues to work closely with our South African 
partners to support the rollout of monitoring systems to ensure 
patients are properly tracked over time and retained in care.
    As PEPFAR moves from an emergency to a sustainability response, we 
are extremely cognizant of the challenges that partner nations face as 
we make this transition. Every country is situated at a different point 
on the continuum of country ownership, with a different range of needs 
and strengths. Advancing sustainability in a way that is tailored to 
each specific circumstance will require time and careful planning. 
PEPFAR is committed to ensuring that the eventual transfer of program 
management, implementation, and ownership to the host country occurs 
smoothly and at a pace appropriate to the local context. There is not a 
one-size-fits-all approach to country ownership. The eventual 
transition of PEPFAR program activities to host countries will occur in 
a step-wise manner, at a pace appropriate to their local context. In 
all countries, PEPFAR's goal is to support the country in achieving an 
AIDS-free generation, increasing the impact of core interventions, as 
well as protecting our investments and the patients on the ground.

    Question. Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) programming is 
intended to help achieve progress toward prevention, treatment, and 
care objectives, but exactly how they achieve it might not be as clear 
as it is with spending that is specific to a particular program area. 
Additionally, because the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator has not 
counted HSS as part of the denominator when calculating how to meet the 
treatment and care spending requirement in law, it would seem that it 
is somehow treated or viewed differently than other program focus 
areas.

   (a). What is the total annual funding level for HSS in 
        PEPFAR by year, and how was that funding level determined?

    Answer.

Budget Code--OHSS

2005 COP--Total Planned Amount..........................     445,395,169
2006 COP--Total Planned Amount..........................      58,972,580
2007 COP--Total Planned Amount..........................     103,779,504
2008 COP-OPU Full JUL 2011--Total Planned Amount........     152,471,123
2009 COP-OPU Full AUG 2012--Total Planned Amount........     291,362,960
2010 COP-OPU Full AUG 2013--Total Planned Amount........     337,581,718
2011 COP-OPU Full AUG 2013--Total Planned Amount........     368,945,328
2012 COP-OPU Full AUG 2013--Total Planned Amount........     364,601,625
2013 COP--Total Planned Amount..........................     296,386,434

    Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) funding levels as part of the 
annual Country Operational Plan (COP). Above are the most recent data 
for the Health Systems Strengthening budget code (OHSS) for COPs, 
including reprogramming. The collective, annual amount of HSS is 
variable and is dependent on the maturity of the program and specific 
HSS requirements in order to ensure strong results in prevention, care, 
and treatment programs. HSS-core activities include: support for human 
resources for health (HRH), supply chain management and improvement, 
infrastructure improvements, policy development that allows for optimal 
program delivery, economic strengthening initiatives for vulnerable 
populations, laboratory support and support for the development of 
strategic information systems and use of data. Each PEPFAR country team 
will prioritize those HSS efforts that are necessary for successful 
core program delivery.
    In FY 2013, OHSS represented about 8 percent of the most recent COP 
total budget. The FY 2014 level is not included as the COPS are not 
fully approved.

   (b). Is HSS programming in PEPFAR required to demonstrate 
        clear, direct contributions toward prevention, treatment or 
        care targets, and if so, how?

    Answer. HSS spending is designed to support delivery of prevention, 
treatment and care activities and achievement of targets set under 
those budget codes. The COP 2014 Guidance, OHSS budget code narrative, 
states: ``The HSS strategy and program plan should clearly demonstrate 
how its priority interventions flow from and support the prevention, 
care, and treatment pillars of the overall PEPFAR program.'' The full 
COP 2014 guidance can be found here: http://www.pepfar.gov/documents/
organization/217765.pdf.
    The FY 2014 Technical Considerations provide supporting 
documentation to link HSS programming to the delivery of prevention, 
treatment and care services. For example, the Technical Considerations 
illustrate how teams can map HSS activities to support three PEPFAR 
goals; (1) increased use of HIV/AIDS services by key populations; (2) 
option B+/pediatric treatment scale-up; and (3) antiretroviral 
treatment scale-up. The mapping provides specific examples of HSS 
investments that support these goals in several types of health system 
components: governance/leadership; human resources for health; supply 
chain management, laboratory systems, strategic information, and 
finance. The FY 2014 Technical Considerations for health systems 
strengthening can be found here: http://www.pepfar.gov/documents/
organization/217761.pdf.
    HSS is required to be linked to advancing population coverage of 
key prevention, care and treatment programs. For example, support for 
redesign of supply chains ensures that commodities are available at all 
levels of the health care delivery system and drug stock-outs do not 
occur, meaning that people are enrolled in treatment programs, receive 
TB treatment, are able to get an HIV test, and can undergo male 
circumcision--all core HIV interventions. Additionally, investments in 
building partner country supply chains results in improvements in the 
efficiency of drug supply chains and best price commodity procurements, 
which means available budgets provide health services to a larger 
portion of the population.
    Some HSS interventions are multiyear investments, but ultimately 
allow for improved achievements. For example, policy work on the use of 
point-of-care CD4 testing in low volume regions allows for people to be 
enrolled in treatment programs without waiting for the results of a CD4 
test sent to a regional lab. Investments in electronic systems allow 
governments to tabulate health care worker availability and improve 
deployment, health care worker performance and retention strategies. 
These investments deliver results over time. While their impact is not 
captured as a direct result on service delivery performance metrics, 
without these types of investments, care and treatment programs are 
poorly resourced and struggle to perform.

   (c). Does HSS programming have specific targets to meet or 
        metrics by which its performance can be assessed?

    Answer. Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) programming is governed 
by metrics that relate to several of the health system components 
mentioned above. For example, country teams must meet specific targets 
through FY 2015 regarding the number of new health care workers. In 
addition, policy changes, as an outcome of investments in governance 
and leadership, are tracked.
    HSS metrics and target setting--while supporting the achievement of 
service delivery targets--are therefore, of a fundamentally different 
nature than those captured under delivery of prevention, care, and 
treatment services. Unlike investments in prevention, care, and 
treatment services, ``activities that fall into the HSS budget code are 
generally those that are implemented above the service delivery point 
(site) level'' (COP 2014 guidance).
    Under PEPFAR's Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (MER) set of 
indicators, performance of HSS investments in leadership/governance, 
human resources for health (HRH) and supply chain are currently tracked 
at the headquarters level through the following (investments in 
laboratory systems and strategic information are primarily tracked 
through different budget codes):

   Measuring progress in developing and implementing policies 
        that directly support PEPFAR prevention, care, and treatment 
        activities (one indicator: LGF--PTT);
   Production and distribution of new health care workers (two 
        indicators: HRH--PRE; HRH--HRIS);
   Strengthening of HIV and other commodities supply chains 
        (two indicators: SC--TRAIN; SC--STOCK).

    Question. Recently, PEPFAR has been sharply criticized for its lack 
of transparency for a lack of publically accessible and usable 
information, and that the program has actually made less data available 
over time.

   If confirmed, what steps will you take to reverse this 
        trend and increase the transparency and usability of PEPFAR 
        data?

    Answer. As I said in my testimony before the Senate Foreign 
Relations Committee last week, if confirmed, I will be fully committed 
to ensuring the PEPFAR program is transparent and accountable, and will 
be fully compliant with all the requirements of P.L. 113-56, the PEPFAR 
Stewardship and Oversight Act.
    Since 2007, PEPFAR has made comprehensive financial, program, and 
partner-level data available on its Web site (pepfar.gov) through 
annual publication of Country Operational Plans (COPs). All published 
COPs describe in detail the planned activities for each of PEPFAR's 
implementing partners, including the scope of their program activities 
and the associated funding. PEPFAR also posts a quarterly report on its 
Web site that provides a financial picture of the PEPFAR program, 
including the available appropriations, obligations, and outlays for 
each PEPFAR implementing agency by country.
    Moving forward, as part of its implementation of P.L. 113-56, 
PEPFAR will increase the transparency, granularity, and usability of 
its data. PEPFAR will publish all nonprocurement sensitive information 
clearly and transparently in an open web-based format, and expand the 
quality and quantity of information available in its annual reports, 
including available financial and performance data. If confirmed, I 
will keep Congress well-apprised of efforts to increase data 
transparency and usability while avoiding inadvertently creating an 
overly burdensome reporting process for partner countries and U.S. 
Government teams in the field, which are also charged with producing 
lifesaving program results.
    The Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) is also 
working with the State Department's Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance 
on the ForeignAssistance.gov Web site, which is driving implementation 
of a whole of U.S. Government effort to align with the International 
Aid Transparency Initiative. Data that OGAC and PEPFAR implementing 
agencies provide for publication on ForeignAssistance.gov contribute to 
overall U.S. Government efforts to increase data transparency.

 
  NOMINATIONS OF PAIGE ALEXANDER, ALICE WELLS, THOMAS KELLY III, AND 
                            CASSANDRA BUTTS

                              ----------                              


                         TUESDAY, MAY 13, 2014

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
                              ----------                              

Paige Eve Alexander, of Virginia, to be Assistant 
        Administrator, Bureau for the Middle East, United 
        States Agency for International Development
Alice G. Wells, of Washington, to be Ambassador to the 
        Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Thomas P. Kelly III, of California, to be Ambassador to the 
        Republic of Djibouti
Cassandra Q. Butts, of the District of Columbia, to be 
        Ambassador to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas
                              ----------                              

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 3:33 p.m., in 
room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Tim Kaine 
presiding.
    Present: Senators Kaine, Risch, and Rubio.

             OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. TIM KAINE, 
                   U.S. SENATOR FROM VIRGINIA

    Senator Kaine. I am going to call this hearing of the 
Senate Foreign Relations Committee to order. Today we have four 
nominees for consideration by the committee in significant 
positions, doing important work for the United States with 
allies to our Nation, vital to the United States interests. I 
thank each of these witnesses for their service thus far and 
the service I am confident they will continue to render.
    The committee always encourages our panelists to introduce 
family members and I see we have got good family member 
representation in the audience as well, which I appreciate.
    Senator Risch is in the middle of a Republican committee 
meeting, a caucus meeting, that is running a bit late, but is 
likely to be here shortly. I have his permission to go ahead 
and begin the hearing. After I do introductions, I will ask 
each of you to give your opening comments and then begin with 
questions. When Senator Risch arrives, I will ask him to make 
any opening comments should he choose. But I welcome all to the 
hearing.
    Today we have before us Paige Eve Alexander of Virginia, to 
be Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for the Middle East 
for USAID. Welcome, Ms. Alexander.
    In addition, we have Alice Wells, of Washington, to be 
Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan--very happy to 
have you--Thomas P. Kelly, of California, to be Ambassador to 
the Republic of Djibouti; and Cassandra Q. Butts, of the 
District of Columbia, to be the Ambassador to the Commonwealth 
of The Bahamas.
    What I will ask you to do is to make your opening 
statements in the order that I introduced you, and after you do 
I will move into questions, and again we will have Senator 
Risch make his comments should he choose and questions, as well 
as offer that opportunity to other committee members.
    I will say before I ask you to make comments that one of 
the real joys of being on the Foreign Relations Committee is 
traveling around the world and seeing what fantastic small 
``a'' ambassadors we have. The Ambassadors, capital ``A,'' do a 
wonderful job, but I am impressed, and I know you are as well, 
by the degree to which all Americans who serve abroad are great 
ambassadors for the country.
    I recently returned from a visit to Israel, the West Bank, 
Lebanon, and Egypt, and any time I travel I try to sit down 
with junior Foreign Service officers, usually those who are in 
their first or second tour, often working in the consul office 
as consular officials. And talking to these young men and 
women, some of whom are serving far away from spouses or loved 
ones, some of whom are serving in security situations where, as 
in Lebanon, they are required to live on the compound--they get 
6 hours a week for personal time off the compound, only 6 hours 
a week. They live in Lebanon in a compound where they are 
reminded every day with the memorial at the compound of members 
of America's consular community who were killed in bombings in 
Lebanon in the 1980s and other instances.
    We know, because we are still living in the shadow of the 
horrible experience in Libya, of the sacrifices that are made 
by those on consular service. I think Americans instinctively 
understand those sacrifices that are made by members of our 
military, and I think we demonstrate our appreciation for those 
sacrifices. But we have others who serve abroad who make us 
proud, who make sacrifices as well, whether they are security 
sacrifices or living far apart from family under difficult 
circumstances.
    You seek to join those ranks. Many of you have been working 
in this field already. But we owe you and your colleagues a 
debt of gratitude for the work that you do to represent 
America, to represent our country as ambassadors abroad. So for 
that I thank you.
    With that, I now would like to ask Ms. Alexander to begin.

 STATEMENT OF HON. PAIGE EVE ALEXANDER, OF VIRGINIA, NOMINATED 
  TO BE ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR, BUREAU FOR THE MIDDLE EAST, 
       UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

    Ms. Alexander. Thank you, Chairman Kaine. I am honored to 
be here today as the nominee for the Assistant Administrator 
for the Middle East Bureau at USAID. It is a privilege to 
appear before this committee again and I appreciate and am 
grateful for the confidence that President Obama, Secretary 
Kerry, and Administrator Shah have placed in me.
    I want to recognize the leadership and the dedication of 
Deputy Assistant Administrator Alina Romanowski, who has been 
serving as Acting Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for 
the last 12 months. I would especially like to thank my family, 
friends, and professional colleagues, whose support and 
encouragement have allowed me to pursue this quest. In 
particular, I would like to thank my husband, Steve Grand, and 
my children, Rachel, Carly, and Josh. They all know the 
importance of public service and I am here today with their 
full support, which means the world to me.
    For the past 3 years, I have had the honor and the 
privilege of serving as the Assistant Administrator for the 
Europe and Eurasia Bureau at AID. I have forged working 
relationships throughout the interagency, and I would expect 
this strong collaboration, which also spans the length of 
Pennsylvania Avenue, to continue as an integral part of the 
effective approach that AID would plan to take in the Middle 
East Bureau and moving these countries from a relationship of 
assistance to one of cooperation and partnership.
    Four years ago, President Obama set forth a new version of 
a results-driven USAID that would lead the world in 
development. The agency has risen to this challenge, pioneering 
new models of development that bring greater emphasis on 
innovation and results. Our current national security strategy 
recognizes that development not only is a moral imperative, but 
is a strategic and economic one.
    In perhaps no other region is this more important than the 
Middle East and North Africa. Today's USAID's Middle East 
Bureau advances national and strategic interests and programs 
in 11 countries and territories, with an annual budget of over 
$1.3 billion. The Middle East region poses many challenges, 
both politically and developmentally, and also presents 
enormous opportunities to showcase what has been done right 
through American assistance.
    The challenges that the countries face in the region are 
complex: weak democratic institutions and processes, high 
unemployment, underperforming economies, and water scarcity. 
For the past 3 years, calls for transitions and change have 
reverberated across the region. In this time of transition, the 
United States must remain as an engaged partner with the 
governments and the citizens of the region to provide support 
for economic and political reforms and to promote security and 
stability.
    AID's programs work to address the perennial barriers that 
include stagnant economic growth, high unemployment, and 
challenges in the education system, all of which affect the 
region's ability to compete in a global economy. To prepare the 
region's young people for employment USAID programs provide job 
training and workforce skills development for growing economic 
sectors. In Tunisia, USAID's work with the communications-
technology sector has already generated over 2,600 jobs. USAID 
has supported the establishment of nine Palestinian startups 
and increased ICT exports by $1.4 million.
    USAID's projects in democracy, rights and governance in the 
Middle East aim to support transitions by promoting resilient 
democratic societies and strengthening weak institutions and 
processes, whether it is through direct support for elections 
assistance in places like Libya and Iraq or USAID's assistance 
with Yemeni women in asserting their rights throughout the 
political process to program, help, and empower the average 
citizen to hold their government accountable.
    The crisis in Syria has become a regional challenge of 
daunting proportions. AID has responded to the needs of the 
most vulnerable populations both within Syria and to address 
refugee needs in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq--I am sorry, 
Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt. Supporting neighboring 
countries as they cope with both the short- and the long-term 
effects of the Syria crisis must continue to be a top priority.
    In practice, development is a continuum. It extends from 
humanitarian relief through recovery and reconstruction to 
investments in building institutions and delivering economic 
health and education services for the citizens of the country. 
Aid can begin at any point in that continuum and it can make 
short-term interventions or long-term investments depending on 
the needs. Yet, while it is on a continuum, it is not 
necessarily a linear process. Development can have challenges 
and threats to backsliding and these still persist.
    We must nurture critically minded citizens, involve youth, 
and find opportunities that include the use of new 
technologies, and hold governments accountable. In this region, 
AID's development objectives are clear. The agency's mandate is 
to promote open and transparent governments that are 
accountable to their citizens, foster private sector 
development, and strengthen civil society organizations.
    I am keenly aware of how technical assistance providers and 
grassroots organizations are important partners in implementing 
U.S. development and diplomacy objectives. Sound approaches to 
development must permit rethinking, reforming, and 
recalibrating our work in response to changing environments.
    Thank you again for giving me this opportunity to appear 
before you today. I welcome any questions you might have.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Alexander follows:]

               Prepared Statement of Paige Eve Alexander

    Chairman Kaine, Ranking Member Risch, and distinguished members of 
the committee, I am honored to be here today as President Obama's 
nominee for Assistant Administrator of the Middle East Bureau at the 
United States Agency for International Development. It is a privilege 
to appear before this committee again and I am grateful for the 
confidence that President Obama, Administrator Shah, and Secretary 
Kerry have placed in me.
    I also want to recognize Deputy Assistant Administrator Alina 
Romanowski, who has been serving as Acting Assistant Administrator of 
USAID's Middle East Bureau for over a year. Her vast knowledge and 
dedication, acquired across a more than 30-year career in the United 
States Government reflect the best qualities of the Career Senior 
Executive Service.
    I would especially like to thank my family, friends, and 
professional colleagues whose support and encouragement have allowed me 
to pursue this opportunity. In particular, I would like to recognize my 
husband and best friend, Steve Grand, and our children, Rachel, Carly, 
and Josh. They all know the importance of public service and I am here 
today with their full support, which means the world to me.
    The experience I have gained over a more than 25-year career in 
international development, including nearly 11 years within USAID, as 
well in posts at private foundations, academic institutions, and 
nonprofit organizations, has prepared me well for the new 
responsibilities I will take on, if confirmed.
    For the past 3 years, I have had the honor and privilege of serving 
as USAID's Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia. In this 
role, I have come to appreciate and respect the importance of 
interagency cooperation and collaboration. I have forged effective 
working relationships throughout, and would expect this strong 
interagency collaboration, which will also span the length of 
Pennsylvania Avenue, to continue to be an integral part of how I would 
effectively approach USAID's work to move countries from assistance to 
cooperation and partnership.
    Indeed, my current position has given me an even greater 
appreciation for the critical interplay between Congress and the 
executive branch. I have benefited greatly from the advice and counsel 
I have received from members of this committee and others in the House 
and Senate. If confirmed, I look forward to continuing to seek your 
guidance and counsel on the critical challenges facing us in the Middle 
East.
    Four years ago, President Obama set forth a new vision of a 
results-driven USAID that would lead the world in development. The 
Agency has since risen to this challenge, pioneering a new model of 
development that brings a greater emphasis on partnerships, innovation, 
and results. We are guided in these efforts by a new mission statement: 
we partner to end extreme poverty and promote resilient democratic 
societies while advancing our security and prosperity. If confirmed, I 
will work tirelessly with the dedicated men and women of USAID to 
continue to fulfill this goal.
    Although these goals are not new, they reflect a unique moment in 
development today when exciting opportunities are emerging to change 
what is possible. In a time of fiscal restraint, we are applying the 
new model to seize this moment and reach more people, save more lives, 
and leverage more private investment than ever before--delivering 
results for the American people and those in greatest need around the 
world.
    President Obama's national security strategy recognizes development 
not only as a moral imperative, but as a strategic and economic one. In 
perhaps no other region is that more relevant than the Middle East and 
North Africa.
    The challenges that the countries of the region face are complex--
weak democratic institutions and processes, high unemployment, 
underperforming economies, and water scarcity. For the past 3 years, 
calls for transition and change have reverberated across the region. In 
this time of transition, the United States must remain an engaged 
partner with the governments and people of the region to provide 
support for economic and political reforms and to promote security and 
stability in the region.
    USAID's Middle East Bureau advances U.S. national and strategic 
interests with programs in 11 countries and territories with an annual 
budget of over $1.3 billion. If confirmed, I will provide strong 
oversight of USAID's programs in the Middle East, which respond to the 
needs and aspirations of the people in the region by facilitating more 
inclusive economic growth, supporting democratic processes, 
strengthening civil society, and addressing other key challenges, such 
as the impact of the Syria crisis.
    Throughout the Middle East and North Africa, tepid or stagnant 
economic growth and high unemployment among young people remain major 
challenges. Twenty-four percent of young people are unemployed--the 
highest rate of youth unemployment in the world. Education systems fail 
to prepare young people for the workforce, reducing the region's 
ability to compete in a global economy. USAID programs work to address 
these barriers.
    The Agency's programs target private sector growth through economic 
empowerment programs that provide small and medium enterprises training 
in business skills, startup seed capital, and regional networking 
opportunities. For Egypt and Tunisia, USAID is managing grants to 
Enterprise Funds that will provide investment in the Egyptian and 
Tunisian economies and will seek to leverage the involvement of other 
financial institutions and global investors. In Libya, USAID has 
expanded the business potential of women microentrepreneurs and women-
owned small- and medium-scale enterprises.
    USAID is also working with regional governments and local partners 
to create business-enabling environments that reduce barriers to 
starting a business and support them once they are operational. For 
instance, in several places, USAID is investing in ``one-stop shops.'' 
In Egypt these ``shops'' have reduced the time it takes to register a 
business from over a week to about an hour, and in Iraq the 
registration period has gone from 6 months to less than 2 months.
    To prepare the region's young people for employment, USAID programs 
provide job training and workforce skills development for growing 
economic sectors. In Tunisia, USAID is encouraging job creation in the 
high-impact information communications technology (ICT) sector. USAID's 
work with this sector has already generated over 2,600 new jobs. In the 
West Bank, USAID has supported the establishment of nine Palestinian 
startups and increased ICT exports by $1.4 million. In Iraq, USAID has 
assisted 5,300 Iraqi jobseekers to find positions in over 550 Iraqi 
businesses, by providing training modules that bridge skills gaps and 
supporting an online jobs portal in partnership with Microsoft.
    USAID's education programs link directly to USAID's economic growth 
work, as keeping young people in school is key to regional economic 
growth and stability. The Agency is partnering with ministries of 
education and schools to implement early grade reading programs that 
will increase literacy rates, encourage retention, and expand girls' 
access to education. In Morocco, our early grade reading program aims 
to increase the recruitment of female teachers, improve the retention 
rate, and provide opportunities outside of school to promote reading by 
engaging with and supporting community-based groups. In Egypt, USAID 
has supported advancements in early grade reading and secondary 
science, technology, and math skills. Our support is helping improve 
the reading fluency and comprehension of approximately 4.5 million 
Egyptian elementary students by introducing new teaching approaches and 
training teachers.
    USAID projects in democracy, rights and governance in the Middle 
East aim to support democratic transitions by promoting resilient 
democratic societies and strengthening weak institutions and processes. 
USAID projects in Libya and Iraq provide elections assistance to their 
respective elections commissions, helping with elections operations, 
voter registration, campaign finance, electoral dispute resolution, and 
the drafting of regulations and procedures. In February 2014, the 
Government of Iraq committed funds to support the USAID-sponsored Legal 
Clinic Network which has provided assistance on over 14,000 legal cases 
on behalf of vulnerable individuals such as female-headed households, 
internally displaced persons, and ethnic and religious minorities and 
educated over 26,000 Iraqis on their legal rights. USAID has supported 
Yemeni women in asserting their rights throughout the political 
process, and thanks in part to USAID's efforts, a 30-percent female 
participation quota was established for the National Dialogue 
Conference. USAID is also providing support for international elections 
observers and domestic monitoring for Tunisia's historic Presidential 
and parliamentary elections, which should take place at the end of this 
year.
    The Middle East is also facing substantial natural resource 
challenges, encompassing 12 of the world's 15 most water-scarce 
countries. Further compounding the problem, the region has the world's 
second-highest population growth rate and excessive water 
mismanagement, increasing competition for a scarce resource in a 
region. In Jordan, the influx of Syrians into local communities has 
increased the pressure on limited and already strained water 
availability. A USAID project has set up a revolving credit fund so 
families can access loans to install cisterns for harvesting rainwater. 
Repayment rates are high and half of the borrowers are women. This 
effort has helped tens of thousands of people secure access to water. 
In Yemen, USAID has established 16 water catchment sites throughout the 
country, which collect approximately 2 million liters of water per 
year.
    The crisis in Syria has become a regional challenge of daunting 
proportions, with 6.5 million people displaced inside Syria, 9.3 
million in need of humanitarian assistance, and over 2.6 million 
refugees spilling over into neighboring countries. USAID is providing 
more than $669 million to help over 4.2 million people inside Syria and 
more than $232 million to help Syrian refugees in neighboring 
countries. USAID has responded to the needs of the most vulnerable in 
all 14 Syrian governorates and Syrian refugees in five neighboring 
countries--Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt. In addition to 
humanitarian aid, our response to the conflict in Syria is 
comprehensive--combining humanitarian, transitional, and development 
interventions to address the needs of conflict-affected Syrians and 
host communities both within Syria, and regionally. Supporting 
neighboring countries as they cope with both the short- and long-term 
effects of the Syria crisis must continue to be a top priority.
    Of the 600,000 refugees in Jordan, nearly 480,000 Syrian refugees 
live within Jordanian host communities, rather than in camps, and these 
host communities face tremendous challenges. USAID has provided 
critical assistance to these communities to alleviate increased demand 
for services, including hospital renovations and water infrastructure 
repair. A USAID community engagement project is in place to help 
alleviate tensions in host communities by promoting dialogue and 
reducing community stressors including trash removal, and limited 
small-scale infrastructure projects to reduce traffic and create jobs. 
In Lebanon, where Syrians now make up more than 25 percent of the total 
population, USAID assistance focuses on water and education as well as 
a value-chain development program to advance small-scale agriculture. 
Since January 2013, USAID has rehabilitated thousands of Lebanese-owned 
residential units for refugees, increased access to water or other 
municipal services for over 125,000 people and reached nearly 100,000 
children and at-risk youth through supplemental education activities.
    As is well understood in the literature and in practice, 
development is a continuum. It extends from humanitarian relief through 
recovery and reconstruction, to investments in building sustainable 
institutions delivering economic, health, and education services for 
the citizens of that country. Aid can begin at any point on that 
continuum and can make short-term interventions or invest in the long 
term, depending on the needs. While development is on a continuum, it 
is not necessarily a linear process. Major development challenges and 
the threat of backsliding still persist. We must nurture critically 
minded citizens, engage youth, and find opportunities that include the 
use of new technologies to hold governments accountable. If confirmed, 
I will make it a priority to focus and concentrate USAID assistance in 
areas where it can achieve maximum results that align with our 
strategic objectives.
    In this region, USAID's development objectives are clear. The 
Agency's mandate is to promote open and transparent governments that 
are accountable to their citizens, foster private sector development, 
and strengthen civil society organizations capable of investing in the 
current and future lives of the people they represent, during this 
critical period of change. The United States continued engagement with 
the people of the region is critical for lasting growth, prosperity, 
and peace.
    I am keenly aware of how technical assistance providers and 
grassroots organizations are important partners in implementing U.S. 
development and diplomacy objectives. Sound approaches to development 
must permit rethinking, reforming, and recalibrating our work in 
response to changing environments. If confirmed, I will continue to 
focus on finding scalable solutions that can affect development 
globally.
    The Middle East region poses many challenges, both politically and 
developmentally, and also presents enormous opportunities to showcase 
what has been done right through American assistance.
    Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to appear before you 
today. I welcome any questions you might have.

    Senator Kaine. Great. Thank you.
    Ms. Wells.

  STATEMENT OF ALICE G. WELLS, OF WASHINGTON, NOMINATED TO BE 
         AMBASSADOR TO THE HASHEMITE KINGDOM OF JORDAN

    Ms. Wells. Chairman Kaine, it is a great honor to appear 
before you today and I am grateful and humbled to be the 
President's nominee to represent the United States in the 
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. I would like to thank Secretary 
Kerry for the confidence he has shown me.
    I would not be here without the support of my husband and 
until recently a fellow Foreign Service officer, Kurt Amend, 
and our daughters Helen, Isabel, and Phoebe. Our service in 
Tajikistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India, and Russia was a 
family affair. It was an adventure and a privilege, but not 
without its share of sacrifices, and I am grateful to my 
husband and our girls for being enthusiastic participants in 
this journey.
    My brother, Tom Wells, my sister-in-law, Paula, and their 
children, Nicholas and Elizabeth, are also here today. Tom's 
military service in Operation Desert Storm is one chapter in my 
family's long engagement with the Middle East.
    Finally, my thanks to President Eisenhower, whose 1958 
Middle East Task Force brought my father, then Army Captain Wes 
Wells, and later my mother, Heidi Wells, to Lebanon.
    To my parents, I owe much more than the accident of my 
birth in Beirut, but the extraordinary example of their public 
service, their curiosity, and their service to their country 
abroad.
    As President Obama has stated, the United States has very 
few friends, partners, and allies around the world that have 
been as steadfast and reliable as His Majesty King Abdullah, as 
well as the people of Jordan. If confirmed I will work to 
ensure that our assistance, our policies, and our diplomatic 
platform further Jordan's ability to withstand the Syrian 
crisis, to counter terrorism, and to promote regional security, 
to serve as an example for political and economic 
modernization, and to advance peace in the Middle East.
    Mr. Chairman, the historic partnership between the United 
States and Jordan has never been more important as we jointly 
work to achieve peace in the Middle East and to promote a 
democratic transition in Syria. With Jordan coping with more 
than 600,000 Syrian refugees, the loss of export routes through 
Syria, a steep decline in tourism, and an energy bill that rose 
to 21 percent of its GDP, the United States has a strategic 
interest in ensuring that the Hashemite Kingdom can meet its 
international humanitarian obligations without jeopardizing its 
own economic and political stability.
    At the same time, our multifaceted partnership demonstrates 
to the people of Jordan and the region the benefits of choosing 
the path of moderation, of political and economic 
modernization, of peace with one's neighbors.
    With strong bipartisan support from Congress, the United 
States is providing Jordan with a broad package of aid to 
bolster services strained by the refugee influx. United States 
support to Jordan topped $1 billion in both 2012 and 2013 and 
our bilateral assistance alone will exceed $1 billion in fiscal 
year 2014. This has been supplemented by more than $268 million 
in humanitarian aid to international organizations assisting 
Syrian refugees in Jordan, as well as a total of $2.25 billion 
in loan guarantees to help Jordan access international capital.
    If confirmed, I will advocate continued flexibility in 
responding to the evolving crisis. The United States has a deep 
stake in Jordan's successful modernization and in supporting 
King Abdullah's embrace of political and economic reform as a 
strategic choice. To date, working with the International 
Monetary Fund, Jordan is successfully balancing competing 
demands, including the imperative of structural reforms that 
replace blanket subsidies with a targeted social safety net to 
alleviate popular discontent over fuel and electricity price 
hikes.
    We also support King Abdullah's efforts to respond for 
greater transparency and dignity, including the establishment 
of a National Integrity Commission and an Independent Electoral 
Commission. As friends of Jordan, we should encourage the full 
implementation of these home-grown initiatives.
    With the finalization of a second memorandum of 
understanding on bilateral assistance, substantial and 
predictable U.S. support can help Jordan transform the Syrian 
crisis into an opportunity. I am committed to reinforcing the 
collaborative and consultative approach to assisting Jordan as 
it charts this difficult path.
    Finally, if confirmed I will dedicate myself to building 
and sustaining a diplomatic team that can advance these 
ambitious objectives while working to ensure the safety and 
security of U.S. officials and the American community.
    Thank you very much.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Wells follows:]

                  Prepared Statement of Alice G. Wells

    Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Risch, members of the committee. It is 
a great honor, as well as the dream of every Foreign Service officer, 
to appear before you, and today I am grateful and humbled to be the 
President's nominee to represent the United States in the Hashemite 
Kingdom of Jordan. I would like to particularly thank Secretary Kerry 
for the confidence he has shown me.
    I would not be here without the support of my husband and, until 
recently, fellow Foreign Service officer, Kurt Amend, and our 
daughters, Helen, Isabel, and Phoebe. Our service in Tajikistan, Saudi 
Arabia, Pakistan, India, and Russia was a family affair, a great 
adventure, and a privilege, but not without its share of sacrifices. I 
am grateful to my husband and our girls for being enthusiastic 
participants in this Foreign Service journey. My brother, Tom Wells, my 
sister-in-law, Paula, and their children, Nicholas and Elizabeth, are 
also here today. Tom's military service to his country, including in 
Operation Desert Storm, is one chapter in my family's long engagement 
with the Middle East. Finally, my thanks to President Eisenhower, whose 
1958 Middle East Task Force brought my father, then-Army Captain Wes 
Wells, and later my mother, Heidi Wells, to Lebanon. To my parents, I 
owe much more than my accident of birth in Beirut, but the 
extraordinary example of their public service, curiosity, and service 
to their country abroad.
    As President Obama has stated, the United States has ``very few 
friends, partners, and allies around the world that have been as 
steadfast and reliable as His Majesty King Abdullah, as well as the 
people of Jordan.'' Mr. Chairman, the historic partnership between the 
United States and our invaluable ally Jordan has never been more 
important, as we jointly work to achieve peace in the Middle East and 
to promote a democratic transition in Syria. The United States and 
Jordan share concerns about destabilization in the region and 
increasing extremist activity. We have a strong history of mutual 
resolve and cooperation against terrorist threats, including in 
Afghanistan and Iraq, where King Abdullah directed that Jordan be part 
of the answer to restoring stability and countering the message of 
violent extremists.
    At the same time, our multifaceted partnership with the Hashemite 
Kingdom aims to demonstrate to the people of Jordan and the region the 
benefits of their choosing the path of moderation, of political and 
economic reform, of peace with one's neighbors. As a testament to our 
support for Jordan, the Jordanian people, what Jordan stands for, and 
what it has achieved, in the 15 years since King Abdullah ascended the 
throne, the United States has provided over $10 billion in assistance.
    If confirmed as the next U.S. Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom 
of Jordan, I will work to ensure that our assistance, our policies, and 
our diplomatic platform to advance U.S. interests and further Jordan's 
ability to withstand the Syrian crisis, counter terrorism, serve as an 
example of political and economic reform, and advance peace in the 
Middle East, while building bridges between U.S. and Jordanian 
societies.
    First, with Jordan hosting 600,000 Syrian refugees, the United 
States has a strategic interest in ensuring that the Hashemite Kingdom 
can meet its international humanitarian obligations without 
jeopardizing its own economic and political stability. While 
international attention has focused on the Zaatri refugee camp, which 
several committee members and staff have viewed firsthand, nearly 85 
percent of Syrian refugees reside in Jordanian host communities. Local 
governments, social services, and civic organizations are severely 
strained, with cities and villages facing overcrowded schools, 
shortages of hospital beds and medicines, and an inability to stretch 
municipal services to accommodate the increased population. At the same 
time, Jordan grapples with the loss of export routes through Syria, a 
steep decline in tourism, negative investor sentiment resulting from 
the war, and an energy bill that rose to 21 percent of its GDP when 
Egypt could no longer deliver on its natural gas contracts.
    In response to these needs, the U.S. Government is providing Jordan 
with a broad package of aid designed to bolster services strained by 
the refugee influx and help safeguard Jordan's economic and political 
reform. Jordan was the fifth-largest recipient of bilateral assistance 
in FY 2013. With strong, bipartisan support from Congress, U.S. support 
to Jordan has totaled over $1 billion in both fiscal years 2012 and 
2013. Our bilateral assistance alone will exceed $1 billion in fiscal 
year 2014 thanks to the generosity of Congress. This assistance has 
helped to reduce the financial strain on the sectors directly affected 
by refugees. In addition, over the past few years we have provided more 
than $268 million in humanitarian aid to international organizations 
and NGOs assisting Syrian refugees and host communities in Jordan, as 
well as a total of $2.25 billion in loan guarantees to help Jordan 
access international capital. If confirmed, I will advocate continued 
flexibility in responding to the evolving crisis, adjusting our own 
assistance priorities and diplomatic staffing as necessary. I also will 
continue to work closely with international donors and multilateral 
institutions to ensure a unified and coherent response that addresses 
Jordan's needs, while encouraging sensible reform to promote long-term 
economic sustainability and political stability.
    Second, as violent extremists expand their operations in Syria and 
the Anbar province of Iraq, our cooperative efforts with Jordan on 
regional security and counterterrorism take on increased importance. 
Jordan offers practical partnership, as well as an alternative vision 
of a modern, Muslim country. The U.S. is utilizing a full array of 
programs, including the transfer of Excess Defense Articles, to 
strengthen Jordan's capabilities. This includes completing the Jordan 
Border Security Program, which uses advanced surveillance technologies 
to safeguard Jordan's border with Syria and Iraq, while working to stop 
the flow of foreign fighters and the financial networks that support 
them. In turn, Jordan's highly skilled security forces are playing a 
leadership role in training counterparts throughout the Middle East 
region and in peacekeeping missions around the globe. If confirmed, I 
also will look for additional opportunities to amplify King Abdullah's 
``Amman Message'' of religious tolerance, as seen in Jordan's hosting 
of Pope Francis later this month, recognizing that interfaith dialogue 
and understanding are integral to repudiating the terrorist message and 
building tolerant, pluralistic societies across the region.
    Third, the U.S. has a deep stake in Jordan's successful 
modernization and supporting King Abdullah's public embrace of 
political and economic reform as a ``strategic choice.'' In Jordan, 70 
percent of the population is under the age of 30 and almost 40 percent 
under the age of 14. We support the King's vision of promoting well-
educated youth who can be an economic force multiplier. King Abdullah 
is in California today for meetings with U.S. investors and innovators 
to build greater economic ties and develop more jobs for the Jordanian 
people. To date, working with the International Monetary Fund, Jordan 
is successfully balancing competing demands, including the imperative 
of structural reforms that replace blanket subsidies with a targeted 
social safety net to alleviate popular discontent over fuel and 
electricity price hikes.
    We also support the reforms advanced by King Abdullah to promote 
greater transparency and dignity, including the establishment of a 
National Integrity Commission, a Constitutional Court, limits on the 
State Security Court, and parliamentary elections that were judged 
credible by international observers. As friends of Jordan, we need to 
encourage the full implementation of these home-grown initiatives to 
reinforce the relationship between economic and political reform. King 
Abdullah has noted publicly that ``for business to invest and expand 
with confidence, they need a predictable, level playing-field, 
transparency and accountability, the rule of law and a strong, stable 
foundation of inclusive political life,'' and we should encourage him 
to turn this vision into action.
    I am committed to reinforcing the collaborative and consultative 
approach the U.S. has taken to help Jordan, whether in reforming its 
political system and reforming subsidies, diversifying its energy 
sector, renovating water infrastructure, extending education and 
enhancing the role of women, promoting international competitiveness 
and improving government service. The 2009-2014 MOU that provides $360 
million in Economic Support Funds (ESF) and $300 million in Foreign 
Military Financing (FMF) annually has been integral to providing the 
predictability in assistance that Jordan needs to make strategic 
decisions and undertake difficult reforms. The President's announcement 
in February of our intention to renew our MOU reflects the strength of 
our strategic partnership and our ongoing commitment to help Jordan 
successfully navigate the challenges posed by the regional unrest and 
build a stronger economy. For instance, if Jordan continues to adhere 
to its bold program of subsidy reform and diversification of its energy 
resources, by 2017 it has the potential to emerge from this crisis 
period with billions of dollars in budget savings.
    Fourth, the United States relies on Jordan's continued support, as 
a partner and a stakeholder, to achieve a comprehensive final status 
peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians. Secretary Kerry 
appropriately called Jordan ``an essential partner for peace.'' As one 
of only two Arab States to sign a peace treaty with Israel, the host to 
2 million Palestinian refugees, and the traditional guardian of the 
Islamic holy shrines in Jerusalem, Jordan has a critical interest in 
any final status negotiations, as well as a role to play in any future 
security and border arrangement along the Jordan River. If confirmed, I 
will support continued engagement with Jordan on this important issue 
and seek to identify ways to enhance trade, environmental and other 
ties between Jordan and Israel, and Jordan and the West Bank, 
recognizing the historic role that initiatives like the Qualified 
Industrial Zones have played in forging linkages.
    Finally, if confirmed, I will dedicate myself to building and 
sustaining a diplomatic team that can advance these ambitious 
objectives, while working to ensure the safety and security of U.S. 
officials and the American community. The U.S. Embassy in Amman has 
grown substantially over the last 5 years, reflecting Jordan's regional 
importance and the Embassy's role in providing support for our mission 
in Iraq and our interests in Syria. Last year, Embassy Amman hosted 
over 15,000 official visitors, both U.S. and other nationalities, 
including--I'm glad to note--a total of 193 Members of Congress and 
staff. With the Embassy staffed to its physical capacity, choices will 
need to be made in prioritizing programs, as we anticipate the 
construction of a New Office Annex; similarly, we must remain nimble in 
responding to the evolving Syrian crisis. The safety and security of 
U.S. citizens and Embassy employees will always be the foremost 
priority, and I take the responsibility of managing risk seriously, 
recognizing the tension between security and engagement.
    Mr. Chairman, in the course of my quarter century of service as a 
Foreign Service officer, the world has changed dramatically. I entered 
the State Department with pretensions of being an expert on the Soviet 
Union, only to help open our first Embassy in the independent and 
sovereign state of Tajikistan 3 years later. As a junior officer in 
Saudi Arabia, I waited 3 days for local media to report on Saddam 
Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, but now wrestle with the immediacy of the 
24-hour news cycle and the imperative of social media. As Office 
Director for North Africa, I confronted the seeming permanence of 
Qadhafi, Ben Ali, and Mubarak's leadership, only later to see the 
frustration and despair of a street vendor in Tunisia ignite a wave of 
unprecedented political change in the Middle East. However, what has 
not changed is the importance of U.S. leadership, the power of our 
example, and the resources we bring to bear. If confirmed, it would be 
an honor to help the U.S. chart a course in Jordan at this critical 
time that promotes our shared values and our shared interests in a more 
peaceful and prosperous region.

    Senator Kaine. Thank you so much, Ms. Wells.
    Mr. Kelly.

 STATEMENT OF THOMAS P. KELLY III, OF CALIFORNIA, NOMINATED TO 
           BE AMBASSADOR TO THE REPUBLIC OF DJIBOUTI

    Mr. Kelly. Chairman Kaine, Senator Rubio, it is a great 
honor and privilege to appear before you today as President 
Obama's nominee to be the next Ambassador to the Republic of 
Djibouti. I am grateful for the confidence the President and 
Secretary of State have shown in nominating me to this position 
and for the support of Assistant Secretary for African Affairs 
Linda Thomas Greenfield. If confirmed, I look forward to 
working with this committee and the Congress to advance U.S. 
interests in Djibouti.
    Mr. Chairman, I am from a very big family. I do not think 
we can fit all of them in this room. But I do have a good 
representation here. I would like to introduce them. I am 
joined by my wife, Elsa Amaya-Kelly, my daughter, Chantal, my 
brother, Joe Kelly, my mother-in-law, Elsa Reyes de Amaya, my 
brother-in-law, Juan Carlos Amaya, my uncle, John Kelly, Aunt 
Mary Kelly, Uncle Chris Burns, Aunt Suzy Burns, Cousin Patrick 
Kelly, Cousin Michael Kelly, and Mike's wife, Karen. Again, 
that is just the tip of the iceberg. [Laughter.]
    Mr. Kelly. Mr. Chairman, during my 28-year Foreign Service 
career I have worked on a variety of issues that are relevant 
to my proposed post. I served for the first part of my career 
as an economics officer working on development issues around 
the world. I also have experience managing large diplomatic 
missions, most recently in Lithuania, Argentina, and Brazil.
    Over the last three years, I have had the privilege to lead 
the State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, 
where we worked to reinforce the global partnership between the 
State and Defense Departments for our Nation's benefit.
    Mr. Chairman, as you know, we share important interests and 
goals with Djibouti. The May 5 meeting between President Obama 
and Djiboutian President Guelleh reflected our desire to 
broaden our bilateral partnership, to work closely together to 
advance our shared vision for a secure, stable, and prosperous 
Horn of Africa.
    Djibouti hosts the only U.S. military forward operating 
site in sub-Saharan Africa. This is Camp Lemonnier, the 
headquarters of the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, 
where more than 4,000 U.S. military and contracted personnel 
are stationed. If confirmed, I will continue to expand 
coordination and cooperation between Embassy personnel and Camp 
Lemonnier and its tenant U.S. military commands.
    On the economic front, Mr. Chairman, making Djibouti an 
attractive place for investment is essential for its economic 
development. Djibouti remains very poor and less than 5 percent 
of its land is arable. The small USAID mission in Djibouti 
currently focuses on health and education, but we are expanding 
and deepening our focus areas following the President's May 5 
meetings.
    Additionally, Mr. Chairman, to help grow Djibouti's economy 
the United States has recently pledged to increase technical 
and financial assistance to the Djiboutian people and to 
further invest in Djibouti's development. If confirmed I will 
see that these programs remain a priority.
    Mr. Chairman, if confirmed I am also committed to working 
with Djibouti to strengthen democratic governance.
    If confirmed, I will underscore the importance of democracy 
and governance reforms, including greater space for media, 
opposition, and civil society groups.
    Finally, Mr. Chairman, if confirmed my highest priority 
will be the protection of Americans and U.S. interests, 
including mission personnel living and traveling in Djibouti.
    Mr. Chairman, if confirmed by the Senate I look forward to 
working closely with you and other members of the committee and 
would hope to welcome you during my tenure.
    Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Risch, and members of the 
committee, thank you again for the honor to appear before the 
committee today. I will be happy to take your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Kelly follows:]

                 Prepared Statement of Thomas P. Kelly

    Chairman Kaine, Ranking Member Risch, members of the committee, it 
is a great honor and privilege to appear before you today as President 
Obama's nominee to be the next Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti. 
I am grateful for the confidence the President and Secretary of State 
have shown by nominating me to this position, and for the support of 
Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield. If 
confirmed, I look forward to working with this committee and the 
Congress to advance U.S. interests in Djibouti.
    First, Mr. Chairman, let me acknowledge several family members here 
today. I am joined by my wife, Elsa Amaya-Kelly; my daughter, Chantal 
Kelly; my brother, Joe Kelly; my mother-in-law, Elsa Reyes de Amaya; my 
brother-in-law, Juan Carlos Amaya; my uncle, John Kelly; Aunt Mary 
Kelly; Uncle Chris Burns; Aunt Suzie Burns; Cousin Patrick Kelly; 
Cousin Michael Kelly; and Mike's wife, Karen Kelly.
    Mr. Chairman, please allow me to tell you about myself. During my 
28-year career, I have worked on a variety of issues that are relevant 
to my proposed post. I served for the first two-thirds of my career as 
an Economics Officer, working on development, trade, and finance issues 
around the world. I have extensive experience managing large diplomatic 
missions, serving as Deputy Chief of Mission in Vilnius, Lithuania, and 
Buenos Aires, Argentina, and as Principal Officer in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 
Over the last 3 years, I have had the privilege to lead the State 
Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs as Acting Assistant 
Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary. The Political-
Military Bureau works every day to reinforce the global partnership 
between the State and Defense Departments for the benefit of our 
Nation.
    Mr. Chairman, if confirmed, I look forward to leading Embassy 
Djibouti in advancing the interests of the United States. The U.S.-
Djibouti relationship is strong, and our two countries share a firm 
commitment to peace and security, countering terrorism and piracy in 
the region, and economic development.
    Mr. Chairman, as you know, we share important interests and goals 
with Djibouti. The May 5 meeting between President Obama and Djiboutian 
President Guelleh [GEHL-ay] reflected our desire to broaden our 
bilateral partnership to work closely together to advance our shared 
vision for a secure, stable, and prosperous Horn of Africa. Djibouti 
has a strategic position at the Bab-el-Mandab Strait, which joins the 
Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Approximately 60 percent of Djibouti's 
population is ethnic Somali, and the Government of Djibouti has 
undertaken considerable efforts to restore peace in neighboring 
Somalia, a nation whose instability threatens the stability of the 
region. Djibouti is a troop-contributing country to the African Union 
Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and the al-Shabaab terrorist group has 
launched fatal attacks against Djiboutian forces in Somalia. If 
confirmed, Mr. Chairman, I will continue to build our bilateral 
relationship and contribute to efforts with Djibouti and other partners 
to promote a stable and peaceful Somalia.
    Djibouti hosts the only U.S. military forward operating site in 
sub-Saharan Africa. This is Camp Lemonnier, the headquarters for the 
Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), where more than 
4,000 U.S. military and contracted personnel are stationed. If 
confirmed, I will continue to expand coordination and cooperation 
between Embassy personnel and Camp Lemonnier and its tenant U.S. 
military commands, including the CJTF-HOA contingent. If confirmed, I 
will also ensure that CJTF-HOA programming in Djibouti fits within the 
framework of U.S. Government priorities to advance our key interests.
    On the economic front, Mr. Chairman, Djibouti's Government has 
privatized the country's excellent deep-water port and airport, 
reducing corruption and increasing revenue flows. Making Djibouti an 
attractive place for investment is essential for its economic 
development. Djibouti remains very poor, ranked 165th out of 187 
countries on the UNDP Human Development Index. Less than 5 percent of 
its land is arable. The small USAID mission in Djibouti currently 
focuses on health and education but we are expanding and deepening our 
focus areas following the President's May 5 meetings. Mr. Chairman, to 
help grow Djibouti's economy, the United States has recently pledged to 
increase technical and financial assistance to the Djiboutian people 
and to further invest in Djibouti's development. Additionally, the 
United States responds to food insecurity through support for the 
Famine Early Warning Network office in Djibouti, as well as through 
U.S.-funded Food for Peace programs. If confirmed, I will see that 
these programs remain a priority.
    Mr. Chairman, if confirmed, I am also committed to working with 
Djibouti to strengthen democratic governance. Disputes over the 2013 
legislative elections fueled months of protests, and the government 
arrested hundreds of opposition supporters. If confirmed, I will 
underscore the importance of democracy and governance reforms, 
including greater space for media, opposition, and civil society 
groups.
    Finally, Mr. Chairman, if confirmed, my highest priority will be 
the protection of Americans and U.S. interests, including mission 
personnel, living and traveling in Djibouti.
    Mr. Chairman, I believe my prior experience in the Foreign Service 
has prepared me to serve as Ambassador to Djibouti. If confirmed by the 
Senate, I look forward to working closely with you and other members of 
the committee, and would hope to welcome you during my tenure.
    Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Risch, and members of the committee, 
thank you again for the honor to appear before the committee today. I 
would be happy to take any questions you may have.

    Senator Kaine. Thanks very much, Mr. Kelly.
    Ms. Butts.

 STATEMENT OF CASSANDRA Q. BUTTS, OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, 
 NOMINATED TO BE AMBASSADOR TO THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS

    Ms. Butts. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I thank 
you for the opportunity to appear before you today as President 
Obama's nominee to be the next Ambassador to the Commonwealth 
of The Bahamas. I am profoundly grateful for the honor that the 
President has bestowed upon me and for the confidence shown in 
me by Secretary Kerry as I look to take up this assignment if 
confirmed.
    Please allow me to introduce my family members who are here 
today. I am joined by my mother, Mae Karim; my aunt, Barbara 
Jordan; and my brother-in-law, Frank Abbott. My family's been a 
wellspring of support for me. I am here today because of their 
love and support and because of their dedication and because of 
their belief in me.
    I believe my experience as a lawyer and a policy adviser 
and my service to my country in the executive and legislative 
branches have well prepared me for the duties of Ambassador to 
the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Having worked on some of the 
major legal and policy issues of our time, including my most 
recent experience in international development at the 
Millennium Challenge Corporation, I have always sought 
solutions consistent with the values of our great Nation. I 
understand that leading with our values is the basis for 
finding lasting policy solutions and building strong 
partnerships at home and abroad.
    If the Senate were to confirm me, I would bring these 
experiences, grounded in my strong belief in equality, justice, 
and compassion, to the post of Ambassador to the Commonwealth 
of Bahamas. Through close political, economic, and cultural 
ties, the United States and The Bahamas have forged a strong 
bilateral relationship that has served both countries well. 
Bahamians regularly travel to the United States to visit 
friends and family and to conduct business, and approximately 6 
million U.S. citizens travel to The Bahamas annually.
    The proximity of The Bahamas to the United States 
inextricably links our countries' national security. Together 
we are confronting shared challenges, such as illicit 
trafficking, including in narcotics, arms, and people.
    If confirmed, my first and foremost priority will be to 
ensure the safety and security of U.S. citizens living in or 
visiting The Bahamas, as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands, 
which are included under Embassy Nassau's consular oversight.
    If confirmed, I will work closely with local authorities 
and U.S. law enforcement officials under chief of mission 
authority to lower crime rates and other illegal activities. 
Other priorities will include promoting greater economic ties 
and growth, including exploring ways to support the development 
and enforcement of stable, transparent regulations.
    We also want to encourage countries like The Bahamas to 
adopt cleaner technologies and build strong and resilient 
energy markets. These steps are important not only to provide a 
more secure and sustainable clean energy future, but also to 
further economic growth and limit the effects of greenhouse gas 
emissions. I will also seek to further gender equality and 
expand opportunities for disenfranchised youth.
    Expanding educational exchanges is one way, is one of the 
best ways to deepen the already existing cultural and 
historical ties between the United States and The Bahamas. At 
present approximately 1,600 students from The Bahamas study in 
the United States, and more than 750 students from the United 
States study in The Bahamas. If confirmed, I will seek to 
increase levels of educational exchange between our two 
countries, including through enhancing existing partnerships 
and building new ones.
    While geography and history have forged strong bonds 
between our countries, The Bahamas also maintains close 
relationships with many other countries. We do not see foreign 
economic and commercial links to The Bahamas as a threat to the 
U.S. interests. We believe that beneficial and sustainable 
international trade and investment must be carried out in 
adherence to international standards of transparency and good 
governance, while respecting local environmental standards and 
regulations.
    We should continue to focus our interests on the greater 
good of regional stability. The United States has not had an 
ambassador in Nassau for nearly 2\1/2\ years, but we have a 
strong U.S. Embassy staff in The Bahamas continuing the 
important work of the mission. If confirmed, I will work to 
further their good work and strengthen our already close and 
productive bilateral relationship.
    In closing, I am confident that I have the experience, the 
imagination, and the energy to lead our bilateral relationship 
with the people and the Government of The Bahamas. While at the 
Millennium Challenge Corporation, I have seen firsthand the 
important work carried out by our ambassadors and their teams 
as they engage and advocate for U.S. goals and objectives. If 
confirmed, I pledge to uphold the tradition and high standard 
of public service that ambassadors are expected to uphold.
    I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve my 
country.
    Again, thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee 
and I look forward to answering your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Butts follows:]

                Prepared Statement by Cassandra Q. Butts

    Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking Member, and members of the committee, 
thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today as President 
Obama's nominee to be the next Ambassador to the Commonwealth of The 
Bahamas. I am profoundly grateful for the honor that the President has 
bestowed upon me and for the confidence shown in me by Secretary Kerry 
as I look to take up this assignment, if confirmed.
    Please allow me to introduce the members of my family who are here 
today: my mother, Mae A. Karim; my aunt, Barbara Jordan; my brother-in-
law, Frank Abbott, and my nephews, Alston and Ethan Abbott. 
Unfortunately, my sister, Deidra Abbott, could not join us today 
because of a work-related commitment. My family has been a wellspring 
of support. I am here today because of their love and support and 
because of their dedication and belief in me.
    I believe my experience as a lawyer and policy advisor and my 
service to my country in the executive and legislative branches have 
well prepared me for the duties of Ambassador to the Commonwealth of 
The Bahamas. Having worked on some of the major legal and policy issues 
of our time, including my most recent experience in international 
development at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, I have always 
sought solutions consistent with the values of our great Nation. I 
understand that leading with our values is the basis for finding 
lasting policy solutions and building strong partnerships at home and 
abroad. If the Senate were to confirm me, I would bring these 
experiences, grounded in my strong belief in equality, justice, and 
compassion, to the post of Ambassador to the Commonwealth of The 
Bahamas.
    Through close political, economic, and cultural ties, the United 
States and The Bahamas have forged a strong bilateral relationship that 
has served both countries well. Bahamians regularly travel to the 
United States to visit friends and family and to conduct business. And 
approximately 6 million U.S. citizens travel to The Bahamas annually. 
The proximity of The Bahamas to the United States inextricably links 
our countries' national security. Together, we are confronting shared 
challenges such as illicit trafficking, including in narcotics, arms, 
and people.
    If confirmed, my first and foremost priority will be to ensure the 
safety and security of U.S. citizens living in or visiting The Bahamas, 
as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands, which are included under 
Embassy Nassau's consular oversight. If confirmed, I will work closely 
with local authorities and the U.S. law enforcement officials under 
Chief of Mission authority to lower crime rates and other illegal 
activities. Other priorities would include promoting greater economic 
ties and growth, including exploring ways to support the development 
and enforcement of stable and transparent regulations as well as 
improving the business environment through transparent procurement and 
investment procedures. We also want to encourage countries like The 
Bahamas to adopt cleaner technologies and build strong and resilient 
energy markets. These steps are important not only to provide a more 
secure and sustainable clean energy future, but also to further 
economic growth and limit the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. I 
will also seek to further gender equality and expand opportunities for 
disenfranchised youth.
    Expanding educational exchanges is one of the best ways to deepen 
the already existing cultural and historical ties between the United 
States and The Bahamas. At present, approximately 1,600 students from 
The Bahamas study in the United States, and more than 750 students from 
the United States study in The Bahamas. If confirmed, I will seek to 
increase levels of educational exchange between our two countries, 
including through enhancing existing partnerships and the building of 
new ones.
    While geography and history have forged strong bonds between our 
countries, The Bahamas also maintains close relations with many other 
nations. Historically, foreign investment in the Bahamian banking 
sector has been mainly by Europeans and Canadians. The key tourism and 
hospitality sectors have seen increases in American, European, and, 
more recently, Asian investment as the world economy continues to 
rebound. We do not see foreign economic and commercial links to The 
Bahamas as a threat to U.S. interests. We believe that beneficial and 
sustainable international trade and investment must be carried out in 
adherence to international standards of transparency and good 
governance, while respecting local environmental and labor regulations. 
We should continue to focus our interests on the greater good of 
regional stability.
    The United States has not had an ambassador in Nassau for nearly 
2\1/2\ years, but we have had a strong U.S. Embassy staff in the 
Bahamas continuing the important work of the mission. If confirmed, I 
will work to further their good work and strengthen our already close 
and productive bilateral relationship.
    In closing, I am confident that I have the experience, imagination, 
and energy to lead our bilateral relationship with the people and the 
Government of The Bahamas. While at the Millennium Challenge 
Corporation, I have seen firsthand the important work carried out by 
our ambassadors and their teams as they engage and advocate for U.S. 
goals and objectives. If confirmed, I pledge to uphold the tradition 
and high standard of public service that ambassadors are expected to 
uphold. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve my 
country.
    Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking Member, and members of the committee, 
thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. I welcome 
your questions.

    Senator Kaine. Thank you all for your opening statements.
    Senator Risch has declined to do an opening statement. He 
is just going to make his questions particularly hard. 
[Laughter.]
    Senator Kaine. We will have 6-minute rounds of questions.
    Senator Risch. The first one is for you, Mr. Chairman. 
[Laughter.]
    Senator Kaine. We will have 6-minute rounds of questions. 
If we do not get to you in round one, do not worry; I am 
planning on coming back and making sure, because I have a 
number of questions for all of you.
    But I will just begin with Ms. Alexander. USAID, in my 
travels as a member of this subcommittee I have really been 
impressed with the work of USAID in Jordan, with the work that 
USAID is doing in--I was recently in the West Bank and 
interacted with some of the Palestinian businesses that have 
been working together with USAID, and also was aware of USAID's 
good work being done in Egypt, but was not able to personally 
visit that work.
    So this is very important work that is going on. USAID--in 
Egypt we were not able to visit because of security concerns. I 
just wonder if you would sort of offer some thoughts there. We 
are wrestling with complex issues here with regard to Egypt, 
levels of support, et cetera. Egypt has a significant 
counterterrorism threat that is a very real one that we need to 
provide help with. At the same time, there has been a tendency 
of concern to many of us to label opponents terrorists when 
they are really just opponents in the sense that you would 
expect there to be different points of view.
    What can USAID do in the sort of democracy-building area 
that would be appropriate in Egypt, to just use that as an 
example for other nations in the region?
    Ms. Alexander. Sure. Thank you, Senator Kaine. I think 
USAID's programs have always been broadly designed to address 
the needs of the citizens and the governments as they support 
their own citizens' needs. In Egypt in particular, it is a 
difficult situation. In many of these countries it is very 
fluid throughout the Middle East, and we are looking to 
reorient our programs in places where we can not work with the 
governments directly on infrastructure or building capacity. We 
have started looking more closely at economic growth, the 
opportunities of the private sector.
    In a lot of these situations we have had the opportunity to 
look at sectors such as--you mentioned the technology sector, 
but agriculture and tourism, as a real area for job employment 
and job growth. The linkage between economic growth and 
democracy and governance can not be lost. It is very 
difficult--and I have seen this through the transitions in 
Eastern Europe. It is very difficult to have democracy and 
governance take hold and make these transitions work if you 
have an economy that is tanking.
    So in every way possible, AID looks to orient its program 
to make sure we are addressing the needs of the people and 
being sure to bring these countries through the transition in a 
way that the economic growth and the democracy rights and 
governance are synergistic.
    Senator Kaine. A bright spot, I think it could be a bright 
spot, and one for us to pay some close attention to is Tunisia 
in the aftermath of constitutional reforms. If you could talk a 
little bit about USAID activity currently in Tunisia and what 
are some things that we can do to hopefully encourage a 
continued--the success of these recent constitutional reforms, 
the creation of a government that respects religious 
minorities, respects the rights of women, but within the Muslim 
cultural context of that country?
    Ms. Alexander. Sure. Tunisia is a bright spot for us. The 
interagency has actually quite a good division of labor between 
what the State Department programs are working on and what AID 
is working on. As we move forward in Tunisia, we have the 
Enterprise Fund and activities that we will plan to be doing 
through them, again to invest in the economy, and also to be 
looking at the democracy and governance work, both with gender 
equality programs and the dialogues that need to happen within 
Tunisia to make sure that this transition holds.
    We really--a lot of our work right now at AID is focused on 
the global development alliances that we have in Tunisia with 
HP, with UNIDO, and with the Italians on the multilateral side, 
because I think that this is a world issue. People are looking 
at these countries and recognizing that together we can be 
helpful, but we have to make sure that we are listening to the 
people of Tunisia and we are doing what they request.
    Senator Kaine. One other question that I think is a 
complicating fact and I am wondering how USAID would approach 
it is, in my visit to Israel and to the West Bank the USAID 
work with Palestinian entrepreneurs on the West Bank was very, 
very notable, and USAID has a great reputation for that work. 
The recent announcement that West Bank PLO authorities are 
working to find a unification with Hamas in Gaza is problematic 
because USAID and we do not have working relationships with 
Hamas because of its status as a terrorist organization.
    How would you at USAID intend to carry on the ongoing work 
that has been positive in the West Bank under this scenario and 
what would your approach be to these unification issues?
    Ms. Alexander. USAID has a two-track approach in West Bank-
Gaza. One is the budget support that we are working with the 
Palestinian authorities on and the other is the project 
activities that we are doing, and that includes institution 
building. So to the extent that those programs continue, we 
have high-impact, microinfrastructure programs that have begun, 
and this is part of the peace process and the need to make sure 
that these negotiations continue, because at the end of the day 
that really is going to be the solution, a two-state solution.
    As far as the announcement on the unity government, I think 
we have seen this before and we are going to watch carefully 
and see what ends up happening at the end of the day. We will 
adjust our programs as necessary, but we need to see how this 
plays out, because at this point it is not set in stone.
    Senator Kaine. Thank you, Ms. Alexander. I will say the 
Foreign Relations Committee recently had an opportunity to meet 
with Foreign Minister Liberman of Israel to talk about these 
very issues. While expressing a lot of challenges and 
skepticism about current developments, when we explored the 
reality of the need for these peace negotiations he stated very 
plainly that there really is not a solution other than a two-
state solution. How we get there and the timing and the 
circumstances is going to be very, very difficult. But, much as 
you indicated in your answer, he was very, very plain about 
that.
    Senator Risch.
    Senator Risch. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Ms. Alexander, Americans are the most caring, 
compassionate, humanitarian people on the face of this planet. 
You will lead the agency that is really the flagship agency of 
that caring relationship that Americans have with other human 
beings on this planet. I am always amazed at what USAID does.
    I think the challenge for you is to convince Americans that 
they are doing this and that they are doing a good job doing 
this and that they are doing a good job doing this, and that we 
should feel good about what we are doing in that regard. What 
USAID does I find to be under the radar as far as Americans are 
concerned, and yet around the world USAID is regarded so highly 
because of the humanitarian work that they do. So we wish you 
well and have every confidence you will do a good job.
    Ms. Wells, your challenge is a little different. You are 
going to one of the countries that is certainly one of our 
friends in the Middle East. The King comes here regularly and 
meets with us. We have such a good friend in the King. Indeed, 
if everyone had, every country in the Middle East, had a leader 
like King Abdullah, the Middle East would have an entirely 
different complexion than it does today.
    I have every confidence that you will carry America's 
feelings in that regard. I would just say that it has been 
printed and, although we cannot talk completely about it in an 
open setting, but it has been printed at least in the media 
that there is considerable Jordanian cooperation going on with 
Israel regarding counterterrorism work. I would hope that you 
would encourage the two agencies to continue that work. 
Certainly Jordan needs that with the challenges they have and 
the kind of immigration that they have had.
    So with that, I would kind of like to hear your thoughts as 
far as the relationship with Jordan and Israel?
    Ms. Wells. Thank you, Senator. Jordan continues to be a 
leader on the Middle East peace process, both by being only the 
second Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel, but also 
by King Abdullah's public and frequent exhortations for the 
region and for the process to move forward. He describes peace 
as a basic right and a practical need, and he himself has 
championed the Arab peace initiative as well as worked very 
closely with Secretary Kerry over the last year in terms of the 
framework negotiations.
    I think what is important about Jordan, irreplaceable 
really, is how it leads by example, as you mentioned. The fact 
that Jordanian officials sit down pragmatically with Israeli 
counterparts to discuss the holy sites in Jerusalem, water, 
environment, trade, security, the fact that security officials 
have appropriate relationships with one another, is all 
extremely important.
    As we look ahead, we see new institutional relationships 
forming, including over energy security and how Israel and 
Jordan may be able to cooperate in the future on less expensive 
Mediterranean gas. We see very practical cooperation by King 
Abdullah in building Palestinian institutions, including the 
training of 5,600 Palestinian Presidential guards and national 
security officials.
    So I think that, even though sometimes among the Jordanian 
public support can be tepid for the peace treaty, the kind of 
leadership we see from King Abdullah is really what we need to 
see more of in the region. Certainly if I were confirmed I 
would work to encourage that level of practical daily 
cooperation.
    Senator Risch. Well said. I think that probably that is one 
of the--again, something that is not stressed enough, and that 
is what a success story it is, the relationship between Jordan 
and Israel, and the fact that Jordan leads by example. I think 
it makes it a lot easier for other Arab countries to deal with 
Israel when they see how well this relationship has worked 
between Jordan and Israel.
    So I am sure that as you work with them you will carry our 
message that this is a really, really good thing and we want to 
see it continue. I know the King has expressed to us over and 
over again that he wants that relationship with Israel and 
would like to see all his Arab brothers have the same kind of a 
relationship with Israel.
    So thank you very much and thank all of you for your 
service to the United States.
    Senator Kaine. Senator Rubio.
    Senator Rubio. Thank you.
    Thank you all for coming here. Congratulations to you and 
your family, and thank you for your offer to serve the country. 
For those that are already serving, thank you for that.
    My first question is for you, Ms. Alexander. I wanted to 
ask you a little bit about the recent announcement of a unity 
government by the Palestinian Authority. Is it your position 
that this new government as announced as you understand it 
complies with or satisfies U.S. conditions on aid to the PA?
    Ms. Alexander. For starters, thank you, Senator Rubio. 
Hamas is a terrorist organization and we cannot work with 
Hamas. As far as the discussion about the unity government, at 
this point we are waiting to see what ends up forming. We have 
seen this before and we really have to wait and see how the 
process works at this point.
    Senator Rubio. So obviously then we are waiting to see what 
it looks like. But is it safe to say in your opinion that Hamas 
has not adequately recognized the Jewish State of Israel's 
right to exist and has not adequately accepted all provisions--
or all previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements?
    Ms. Alexander. Yes, Hamas as currently configured has not.
    Senator Rubio. Can you confirm in your consultations with 
the agency that you are about to head that there will be an 
immediate cutoff of relevant U.S. assistance unless there is a 
full compliance with the letter and the spirit of all the 
provisions in the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act?
    Ms. Alexander. I can speak only to what I know at this 
point, which is the law. And as the law stands we would not be 
able to apply assistance to that government.
    Senator Rubio. Thank you.
    Ms. Wells, let me ask you about Jordan for a moment. I 
think you have touched upon it in your statement, but I wanted 
to talk briefly about the reform efforts that are occurring 
within Jordan. Obviously, there is a situation where on the one 
hand there is the need, I think as recognized by the 
government, to create more political opening, more space, for 
all voices to be heard within Jordanian political society. On 
the other hand, there is the need to provide stability.
    We have seen what has happened around the world when these 
changes are not adequately managed during a pace that is 
sustainable. In fact, it creates a space for tremendous 
instability.
    How would you assess the pace and the status of those 
reform efforts as being undertaken in Jordan today by the 
kingdom?
    Ms. Wells. Thank you. Since King Abdullah came to power in 
1999, he has launched a variety of political and economic 
initiatives. He would be the first to say he was not satisfied 
with the progress he had been able to achieve. I think what we 
have seen recently is how the confluence of events have made 
difficult choices much more possible. The fact that you had the 
Arab Spring, you had the cutoff of the inexpensive Egyptian 
gas, and you have the Syrian crisis next door reinforces the 
imperative for getting ahead of public demands for change, as 
well as being able to respond to what was an unbearable 
economic pressure being placed on the government.
    So I think we see in three broad areas substantial and 
noteworthy efforts at reform. On the political side, the King 
has relaunched a public dialogue on reform. He has led an 
effort to amend one-third of the constitution. He has created a 
constitutional court, an Independent Electoral Commission, he 
has held successful parliamentary elections in January 2013 
which outside observers deemed as credible. He has also taken 
steps to shrink the jurisdiction of the state security courts, 
and we welcome those initiatives.
    On the economic side, we see the same kind of forward-
leaning approach. His negotiation of a standby arrangement with 
the IMF allows Jordan to establish a glide path for removing 
subsidies that are simply unsustainable. He has eliminated fuel 
subsidies in 2012 and the electricity company by 2017 will be 
in a position to have full cost recovery. This is essential 
when electricity deficits were eating up 6 percent of GDP.
    So we are trying to support that. We are working with other 
donors to support that. It is a critical step and Jordan would 
be a leader in the region if it achieves those two reforms.
    Then just the final element is energy diversification. This 
is--when they lost the inexpensive Egyptian natural gas after 
20 attacks on the pipeline, their energy costs went up to 21 
percent of GDP, again unsustainable. So we have worked with 
Jordan and Jordan has been very forward-leaning in seeking to 
find less expensive fuels, including through the American 
company that works with Israel, establishing an LNG terminal, 
working to expand the mix of solar and wind.
    So I think right now as friends of Jordan we need to 
encourage that approach.
    Senator Rubio. Just one more point I wanted to raise. When 
we have had this debate here about what to do in Syria, some 
ask why should we even care about it. One of the arguments I 
have made, of course, is that our relationship and the 
cooperation that we get from the King and the Jordanian 
Government are extraordinary. It is a very important 
relationship in the region. It is one of the cornerstones of 
our Middle Eastern policy.
    You would agree, I think you have already in your statement 
here today, that the events going on in Syria pose a direct 
threat to the kingdom, to their ability to continue to be of 
assistance to us, given the potential that that has to spill 
over into their own territory if not managed appropriately. So 
would you agree that as we view the Syrian conflict we should 
view it partially through the context of what it would mean to 
our allies in Jordan?
    Ms. Wells. I agree entirely, Senator. I think from Jordan's 
perspective Syria is an existential threat. So if you look at 
our strategy in responding to the crisis, we have moved very 
aggressively both to provide the humanitarian assistance and 
economic aid that Jordan needs to weather this and weather the 
influx of refugees.
    At the same time, we have a very aggressive program of mil-
mil cooperation, bolstering Jordan's border security, 
increasing our own bilateral and multilateral training, trying 
to build the capacity, including through the targeting of 
foreign fighters, so a broad-based approach to address both the 
security element as well as the economic element.
    Senator Rubio. Mr. Chairman, I know I am out of time. Can I 
ask one brief question on The Bahamas?
    Senator Kaine. Yes.
    Senator Rubio. Ms. Butts, thanks for being here. 
Congratulations. I wish you the best on your assignment. It is 
a part of the country that is very--a part of the world that is 
very close to my part of the country in Florida.
    I did want to ask you, however. There have been reports, 
and I have seen the videos of some of this, of how Cuban 
refugees have been forcefully repatriated back to Cuba by the 
Bahamian Government. We have reached out to their government. 
They dispute some of those assertions. Nonetheless, we remain 
very concerned about it.
    I would just want to encourage you to work with the 
Bahamian authorities to ensure that not just Cuban refugees, as 
well as other refugees, including Haitian refugees and others, 
are treated appropriately and humanely if in fact they wind up 
on Bahamian territory. I think it is something that if people 
saw some of the images that have been put out there of how some 
of them have been treated by these authorities, they would be 
very concerned.
    Again, we understand the realities of addressing something 
like this, the costs associated with it. But I would hope that 
you would use your office and our Embassy to speak out in favor 
of any vulnerable peoples that may find themselves on their 
territory. I would encourage you to use your position there to 
be an advocate for that.
    Ms. Butts. Thank you, Senator Rubio. I appreciate that 
encouragement. It is certainly something that is very important 
to me. It is one of the policy issues that was most attractive 
about the role in The Bahamas. I have worked on migration 
issues before. Actually, I worked on migration issues on the 
Hill both on the Senate side and on the House side.
    I have not seen the images. I have certainly heard about 
some of the allegations with regard to how Cuban refugees have 
been treated, migrants have been treated in The Bahamas. As I 
understand it, our State Department has had a number of 
conversations with the Bahamians. It will be one of my 
priorities to ensure that all migrants are treated humanely, 
and I am happy to, if I am confirmed, to have a chance to come 
back to you, Senator, and to your staff and keep you up to date 
on the issues.
    Again, it is an issue of great importance to me too. Thank 
you.
    Senator Rubio. Let me just close by saying to all the 
nominees that I have not been here very long, about 3\1/2\ 
years, but in my short time I have learned that when the 
committee is not fully manned here with all the members it is 
usually a good sign for your nominations. So I wish you all the 
best.
    Senator Kaine. Thank you both.
    A question about embassy security that I really want to 
address both to Ms. Wells and Mr. Kelly. One of my first 
hearings as a member of the committee was a hearing to examine 
the Accountability Review Board recommendations in the 
aftermath of the analysis post-Benghazi. Those recommendations 
are significant and numerous, but I think all who were 
reviewing the recommendations find the ones that they kind of 
most lock on, and the ones that I really locked onto were sort 
of the embassy security challenges.
    In the time since then, we have augmented the Marine 
security guard training program at Quantico to expand the 
Marine presence at a number of high-threat embassies. The State 
Department has recently announced moving forward with a FASTC, 
Foreign Assistance State Training Center, that is a long-
desired effort to augment security training for embassy 
personnel. There are other issues concerning the hiring of the 
in-country security firms or individuals to assist.
    These are issues that I am really passionate about. I just 
wonder, for both, especially Ms. Wells and Mr. Kelly, if you 
could talk a little about how you intend to tackle the 
challenge of keeping your folks safe and secure as you take on 
posts in a neighborhood of the world that can be pretty 
challenging?
    Mr. Kelly. Thank you very much for your question, Senator 
Kaine. There is no more important issue for a chief of mission 
than taking care of your people. It is something that I have 
lived personally in my own career. My first assignment was in 
El Salvador during the civil war. We lost many embassy 
colleagues during my tour there, the years before and after.
    In my second tour, in Chile, I survived a terrorist attack 
against a embassy-related softball team, where a terrorist 
group put a bomb in a softball bat and killed one of my 
teammates and injured some of my embassy colleagues.
    So this is an issue that the Foreign Service has been 
dealing with for many, many years. So it is something that I am 
going to be very focused on as the chief of mission. Now, we 
have perhaps an advantageous situation in Djibouti because 2 
miles from the Embassy we have more than 4,000 U.S. military 
personnel and contractors. So I think that our security is in 
pretty good shape. We have a very robust presence by diplomatic 
security agents in the Embassy. We also have an almost brand 
new Embassy compound, which really provides state of the art 
security conditions for our personnel.
    But I think the most important thing that a chief of 
mission can do is inculcate a culture of security throughout 
the mission, and that is something that will be important to me 
every day.
    Just another point about the environment that we are 
operating in now. Another very important aspect of our 
bilateral relationship with Djibouti is, because our Djiboutian 
partners provide us with a platform to have a forward military 
location in Djibouti, that gives us access to a lot of 
neighboring countries that are potentially more vulnerable than 
we are. Our forces operating out of Djibouti were already 
fairly recently able to go into Juba in South Sudan to provide 
much-needed security reinforcement to our mission there, and 
that enabled our mission to stay open.
    So it is an issue that is very important and it is 
something that will be on my mind every single day.
    Senator Kaine. Thank you, Mr. Kelly.
    Ms. Wells.
    Ms. Wells. Like Tom, I have also experienced the 
instability that can take place, whether it was in Tajikistan 
being evacuated or from Pakistan or the political tensions 
escalating between India and Pakistan and the effect it has on 
Foreign Service families and the broader American community. 
Security would be my number one concern in Amman. It is a 
family posting. There are 760 official Americans and their 
family members under chief of mission authority. Given the 
history of events, the assassination of our USAID officer back 
in 2002, attacks on hotels in Jordan in 2005, and just the 
general events in the region, it is impossible to take security 
for granted.
    One of the very first things I would do at post would be to 
walk the wire with the regional security officer to understand 
what our strengths and weaknesses are, to go outside the 
embassy to look at schools and our housing complexes, to have a 
sense of how the unofficial American community, which numbers 
40,000, what challenges they face.
    Thankfully, we have a very capable partner with the 
Jordanians, who provide excellent security support to us. The 
Embassy is well staffed to oversee our security programs. But 
this has to be a preoccupation in this day and age.
    Senator Kaine. Thank you.
    Ms. Butts, a question about one of the major areas of 
cooperation between the United States and The Bahamas is in the 
antidrug effort. I know that The Bahamas has been a good 
partner. There is a regional initiative including The Bahamas 
and the Turks and Caicos, that they have been significant 
players in.
    We recently in Armed Services had testimony by General 
Kelly, the head of SOUTHCOM, who basically was talking about 
the effect of sequester on drug interdiction efforts by our 
Nation. He said: ``I watch about 75 percent of drugs coming 
into the United States just go by because I do not have the 
resources that I would need to stop them.'' And he estimated 
that if he did he would make a huge reduction in the amount of 
drugs that come into the United States.
    Talk a bit--we have to resolve these budgetary issues, but 
what are some opportunities as you look ahead for the United 
States and The Bahamas to be even better partners on this 
significant challenge that we face?
    Ms. Butts. Thank you for your question, Senator Kaine. 
Certainly the focus of counternarcotics is a large focus of the 
bilateral relationship with The Bahamas. As you mentioned, 
Senator, we have the Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, which 
the acronym is ``OPBAT,'' which has been going on since 1982. 
It is a partnership effort with The Bahamas which focuses on 
gathering intelligence, which focuses on cooperating in 
investigations, but also focuses on executing interdictions.
    We have seen success since 1982 and we are continuing to 
see success. Actually, just this past year we have seen an 
increase, a significant increase actually, in the drugs that we 
have been able to seize through that operation.
    In addition to that, under the Obama administration we 
actually now have the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative that 
actually started in 2010. Over the 4-year period we have 
invested $263 million. What is interesting about CBSI, Senator, 
is that actually it is a regionwide initiative. Where OPBAT is 
focused on The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and the United 
States, CBSI is focused on the entire Caribbean. One of the 
things that the President wanted to do was to show that you 
have to have a regionwide focus if we are going to be 
successful.
    So I would say to you, Senator, in addition to the very 
important joint efforts that we are doing through OPBAT, that 
we have got to look at the region as a whole in ensuring that 
we are doing the right level of cooperation, that we are doing 
the right level of coordination. I think that the President has 
started that out with the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, 
and I hope that we are able to continue that.
    Actually, one of the advantages that The Bahamas has in the 
region is that The Bahamas--we have the Southern Command, 
obviously, Senator, but The Bahamas is actually organized 
through the Northern Command. So we have the Northern Command 
resources, just talking about resources that we can bring to 
bear to the effort. So we have the Northern Command resources, 
but we are the beneficiaries of the efforts going on through 
the Southern Command.
    Certainly there is a recognition that we never have as much 
in terms of resources that we want. But with some of the 
rethinking and reallocation of resources as a result of pulling 
out of Iraq and winding down in Afghanistan, with actually hope 
that there will be some additional resources that might be able 
to come the way of The Bahamas and of the Caribbean so that we 
can continue what has been a very strong effort on 
counternarcotics and counterterrorism efforts.
    Senator Kaine. That is one other concern that I know many 
have, is whether offshore banks in The Bahamas are at all being 
utilized by criminal networks, whether those are networks that 
are primarily focused on narcotic activity or other criminal 
activity. What is the current status of any activity or 
cooperation between the United States and The Bahamas to try to 
specify the existence of that problem and hopefully deal with 
it?
    Ms. Wells. There has been a good deal of cooperation, 
Senator, over the years. Certainly The Bahamians understand the 
importance of ensuring that their financial services 
institutions are not being used in ways that are illicit. They 
have put regulations and reforms in place to address that. So 
we have some confidence moving forward now and moving forward 
that the financial services--that the industry in The Bahamas 
is not trafficking in finances from illegal activities. So we 
have confidence they have done a very good job. We work jointly 
with them in ensuring to provide the support that they need so 
that they can get their system in place.
    So I think we feel confident. There could always be more 
done and as the chief of mission in Nassau I certainly want to 
work and coordinate with the Bahamians to ensure that they can 
continue to do the good work that they are doing.
    Senator Kaine. Great. Thank you.
    Mr. Kelly, one of the things that is interesting, I find 
interesting, about Djibouti is the degree of foreign military 
presence. The United States only sort of permanent enduring 
military facility in southern Africa, and in addition there is 
a Japanese military presence and a French military presence and 
also the international antipiracy efforts focusing on the Gulf 
of Aden are headquartered in Djibouti.
    Given your immediate past billet at the State Department, 
you would seem to be just exactly the right person to help 
manage that. I know those are primarily mil-to-mil 
relationships, but talk a little bit about the relationship 
that you would have as Ambassador in not only interacting with 
the AFRICOM Joint Command, Horn of Africa Joint Command, but 
also with the other U.S. allies that have military presence in 
Djibouti?
    Mr. Kelly. Thank you very much for your question, Mr. 
Chairman. What I have been doing the last 3 years at the 
Political-Military Bureau is working every day to try to make 
sure that State Department and Department of Defense are 
working around the world in sync. We have taken a lot of steps 
to try to work more efficiently in that regard, including 
embedding each other's personnel in the other's agency. We now 
have more than 90 Foreign Service officers working in different 
military commands and we have doubled the number of uniformed 
officers over the last couple of years who are working at the 
State Department.
    We have that kind of model that is already functioning in 
Djibouti. At the CJTF-HOA there is a Senior Foreign Service 
officer who works as the adviser to the base commander, and 
then there is also a military liaison officer who works at the 
Embassy.
    It would be my responsibility as chief of mission to make 
sure that every day we are working together as efficiently as 
possible, to make sure that our coordinated efforts are 
advancing all of the very significant interests that we have in 
Djibouti. As you said, Mr. Senator, we have very considerable 
security interests there. Djibouti provides us with a platform 
that we just do not have anywhere else in the entire continent, 
and it gives us very important strategic access to places like 
Yemen, which is a country that is plagued by the most active 
al-Qaeda affiliate in the world right now, as well as al-Shabab 
in Somalia. So the stakes are indeed very high.
    We will also be coordinating with the other military forces 
that are there, as you mentioned. Camp Lemonnier used to be the 
overseas base for the French Foreign Legion.
    The Foreign Legion is no longer there, but there are still 
2,000 regular French troops who are stationed in Djibouti. They 
are very active. The only Japanese, significant Japanese 
military presence outside of Japan is at Camp Lemonnier as 
well.
    There is presence by several other foreign military forces, 
especially navies that are focused on the counterpiracy mission 
that you described. That is going to be an important part of my 
job as well and I am looking forward to it.
    Thank you.
    Senator Kaine. Talk a little bit--Senator Durbin is 
particularly interested in development issues in Djibouti and I 
wanted to just ask. In the recent meeting between President 
Obama and President Guelleh, talk a little bit about economic 
issues that came up and what you see as some economic 
opportunities for the United States to interact and assist in 
the development of this economy. As you point out, only a small 
percentage of the land is arable land. There are some 
significant challenges there. How can we through USAID or other 
strategies be helpful?
    Mr. Kelly. Thank you very much, Senator. I am a development 
economist by training, so I believe very strongly that our 
strategic partnerships have to be underpinned by partners who 
govern democratically and openly and who are presiding over 
prosperous economies. So I think that it is very important that 
we spend a lot of time making sure that we are bringing all our 
development assistance resources to bear to make sure that 
Djibouti continues to grow.
    Djibouti faces a number of development challenges. Besides 
the fact that they basically have to import all of their food, 
they also face real energy problems. There are blackouts that 
last for much of the day. Half of the country does not even 
have access to electricity. There is a very high rate of 
unemployment, the estimate is about 60 percent of the 
population, and young Djiboutians, 20 to 24, the unemployment 
rate is probably above 80 percent.
    So we need to continue our traditional development focus on 
basic health and primary education, but I think we have to do 
more than that. During the May 5 conversation that the 
President had with the Djiboutian President, we made a 
commitment to move into other areas that are very important for 
Djibouti's development.
    In the first instance, we are going to work actively in 
workforce development to try to help Djiboutian authorities 
develop the skills of the Djiboutian workforce in a way that is 
relevant to the private sector. Then in the energy sector we 
are going to work with other donors, including the World Bank, 
to try to develop Djibouti's considerable geothermal resources 
to provide them with some national source of energy that can 
provide them with a more constant source of power, which in 
turn I think can help them to attract more private investment, 
especially more foreign investment.
    Djibouti has very ambitious development plans. We think 
that they have a good vision, but they are going to need help 
from us and from other donors to get it right, to put in force 
the right regulatory framework. I am looking forward, as 
somebody who has worked on development for many years, to do 
that.
    Senator Kaine. Excellent.
    Ms. Wells, I wanted to ask a similar question about some 
sort of economic issues, and maybe especially given Jordan--the 
degree to which the Syrian refugees really stress an economy 
that already has a lot of stresses. Jordan is one of the most 
water-poor countries in the world. The number of Syrian 
refugees coming into Jordan taxes a system that is already 
very, very challenged.
    I believe that most now see these refugees, not as a short-
term presence, but a longer term presence. So some of the 
strategies that you might use to deal with the refugee 
population that might just be there for a short period of 
time--it now becomes more of a development issue, building 
water systems rather than providing bottled water, just to use 
an example.
    If I am correct about that, that the refugees are not 
likely to be returning to Syria any time soon, what are some 
strategies that we should be looking at in tandem with the 
Jordanian Government to make sure that the number of refugees 
does not overly tax this economy that can be fairly fragile?
    Ms. Wells. Thank you. I think the first is to step back and 
to do as you have, which is to recognize the extraordinary 
burden and the extraordinary generosity that the Jordanians are 
displaying in hosting the Syrian community, 80 to 85 percent of 
whom are living in host communities. The Jordanians have opened 
their schools to Syrian children. They have opened their 
hospitals to Syrian refugees. In the north we are seeing 
schools running double shifts, 80 kids to a class. Hospitals 
are at full capacity and in some instances running out of 
medicine.
    It obviously places a strong burden on the water 
infrastructure, with Jordan being--I think there are only three 
countries in the world that have less accessible water than 
Jordan. So I think the response has to be two-part: one, 
continuing to respond appropriately to the crisis conditions 
that Jordan faces; but two, to be nimble in our response and to 
reprogram and to redeploy assistance as appropriate, which we 
have begun to do, whether it is by using moneys to renovate and 
build new schools, directing more moneys to municipal water 
sources, taking advantage of existing programs, such as the 
Millennium Challenge Corporation's $275 million 5-year project 
to expand water and waste water efficiency, which will touch 
the lives of three million Jordanians.
    So I think in terms of how our aid program is structured 
for Jordan, we are doing the right things. We are really 
focused on the resilience that Jordan needs in water, 
education, sanitation, and health, but to constantly be 
reassessing what is the burden that is being placed on Jordan 
and are we responding appropriately.
    Our tools do not have to be limited just to assistance. We 
have a lot of other economic tools at our disposal. We have 
support for the multilateral programs, like IMF that I have 
mentioned, coordination with the World Bank and other key 
donors to make sure we have a consistent and appropriate 
response. We have a slew of trade mechanisms. Jordan has one of 
the most open economies in the Middle East, and we can use the 
free trade agreement, the qualified industrial zones, our 
bilateral investment treaty, to make sure that we as we build 
the private sector are also encouraging and helping Jordan 
achieve the increased growth that it needs.
    Then I think energy diversification, so keeping Jordan 
focused on its own long-term economic sustainability and 
modernization.
    Mr. Kelly. The Jordanian-American Chamber of Commerce paid 
a visit to us recently here and is very interested in expanding 
their ties with American technology and other firms. That is 
something that I know many of us are interested in working with 
them on.
    The last question I will ask you is about the status of 
political reforms that are under way in Jordan. Jordan has done 
a fairly good job of managing different constituencies that in 
other nations have been harder to manage. The Muslim 
Brotherhood is a sort of loyal opposition to the monarchy in 
Jordan and have been treated as a loyal opposition, not 
marginalized to a degree where they would then seek to engage--
not shut out of legitimate political opportunities so that they 
feel like to be heard they have to carry out illegitimate 
opportunity.
    But talk about sort of ongoing political reform efforts in 
Jordan and how those are affected by other challenges like the 
Syrian refugee challenge?
    Ms. Alexander. As I mentioned in an earlier answer, there 
are a variety of political reform initiatives that King 
Abdullah has taken up in the last 3 years. One of the very 
important reform initiatives is to take steps to increase the 
presence and strength of political parties. Jordan is a tribal 
country, a tribal society, along with a significant Palestinian 
population. But the Parliament has not reflected, has not 
really been based on parties. It has been based on tribal 
leaders and individuals with standing in the community, with 
one of the sole parties that has a coherent ideology being the 
Islamic Action Front.
    So if you look back at Jordan's elections, until the 
Islamic Action Front began to boycott the elections they were 
the single most important party. So some of the reforms that 
have been taken recently have been to give Jordan simply one 
man, two votes. You can place one vote, which people presume 
will go to somebody in your community or a tribal leader, but a 
second vote is for a national list. We see this as a very 
positive development and beginning to encourage the formation 
of other parties.
    I agree with your assessment that King Abdullah has ably 
managed the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood. They are a 
legitimate, as he puts it, part of the Jordanian social fabric. 
They have been around since the 1940s, recognized by the 
government. They became a political party in 1992. They never 
established a militant wing and they have never called for the 
overthrow of the Hashemite monarchy.
    So to create a culture where there is consensus, where 
there is give and take, where all of these parties participate 
in the elections, I think is a goal. If you look at the 
parliamentary elections that took place in January 2013, they 
were judged by many outside observers as being both credible 
and an improvement on previous elections.
    So again, as friends of Jordan I think we want to continue 
to encourage those kinds of forward-leaning reforms.
    Senator Kaine. You mentioned a comment that I just want to 
underline, which was a comment about the generosity of 
Jordanians, Turks, Lebanon in particular in dealing with Syrian 
refugees. The scope of it is just staggering. I know the 
figures best probably in Lebanon because of my recent visit 
there, but the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon is now the 
equivalent of one out of four Lebanon native population. And 
they have arrived within a space of about three years.
    So if you were to think in the United States, if we 
suddenly had 75 million war refugees show up over a 3-year 
period, you got to look yourself in the mirror and say, would 
we be as generous? I bring that point up because sometimes we 
think of this region as a region of troubles and strife and 
folks doing horrible things and a lot of atrocities, and there 
certainly are. We also need to think of it as a region where 
neighbors do some pretty incredible things.
    And the Governments of Turkey and Jordan and Lebanon are 
pretty different. They are all stressed in their own way, some 
resource, some with leadership challenges. And yet in each of 
these nations there has been an extraordinary degree of 
sacrifice really, to run double shifts in schools, to in a 
water-poor nation provide water for refugees.
    Now, the United States is the single largest funder of 
assistance to Syrian refugees who have fled borders to other 
countries, and that is something that we can do and we should 
do and hopefully we can do more. But it is important to shine a 
spotlight on what Jordan and again Lebanon and Turkey 
especially are doing in the midst of this very difficult 
situation. I am glad you brought that up.
    I want to thank you all for this, for the hearing today, 
for your willingness to serve, and your forthright and 
thoughtful answers.
    I will leave the hearing open officially. If any members of 
the committee desire to submit questions in writing, I will 
leave the record open until Thursday at 5 o'clock for those 
questions to be submitted, and if they are I will trust that 
you will respond as promptly as you reasonably can.
    With that, the hearing is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 4:42 p.m. the hearing was adjourned.]
                              ----------                              


       Additional Questions and Answers Submitted for the Record


                Response of Alice G. Wells to Question 
                  Submitted by Senator Robert Menendez

    Question. The pressures from the Syrian humanitarian crisis on the 
Government of Jordan and many sectors of its society remain enormous. 
On April 3, 2014, the Senate passed S. Res. 384, calling on the 
President to develop and submit to Congress a comprehensive strategy to 
address the Syrian humanitarian crisis. The strategy is to be submitted 
within 90 days of the resolution's passage, or by early July.

   If confirmed, what are your objectives for the strategy, 
        and what is the status of the administration's progress in 
        developing and completing it?

    Answer. The U.S. Government's Syria policy is guided by six 
overarching interests--countering violent extremism and preventing the 
growth of terrorist safe havens, avoiding the collapse of the Syrian 
state, preventing the transfer or use of chemical weapons, supporting 
Syria's neighbors, alleviating the humanitarian suffering, and 
fostering a political transition.
    The United States is taking steps to ensure that our humanitarian 
and development efforts across the region complement and reinforce 
those of our partners, neighboring countries, international 
humanitarian organizations, and other donors. Of the roughly $1.7 
billion in humanitarian assistance that the United States is providing 
to respond to the crisis in Syria, more than $268 million is 
distributed through international organizations and nongovernmental 
organizations operating in Jordan (Migration and Refugee Assistance, 
International Disaster Assistance, and Food for Peace (Title II) 
funding).
    Our funding and programs are geared to support both immediate needs 
and longer term programming. To the maximum extent possible, we seek to 
have governments and civil society take ownership of programs with 
continued and robust international support. The United States has been 
supporting the United Nations efforts to develop a Comprehensive 
Regional Strategic Framework (CRSF). The goal of the CRSF, which was 
just released on May 8, is to coordinate humanitarian, development, and 
macrofiscal interventions to meet immediate protection and assistance 
needs; build the resilience of households, communities and systems; 
strengthen host-country leadership; and support regional stability. We 
support the U.N.'s effort to build coherence between traditional 
humanitarian and development responses through the CRSF. Donor 
coordination tools such as the CRSF and the National Resilience Plan/
Host Community Support Platform in Jordan are useful for making the 
best use of limited U.S. Government resources during a time of budget 
constraints and several large-scale crises occurring at one time.
    Jordan has an important role to play in identifying the areas where 
we can best help them, and we will actively seek Jordan's counsel. With 
regard to Jordan, my primary role will be to focus on the interests 
that facilitate its security and assist Jordan in its efforts to help 
alleviate the humanitarian suffering.
    Our policies for the specific objectives of alleviating the 
humanitarian suffering and supporting Jordan's security are well 
developed, and I would seek to build on them. They include continuing 
robust humanitarian and economic assistance for Jordan, furthering the 
Jordan Border Security Project, pursuing and capitalizing on 
opportunities for military training exercises like Eager Lion, 
continuing and developing contingency planning and defensive assets in 
Jordan, increasing cooperation on countering the flow of foreign 
fighters, and, in light of the extraordinary refugee flows into Jordan, 
continuing and expanding our extensive cooperation to provide cross-
border humanitarian assistance and nonlethal assistance.
                                 ______
                                 

                Response of Alice G. Wells to Question 
                    Submitted by Senator Bob Corker

    Question. In FY 2012, Jordan received $20 million in USAID 
sustainable WASH funding, which is nearly 5 percent of USAID's total 
sustainable WASH budget. The 2013 Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act's 
Report to Congress states that in FY 2012 ``more than 1.7 million 
people in Jordan received improved water service through USAID-funded 
construction of pumping stations and water conveyance systems. An 
additional 8,750 plus people now receive improved access to drinking 
water.

   Since Jordan has 96 percent access to safe water, can you 
        please describe what specific communities USAID WASH funds 
        currently target?
   What populations are represented in the 1.7 million and 
        8,750 figures, and what is the definition of ``improved water 
        service'' versus ``now receive improved access'' used in the 
        annual report to Congress?
   What proportion of WASH funds are supporting Syrian 
        refugees and what kind of WASH programs are being directed to 
        assistance Syrian refugees?
   If confirmed, what do you believe are the United States 
        Government's priorities for WASH funding in Jordan? And how can 
        these funds be leveraged to bring first time access to safe 
        water and sanitation to poor and vulnerable communities?

    Answer. Jordan has access to safe water because of its piping 
network, but this does not mean that the pipes are always full of 
water. In fact, Jordan's water distribution system is by and large 
discontinuous and rationed. In the northern governorates, water comes 
only once every 2 weeks for a few hours at a time, so households are 
largely dependent on water stored in cisterns and tanks. On average, 
the wastewater network is much less widespread, with approximately 65 
percent of coverage across the country.
    The ``1.7 million population'' refers to those served by the Zaatri 
pump station and the 48 km-long Zatari-Hofa pipeline, which will serve 
the 1.7 million residents of Jordan's four northern governorates, 
Ajloun, Irbid, Mafraq, and Jerash. We are uncertain to what the 
statement ``an additional 8,750-plus people now receive improved access 
to drinking water''; refers to, however, the impact of our projects in 
improving access to drinking water in the north alone would account for 
far broader access to drinking water than that figure: A 20-percent 
immediate increase in access was anticipated at the startup of the 
Zaatri pump station, which would amount to approximately 340,000 people 
receiving improved access to drinking water for this project alone.
    The Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and 
Migration (PRM), manages the U.S. assistance to Syrian refugees in 
Jordanian refugee camps, and USAID directs its assistance to Jordanians 
and Syrians living in Jordanian host communities. It is estimated that 
85 percent of Syrian refugees are living outside of the refugee camps. 
UNHCR and other relief organizations are keeping comprehensive records 
and maps detailing percentages of Syrian refugees residing in host 
communities throughout Jordan, and USAID Mission Amman is currently 
working to develop ways to better quantify the benefits of our water, 
sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs for Syrian refugees receiving 
this assistance. Considering that water pipelines and wastewater 
treatment plants benefit all people in Jordan, including Syrians, we 
can conclude that our assistance is benefiting millions of people.
    There are many things Jordan can do to improve water resource 
management. There is a great need for Jordan to continue improving 
water policies, tighten up its water system by reducing leaks and 
theft, and increasing its ability to recover its costs by improved 
billing procedures. Our USAID mission can help by supporting the 
Jordanian utility companies, such as the Yarmouk Water Company, in a 
similar manner that we helped the Aqaba Water Company and will soon be 
engaging Miyahuna, the Water Utility for Amman. The Ministry of Water 
and Irrigation has been asked to increase water tariffs and recover 
more costs as a condition of loan guarantees from the U.S. They also 
need to continue to find ways to decrease water use in the agricultural 
sector and better protect their aquifers, while dealing with the high 
concentration of Syrian refugees living with no access to wastewater 
treatment networks, particularly in the north of the country, where 
wastewater network coverage represents only 35-40 percent of 
households.

 
   NOMINATIONS OF MARK SOBEL, SUNIL SABHARWAL, MATTHEW McGUIRE, AND 
                            MILEYDI GUILARTE

                              ----------                              


                        WEDNESDAY, MAY 14, 2014

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
                              ----------                              

Mark Sobel, of Virginia, to be United States Executive Director 
        of the International Monetary Fund for a term of two 
        years
Sunil Sabharwal, of California, to be United States Alternate 
        Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund 
        for a term of two years
Matthew T. McGuire, of the District of Columbia, to be United 
        States Executive Director of the International Bank for 
        Reconstruction and Development for a term of two years
Mileydi Guilarte, of the District of Columbia, to be United 
        States Alternate Director of the Inter-American 
        Development Bank
                              ----------                              

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m., in room 
SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Robert Menendez 
(chairman of the committee) presiding.
    Present: Senators Menendez, Murphy, Corker, and McCain.

          OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. ROBERT MENENDEZ, 
                  U.S SENATOR FROM NEW JERSEY

    The Chairman. Good morning. This hearing will come to 
order.
    Today we have four well-qualified nominees for the 
committee's consideration. These nominees, if confirmed, will 
represent the United States in the International Monetary Fund, 
the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and 
the Inter-American Development Bank, three essential 
international institutions tasked with international 
macroeconomic stability, poverty alleviation, and economic 
development.
    Every Presidential administration since Harry Truman's has 
valued the work of international financial institutions. Most 
have sought to strengthen them and bolster their capability to 
reduce poverty and increase economic development. President 
Eisenhower said they assist the world's poorest in their 
struggle for ``freedom from grinding poverty.''
    But then, as now, they are also instrumental in keeping 
America prosperous and secure. It is in our clear interest to 
support the global and regional institutions that promote 
global financial stability, sound fiscal policies, open 
markets, good governance, and help alleviate poverty. And, in 
the decades after World War II, they helped keep the peace.
    That said, recent efforts to undermine U.S. participation 
in these institutions in my view is not the answer, and is a 
direct threat to U.S. global leadership of an international 
economic system that we largely built.
    Do they need reform? Yes. As the world economy evolves, so 
must these organizations, and the three international financial 
institutions we will hear about today are all in the process of 
reform. I look forward to hearing our nominees' thoughts on the 
progress being made in reforming these organizations, and what 
each of them intends to do to continue the reform process.
    Our first panel will focus exclusively on the IMF. Six 
weeks ago, this committee approved a Ukrainian bill that 
included important governance and quota reforms that IMF 
members agreed to in 2010 in recognition of the key role the 
IMF played in stabilizing Ukraine's economy, but also because 
we believed it was time for the United States to ratify reforms 
that would reinforce the IMF as the first-responder to 
international financial emergencies.
    At the end of the day, supporting the IMF has not been a 
partisan issue. Presidents Reagan, Clinton, and both Presidents 
Bush backed legislation to increase IMF resources, and 
President Reagan called the IMF ``the linchpin of the 
international financial system.''
    In fact, during our debate on the Ukraine bill, I quoted 
from a letter to House and Senate leadership from members of 
the Bretton Woods committee who argued--and I quote--
``implementing the IMF quota reforms bolsters our leadership in 
the Fund and provides the United States with leverage to 
continue to preserve our national security and economic 
interests abroad.'' So I look forward to hearing from our first 
panel why they believe the IMF as an institution, and the 2010 
reforms in particular are critical to continued U.S. global 
economic leadership.
    We welcome all of our nominees and their family members and 
friends. We also encourage nominees to introduce family members 
so we can also acknowledge them for their support and shared 
sacrifice in this process.
    With that, let me recognize the distinguished ranking 
member, Senator Corker.

             OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. BOB CORKER, 
                  U.S. SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE

    Senator Corker. Mr. Chairman, thank you for calling the 
hearing and to the two of you for your public service in the 
roles that you now play and hopefully will play in the future.
    I appreciate the opportunity, as you mentioned, to examine 
the roles of these three entities, the IMF, the World Bank, and 
IDB.
    I want to share the chairman's comments and concerns 
regarding the IMF. I too wish that we had been able to pass the 
IMF reforms that actually began--I had a good conversation 
yesterday with Mr. Sobel. But these IMF reforms began early in 
the Bush administration, and somehow things have been 
conflated, if you will, recently and people have forgotten the 
origin of these and have tried to use the fact that these 
reforms are continuing to be pushed by this administration as 
if this is something new.
    But I do think it is very important for us to have the kind 
of reforms put in place at the IMF that have been discussed. 
The IMF continues to be a viable entity. I think that we do a 
very poor job here of explaining to people back home that when 
you have a population of 4.5 percent of the world and yet you 
share in 22 percent of the world's gross domestic product, it 
is very important--more important--to our citizens maybe than 
any other that the world is stable and that we have the 
opportunity to continue to grow economically, and we do a 
really, really bad job of that, I think, on this committee but, 
candidly, in the Senate and as Federal officials in general.
    So I appreciate you being here. I do think there are some 
challenges when you look at the World Bank and just other 
sources of loans. I want to talk a little bit about that.
    But, Mr. Chairman, I just want to close with this. I know 
that the IMF legislation that we looked at was a part of a 
Ukraine bill, and I appreciate the way we have done so many 
things together in a bipartisan way.
    I will have to tell you that it is very frustrating to get 
up every morning and to read the newspapers and to see what 
Russia is doing inside Ukraine. For Russia to be making 
statements that they have moved troops away--and we know that 
they have not--for them to continue to foment problems inside 
the country as we sort of race--it is almost a game of chicken 
between now and May 25 when the election takes place. It does 
not appear that we are doing anything. It looks like Putin is 
doing a whole lot. And it is very disturbing to me to know that 
we are in a position as a nation, where we are unwilling to 
prevent the kind of behavior that Russia is putting forth. And 
I know that many people on both sides of the aisle share those 
same frustrations.
    But thank you for the hearing today, and I look forward to 
the witnesses' testimony and I look forward to working with the 
chairman as we move along to try to put the IMF reforms in 
place at some point so that, again, we have an institution that 
is healthy and is able to--even though mistakes were made 
during the European crisis--and I am sure it will come up today 
or at least in written questions. Mistakes were made. Having an 
entity like this that helps usher in economic stability in 
countries where that does not exist is a good thing. So thank 
you for the hearing.
    The Chairman. Well, thank you, Senator Corker, and thank 
you for your work with us on the IMF as part of the Ukraine 
package and your observations about it, with which we totally 
agree, and hopefully we can get there at some point in this 
process.
    With that, let me introduce our first panel today: Mark 
Sobel, nominated to be U.S. Executive Director of the IMF; and 
Sunil Sabharwal, to be alternative U.S. Executive Director to 
the IMF.
    Mr. Sobel has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the 
Treasury for International Monetary and Financial Policy, 
Senior Advisor to the U.S. Executive Director of the IMF, and 
Director of the Office of International Monetary Policy, as 
well as other senior positions at Treasury.
    Mr. Sabharwal began his career at the European Bank for 
Reconstruction and Development. He has worked in international 
payment systems in both the United States and Europe and has 
held senior positions at First Data Corporation, Western Union, 
and GE Capital.
    Thank you both for your willingness to serve.
    Let me just say for the record that your full statements 
will be included in the record, without objection, in their 
entirety. We ask you to summarize them in about 5 minutes or 
so, so that we can enter into a Q&A session. And again, if you 
have family members here, please feel free to introduce them.
    Mr. Sobel.

   STATEMENT OF MARK SOBEL, OF VIRGINIA, TO BE UNITED STATES 
  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND FOR A 
                       TERM OF TWO YEARS

    Mr. Sobel. Thank you, Chairman Menendez, Ranking Member 
Corker, and members of the committee. I am honored that 
President Obama nominated me to serve as Executive Director of 
the United States to the International Monetary Fund, and I am 
grateful to Secretary Geithner, Secretary Lew, and former Under 
Secretary Lael Brainard for supporting me.
    I am delighted to be joined today by my wife, Martha 
Halperin.
    Working with talented Treasury colleagues and senior 
officials in administrations from both parties, I have had the 
rare privilege of holding a front row seat in the making of 
American history for over three decades. As you noted, I have 
served as an Assistant Financial Attache in Bonn, Germany; 
Director of the Treasury's International Monetary Policy and 
Transition Economy Offices; worked in the staff of the U.S. IMF 
Executive Director; and since 2000, as Deputy Assistant 
Secretary for International Monetary and Financial Policy. In 
recent years, I have been proud to play a role in America's 
leadership in establishing the G20 Leaders process and 
reforming the IMF.
    Seventy years ago, as our brave soldiers fought in World 
War II to liberate the global from tyranny and dictatorship, 
our Nation's financial diplomats took the lead in creating a 
new vision for international economic cooperation. Their vision 
shunned protectionism and beggar-thy-neighbor currency 
policies, forces that helped catalyze the war, and instead 
trumpeted multilateralism and shared prosperity. At the center 
of that vision, they created the IMF.
    Since its inception, the Fund has well served the world 
economy and U.S. national security and economic interests, 
whether it be