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Corker Convenes Nomination Hearing for Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today delivered the following remarks during a hearing on the nomination of Ambassador David Hale to serve as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

“Today we will consider the nomination of Ambassador David Hale to serve our country as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs at the State Department.

“We welcome you and thank you for your service to our country for many, many years.

“Ambassador Hale currently serves as our ambassador to Pakistan and has previously served in that capacity in Lebanon and in Jordan.

“He is a career member of the Foreign Service and brings with him to this position over three decades of experience as a career Foreign Service officer—the majority of which has been spent in the Middle East.

“Beyond his general diplomatic and policy expertise, for which he is widely respected, he has extensive management experience through serving as chief of mission at various diplomatic posts abroad. That background is invaluable for anyone assuming this position.

“The Under Secretary for Political Affairs, or ‘P’, is the number three person at the department after the Deputy Secretary of State.

“The P under secretary also serves as crisis manager for the department and serves as an advisor to the secretary for all major personnel decisions, department policies, and interagency communication.

“In addition to those duties, the P under secretary oversees all of the geographic bureaus in the department, as well as the bureau for international organizations, and must therefore manage our financial and personnel resources between the bureaus themselves and our diplomatic footprint around the globe.

“In the past, it has often seemed that the under secretaries for political affairs and management would make these decisions together without much of a methodology and very little transparency.

“It is my belief that the department would benefit from a methodology that allows decision makers to assess the costs and benefits of allocations, while also providing more transparency so that Congress can adequately exercise its oversight role.

“I want to thank you, again, for your willingness to serve, and just on a personal note, to have someone who is coming up from within the department to be in this position, for someone who cares about institutions and building institutions that will last, it’s heartening to me that someone from within is coming in this position.

“My guess is with some of the turmoil that we have had within the State Department, it also is something that, really, the many members of the foreign service that have committed their lives to foreign service, I’m sure are cheering you on today.”

Click here for complete testimony and video footage from the hearing.