The Cable

Names and short takes

P.J. Crowley was confirmed as assistant secretary of state for public affairs, spokesman Ian Kelly announced at the State Department briefing today. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) has put a hold on the Senate vote for Jeffrey Feltman to become assistant secretary of State for near eastern affairs, Hill sources said. Feltman, a former U.S. ambassador ...

P.J. Crowley was confirmed as assistant secretary of state for public affairs, spokesman Ian Kelly announced at the State Department briefing today. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) has put a hold on the Senate vote for Jeffrey Feltman to become assistant secretary of State for near eastern affairs, Hill sources said. Feltman, a former U.S. ambassador to Lebanon who has been serving as the acting assistant secretary for NEA, is currently flying back from Lebanon on Air Force 2 with Vice President Joseph Biden. Levin’s office told The Cable that he had asked for a few more days to seek clarification on some matters before the Senate takes up the nomination.

Gregory Michaelidis will become director of speechwriting for the Department of Homeland Security. A historian of immigration by training who has been serving as a director of research and speechwriting in the office of the president at the University at Buffalo, Michaelidis has spent the last 10 years communicating about complex policy initiatives across a range of domains: national security, immigration, domestic policy.  He worked on Europe issues for the Obama campaign, and previously was a foreign policy researcher at the Brookings Institution.

Oil industry consultant David Goldwyn is reportedly being considered for a top State Department post, including that of international energy coordinator. Goldwyn is a former George H.W. Bush and Clinton-era State Department official, and a former assistant secretary of energy for international affairs and advisor to Clinton’s Energy Secretary and later US ambassador to the UN Bill Richardson. He is a "top official at the U.S.-Turkmenistan Business Council," Harpers reports. "He also heads up the U.S.-Libya Business Association, an oil-endowed entity helping promote Colonel Muammar Gaddafi." He didn’t immediately respond to a query.

The National Security Network’s policy director Ilan Goldenberg has been hired as a special advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East issues, Colin Kahl, the Washington Independent first reported and The Cable confirmed. Goldenberg will focus on Israel, Palestine and Iran issues in the DoD policy shop.

Samuel International’s Chris Nelson has reported in The Nelson Report that Silicon Valley attorney John Roos will be Obama’s pick to be U.S. ambassador to Japan. The administration has not formally announced the pick. Roos, CEO of Palo Alto law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, was a top Obama fundraiser.

U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration will travel to China, Qatar, the United Kingdom and France from May 23 to June 1, State Department spokesman Kelly said in a statement. "Gration will travel to Beijing to meet senior Chinese government officials, including the Chinese Representative for Darfur Liu Guijin. The Special Envoy will then travel to Doha to participate in a meeting of Sudan Special Envoys … to align positions on the Darfur peace process under the leadership of United Nations-African Union Joint Chief Mediator Bassolé.

"From Doha Special Envoy Gration will go to London, where he will meet senior British officials, reconvene the Sudan Troika … and participate in a meeting of the Sudan Contact Group," Kelly said. Finally, "Gration will travel to Paris, where he will meet senior French officials and will encourage Sudan Liberation Army faction leader Abdul Wahid al-Nur to join the Darfur peace process."

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