- The Washington Times - Monday, January 9, 2006

NEW YORK — The White House has announced its intention to nominate three ambassadors to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, filling key positions that have been vacant for nearly a year.

Mark D. Wallace, the former national deputy campaign manager for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign, will be nominated to oversee management and reform issues at the United Nations. The Florida native has been running government relations for law firm Akerman Senterfitt and has worked in immigration and customs for the Department of Homeland Security.

The Bush administration also has named Jackie Wolcott Sanders, now a disarmament and nonproliferation specialist at the U.S. Mission in Geneva, to be political adviser here. A longtime employee of the federal government, Mrs. Sanders has served in the State Department’s International Organizations Bureau and has held several positions relating to national security on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

Richard T. Miller, a seasoned foreign service officer, will be nominated to oversee economic and social affairs for the U.S. Mission. He is deputy assistant secretary of state for economic and global issues in the State Department’s Bureau for International Organizations. Before that, he was the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in New Zealand, where he blew the whistle on improper gifts accepted by Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun.

The nominations must be confirmed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Officials said they could not predict when the three could arrive in New York.

The U.S. Mission has been without an ambassador-ranked administration and budget specialist since February. The political and economic/social portfolios have been vacant for nearly as long.

U.S. Ambassador John R. Bolton, who arrived in August nearly six months after his predecessor departed, yesterday declined to say why it had taken so long to fill the posts. Despite holding the rank of ambassador, each reports to Mr. Bolton.

“We need help, and we need the full capital of ambassadors here,” said Bolton spokesman Richard Grenell.

The past year has been busy for U.S. interests at the United Nations, with member states grappling with efforts to streamline and modernize the 60-year-old organization, peacekeeping missions expanding to an unprecedented $4 billion a year and political trouble intensifying from Sudan to North Korea to Iran to Syria.

Diplomats from foreign missions who routinely deal with the United States generally have praised the lower-level specialists and officials, but envoys and U.N. officials noted that the organization runs on rank and it has been difficult for Washington to make its points as effectively with so many vacancies at the top of the U.S. Mission.

“It has been especially painful not to have anyone in the management chair during all these reform negotiations,” said one senior U.N. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

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