On Monday, March 27, 2023, U.S. President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Richard H. Riley, to be the new US Ambassador to Somalia.
Richard H. Riley, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada.
Richard H. Riley IV will replace Ambassador Larry E. André, who is currently retired from the post.
Ambassador Larry, who was not ideal for U.S.-Somaliland ties, today tweeted an angry farewell tweet describing a frank conversation he had with the president of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi.
“Somaliland President Bihi has the power to create distance between forces in Las Anod and announce a roadmap for future elections. During a frank conversation with him this afternoon, I encouraged him to do both,” Ambassador André said in his tweet.
#Somaliland President Bihi has the power to create distance between forces in Lascanood & announce a roadmap for future elections. During a frank conversation with him this afternoon, I encouraged him to do both. – Ambassador André
— U.S. Embassy Mogadishu, Somalia (@US2SOMALIA) March 29, 2023
Read the full statement of Biden’s key nominees by the White House
President Biden Announces Key Nominees
WASHINGTON – On Monday, March 27, 2023, U.S. President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve as key leaders in his administration:
- Mark Christopher Toner, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Liberia
- Richard H. Riley, IV, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Federal Republic of Somalia
- Douglas Dziak, Nominee for Member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission
Mark Christopher Toner, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Liberia
Mark Christopher Toner, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as the Minister Counselor for Public Diplomacy at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France. Previously, Toner was a Senior Advisor at the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe and a Senior Faculty Advisor at the National Defense University.
Earlier, Toner held positions as the State Department’s Deputy Spokesperson, Acting Spokesperson, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of European Affairs. He has also served as the Director of Press Operations in the Bureau of Public Affairs and Director of Press and Public Affairs in the Bureau of European Affairs.
Toner was also a Spokesperson at the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels, Belgium. Prior to joining the State Department, Toner served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia, West Africa. He earned his Bachelor’s from the University of Notre Dame and his Master’s from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C. He speaks French and Polish.
Richard H. Riley, IV, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Federal Republic of Somalia
Richard H. Riley, IV is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor. He currently serves as Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada. Previously, Riley was the Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar, Pakistan.
He has also served in senior leadership assignments such as Charge d’Affaires, ad interim, and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo, Norway, Assistant Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a, Yemen, and Senior Civilian Representative (Team Leader) at the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Nangahar Province, Afghanistan.
Earlier, he was Deputy Director of the Office of Egypt and Levant Affairs at the Department of State, Senior Coordinator for Democracy and Human Rights at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, and Deputy Team Leader of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Dhi Qar (Nassiriyah), Iraq. Riley has also served in London, England, Moscow, Russia, Beijing, and Chengdu, China, as well as Kingston, Jamaica.
Douglas Dziak, Nominee for Member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission
Douglas Dziak is currently Chief Counsel to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Commissioner Peter A. Feldman and has spent almost a decade in public service. In this current role, Dziak’s work covers a broad range of issues including consumer safety policy, legal, budget, and oversight to advance Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) safety mission to protect the public from the unreasonable risks of injury and death from consumer products.
Prior to joining CPSC, Dziak served as Staff Director and General Counsel on the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget. Prior to this, Dziak served as Legislative Director for Senators Michael B. Enzi (R-WY) and George V. Voinovich (R-OH). He also served as General Counsel on Senator Voinovich’s subcommittee on the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Dziak’s private sector experience includes working as a regulatory attorney for several large law firms, beginning his career as an antitrust attorney. While in private practice, Dziak, on a pro bono basis, advised the William and Mary Law School Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic as well as The National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium. Dziak received his B.A. in Economics and English and an M.A. in Economics from Ohio University, as well as his J.D. from the College of William and Mary Law School. He lives in Virginia with his wife and their two rescue dogs.
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