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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, Jul 16, 2004, 1:00 am ET

    State Department personnel changes bring new faces to US-Ukraine affairs
    By E. Morgan Williams

    John F. Tefft served as Director of the Office of Northern European Affairs from 1992 to 1994, Deputy Director of the Office of Soviet Union (later Russian and CIS) Affairs from 1989 to 1992 and Counselor for Political-Military Affairs at the US Embassy in Rome from 1986 to 1989. His other foreign assignments included Budapest and Jerusalem, as well as service on the US Delegation to the START arms control negotiations in 1985.


    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ambassador John F. Tefft has been appointed U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR). His appointment was effective on July 6, 2004. He has been a career member of the Foreign Service since 1972 specializing in European affairs.

    Ambassador Steven K. Pifer, the previous Deputy Assistant Secretary and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, completed his assignment in early July. For several years Ambassador Pifer has been one of the top experts in the U.S. government regarding Ukrainian issues.

    In his new position Ambassador Tefft supervises the offices in the State Department's European Bureau responsible for U.S. bilateral relations with Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, and Belarus, as well as the office of Policy and Regional Affairs, which coordinates non-proliferation, security assistance export control and other issues throughout the European Bureau.

    Tefft most recently served as International Affairs Advisor (Deputy Commandant) at the National War College in Washington, D.C. From 2000 to 2003 he was U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania.

    Leaders of the Baltic community in Washington speak very highly of John Tefft's service while U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania. They say he handled several difficult issues very successfully and assisted Lithuania in making the right decisions in some tough, key areas.

    Tefft served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow from 1996-1999, and was Charge d'affaires at the Embassy from November 1996 -September 1997.

    Mark Taplin has been serving as the Director for Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus in the European and Eurasia office under Ambassador Pifer. Mark previously served in the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. His assignment will be completed in late summer. Karen Stewart will become the new Director. Her previous assignment was Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at the U.S. Embassy in Minsk, Belarus.

    Julie Nutter has been the Deputy Director and Senior Ukraine Desk Officer in the Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus office. Julie's assignment will be completed at the end of this week. Marcus Micheli will assume this position. Marcus has been serving in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. His previous assignments included a tour at the Embassy in Kyiv.

    Peter Higgins, Ukraine Desk Officer (economic issues) and Dr. Paul Carter, Ukraine Desk Officer (political issues) will continue in their positions at the Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus office.

    Another one of the top U.S. State Department experts regarding Ukraine has moved to a new assignment, Carlos Pascual, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, has just left the position of U.S. Assistance Coordinator in the Europe/Eurasia Bureau (EUR) and has been appointed to a new, high- level State Department position dealing with fragile and post-conflict states.

    Ambassador Pascual's deputy, Tom Adams, has now become the new U.S. Assistance Coordinator in the Europe/Eurasia Bureau. Also in that office Milan Sturgis has assumed the position previously held by Mike Scanlan as special advisor for democracy issues.

    The members of the Action Ukraine Coalition give a very special word of thanks to Ambassador Steven K. Pifer, Ambassador Carlos Pascual, Mark Taplin, Julie Nutter, and Mike Scanlan for their outstanding work and service regarding Ukrainian matters over the past few years. We wish them the best possible success in their new responsibilities.

    This report was published in the Action Ukraine Report on July 15, 2004.

    E. Morgan Williams is the Executive Director of the Ukrainian Federation of America (UFA), a member organization of the Action Ukraine Coalition.

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