Obama Nominates Hill, Eikenberry for Posts
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 12, 2009 President Barack Obama nominated Christopher R. Hill as ambassador to Iraq and Army Lt. Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry to serve as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan yesterday.
The nominations require Senate confirmation.
“I am honored and grateful that these dedicated public servants have agreed to join my administration as we work to tackle the great challenges of our time,” the president said in written statement issued by the White House. “These extraordinarily accomplished individuals have served their country with great distinction, and they have each agreed to take on tough assignments.”
Hill is currently the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and has been instrumental in leading the U.S. delegation to the Six-Party Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue. He also has served as ambassador to the Republic of Korea, ambassador to Poland, ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia and special envoy to Kosovo. Hill also has served on the National Security Council.
Eikenberry is currently the deputy chairman of the NATO military committee in Brussels, Belgium. His previous assignment was commander of the Combined Forces Command Afghanistan. He has served with mechanized, light, airborne and ranger infantry units in the continental United States, Hawaii, Korea and Italy.
Obama also nominated Alexander Vershbow to serve as assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs and Ivo Daalder to serve as the U.S. permanent representative on the NATO council.
Vershbow served as ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 2005 to 2008, capping a 32-year career with the U.S. Foreign Service. He is a long-time expert on Russia, East-West relations, nonproliferation and European security affairs. From 2001 to 2005, he was U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation. From 1998 to 2001, he was the U.S. ambassador to NATO. From 1994 to 1997, Vershbow served as special assistant to President Bill Clinton and senior director for European Affairs at the National Security Council.
Daalder is currently a senior fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution, and a well-known expert on American foreign policy, European security, and national security affairs. He advised candidate Obama and served on the transition team. During the Clinton administration he was a director for European Affairs on the National Security Council staff from 1995 to 1997, where he was responsible for coordinating U.S. policy toward Bosnia.