[Senate Hearing 112-399]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]




                                                        S. Hrg. 112-399
 
            NOMINATIONS OF THE 112TH CONGRESS--FIRST SESSION

=======================================================================

                                HEARINGS



                               BEFORE THE



                     COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
                          UNITED STATES SENATE



                      ONE HUNDRED TWELFTH CONGRESS



                             FIRST SESSION



                               ----------                              

                   MARCH 16 THROUGH DECEMBER 8, 2011

                               ----------                              



       Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations


      Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/












                                                        S. Hrg. 112-399

            NOMINATIONS OF THE 112TH CONGRESS--FIRST SESSION

=======================================================================

                                HEARINGS



                               BEFORE THE



                     COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
                          UNITED STATES SENATE



                      ONE HUNDRED TWELFTH CONGRESS



                             FIRST SESSION



                               __________

                   MARCH 16 THROUGH DECEMBER 8, 2011

                               __________



       Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations







      Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/



                                _____

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                COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS          
                112th CONGRESS--FIRST SESSION          

             JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts, Chairman        
BARBARA BOXER, California            RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey          BOB CORKER, Tennessee
BENJAMIN L. CARDIN, Maryland         JAMES E. RISCH, Idaho
ROBERT P. CASEY, Jr., Pennsylvania   MARCO RUBIO, Florida
JIM WEBB, Virginia                   JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma
JEANNE SHAHEEN, New Hampshire        JIM DeMINT, South Carolina
CHRISTOPHER A. COONS, Delaware       JOHNNY ISAKSON, Georgia
RICHARD J. DURBIN, Illinois          JOHN BARRASSO, Wyoming
TOM UDALL, New Mexico                MIKE LEE, Utah
            *Frank G. Lowenstein, Staff Director            
        Kenneth A. Myers, Jr., Republican Staff Director        

   *Note: William C. Danvers (assumed Staff Director position as of 
                        October 3, 2011)        

                             (ii)          









                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              

    [Any additional material relating to these nominees may be found
              at the end of the applicable day's hearing.]

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page

Wednesday, March 16, 2011........................................     1

Joseph M. Torsella, of Pennsylvania, to be Representative to the 
  United Nations for U.N. Management and Reform, with the rank of 
  Ambassador and Alternate U.S. Representative to the 65th 
  session of the U.N. General Assembly...........................     6
                                 ------                                
Tuesday, March 29, 2011..........................................    43

Suzan D. Johnson Cook, of New York, to be Ambassador at Large for 
  International Religious Freedom................................    47
                                 ------                                
Tuesday, April 5, 2011 (a.m.)....................................    71

Robert Patterson, of New York, a Career Member of the Senior 
  Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador to 
  Turkmenistan...................................................    75
Mara E. Rudman, of Massachusetts, to be an Assistant 
  Administrator of the United States Agency for International 
  Development....................................................    78
                                 ------                                
Tuesday, April 5, 2011 (p.m.)....................................   109

Scott Gration, of New Jersey, to be Ambassador to the Republic of 
  Kenya..........................................................   114
Michelle Gavin, of the District of Columbia, to be Ambassador to 
  the Republic of Botswana.......................................   115
                                 ------                                
Wednesday, April 6, 2011.........................................   137

David Bruce Shear, of New York, to be Ambassador to the Socialist 
  Republic of Vietnam............................................   142
Kurt Walter Tong, of Maryland, for the rank of Ambassador during 
  his tenure as U.S. Senior Official for the Asia-Pacific 
  Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum..............................   144
                                 ------                                
Wednesday, May 4, 2011...........................................   163

Daniel Benjamin Shapiro, of Illinois, to be Ambassador to Israel.   168
Stuart E. Jones, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior 
  Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador 
  to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.............................   172
Hon. George Albert Krol, of New Jersey, a Career Member of the 
  Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be 
  Ambassador to the Republic of Uzbekistan.......................   181
Henry S. Ensher, of California, a Career Member of the Senior 
  Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador to the 
  People's Democratic Republic of Algeria........................   185
Thursday, May 26, 2011...........................................   207

Hon. Gary Locke, of Washington, to be Ambassador to the People's 
  Republic of China..............................................   211
                                 ------                                
Tuesday, June 7, 2011............................................   263

Jeanine E. Jackson, of Wyoming, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
  of Malawi......................................................   269
Geeta Pasi, of New York, to be Ambassador to the Republic of 
  Djibouti.......................................................   271
Donald Koran, of California, to be Ambassador to the Republic of 
  Rwanda.........................................................   274
Lewis Lukens, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Republic of 
  Senegal and to serve concurrently as Ambassador to the Republic 
  of Guinea-Bissau...............................................   277
Ariel Pablos-Mendez, of New York, to be Assistant Administrator 
  of the United States Agency for International Development......   279
                                 ------                                
Wednesday, June 8, 2011..........................................   299

Jonathan D. Farrar, of California, to be Ambassador to the 
  Republic of Nicaragua..........................................   302
Lisa J. Kubiske, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Republic of 
  Honduras.......................................................   304
James H. Thessin, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
  of Paraguay....................................................   307
D. Brent Hardt, of Florida, to be Ambassador to the Co-operative 
  Republic of Guyana.............................................   309
                                 ------                                
Tuesday, June 21, 2011...........................................   341

Hon. Anne W. Patterson, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Arab 
  Republic of Egypt..............................................   346
Michael H. Corbin, of California, to be Ambassador to the United 
  Arab Emirates..................................................   366
Susan L. Ziadeh, of Washington, to be Ambassador to the State of 
  Qatar..........................................................   369
Matthew H. Tueller, of Utah, to be Ambassador to the State of 
  Kuwait.........................................................   371
Kenneth J. Fairfax, of Kentucky, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
  of Kazakhstan..................................................   374
                                 ------                                
Wednesday, June 29, 2011.........................................   411

Derek J. Mitchell, of Connecticut, to be Special Representative 
  and Policy Coordinator for Burma, with the rank of Ambassador..   416
Frankie Annette Reed, of Maryland, to be Ambassador to the 
  Republic of the Fiji Islands, and to serve concurrently as 
  Ambassador to the Republic of Nauru, the Kingdom of Tonga, 
  Tuvalu, and the Republic of Kiribati...........................   422
                                 ------                                
Wednesday, July 13, 2011.........................................   439

Paul D. Wohlers, of Washington, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
  of Macedonia...................................................   442
William H. Moser, of North Carolina, to be Ambassador to the 
  Republic of Moldova............................................   445
John A. Heffern, of Missouri, to be Ambassador to the Republic of 
  Armenia........................................................   447
Thomas M. Countryman, of Washington, to be Assistant Secretary of 
  State for International Security and Non-Proliferation.........   460
Jeffrey DeLaurentis, of New York, to be Alternate Representative 
  of the United States of America for Special Political Affairs 
  in the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador, and 
  Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the 
  Sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations.........   463
                                 ------                                
Tuesday, July 19, 2011...........................................   483

David S. Adams, of the District of Columbia, to be Assistant 
  Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs.....................   486
Joyce A. Barr, of Washington, to be Assistant Secretary of State 
  for Administration.............................................   488
                                 ------                                
Wednesday, July 20, 2011.........................................   507

Hon. Earl Anthony Wayne, of Maryland, to be Ambassador to Mexico.   511
Arnold Chacon, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Republic of 
  Guatemala......................................................   517
                                 ------                                
Thursday, July 21, 2011..........................................   539

Sung Y. Kim, of California, to be Ambassador to the Republic of 
  Korea..........................................................   543
                                 ------                                
Tuesday, August 2, 2011..........................................   555

Hon. Norman L. Eisen, of the District of Columbia, to be 
  Ambassador to the Czech Republic...............................   562
Hon. Francis Joseph Ricciardone, Jr., of Massachusetts, to be 
  Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey...........................   565
Hon. Robert S. Ford, of Vermont, to be Ambassador to the Syrian 
  Arab Republic..................................................   571
                                 ------                                
Wednesday, September 7, 2011.....................................   621

Hon. Wendy R. Sherman, of Maryland, to be Under Secretary of 
  State for Political Affairs....................................   626
                                 ------                                
Wednesday, September 21, 2011....................................   669

Robert A. Mandell, of Florida, to be U.S. Ambassador to 
  Luxembourg.....................................................   673
Hon. Thomas Charles Krajeski, of Virginia, to be U.S. Ambassador 
  to the Kingdom of Bahrain......................................   676
Hon. Dan W. Mozena, of Iowa, to be U.S. Ambassador to the 
  People's Republic of Bangladesh................................   678
Michael A. Hammer, of the District of Columbia, to be Assistant 
  Secretary of State for Public Affairs..........................   681
                                 ------                                
Wednesday, October 5, 2011.......................................   713

Susan Denise Page, of Illinois, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
  of South Sudan.................................................   718
Adrienne S. O'Neal, of Michigan, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
  of Cape Verde..................................................   721
Mary Beth Leonard, of Massachusetts, to be Ambassador to the 
  Republic of Mali...............................................   724
Mark Francis Brzezinski, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to Sweden.   726
                                 ------                                
Wednesday, October 12, 2011......................................   745

Dr. Michael Anthony McFaul, of California, to be Ambassador to 
  the Russian Federation.........................................   750
                                 ------                                
Tuesday, November 8, 2011........................................   807

Hon. Roberta S. Jacobson, of Maryland, to be an Assistant 
  Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs..............   810
Hon. Mari Carmen Aponte, of the District of Columbia, to be 
  Ambassador to the Republic of El Salvador......................   830
Adam E. Namm, of New York, to be an Ambassador to the Republic of 
  Ecuador........................................................   833
Elizabeth M. Cousens, of Washington, to be Representative of the 
  United States of America on the Economic and Social Council of 
  the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador; and, to be an 
  Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the 
  Sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations, during 
  her tenure of service as Representative of the United States of 
  America on the Economic and Social Council of the United 
  Nations........................................................   836
Thursday, December 8, 2011.......................................   891

Earl W. Gast, of California, to be an Assistant Administrator of 
  the United States Agency for International Development.........   893
Tara D. Sonenshine, of Maryland, to be Under Secretary of State 
  for Public Diplomacy...........................................   895
Anne Claire Richard, of New York, to be Assistant Secretary of 
  State for Population, Refugees, and Migration..................   899
Robert E. Whitehead, of Florida, to be Ambassador to the Togolese 
  Republic.......................................................   902


                               NOMINATION

                              ----------                              


                       WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2011

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
                              ----------                              

Joseph M. Torsella, of Pennsylvania, to be Representative to 
        the United Nations for U.N. Management and Reform, with 
        the rank of Ambassador and Alternate U.S. 
        Representative to the 65th session of the U.N. General 
        Assembly
                              ----------                              

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:20 a.m., in 
room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Robert P. 
Casey, presiding.
    Present: Senators Casey, Rubio, DeMint, and Lee.

        OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. ROBERT P. CASEY, JR.,
                 U.S. SENATOR FROM PENNSYLVANIA

    Senator Casey. The hearing will come to order.
    First of all, I want to thank the nominee, Joe Torsella, 
for being here and for taking the time to come back.
    And I appreciate the attendance here of our ranking member, 
Senator DeMint.
    Today the Foreign Relations Committee meets to examine the 
nomination of Joe Torsella to be Representative of the United 
States of America to the United Nations for Management and 
Reform, with the rank of Ambassador and Alternative U.S. 
Representative to the 65th session of the U.N. General 
Assembly.
    Joe Torsella has been here before, and we're grateful that 
he's back. His wife, Carolyn, is with us. And I'm told that 
your daughter, Grace, is here and your son, Joe--is that--did I 
get that right? Thanks very much for being here. We're 
grateful.
    And we know that--as I think I said before, that when a 
public official, elected or appointed, puts themself forward 
for public service, I know that's a commitment that you make, 
but also that your family makes. And I know that's a challenge, 
and we're grateful that your family is here to support you.
    In the past 2 years, the world has witnessed a shift, in 
the United States foreign policy, toward a comprehensive 
multilateralism which is embodied in our renewed commitment to 
the international system that the United Nations represents. 
This new direction is critically important to how we conduct 
foreign policy and how we relate to the United Nations.
    The United States was one of the primary architects of the 
United Nations and its affiliated bodies. And as a world 
leader, the United States not only has role to play to be an 
active participant in the United Nations, but also has an 
obligation to ensure that the U.N. has measures of 
accountability applied to it.
    To that end, Joe Torsella's record as a dedicated in 
innovative reformer will serve him well in this important post 
as U.S. Representative to the United Nations for Management and 
Reform.
    In these times of sweeping geopolitical change, the 
administration has worked, for the past 2 years, to make 
America stronger and more secure by pursuing a strategy of 
national renewal and energetic global leadership. Ambassador 
Rice has made this case before, and I'd like to take the 
opportunity to discuss briefly how the United Nations fits into 
that strategy--why we need the U.N., how it makes us all safer, 
and what we're doing to fix its shortcomings and help fulfill 
its potential.
    In these tough economic times here in the United States, 
and indeed, around the world, we're all focused on a growing 
economy. We're in recovery, but we've got a long way to go. We 
want to make sure we're doing everything possible to provide 
jobs for Americans who are hurting and out of work.
    Yet, even as we get our own house in order, we cannot 
afford to ignore problems beyond our borders. When nuclear 
weapons materials remain unsecured in many countries around the 
world, we are all put at risk. When states are wracked by 
conflict or ravaged by poverty, they can incubate threats that 
spread across borders, from terrorism to pandemic disease, from 
criminal networks to environmental degradation. Like it or not, 
we live in a new era of challenges that cross borders as freely 
as a storm, challenges that even the world's most powerful 
country often cannot tackle on its own. In the 21st century, 
indifference is not an option. Withdrawing from the world 
community is not only bad policy, it is, in fact, dangerous.
    America cannot police every conflict and every crisis, 
and--or shelter every refugee. The United Nations provides a 
real return on our tax dollars by bringing the world's 
countries together to share the cost of providing stability, 
vital aid, and hope in the world's most broken places. Because 
of the U.N., the world doesn't look to America to solve every 
problem alone. Our participation in the U.N. is a wise 
investment. But, with any investment, I should say, we must 
constantly work to better ensure that management and effective 
reforms are in place for that organization; in this case, the 
United Nations.
    The Foreign Relations Committee has taken steps to address 
our Nation's arrears to the U.N. over the past 2 years. 
However, in doing so, the committee has called upon the U.N. to 
implement a series of reforms and to improve its evaluation and 
transparency policies. As the biggest contributor to the U.N., 
we expect, and we deserve, accountability to ensure that our 
taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and efficiently.
    The United Nations can be more efficient and effective, and 
I know that Joe Torsella has ideas on how to make that happen. 
I support his confirmation to serve our country at the U.S. 
mission at the United Nations, because I believe he has the 
background and experience and commitment to public service to 
enhance our active U.S. presence at the U.N. by ensuring that 
our tax dollars are spent wisely.
    Joe has been a faithful public servant and a leading 
entrepreneur in Pennsylvania throughout his career. As deputy 
mayor for policy and planning in Philadelphia, he helped lead 
Philadelphia out of its economic and fiscal crisis by 
implementing strategic reforms that the New York Times 
described as ``the most stunning turnaround in recent urban 
history.''
    Most recently, he has served as the chairman of the 
Pennsylvania Board of Education, one of the Nation's largest 
public school systems, with over 500 public school districts 
and 14 State universities. Under Joe Torsella's leadership, the 
Board of Education adopted and implemented groundbreaking State 
education standards and new high school graduation 
requirements. These reforms require students to demonstrate 
proficiency in core subject matters in order to receive a 
diploma, thereby strengthening public education in the 
Commonwealth and holding schools accountable. These reforms 
don't come easily. They are a result of building consensus with 
a variety of stakeholders. And Joe has gotten results.
    Joe has also been instrumental in the establishment of 
Philadelphia's National Constitution Center. The center is 
dedicated to increasing the public's understanding of, and 
appreciation for, the U.S. Constitution.
    Finally, I will enter into the record a letter from 
President George Herbert Walker Bush which indicates his close 
working relationship with Joe Torsella when Joe was the 
chairman of the board of the Constitution Center. And I'll 
enter that into the record and just read, for the record, one 
sentence from that letter. And I'm quoting former President 
Bush. ``As a former Ambassador to the United Nations, I could 
not be more confident in Joe's qualifications for this job. I 
would have been proud to have him on my team. He's a man of 
character and principle and will represent our Nation well.''
    I think that's well said by one of our former Presidents.
    With Joe Torsella representing the United States on 
management reform issues, we can have the confidence that our 
Nation's interests will be effectively championed and that this 
portfolio will be professionally and efficiently managed on 
behalf of the people of the United States.
    [The letter referred to by Senator Casey follows:]
    

    
    Senator Casey. And, with that, I turn to our distinguished 
ranking member, Senator DeMint.

                 STATEMENT OF HON. JIM DeMINT,
                U.S. SENATOR FROM SOUTH CAROLINA

    Senator DeMint. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Thank you, Mr. Torsella. I appreciate your meeting with me 
in our office. I feel very good about your nomination.
    I appreciate the chairman pointing out the importance of 
the United Nations. Having an international body is obviously 
critical to a lot of things in the world, which makes the 
problems perhaps that much more important, as well.
    And whether it comes to budget processes or peacekeeping 
operations, oversight, or transparency, the United Nations has 
been unacceptably slow to reform. Waste, fraud, abuse, and 
general mismanagement are widespread at the U.N. Yet, the 
position of U.S. Representatives the United Nations for 
Management and Reform has been vacant for over 2 years. That 
makes it appear that the United Nations oversight has simply 
not been a priority to the administration, which I hope you can 
change.
    This is unfortunate. The United States is by far the 
largest contributor to the United Nations, donating more than 
$6 billion in 2009 alone. I believe American taxpayers deserve 
more accountability for their dollars.
    One major area of concern is the mandated items Americans 
are forced to pay for our nonvoluntary U.N. contributions. 
Because of this, Americans end up paying for programs that do 
not align with our national security and foreign policy 
objectives. For example, since 2006, nearly half of the 
country-specific resolutions passed by the United Nations 
Humans Rights Council, which Americans are required to fund, 
have focused on condemning Israel. Meanwhile, notorious human 
rights offenders, like Iran and Cuba, have been ignored.
    In the past, the United States has pressured the U.N. to 
review their mandates. This process has stalled, largely 
because U.N. member states are focused on protecting the 
funding for their pet programs. Over 9,000 of these programs 
currently exist. Programs that duplicate each other, and 
outdated mandates, must be streamlined, eliminated, and merged.
    The United States also sends the United Nations voluntary 
contributions. President Obama's bipartisan debt commission 
proposed making a reduction in the amount of voluntary 
contributions the United States gives the U.N. on its draft of 
spending-cut proposals. And we should go much further. The 
United Kingdom, as you're aware, has recommended cutting 
funding for four agencies, and put on notice--put others on 
notice for urgent improvement, or they would face cuts, as 
well. The United States should examine these cuts and take 
similar actions.
    Finally, U.N. peacekeeping missions must have more 
accountability--much more. According to a 2007 report by the 
United Nations Office on Internal Oversight Services, of 
roughly $1.4 billion in peacekeeping contracts examined, 
significant corruption schemes were involved in roughly 44 
percent of these contracts, totaling about $619 million. This 
is a topic I'd like to pursue further during the question-and-
answer period, but I'll stop and let you give your statement.
    And Mr. Chairman, I suspect if they call the vote 
sometimes, we can listen to his statement, and then come back 
and ask some questions, if that suits you.
    Senator Casey. Thank you, Senator DeMint.
    Mr. Torsella, if you could provide your opening. And we may 
have to take a brief break to go to vote.
    Mr. Torsella. Thank you.
    Senator Casey. Thank you.

    STATEMENT OF JOSEPH M. TORSELLA, OF PENNSYLVANIA, TO BE 
 REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UNITED NATIONS FOR U.N. MANAGEMENT AND 
   REFORM, WITH THE RANK OF AMBASSADOR AND ALTERNATIVE U.S. 
REPRESENTATIVE TO THE 65TH SESSION OF THE U.N. GENERAL ASSEMBLY

    Mr. Torsella. Chairman Casey, thank you for that 
introduction.
    Senator DeMint, thank you for your comments and for your 
courtesy on our recent visit.
    Chairman, Ranking Member, Senator Lee, I'm honored to be 
here today.
    I will abbreviate my full statement slightly, in the 
interest of the voting you have to do, and submit the full 
testimony for the record.
    Senator Casey. Let me just say, it will be made part of the 
record.
    Mr. Torsella. Thank you. And I would also like to 
recognize--in addition to the family members who are here 
today--our two children, Kelly Logan and Travis Logan, who are 
older, and who are not here--for good reasons, in one case, 
because she has a job; and, in the second case, because he's 
enlisted in the National Guard Reserve and is at basic 
training. So, they're with us in spirit and behind the 
nomination, as well.
    I'm deeply honored to come before you as the President's 
nominee for this position, and grateful to the President, to 
Secretary Clinton, and Ambassador Rice for their confidence in 
me.
    And I want to echo what you said, Chairman Casey, that the 
United Nations was born, in part, here in this committee, that 
your predecessors were among the earliest advocates and 
architects and, when appropriate, constructive critics of the 
United Nations, because they believed that an effective U.N. 
that had vigorous American leadership was in our national 
security interest. Their beliefs, in my judgment, remain true 
today. At its best, the U.N. can be a powerful tool to the 
United States, and a force multiplier to advance our interests 
and our values.
    When U.N. peacekeepers are on the ground, they are there at 
a fraction of the cost and the risk of the United States acting 
alone. When the U.N. builds the civic muscles of a failing 
state, or a fragile state, it helps protect American citizens 
from the threats that can grow in failed states. And when U.N. 
agencies, such as UNICEF, for example, work to eradicate polio 
around the globe, we're protecting the health of Americans here 
at home.
    But, neither the U.N. nor its member states are always at 
their best. And all too often, we have seen them at their 
worst. As Ambassador Rice has said, there is a serious gap 
separating the vision of the U.N.'s founders from the 
institution of today. And the investments that we've made and 
the challenges that we face are both too great for us to 
tolerate any waste, inefficiency, or abuse anywhere in the U.N. 
system. The global stakes are too high to allow biased agendas, 
narrow interests or political grandstanding to prevail anywhere 
in the U.N.'s Chambers.
    In recent years, U.S.-led comprehensive reform efforts have 
gathered steam and achieved some real, meaningful results, but 
there is much, much more work to be done to help the U.N. 
achieve a culture of economy, effectiveness, ethics, and 
excellence. I can further detail the steps that I believe lie 
ahead. In general, oversight and auditing must be strengthened, 
management and procurement systems must be upgraded, human 
resource reforms must be undertaken, and business processes 
need to be streamlined and brought into the 21st century. Those 
early steps that have been taken, on whistleblower protection, 
for example, need to be fully protected and fully implemented.
    I've spent much of my career bringing reform and 
accountability to public organizations in challenging contexts. 
As chairman of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, as 
you said, Senator, I oversee a system with 500 school districts 
and 14 universities. And the hallmark of my tenure there has 
been implementing an accountability measure that was contested 
and hard-fought in the face of some determined opposition that 
guarantees that taxpayers get results for the dollars that we 
spend on education in Pennsylvania.
    When I was deputy mayor of Philadelphia that city was on 
the verge of bankruptcy--decades of poor management practices 
made it a city, in the words of one magazine, ``that set the 
standard for municipal distress in the 1990s.'' My portfolio 
was management reform. I helped negotiate groundbreaking 
contracts with Philadelphia's 25,000 employees, of which the 
Wall Street Journal said, ``Taxpayers can only applaud.'' I 
spearheaded reforms, from contracting out to civil service 
reforms, overhauling a bloated disability benefit system, and 
making innovative investments in productivity that closed a 
$1.4 billion cumulative deficit without raising taxes. As you 
said, the New York Times and others called it the most stunning 
turnaround in history.
    And finally, when I came to the National Constitution 
Center, that project was in some public and financial turmoil. 
And I'm proud to say that I steered it to an on-time, on-
budget, and bipartisan success. And I led it to a thriving 
program of public diplomacy. The Constitution Center has 
introduced tens of thousands of international visitors to 
American ideas and ideals. We've worked in Afghanistan on 
democracy education efforts. We've hosted hundreds of 
international leaders, heads of state and heads of government, 
to grassroots democracy activists, from Australia, Brazil, and 
Cameroon, to Serbia, Tunisia, and the U.K.
    So, I come here today as a proud patriot who also has a 
deep commitment to America's engagement with the world and at 
the United Nations, a demonstrated history of managing taxpayer 
dollars carefully, a willingness to listen to good ideas from 
all quarters, and a lifetime of experience as a strong voice 
for reform in public institutions, and a builder of coalitions 
to achieve it.
    It would be a great privilege, if confirmed, to use that 
experience, working with others in the administration, in 
Congress, and most especially here in this committee, to help 
the U.N. live up to both its ideals and potential, to renew and 
strengthen it for our century, just as your predecessors, in 
1945, did for theirs.
    Thank you. And I look forward to answering questions.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Torsella follows:]

                Prepared Statement of Joseph M. Torsella

    Thank you Chairman Casey, Ranking Member DeMint, and distinguished 
members. I am honored to come before you as the President's nominee to 
be the U.S. Representative to the United Nations for Management and 
Reform, and I am grateful to President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and 
Ambassador Rice for their confidence.
    The United Nations was born, in part, in this committee. Your 
predecessors were among its earliest architects, advocates and, 
occasionally, constructive critics because they believed that an 
effective United Nations--with vigorous American leadership--was in 
America's national security interest.
    Their beliefs remain true today. At its best, the U.N. can be a 
powerful tool and force multiplier for advancing our interests and 
values. When U.N. peacekeepers are on the ground helping to protect 
civilians and advancing peace globally, they do so at a fraction of the 
cost and risk of the U.S. acting alone. When the U.N. builds the civic 
muscles of fragile states, American citizens are made safer from the 
threats that grow in failed states. When U.N. agencies such as UNICEF 
work to eradicate polio around the globe, we protect the health of 
Americans here at home.
    But neither the U.N. nor all its member states are always at their 
best; all too often, we have seen them at their worst. As Ambassador 
Rice has said, a serious gap still separates the vision of the U.N.'s 
founders from the institution of today. Both the investments we've made 
and challenges we face are too great to tolerate waste, inefficiency, 
or abuse anywhere in the U.N. system. And the global stakes are too 
high to allow biased agendas, narrow interests, or political 
grandstanding to prevail in any of the U.N.'s chambers.
    In recent years, U.S.-led comprehensive reform efforts have 
gathered steam and achieved some meaningful results. But there is much 
more work to be done to help the United Nations nurture a culture of 
economy, effectiveness, ethics, and excellence.
    Oversight, auditing, and evaluation must be strengthened to better 
ensure that U.S. funds are spent wisely and cleanly. Management and 
procurement systems must be upgraded and updated for accountability and 
transparency throughout the U.N.'s activities worldwide. Critical human 
resource reforms are essential to equipping the U.N. with a workforce 
that is held accountable for delivering results. Business processes 
need to be streamlined, aligned with best practices, and brought into 
the 21st century. And important first steps achieved in the areas of 
whistleblower protection, financial disclosure, and budgetary 
discipline must be protected and fully implemented.
    I have spent much of my career bringing reform and accountability 
to public organizations in challenging contexts. As chairman of the 
Pennsylvania State Board of Education, I oversee a system with 500 
school districts, 14 universities, and billions in public funds. Under 
my leadership we've made the board's workings more transparent and open 
to the public, and passed a landmark accountability measure--in the 
face of determined opposition--which implemented rigorous new high 
school graduation requirements, the first such change in a generation.
    As a deputy mayor of Philadelphia at a time when that city was on 
the verge of bankruptcy and decades of poor management practices had 
made it, in the words of City and State Magazine, ``the city that . . . 
set the standard for municipal distress in the 1990s,'' my portfolio 
was management and reform. I helped negotiate groundbreaking contracts 
with Philadelphia's 25,000-person workforce of which The Wall Street 
Journal said ``taxpayers can only applaud.'' I spearheaded reforms--
from competitive contracting out of city services to civil service 
reform, from overhauling a bloated disability benefits system that 
encouraged abuse to innovative investments in productivity--that closed 
a $1.4 billion cumulative deficit without raising taxes. The New York 
Times called it ``the most stunning turnaround in recent urban 
history.''
    And I came to the National Constitution Center when that $185 
million project was in public and financial turmoil. I'm proud to say 
that I steered it to an on-time, on-budget, and bipartisan success, and 
led it to a thriving program of public diplomacy.
    The Constitution Center has introduced tens of thousands of 
everyday international visitors to American ideas and ideals, worked in 
Afghanistan on democracy education efforts, and hosted hundreds of 
international leaders, from heads of state and government to grassroots 
democracy activists, from countries ranging from Australia, Brazil, and 
Cameroon to Serbia, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom.
    So I come here today as a proud patriot who also has a deep 
commitment to America's engagement with the world and at the United 
Nations, a demonstrated history of managing taxpayer dollars carefully, 
a willingness to listen to good ideas from all quarters, and a lifetime 
of experience as a strong voice for reform in public institutions and a 
builder of coalitions to achieve it.
    It would be a privilege, if confirmed, to use that experience--
working with others in the administration, in Congress, and especially 
in this committee--to help the U.N. live up to both its ideals and 
potential, to renew and strengthen the U.N. for our century, just as 
your predecessors in 1945 did for theirs.
    Thank you, and I look forward to answering your questions.

    Senator Casey. Thank you Mr. Torsella.
    We will take a break for what are two votes, and get back 
here as soon as possible.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Torsella. Thank you.
    [Recess.]
    Senator Casey. Well, thanks, everyone. We're back. And I 
know that other members will be joining us. We just had two 
votes, and I did a little running, so I got a little exercise 
in between.
    But, let me start with some questions. And I know that 
Senator DeMint, and maybe Senator Lee, will be back, as well, 
for questions.
    I wanted to ask you about your experience, which obviously 
is relevant to any nomination hearing. But, I did note, for the 
record, some of the experience, but, in my judgment, it's a 
substantial body of experience that bears directly on the 
assignment you'd have at the United Nations. It's easy to talk 
about reform in management and accountability. It's harder to 
do it in the real world of the private sector, or even, maybe 
even harder on some days, the real world of government. And as 
someone who's not only run for public office, but was in a 
position in two different State government agencies where we 
had to change the way business was done, and throw out the old 
ways and start down a new path. I know how difficult that can 
be, so I have great admiration for what you've done.
    But, I wanted to give you some time just to kind of walk 
through some of what you covered in your statement, your 
previous experience and how that bears directly on the job 
you'll have.
    Mr. Torsella. Thank you, Senator. Thank you.
    As I alluded to in my statement, I began my career in 
public affairs as deputy mayor of Philadelphia at a very 
difficult time. And almost all the attention of those of us who 
were in government then, and I was one of the deputy mayors for 
the city, was around a crisis of management, reform, and 
accountability. It was not only a financial crisis, but a 
broader crisis of confidence that people had in government. And 
over the course of several years and painstaking coalition-
building, we changed the way the city did business, and did it 
in a way that translated to the bottom line, and didn't do it 
by any of the easy, obvious solutions, which, at the time, was, 
you know, raising taxes, because our judgment was that the city 
couldn't bear it.
    I later had my own business, and subsequently was at the 
Constitution Center on two different tours of duty, for a total 
of 10 years, both in the institution ``building'' phase of the 
project, which was a nearly $200 million project, and then in 
the running of it. I am proud to say that, for all the years I 
ran it, despite the situation when I got there, we never ran a 
deficit, we never borrowed a dime, and we, as I suggested, 
debuted it in a way that won bipartisan applause, and has put 
it above politics.
    And then, finally, at the State Board of Education, when I 
came in, the proposal to require graduates to pass competency 
exams in basic subjects was dead. It had been dead on arrival 
for more than about 6 months in a State where 40 percent of our 
graduates weren't reading or doing math at grade level. And we 
had a total of many billions of dollars in the system, 
producing graduates who had diplomas that weren't worth all 
that much. And I sorted through the issues, found the common 
ground, persuaded opponents to become supporters, and pushed 
something across the finish line.
    All these are complicated public institutions with multiple 
constituencies and high stakes and in circumstances where 
people didn't expect results.
    Now, I want to note that if confirmed, I'd have the 
profound honor of being ``our ambassador,'' standing up for 
``our interests and our values,'' not full authority over the 
whole system, but I think that those talents of building 
coalitions, finding common ground on reform, standing up, 
making progress when you can, with partners when you can, 
standing up when you can't, and calling attention to things. I 
think all those things are relevant and will be useful, and I 
look forward, if confirmed, to deploying them.
    Senator Casey. Before turning to Senator DeMint, who was 
very patient when I was running late, earlier today, so I will 
stay within my question timeframe, but--and you may have to do 
this more than just in the 2 minutes or so, please preview, 
based upon your knowledge of the United Nations, and the 
management and other reforms you'd have to bring to bear on 
the--at the United Nations--just maybe a list or a summary 
would be helpful, I think.
    Mr. Torsella. Well, I do--thank you for the opportunity to 
talk about this--I do want to reserve my final say on this 
until I have the benefit of talented people in the mission and 
the State Department and, I hope, like-minded reform colleagues 
from different member states at the U.N. But, as I see it 
today, I think there are three broad priorities for the next 
Representative for Management and Reform.
    No. 1 is institutionalizing and strengthening the oversight 
function at the U.N. Senator DeMint alluded to a report of a 
few years ago about procurement. That report is what a healthy 
oversight function can do. The United States led the effort to 
establish the Office of Internal Oversight Services at the U.N. 
There is a terrific new head of that office, who is at the 
beginning of her 5-year term but it is not fully staffed, not 
fully staffed at some high levels. And it has not been given 
the financial and operational independence it needs to be the 
watchdog, which is, I know, a term from your past, Senator, 
that you are familiar with--that keeps things on the straight 
and narrow.
    No. 2 is, broadly, budget discipline. As we heard, the U.N. 
budget has grown substantially, and we are the largest 
contributor to the U.N. budget. And it is eminently in our 
interest that there be appropriate belt-tightening and 
management for effectiveness. It is also, though, I want to 
say, in the interest of other members states in the U.N., and 
the U.N., as an institution, because its credibility is 
directly related to the perceptions people have. So, broadly, 
the budget discipline and budget processes, and dealing with 
those resources.
    And then, third, those reforms that I believe can have a 
systematic impact, not just the impact of 1 month or a 
headline, but whether that's extending the ethics framework--
the disclosure requirements on financial interests, or whether 
it's software systems that'll reap tens and hundreds of 
millions in benefits, things that make real, longstanding 
change.
    Senator Casey. Thank you very much.
    Senator DeMint.
    Senator DeMint. Thank you, Chairman Casey.
    I'd like to focus for a minute on the peacekeeping 
operations and the U.S. contributions to those. Even though the 
United Nations supposedly has a zero-tolerance policy when it 
come to abuses against women and children, peacekeeping 
missions have been plagued with allegations of misconduct by 
U.N. peacekeepers. I mean, this is deeply disturbing. And I 
know that this has been none of your doing, at this point, but 
I think the record is important. And I'd like to start by 
reading you a few figures about these allegations, and how much 
money American taxpayers have spent on those very missions.
    In 2010, 83 allegations of misconduct against U.N. 
peacekeepers and civilian personnel were reported. The U.S. 
contribution to U.N. peacekeeping activities was roughly $2.13 
billion that year.
    In 2009, there were 40 reported allegations of sexual abuse 
by U.N. peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The 
U.S.-assessed contribution for that year in the DRC was roughly 
$210 million.
    In 2007, U.N. peacekeepers were accused of serious 
allegations of widespread sexual exploitation and abuse in the 
Ivory Coast. U.S. contributions to that mission in 2007 were 
roughly $138 million.
    A 2007 source reported that 20 allegations of U.N. 
peacekeeping sexual misconduct with children in Southern Sudan. 
U.S. taxpayer-funded contributions for that mission in 2007 was 
roughly $215 million.
    Just a couple of more of these. But, in November, 2007, 
peacekeepers were removed from Haiti following allegations of 
sexual exploitation and abuse of children. U.S. contributions 
to this peacekeeping mission were around $96 million.
    In 2005, U.N. peacekeepers were reported to have traded in 
gold and sold weapons to militia groups. U.S. taxpayers, in 
2005, gave over $293 million to the peacekeeping mission in the 
DRC.
    That brings me to my question. Are you willing to cut 
funding for these missions where women and children have been 
abused? If not, why should American taxpayers continue to pay 
for missions where women and children have been hurt?
    And we realize that, again, the special interests that are 
involved here are going to be very determined to keep the 
funding without the oversight that you talk about. And the 
culture of the U.N. is going to be very difficult to change. 
But, as you look at these figures, as you hear them--and I'm 
sure you're aware of a lot of them--how do you intend to 
address it? And what are you going to do, as far as funding 
versus mission, if we know there's a problem of this kind?
    Mr. Torsella. Well, thank you, Senator. I want to 
wholeheartedly agree that any incidence of sexual exploitation, 
by any peacekeeper, is something that ought to trouble us 
greatly and is unacceptable. Even against the context of 
120,000 deployed in 14 different missions, the numbers of 
incidents is deeply troubling, offensive, and unacceptable.
    Peacekeeping is something that cuts across many of the 
portfolios of the senior team at the mission, from the 
Permanent Representative to others. And I would look forward to 
working with my colleagues to continue to make strides on this 
problem. There have been some recent reforms put in place. 
There are now conduct and discipline teams deployed who weren't 
before. But, there is clearly much to do to support the zero-
tolerance policy that the U.S. Government has gotten behind, 
that there should be no more such reports as we go forward. And 
we need to work with the whole U.N. system, and other member 
states, to make sure that that is the case.
    Senator DeMint. Can you help explain--and again, I know 
you're looking at this, relatively new--but, what could be the 
explanation, after, you know, more than 5 years of these 
reports--and some of them have been publicized in the 
international media--why so little has been done at the U.N. to 
address this? You would think they understand the importance of 
the credibility and the international community, but there has 
been resistance even to deal with this.
    Mr. Torsella. Well, as you suggest, Senator, it's difficult 
for me to talk about what precedes what I hope will be my 
tenure.
    Senator DeMint. Right.
    Mr. Torsella. But, I think one of the broader contexts that 
you alluded to is that this has been an area of tremendous 
growth in a very short period of time, that the size and scope 
and complexity of peacekeeping operations, over approximately 
the last decade, has almost, I think, essentially quadrupled, 
and not just in size, but what used to be very conventional 
kinds of truly peacekeeping missions have become much more 
complicated in some much more difficult circumstances. So, that 
obviously makes everything that has to do with peacekeeping 
more challenging. And I think that the architecture of managing 
this has lagged behind what we've expected them to do.
    Now, I think what we need to do is make sure that that's no 
longer the case, not just to be a moral voice, but to 
understand this comes down to who are the leaders of each 
mission, which is something we need to devote attention to, and 
how are they pursuing these matters.
    Senator DeMint. Just a quick question before I run out of 
time. Will you be willing to hold the budget hostage, in 
effect--our payments, our contributions to various aspects of 
the United Nations--in order to get the attention of these 
people here? Are you willing to come back to us and suggest we 
withhold funding until we get certain reforms? Because I think 
that's the only leverage we are ultimately going to have.
    Mr. Torsella. Well, Senator, I am willing to get the 
attention and make the progress. And I'm willing to--and hope 
to work with you to do that. The U.S. Government position on 
withholding has been that our best chance of getting reforms 
comes from advocating from the position of strength that, 
thanks to all of you, we now have. No one can say the United 
States has not done its share and is not paying its assessed 
dues.
    I understand that there are valid concerns. There are good 
people with different points of view around this issue. And 
what I want to take away from that debate is a universal 
commitment to changing the results that we see, and leveraging 
the resources we have to get those results.
    Senator DeMint. Thank you, Mr. Torsella.
    Senator Casey. Senator Lee.
    Senator Lee. Thank you for joining us today, Mr. Torsella.
    I had some questions about the U.N. Human Rights Council. 
Since 2006, the Human Rights Council has adopted a total of, I 
believe, 67 country-specific resolutions. Of those 67, 32, 
almost half of them, focused specifically on Israel. And the 
U.S. membership on the U.N. Human Rights Council hasn't exactly 
reversed this trend. In 2010 alone, I think there were a 
total--there have been a total of eight resolutions adopted 
condemning Israel in some way, or Israel's actions.
    Can you tell me whether you perceive an anti-Israel bias in 
this? And, if so, what can be done about that?
    Mr. Torsella. Thank you, Senator.
    As I believe it's been described by senior officials in 
this administration, the Human Rights Council has been a poster 
child for some of what's wrong with the U.N. And there has 
been, as Ambassador Rice has said, a grotesquely unbalanced 
treatment of Israel in the resolutions, for example, that 
you've talked about.
    The administration's decision to join the Human Rights 
Council is based, again, on the premise that, as I've heard it 
said, ``If we're not at the table, we're probably on the 
menu,'' and that we can do best by such allies by showing up 
for the fight. It doesn't mean we're going to win all of them, 
but we'll win more than we would if we didn't show up.
    Now, I would hope to be a part of the efforts that the 
Ambassador described, to remedy that disproportionate 
treatment, and to stand up against it. And I do think the Human 
Rights Council is an institution that is in need of reform. And 
I'd hope, working with others in the administration and in the 
mission, to advance that cause.
    Senator Lee. Yes. No; I think that's good. I'm pleased to 
hear that.
    Do you know what, if anything, the Human Rights Council has 
done to address serious human rights problems in China, Iran, 
and Venezuela, just to name a few examples?
    Mr. Torsella. Well, the Human Rights Council is widely 
considered by the administration to be far from what we and 
others hoped it would be when it replaced its predecessor body. 
There is a good argument to be made that the engagement of the 
administration has resulted in progress--three examples that I 
could talk about, quickly. One is the extension of the mandate 
for the special expert on Sudan, which was opposed by others 
and we succeeded at. No. 2, the appointment of a special 
rapporteur for freedom of assembly, which was again resisted by 
some of the notorious violators. And No. 3, our very visible 
efforts to keep Iran from winning a seat on the Human Rights 
Council to avoid making a further mockery of its intent.
    Now, those are three examples where it worked. There are 
other examples, as you point out, where the results aren't 
acceptable. But, I think what it comes down to is the elbow 
grease and determination to keep showing up, keep having the 
fights, and use the platform for the purpose for which it was 
intended.
    Senator Lee. OK. Thank you.
    Now, funding for some U.N. programs, including the U.N. 
Office on the High Commissioner--Office of the High 
Commissioner for Human Rights and the U.N. Environmental Fund--
are funded on a voluntary basis. Are there other programs that 
you think could be funded on a voluntary basis that are not, 
currently?
    Mr. Torsella. I would not want to express a judgment today 
about particular programs. And I'd also note that it is the 
strong view of the administration that assessed programs are a 
treaty obligation, but also, the administration believes 
voluntary programs are a platform from which we can argue 
effectively for looking broadly.
    What I'd say from following some of the discussions that 
have been going on over the last few months, and what I hear 
when people talk about the voluntary programs, is that they 
maintain a higher standard of transparency, a higher standard 
of accountability, and a very natural sense of wanting to be 
responsive to donors, and deliver results. I think those themes 
and things like sharing audit information are something that 
ought to apply across the board, period, in the U.N. system.
    Senator Lee. Right. Accountability is an important thing in 
any government or any quasi-government body or international 
group. And yet, within the United Nations, you don't have quite 
the same forces that apply here. It comes with some of the 
trappings of a legislative body. It appears, on some levels, to 
be something like that. And yet, the people serve on that body, 
not as elected representatives of any group of people, but as 
representatives of various countries. And some of the 
countries' officials are not, themselves, elected; some of them 
are despots and tyrants and so forth. So, accountability 
becomes a difficult thing. It's not like they can vote and then 
expect to be accountable to any one group of people. Is there 
anything we can do to offset the lack of accountability that 
happens as a result of that?
    Mr. Torsella. Well, the short answer is, I hope so. And the 
longer answer is that I don't want to give you the impression 
that my arrival is going to be greeted with ticker-tape parades 
and champagne.
    Senator Lee. It should be. It should be. [Laughter.]
    Mr. Torsella. Thank you, Senator.
    But, I believe--as I outlined, at the beginning of my 
testimony, a case that an effective U.N. is in our interest. 
But, I believe that it's also in the enlightened self-interest 
of the U.N., as an institution, and in the interest of many 
Member States, obviously not all, and never all. I will do my 
best to make that argument and to figure out the practical 
politics of moving these issues forward.
    There was recently, by the way, at great effort and cost to 
the U.S. political capital, the adoption by the General 
Assembly, for the first time ever, of a definition of 
accountability for all U.N. employees. That was a herculean 
struggle, and that's a start.
    Senator Lee. Great.
    Thank you very much, sir.
    Senator Casey. Thank you, Senator Lee.
    Senator Rubio.
    Senator Rubio. Thank you.
    Good morning, Mr. Torsella.
    A couple of questions. I want to build on what Senator Lee 
asked about the human rights entity. It has such distinguished 
members, now, as Libya and Angola. Libya, in fact, was approved 
by 145 of the U.N. Member States, which is appalling since 
Libya, today, is what they were back then, too. So, my question 
is, when the United States--when this administration made the 
decision to join the commission--you stated earlier--and I get 
the point you're trying to make--that you're not on the table, 
you're on the menu. The counterargument to that, however, is 
that joining it gives this organization, or this entity, 
legitimacy, that, in essence, it makes it look like a real 
organization, when, in fact, it appears to be largely a 
collection of human rights abusers, for the most part.
    So, obviously, you don't agree with that assessment. I 
would hope you can expand further on why it's important that we 
are a member of that. And the previous administration chose not 
to join it; they felt that our participation in it gave this 
organization legitimacy.
    Mr. Torsella. Thank you, Senator. And again, I want to be 
careful not to speak to decisions that I wasn't a part of, or 
to suggest that decisions will be only in my portfolio. But, 
the administration's view of vigorous engagement is the guiding 
principle, and has been the guiding principle, across the 
board, that with that engagement comes the opportunity to be a 
critic, when that's appropriate, and that that's easier to do, 
and easier to do effectively, when we're around the table.
    Now, I know that there are strong critics of the Human 
Rights Council. And I believe people of goodwill can disagree 
on this. There are strong critics of the Human Rights Council, 
though, who are glad that we're there to stand up, as we do. 
And there have been a number of votes that have been won--or, 
in the past, lost--by a margin of one, where there would have 
been some difference, if we weren't involved.
    I don't want to, even for a minute, suggest that it's an 
institution that is living up to what the hopes of the U.N. 
founders might have been. I don't want to suggest, for a 
minute, that the disproportionate and biased treatment of 
Israel ought to be acceptable. But, there has been progress 
made. And when you talk about, for example, the case of Libya 
being elected--a lot of what happened in the past was that--
because of the way that the election system worked, there were 
uncontested regional elections. And since engaging, the U.S. 
Government has been active in the politicking. And I think you 
saw, in the expulsion of Libya from the Human Rights Council, a 
historic first, may be one of the fruits of that policy.
    So, I would argue that we ought to continue to use our 
voices and our votes. And as I say, we will not win all those 
fights, but we will win more than if we weren't there.
    Senator Rubio. Well, that premises the notion that we would 
see behavior after we joined that looks different from behavior 
before we joined it. And yet, it's hard to find any examples of 
things that we prevented from happening.
    For example, the Council still has not addressed human 
rights violations in China, in Cuba, in Iran, and other places. 
In essence, I'm struggling to find examples of how joining it 
has actually influenced, or whether the Council continues to 
behave exactly the same way it did before we joined it. The 
only difference being, of course, that now the U.S. is a part 
of it. So, instead of pointing it out for what it is--you know, 
a charade--people can now say, ``But, you're a member, you're 
at the table, and ultimately, you've blessed and legitimized 
this process.''
    Mr. Torsella. Senator, I'd like to take the particulars of 
the cases you raised for the record and get you some further 
information.
    [The written information from Joseph Torsella follows:]

    Generally, I do believe that there are differences. Where on the 
spectrum they are between what the unacceptable reality is and where 
the ideal ought to be, I think we can both agree, they're at the real 
low end. But, in the case of action on Sudan, in the case of keeping 
Iran off, in the case of the number of special sessions devoted to 
Israel in the time that we were off versus the time that we were on, I 
do believe that it's progress. And so, we're both going to agree that, 
on the scale of where it ought to be, it is not moved nearly far enough 
along.
    While there is still much work to be done to reform the Human 
Rights Council into an institution that lives up to U.N. values and 
U.S. aspirations, in recent months, the Council has achieved several 
victories for human rights that could not have been accomplished 
without U.S. leadership and support:

   In March 2011, the Council took assertive action to 
        highlight Iran's deteriorating human rights situation by 
        establishing its first country-specific Rapporteur--a Special 
        Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Iran.
   In February 2011, the United States played a pivotal role in 
        convening the Council's Special Session in which the Council 
        condemned the recent human rights violations and other acts of 
        violence committed by the Government of Libya, created an 
        independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate those 
        violations, and recommended to the U.N. General Assembly that 
        it suspend Libya's membership rights on the Council. Days 
        later, in an unprecedented consensus decision, the General 
        Assembly suspended Libya.
   The United States was instrumental in galvanizing support 
        for a consensus resolution that marks a sea change in the 
        dialogue on countering offensive speech based upon religion or 
        belief through the ``Combating Discrimination and Violence'' 
        resolution, rejecting limitations on free speech and embracing 
        dialogue and education. This effort was lauded by the U.S. 
        Commission on International Religious Freedom.
   After the violence following elections in Cote d'Ivoire last 
        December, we worked closely with the African Group to hold a 
        special session on the human rights crisis that was taking 
        place. This led directly to the establishment of a Commission 
        of Inquiry for Cote d'Ivoire in the March session.
   In September 2010, the U.S. Government cosponsored a 
        resolution to create the first-ever Special Rapporteur to 
        protect Freedom of Assembly and Association, to monitor 
        crackdowns on civil society groups and advance protection of 
        the right to free assembly and association through its vigilant 
        exposure of state conduct.
   Just last week, U.S. efforts led to a Human Rights Council 
        Special Session on the human rights situation in Syria 
        resulting in a resolution condemning the ongoing violence and 
        calling for a mission to investigate violations and ensure full 
        accountability.
   The United States has maintained a vocal, principled stand 
        against the Council's biased focus on Israel. We've been there 
        to contest moves to single Israel out unfairly. The United 
        States is by far Israel's strongest supporter on the Council. 
        The Government of Israel has regularly expressed appreciation 
        for the role the United States plays in the Council. The March 
        session included six resolutions targeting Israel. The United 
        States opposed all six resolutions and issued strong 
        explanations of votes pointing out how biased and unhelpful 
        these resolutions are. We cast the only ``no'' vote on five of 
        these resolutions. If the United States were not on the 
        Council, we would not have the opportunity to make these 
        statements from the floor and these resolutions would have 
        passed by consensus.

    Mr. Torsella. Generally, I do believe that there are 
differences. Where on the spectrum they are between what the 
unacceptable reality is and where the ideal ought to be, I 
think we can both agree, they're at the real low end. But, in 
the case of action on Sudan, in the case of keeping Iran off, 
in the case of the number of special sessions devoted to Israel 
in the time that we were off versus the time that we were on, I 
do believe that it's progress. And so, we're both going to 
agree that, on the scale of where it ought to be, it is not 
moved nearly far enough along.
    Senator Rubio. And again, I know you didn't make this 
decision, but, I do want to drive the point home, because it's 
an important thing, going forward. Sudan is really low-hanging 
fruit. I mean--OK, Sudan. But, where we really--where an entity 
like this would really grow and be a legitimate entity that you 
could look at and say, ``Boy, I'm glad we have this,'' is for 
them to say something about--like torture and other outrageous 
things that are happening in places like China; the constant 
daily roundup of dissidents in Cuba and multiple other places 
like that, where they don't get to. On the other hand, they 
dedicate this inordinate amount of time to Israel. And so, it's 
hard for me to see where us joining this Council has changed 
what it is, other than the fact that us joining it may have 
given it legitimacy it once did not have.
    But, I want to--my time is running out--I did want to ask 
your view--and, in particular, the administration's view--on 
the propriety and effectiveness of using funding as leverage to 
achieve reforms. I think there is, in my opinion, a well-
documented history of U.N. reforms that have been the result of 
a congressional determination to withhold funding for the 
organization or certain functions of the organization. What are 
your views on it? What are the administration's views? Is this 
a legitimate tool in our arsenal that we will use to hopefully 
push for some of these reforms, or not?
    Mr. Torsella. Thank you, Senator. And I guess I would 
answer that I think that using the resources that we bring to 
bear to this as a tool is legitimate. The disagreement may be 
about whether using that means using the authority they give 
you, or withholding them at the beginning. And I think that's 
where the administration would differ.
    In terms of the assessed contributions that we make to the 
U.N., the administration clearly believes, and I agree, that we 
have a better ability to effect change by having paid our dues, 
as we have done, and that, within that U.N. budget, there are 
going to be things that we and any reasonable person ought to 
think are inappropriate. But, there are also things that are 
vitally important to our national interest--like the enormous 
programs that the U.N. is responsible for, in both Afghanistan 
and Iraq, where there are close to 4,000 civilians in the 
civilian surge, letting us bring our troops home--that is in 
the regular budget, for example.
    So, I don't disagree that we ought to use the position of 
being the largest funder, use the talents of the U.S. 
Government, and use that authority to speak for reform.
    Senator Rubio. I'm sorry. Now I'm over time. I want to ask 
one quick question. This administration has brought us current. 
What reforms have we gotten? What meaningful reforms have 
happened as a result of that?
    Mr. Torsella. Senator, I would hope to be able to give you 
the best answer to that after I've been on the job for a year 
or two, if I have the honor to be confirmed. There has been 
real progress in establishing the Office of Internal Oversight 
Services. There is a terrific and talented and independent and 
tough auditor, the Canadian, Carman LaPointe, who's the head of 
that. There is the new establishment of a U.N. ethics office, 
although its writ has not been extended far enough. And there 
has been, within the last week, the news report of the 
Secretary General instructing a 3-percent cut in the budget, 
from current levels, which is--that we may argue, and I 
probably will, about whether that's sufficient. But, that is 
the first time in 10 years that's happened.
    Now, against the larger story of some of the troubles that 
were revealed over the course of the last few years, are we 
where we need to be? No. But, I believe that we ought to use 
the investments that we've made to demand that those changes be 
made and to put together, carefully, the coalitions that it 
takes to get them.
    Senator Rubio. Thank you.
    Senator Casey. Thank you, Senator Rubio.
    I'll make three quick points before turning to--Senator 
DeMint, I know, has at least one question, if not more.
    First of all, on the question of Libya, what has transpired 
recently. We know that--as you noted in your testimony, that 
Libya's been suspended from the Human Rights Council. It was a 
unanimous vote, I guess, on March 1, if I'm correct. So, I 
think--I just wanted to amplify the record on that.
    Second, with regard to the important questions that Senator 
DeMint raised, I don't think there's much, if any, disagreement 
in this room that not only will the administration demand 
results from the U.N. and from the administration itself, but 
this committee will demand results. And I think the United 
Nations needs to know that, and the administration needs to 
know that, when it comes to those horrific crimes that were 
committed that Senator DeMint spoke to.
    And finally--and I would say, in the interests of further 
endorsing the nominee who is before us, Mr. Torsella, in his 
record--if you read his record, and read the results that come 
from that record, when it comes to all of these issues, in 
terms of getting results and ensuring that justice is served, 
especially for people that are vulnerable, I think he'll be 
unyielding, and will insist upon results.
    And one final point. Some of these issues are a little 
beyond his purview. I just want to note, for the record, the 
basic responsibilities of the U.S. Representative for the 
United Nations for Management Reform. It's, basically, five. 
One is on the issue of U.N. reform; second, budget management; 
third, fraud and mismanagement; fourth, procurement practices; 
and then, fifth, interaction with business. And I think that's 
a pretty broad portfolio, but I know that, even if a question 
arose that came across his radar screen that he had any voice 
that would speak--that he had a chance to speak to with his 
voice, I think it'll be unyielding, and not just getting 
results, but also protecting the vulnerable people.
    Senator DeMint.
    Senator DeMint. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    We'll keep honing in, here, on really, cleaning up the act 
of the U.N., because of its importance. I don't think anyone 
here is trying to undermine the importance. But, it has been 
frustrating, over the years, to see things that just were 
unaddressed that seemed so obvious.
    Right now, the acting director of the U.N.'s Investigation 
Division, Michael Dudley, is under investigation. The U.N.'s 
Internal Oversight Office is suffering from a lack of 
credibility. Secretary General ignores its recommendations. And 
the former head of the office wrote a scathing end-of-mission 
report, which described the Secretary General as unaccountable 
and unworthy of the position.
    If confirmed, will you use the voice and vote of the United 
States to ensure that a reputable, independent, and qualified 
chief investigator is appointed?
    Mr. Torsella. Yes. Senator, I think that goes to the core 
of giving every interested party an assurance that things 
really are different and there will be a new day. I think, as 
you know from your experience in government, the existence of 
oversight institutions which cannot be tampered with and that 
don't have their budgets and their authority changed is 
absolutely crucial. I think that is among the first items on my 
list. And having someone in that position, as well as having 
the staff slots on the Financial Crimes Unit of that office, 
which we were instrumental in demanding be formed--having those 
positions filled is virtually my highest priority.
    Senator DeMint. Well, thank you for your answers. Thank you 
and your family for being here. And I know we all look forward 
to your confirmation.
    Mr. Torsella. Thank you, Senator.
    Senator Casey. Thank you, Senator DeMint, our ranking 
member.
    And, Mr. Torsella, thank you very much. And I'm using the 
``Mr.'' to be formal here, but I--once in a while, I can call 
you Joe.
    But, you've done well in this hearing and in your previous 
engagement with this committee. We're grateful for your time 
and your commitment to public service. I think you've done well 
on behalf of your family and your friends and supporters in 
southeastern Pennsylvania. But, I want to note, for the record, 
that you're a proud son of Danville, Pennsylvania.
    So, we thank you very much.
    This hearing is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 11:45 a.m., the hearing was adjourned.]

       Additional Questions and Answers Submitted for the Record


        Responses of Joseph Torsella to Questions Submitted by 
                        Senator Richard G. Lugar

    Question. Various administration officials have stated that the 
administration is fighting hard to increase transparency, 
accountability, and budgetary restraint at the United Nations. However, 
few specific details have been offered about what reforms have been 
adopted and implemented to address these goals over the past 2 years.

   Please provide a detailed account of the U.N. reforms 
        achieved at the behest of the United States over the past 2 
        years, the degree to which those reforms have been implemented 
        and are being observed, and specific examples of how those 
        efforts are serving to improve transparency and accountability 
        in the U.N. and resulting in reductions in the U.N. regular and 
        peacekeeping budgets.

    Answer. The administration has pushed aggressively for sound 
management and budgeting, accountability, and transparency at the U.N. 
For example, the United States has been a force in achieving the 
following recent reforms.
    1. In December 2008, the United States, along with other likeminded 
Member States, succeeded in securing a General Assembly resolution to 
transfer the function and caseload of the Procurement Task Force (PTF) 
to the Investigations Division of the Office of Internal Oversight 
Services (OIOS).
    2. As a result of strong U.S. leadership, the General Assembly in 
June 2009 endorsed a 3-year pilot for investigations hubs of the Office 
of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) in Nairobi, Vienna, and New York 
designed to enhance investigative capacity in the field.
    3. In July 2009, with strong U.S. support, a new comprehensive 
internal justice system for addressing staff grievances came into 
effect that consists of professional and independent tribunals to 
expedite the resolution of cases and an informal dispute resolution 
process to enable staff to seek redress before resorting to litigation. 
The new internal justice system enhances transparency, fairness, 
efficiency, and accountability in the management of U.N. personnel.
    4. In the past 2 years, the United States has led efforts to 
streamline the U.N.'s myriad staff contract arrangements and 
harmonizing conditions of service across the U.N. system. In December 
2010, the General Assembly established parameters for granting 
continuing contracts and made significant strides in harmonizing the 
conditions of service for staff across the U.N. system serving in 
nonfamily duty stations.
    5. The United States played a leading role in the establishment of 
U.N. Women, which on January 1, 2011, consolidated four U.N. agencies 
into one, strengthening and streamlining the U.N.'s work to advance 
gender equality and women's empowerment.
    6. The United States led efforts in the Security Council to adopt 
Resolution 1820, which gives the U.N. better tools to combat sexual 
violence in conflict zones and established the first-ever U.N. Special 
Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict in order to bring more 
focus on these serious issues.
    7. The United States succeeded in securing General Assembly 
adoption of the U.N. Global Field Support Strategy, which will yield 
greater efficiencies in administrative and logistics support for U.N. 
field operations.
    8. The United States was instrumental in achieving the passage of a 
General Assembly resolution in March 2010 on accountability that will 
hold U.N. officials responsible for safeguarding resources and 
achieving results.
    9. The United Nations has not established a single new peacekeeping 
mission in the past 2 years. In 2010, the U.N. peacekeeping budget 
decreased for the first time in 6 years. The United States supported 
the closure of MINURCAT (U.N. peacekeeping mission in Chad and the 
Central African Republic), saving up to $600 million per year. The 
United States also led efforts to end the U.N. Special Political 
Mission in Nepal once its contributions reached the point of 
diminishing returns.
    I would also like to mention two areas where the United States was 
successful in ensuring that hard-fought reforms remain in place. First, 
in 2009 during negotiations over the scale of assessment for the U.N. 
regular budget, the United States succeeded in beating back attempts to 
increase the U.S. share of the U.N. budget and thereby averted hundreds 
of millions in possible new assessments. Second, the United States in 
March 2010 was critical in securing a General Assembly resolution that 
preserves the existing mandates governing OIOS as well as those that 
allow access to OIOS reports by Member States. Maintaining access to 
OIOS audit reports is crucial to fulfilling our fiduciary 
responsibilities and building a culture of transparency and 
accountability at the U.N. The United States continues to ensure that 
OIOS has the resources it needs and serves as the primary investigative 
oversight role in the U.N.
    The administration's commitment to U.N. reform is clear, as is the 
need for much more to be done throughout the U.N. system. If confirmed, 
my mission would be to build on the progress made to accelerate the 
implementation of reforms that would make it more efficient, 
transparent, and productive.

    Question. The U.N. Headquarters is undergoing a major renovation.

   What is the current projected budget of the Capital Master 
        Plan?
   Is the CMP schedule on time?
   What is the next major benchmark?
   What is the cost to the United States for the CMP?
   Will the administration require any additional funding?

    Answer. In 2006, the U.N. General Assembly approved a project 
budget of $1.88 billion in 2006 for the U.N. Headquarters renovation. 
The United States is paying 22 percent: $75.5 million annually over 5 
years, plus contributions made during the design phase for a total of 
approximately $415 million.
    Construction began in May 2008 and is expected to be complete in 
2014, with the project being bid in multiple parts. Additional time is 
being built into the project schedule in order to complete perimeter 
security enhancements.
    During 2011, construction work will continue on the Secretariat and 
Conference buildings and the basement areas of the complex. The 
Secretariat building is scheduled for completion in 2012. Work on the 
General Assembly building will commence in 2012 as well.
    The U.N. has been steadily reducing the projected cost overruns on 
the project and remains confident this project will be completed on or 
very close to budget. The U.N. continues to work with its design team 
to find ways to reduce costs through the value engineering process and 
has been able to bring some parts of the project in under budget 
through competitive bidding and tough negotiations. This does not take 
into account additional costs of approximately $162.5 million for items 
related to but not included in the scope of the Capital Master Plan 
such as permanent furnishings and construction security. The General 
Assembly is expected to consider in the fall how these costs will be 
financed (i.e. through the CMP budget or in the regular budget) given 
that the U.N. has indicated not all of these costs will be able to be 
absorbed within the Capital Master Plan budget.

    Question. Earlier this year, the House voted on legislation to seek 
the reimbursement of $179 million owed to the United States from the 
U.N. Tax Equalization Fund. On the morning of the vote, the State 
Department notified Congress that it had given the U.N. $100 million of 
that money to the U.N. for unspecified security upgrades.

   Who authorized this decision and when was the decision made?
   Under what legal authority did the State Department make 
        that decision?
   Have you received a detailed plan for those upgrades and a 
        comprehensive explanation of how the U.N. arrived at the $100 
        million cost for the upgrades?
   Why weren't these upgrades included as part of the U.N. 
        Capital Master Plan, which would have reduced the U.N. share of 
        the costs from $100 million to $22 million?
   Does Congress have your guarantee that none of the $100 
        million will be used to pay for upgrades inside the U.N. 
        building or on the grounds or for any other purpose that should 
        be handled jointly by the U.N. Member States under the Capital 
        Master Plan?
   Is it true that the city of New York requested these 
        changes--please provide a copy of any such request.

    Answer. Under Secretary Kennedy informed the relevant committees, 
including the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a December 29, 
2010, letter that the United Nations is taking action to address 
significant physical security concerns related to the protection of the 
U.N. Headquarters complex in New York and will use $100 million from 
the U.N. Tax Equalization Fund (TEF) to fund these critical 
enhancements. It is the view of the Department of State that the United 
Nations' application of those fund balances, since the original U.S. 
contributions had been previously obligated and disbursed, does not 
require further authorization under U.S. law.
    I would make it a high priority, if confirmed, to see that the 
formulas and procedures related to the TEF are changed so that such 
fund balances do not accrue in the future.
    In a January 11, 2011, letter to the U.N., Under Secretary Kennedy 
acknowledged the United Nations' use of these funds, and, to ensure 
appropriate oversight of the project, asked that the United Nations 
provide detailed monthly updates on its status.
    In response to this request, the U.N. has agreed to provide the 
Department with monthly reporting on the project's progress and the 
associated use of funds. This report provides a mechanism for the 
United States to monitor how the funds are being expended and to ensure 
that it is consistent with the agreed elements of the project. I have 
been informed that providing structural upgrades within the U.N. 
complex is the best practical measure for mitigating the security 
threat from adjacent New York City streets, given the inability to 
close or realign those streets. As a result, some of the work to 
implement the perimeter security enhancements will be completed within 
the U.N. complex.
    The U.N. had shared plans and cost documents with the Department on 
the security work it plans to undertake as a result of extensive 
consultations with the Department and the city of New York. The city of 
New York has urged the U.N. to incorporate more stringent security 
measures into the ongoing renovations [see attachment].
    These heightened security requirements evolved during the execution 
of the CMP. In recent years the U.N. has faced increasing attacks 
around the world, such that the threat environment for the institution 
had significantly increased. The proposed upgrades adapt the project 
design to the new threat environment since the CMP scope originally 
agreed in 2006 was based on a lower anticipated threat level. I 
understand that in order to fully integrate the perimeter security 
enhancements into the CMP, General Assembly agreement would have been 
needed, which would have further delayed vital upgrades to the 
Conference Building, and would have likely resulted in cost escalation 
for the overall CMP.




    Question. The Secretary General called for the next U.N. budget to 
be cut by 3 percent. As you know, the current proposed 2-year budget 
for 2012 and 2013 is $5.5 billion.

   What areas would the administration like to see reduced or 
        eliminated from the U.N. budget?
   On what basis are these cuts being justified since the U.N. 
        has failed to follow through with its mandate review?
   Why do U.N. funds and programs that receive vast amounts of 
        funding such as UNEP and UNWRA, which both receive less than 5 
        percent of their budgets from the U.N. regular budget still 
        receive funding through the U.N. regular budget? Shouldn't the 
        United States look to trim the U.N. regular budget by ending 
        the token support for these offices through the regular budget?
   In December 2009, the U.N. approved a 2-year budget of 
        $5.156 billion for 2010 and 2011. Thus, even assuming that the 
        Secretary General is able to get a 3-percent cut from the 
        proposed budget, the U.N. budget would be growing by 3 percent 
        based on the previous budget. As you know, the U.N. budget has 
        grown even faster than the U.S. budget since 2000. Is that 
        expansion justified?
   Do you think that the Secretary General's proposed 3-percent 
        budget cut is sufficient?
   Why doesn't the United States insist on a zero-growth budget 
        proposal based on the initial proposal in 2009?

    Answer. The United States has consistently sought to make 
reductions in those areas of the U.N. budget where resources are not 
being utilized as efficiently and effectively as possible. We believe 
the U.N. can meet its responsibilities without growing the budget by 
increasing efficiencies through streamlining processes, examining 
structural costs at all levels, eliminating unproductive administrative 
practices and obsolete functions, leveraging modern technology, and 
adopting proven best practices. We also believe that the U.N. should 
critically review its staffing levels and opportunities for competitive 
contracting of some services. These efforts to increase efficiencies 
and reduce the budget can be accomplished without eliminating mandates. 
However, it is important to recognize the difficulties inherent in 
trying to achieve U.S. priorities within the U.N.'s framework of 
universal membership and consensus-based decisionmaking. The U.S 
Government strives to strike a balance between making what reductions 
are possible while also maintaining the support needed from others to 
achieve our highest diplomatic and security priorities.
    For programs such as UNWRA and UNEP, my understanding is that the 
USG goal has generally been to prevent the provision of additional 
resources from the U.N. regular budget.
    In 2010, the General Assembly invited the Secretary General to 
prepare the 2012-13 biennium budget on the basis of the $5.397 billion 
estimate, reflecting an increase of less than 1 percent over the 
current 2010-11 biennial budget of $5.367 billion. Although the U.N. 
regular budget has more than slightly doubled since the 2000-01 
biennium, Special Political Missions (SPMs) have increased from $115.3 
million to $1.2 billion during this same period, with much of the 
increase in SPMs attributable to the U.N. Assistance Missions in Iraq 
and Afghanistan. As we work to contain unnecessary growth in the U.N. 
budget, we must keep in mind the extent to which U.S. priorities have 
contributed to expansion of the regular budget.
    While I do not believe that any single step, such as the Secretary 
General's proposed 3-percent reduction, is itself sufficient to achieve 
the effective, economical U.N. we hope for, I strongly support the 
Secretary General's initiative to try to implement a 3-percent 
reduction in the regular budget. This would be the first proposed 
reduction compared to the previous year of spending in 10 years. It is 
notable that the U.N. has recognized the need to demonstrate greater 
budget discipline in response to the difficult budgetary environment 
faced by many Member States. This initiative will create challenges for 
the U.N. given such exercises have typically been poorly received by 
many Member States. However, if the Secretary General is successful in 
putting this forward to the General Assembly, it offers a more 
favorable basis for discussions on the 2012-13 budget during the fall 
UNGA, which we and many like-minded Member States will seek to 
capitalize on. We will work with other Member States to achieve a 
budget outcome that reflects restraint while allowing the U.N. to 
maintain operational effectiveness.

    Question. Please provide a breakdown (by percent and dollar figure) 
showing the top five recipient countries of U.N. procurement orders for 
the following U.N. agencies/offices/programs, for the most recent U.N. 
fiscal year: U.N. Peacekeeping operations; World Food Programme; U.N. 
Capital Master Plan; UN/UNDP Headquarters in New York.

    Answer. U.N. Systemwide: Across the entire U.N. system, which 
includes the U.N. Secretariat, funds and programs, and specialized 
agencies, procurement orders totaled $13.8 billion in 2009*. The 
breakdown of the top five recipient countries of procurement contracts 
systemwide is as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Countries                                        Percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
United States....................     $1,734,000,000           12.57
Switzerland......................        843,800,000            6.11
India............................        676,700,000            4.90
Sudan............................        641,700,000            4.65
Russian Federation...............        463,200,000            3.36
Other............................      9,440,600,000           68.41
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* A thorough breakdown for 2010 is not yet available.


    U.N. Capital Master Plan (CMP): Skanska trade contracts represent 
the majority of CMP procurement orders. The Skanska trade contracts for 
2009 * total $633,197,529. The breakdown of the top five recipient 
countries of CMP procurement contracts is as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Countries                                        Percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
United States....................       $605,363,903         **95.60
Mexico...........................          8,055,998            1.27
Germany..........................          2,243,446            0.35
Canada...........................          1,113,347            0.18
China............................          1,048,412            0.17
Other............................         15,372,423            2.42
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* A thorough breakdown for 2010 is not yet available.
** Of the total procurement contracts.


    U.N. Peacekeeping Operations: The Department of Peacekeeping 
Operations (DPKO) procurement for 2010 totaled $2,483,011,729. The 
breakdown of the top five recipient countries of DPKO procurement 
contracts is as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Countries                                        Percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sudan............................       $269,614,943           10.86
United States....................        187,838,135            7.56
Switzerland......................        139,590,239            5.62
Italy............................        132,391,948            5.33
Panama...........................         75,360,992            3.03
Other............................      1,678,215,472           67.59
------------------------------------------------------------------------


    World Food Programme (WFP): In 2010, WFP globally procured 
3,166,320 metric tons of food commodities, with a total cash value of 
US$1,250,000,000. The breakdown of the top five recipient countries of 
WFP procurement contracts is as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Countries                                        Percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan.........................       $214,356,000           17.15
Ethiopia.........................         88,416,000            7.07
South Africa.....................         65,738,000            5.26
Ukraine..........................         63,644,000            5.09
Indonesia........................         60,235,000            4.82
Other............................        757,611,000           60.61
------------------------------------------------------------------------


    United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): The UNDP awarded 
$252,109,847 worth of contracts in 2010. The breakdown of the top five 
recipient countries of UNDP procurement contracts is as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Countries                                        Percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Germany..........................        $64,744,075           25.69
The Netherlands..................         36,759,115           14.58
Germany/Cyprus*..................         35,108,085           13.93
Austria..........................         30,643,265           12.15
India............................         16,155,931            6.41
Other............................         68,699,376           27.25
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* The contract was jointly awarded to both countries, and a breakdown
  was not provided.


    Question. As you may be aware, some have expressed concern with a 
February 2009 report by the U.N. Independent Audit Advisory Committee 
(IAAC), Vacant Posts in the Office of Internal Oversight Services, 
which found that OIOS had vacancies in over 27 percent of its 
authorized posts, including all three director-level positions. The 
report expressed concern that the high vacancy rate will have an 
``adverse impact on the capacity and ability'' of OIOS to accomplish 
its work. Please provide a staffing pattern for OIOS showing all 
positions and indicating which are vacant and the length of their 
vacancy. Identify which positions are encumbered by American nationals.

    Answer. I am providing the most recent staffing chart for OIOS, 
dated February 28, 2011.




    Question. In your remarks to the committee, you mentioned concern 
regarding the U.N.'s Whistleblower policy. What are the strengths and 
weaknesses of the current policy?

    Answer. In 2005, the Secretary General issued the U.N. 
whistleblower protection policy (ST/SGB/2005/21). This policy was 
developed after months of consultation with outside experts and State 
Department officials. The Government Accountability Project, a public 
advocacy group dedicated to advancing corporate and public 
accountability and promoting whistleblower protections, hailed the U.N. 
whistleblower policy as the ``benchmark for other Intergovernmental 
Organizations (IGOs)'' to follow.
    The U.N.'s whistleblower policy clearly establishes that reporting 
misconduct and cooperating with U.N. audits and investigations are 
protected activities. It also establishes a recourse mechanism for U.N. 
personnel who are subjected to retaliation or threatened with 
retaliation.
    While the Secretary General's ethics framework for the U.N. funds 
and programs (ST/SGB/2007/11) created the U.N. Ethics Committee to 
unify ethical standards across organizations, whistleblower protections 
vary greatly across the various funds and programs. Compared to the 
Secretariat's policy, whistleblower protections at the funds and 
programs are considered weaker and less comprehensive. If confirmed, I 
would work to ensure the strengthening and implementation of 
whistleblower protections throughout the U.N. system.

    Question. As part of your pledge to help institute oversight 
responsibilities, if confirmed, will you continue the policy 
established during the Bush administration of posting U.N. audits on 
the USUN Web site? If not, why not?

    Answer. The Obama administration has continued the practice of 
posting audits by the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) 
on USUN's public Web site, and if confirmed I plan to continue to post 
U.N. audits on USUN's public Web site.
    You can find these reports at: http://usun.state.gov/about/
un_reform/oios/index.htm.

    Question. The United Nations Development Program is a major 
implementer for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria, and 
Tuberculosis. According to the UNDP, as of January 2011, UNDP is 
currently Principal Recipient in 27 countries, managing a total of 60 
active grants amounting to more than $1.1 billion. Policies of the 
Executive Board of the UNDP only allow Member States, not 
nongovernmental organizations such as the Global Fund or World Bank, 
access to internal audits, even when fraud is suspected in the grants.

   What actions should the United States pursue to increase the 
        transparency and ensure the integrity of United States taxpayer 
        investments in the Global Fund that are managed through UNDP?

    Answer. The United States is committed to ensuring Global Fund 
resources reach people in need and are used as effectively and 
efficiently as possible to save lives. We strongly support the Global 
Fund's Office of the Inspector General (OIG), and its ongoing efforts 
to strengthen the Global Fund's oversight systems. We have consistently 
advocated for increased transparency, accountability, and oversight 
over U.S. contributions to the Global Fund, including Global Fund 
resources managed by UNDP.
    The United States has had high-level discussions with UNDP 
management on the importance of sharing relevant audit information with 
the Global Fund's OIG and cooperating with the OIG in instances of 
suspected fraud. While UNDP does not currently share its internal audit 
reports with the Global Fund, UNDP has taken several interim steps to 
coordinate with the Global Fund's OIG, including (1) consulting with 
the OIG on development of UNDP's annual audit plan; (2) sharing 
summaries of UNDP's Global Fund-related audits; and (3) bringing 
potential irregularities involving Global Fund projects to the 
attention of the OIG whenever and wherever they are found. These steps 
are helpful but not sufficient, and the United States is continuing to 
push for full Global Fund access to relevant UNDP audit reports.
    With strong U.S. encouragement, UNDP management has agreed to 
present options for allowing increased access to its audit reports to 
the UNDP Executive Board for consideration and approval in September 
2011. The United States is working to build support among UNDP Board 
members for amendments to UNDP's audit disclosure policies that would 
allow increased transparency, accountability, and oversight over 
resources under UNDP management.
    In addition, the United States is committed to sound management and 
accountability within the Global Fund and strongly supports the 
establishment of the Global Fund Board's Comprehensive Reform Working 
Group and the High-Level Panel on Global Fund Fiduciary Controls and 
Oversight, which is being chaired by Former Secretary for Health and 
Human Services, Michael Leavitt, and the former President of Botswana, 
Festus Mogae.

    Question. On March 1, 2011, the United Kingdom Department for 
International Development issued a Multilateral Review. This report 
evaluated the 43 international funds and organizations to which the 
United Kingdom contributes on value for the money and each fund's and 
organization's effectiveness in combating poverty, taking in account 
transparency and accountability. In trying to maximize our multilateral 
investments, should the Department of State, in consultation with USAID 
and Department of Treasury conduct a similar study?

    Answer. I am reviewing the DFID Multilateral Review and look 
forward to discussing its findings with U.N. officials, if confirmed.
    A broad and standardized review of agency performance, such as the 
DFID Review, is a worthwhile approach that merits thorough and 
thoughtful consideration. If confirmed I would review the suggestion of 
such a study carefully, against the background of the U.S. Government's 
current evaluation mechanisms.
    I understand that the previous U.S. Ambassador for Management and 
Reform established the U.N. Transparency and Accountability Initiative 
(UNTAI) to verify that concrete improvements in management and 
accountability are being made by the U.N. system. If confirmed, I look 
forward to reviewing the successful UNTAI initiative and possibly 
improving its usefulness and relevance. In the current budget 
environment, it is important for international organizations to show 
that they are having the impact that recipients and donors expect. If 
confirmed, one of my main tasks will be to assess the U.N.'s 
performance and push for improvements wherever necessary. I would keep 
Congress, and this committee in particular, fully informed of what I 
find.


                               NOMINATION

                              ----------                              


                        TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 2011

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
                              ----------                              

Suzan D. Johnson Cook, of New York, to be Ambassador at Large 
        for International Religious Freedom
                              ----------                              

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:31 p.m., in 
room SD-19, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Barbara Boxer, 
presiding.
    Present: Senators Boxer, Menendez, Lugar, DeMint, and Lee.
    Also Present: Senator Gillibrand.

            OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. BARBARA BOXER,
                  U.S. SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA

    Senator Boxer. Could you take your seat, and we will start.
    The full Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate meets to 
consider the nomination of Dr. Suzan B. Johnson Cook to be 
Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.
    Last month, President Obama nominated Dr. Cook to be the 
Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom for the 
second time. Dr. Cook was nominated for this post in the last 
Congress, but the Senate did not complete action on her 
nomination before adjourning in December.
    We hope Dr. Cook's second nomination hearing in 5 months 
will give all members of this committee the opportunity they 
need to complete questioning of Dr. Cook so that we can get her 
into her position as soon as possible.
    This nomination is very important, particularly to 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who specifically requested 
that we move on Dr. Cook's nomination when she appeared before 
this committee a few short weeks ago. During that hearing--hang 
on.
    [Pause.]
    Senator Boxer. During that hearing, Secretary Clinton noted 
that she believes Dr. Cook's professional background and 
demeanor are particularly well suited for the post. Dr. Cook 
holds a Doctor of Ministry from the United Theological Seminary 
and a Master of Divinity from the Union Theological Seminary, 
in addition to a number of other professional degrees.
    From 1996 to 2009, she was the senior pastor at the Bronx 
Christian Fellowship Baptist Church. She also served as the 
first female president of the Hampton University Ministers 
Conference, which brings together thousands of African-American 
clergy members from various denominations across the country.
    You are a real pioneer here for women. You were the first 
female chaplain of the New York City Police Department; served 
as an associate dean of Harvard Divinity School at Harvard; 
served on the advisory board of President Bill Clinton's 
Initiative on Race. Most recently, she founded Wisdom Women 
Worldwide, which brings together women religious leaders from 
all over the globe.
    If confirmed, Dr. Cook will serve as the principal adviser 
to the President and the Secretary of State on matters 
affecting religious freedom abroad, and we all know how 
important that is. She will be specifically charged with 
developing strategies and policies to promote religious freedom 
around the world, recommending appropriate responses by the 
United States when violations of religious freedom occur, and 
helping to promote reconciliation in areas where religion is a 
factor in conflicts. And again, we know this happens too often.
    These are important responsibilities that will require 
tremendous dedication and persistence. In December 2009--would 
you just sit in any one of those chairs that you wish? In 
December 2009, the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and 
Public Life issued a report highlighting the fact that 64 
nations in the world have high or very high restrictions on 
religion. Religious minorities bear the brunt of these 
restrictions.
    The people living in these countries account for nearly 70 
percent of the world's population of 6.9 billion. These figures 
are staggering and should serve as a reminder of why we should 
quickly fill this post.
    As Secretary Clinton has said, ``Religious freedom provides 
a cornerstone for every healthy society.'' At this time of 
tremendous change throughout the world, it is more important 
than ever that there be a strong voice from the United States 
to stand up for those who may be enduring brutality or seeing 
their rights slip away for no other reason than their religion.
    And I am going to turn to Senator DeMint for any comments 
he may have, unless he yields to Senator Lugar. It is up to 
Senator DeMint.
    Senator DeMint. Senator Lugar, would you like to go first?
    Senator Boxer. Either way. All right.
    Then I will turn a moment and as soon as my colleagues 
finish, I am going to call on Senator Gillibrand because I know 
that she will briefly introduce Dr. Cook, and she is excited to 
do that. And then I know she has to depart for another 
commitment. But can you wait until the two Senators? OK.
    Let us do it, 5 minutes each. Yes?

             OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JIM DeMINT,
                U.S. SENATOR FROM SOUTH CAROLINA

    Senator DeMint. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
    Thank you, Dr. Cook. I appreciate your being here.
    And thank you for your willingness to serve our country.
    The Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom 
is intended to be the principal adviser to the President of the 
United States and the Secretary of State regarding matters 
affecting religious freedom abroad. This person also advises 
the U.S. Government on our policies, including appropriate 
responses when rights are violated.
    Religious freedom is a very serious issue and requires 
effective leadership, attention, and, when necessary, pressure. 
Religious freedom is a cornerstone of the foundation that makes 
democracy and free enterprise work worldwide. Whether in Iraq, 
in Afghanistan, where we are giving blood and treasure, or 
India, the world's largest democracy where they are on the 
watch list for failing to ensure the rights of religious 
minorities, religious freedom must be a priority of our Nation.
    As you know, there have been questions raised about the 
long vacancy of this post, who controls the International 
Religious Freedom Office, and how much of a priority this 
office is to the State Department. Just as important, there are 
a number of indications that international religious freedom is 
not your passion, nor your area of particular expertise.
    Having an Ambassador that is well respected and prepared to 
address the challenges we face today is important to me and 
vital to our country. In fact, it is one of the biggest issues 
that I hear about around the world from missionaries and others 
doing humanitarian aid is the concern that the people we have 
there could not even openly practice their faith because of 
oppressive governments or the lack of freedom of religion.
    And frankly, I have found it takes a very compelling 
argument and a lot of pressure to even get these other 
governments to listen to these concerns. So I am concerned 
about a person in this position we are talking about having the 
passion, the courage, the boldness to deal with this issue.
    But thank you for being here. I am interested in hearing 
from you and look forward to your vision, your leadership for 
this position.
    Senator Boxer. Thank you, Senator, very, very much.
    And Senator Lugar, and then followed by Senator Gillibrand.

              STATEMENT OF HON. RICHARD G. LUGAR,
                   U.S. SENATOR FROM INDIANA

    Senator Lugar. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
    Today, the Foreign Relations Committee again considers the 
nomination of Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook to serve as Ambassador at 
Large for International Religious Freedom. If confirmed, the 
nominee would serve as principal adviser to the President and 
Secretary of State on religious liberty issues.
    Her responsibilities would include submitting the annual 
report on the state of religious freedom to Congress, engaging 
other nations on religious freedom issues, and recommending 
appropriate responses to violations of religious liberty.
    Before Dr. Cook's hearing in November, I submitted 37 
questions for the record to her regarding the organization and 
mission of the Office of International Religious Freedom, as 
well as countries of particular concern, such as Burma, China, 
Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and Sudan. I appreciate Dr. Cook's 
answers to these questions, as well as several more that I have 
submitted since that time. Dr. Cook's answers are posted on my 
Web site for members and the public to review.
    During the last decade, the Office of International 
Religious Freedom has engaged numerous countries on ways to 
improve their religious freedom practices. For example, an 
agreement negotiated with Vietnam involved new laws on 
religion, the release of dozens of religious prisoners, and the 
reopening of hundreds of places of worship. The office worked 
extensively in Saudi Arabia to remove intolerant teachings from 
school books and to advocate for the right of religious 
minorities to hold meetings. Advances of this type require 
painstaking diplomacy, but I believe it is important for the 
U.S. Government to be seen unmistakably as an advocate for 
religious freedom.
    Dr. Cook, if confirmed, will have a difficult challenge 
ahead of her. The administration waited a year and a half 
before making this appointment, leaving the IRF office without 
the leadership and institutional strength that comes with an 
ambassador. Inevitably, this was perceived as a signal that the 
administration did not place a high priority on the role of the 
IRF Ambassador.
    At the end of the last Congress, this nomination was 
delayed further when the nominee did not get a vote in the 
Senate. I join many Members of Congress who believe that the 
IRF office has a vital role to play in U.S. foreign policy. The 
office has shown that it can produce excellent results if it 
enjoys institutional backing from the State Department and the 
White House.
    It is especially important that Dr. Cook has access to the 
Secretary of State and other top decisionmakers; that she has 
hiring and supervisory authority over her staff; that the staff 
is allowed to focus on the core mission of international 
religious freedom; and that the office retains independence and 
has sufficient operating funds.
    I welcome Dr. Cook to the Foreign Relations Committee and 
look forward to her insights on religious freedom priorities.
    I thank you, Madam Chairman.
    Senator Boxer. Thank you so much. We are very honored that 
you are here, both of you. We are very happy.
    And Senator Gillibrand.

             STATEMENT OF HON. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND,
                   U.S. SENATOR FROM NEW YORK

    Senator Gillibrand. Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.
    I am delighted to be here today to introduce Dr. Suzan 
Johnson Cook for the position of Ambassador at Large for 
International Religious Freedom.
    Chairwoman Boxer, Ranking Member DeMint, I really 
appreciate you holding this hearing. It makes an enormous 
difference, and I am very grateful to be here.
    Not only has Dr. Cook distinguished herself as a New 
Yorker, she clearly has the experience and qualities needed to 
be a successful Ambassador at Large. And Senator DeMint, you 
have asked for passion, concern, and boldness. I can assure you 
Dr. Cook has so much of each of those qualities, she will not 
only astound you, she will very much fit the bill.
    She is a religious leader of high character and 
accomplishment, having served as the first woman senior pastor 
at the American Baptist Churches USA and the first female 
chaplain of the New York City Fire Department. Beyond her 
pastoral experience, she has been a leader in bridging faith 
and public service. She served with distinction in the Clinton 
White House and as a faith liaison at the U.S. Department of 
Housing and Urban Development.
    She is also experienced working at the international level, 
having led delegations to critical countries, such as South 
Africa, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. Additionally, she is the 
immediate past president of the Hampton University Ministers 
Conference and founder of the Wisdom Women Worldwide, the first 
global center for women religious leaders.
    As you know, religious minorities have recently suffered 
from recent attacks in a number of countries, including 
Indonesia, Pakistan, and Egypt. It is urgent that we promptly 
confirm an Ambassador at Large for International Religious 
Freedom. It is vital that the United States has the leadership 
in place to work with the international community to protect 
the rights of religious minorities and advance the cause of 
religious freedom and tolerance across the globe.
    I believe Dr. Cook will represent our country with great 
honor and distinction, and with great enthusiasm, I support 
this nomination as Ambassador at Large for International 
Religious Freedom.
    And Dr. Cook, when you do give your testimony, please 
introduce your family.
    Senator Boxer. Thank you, Senator.
    Dr. Cook.

    STATEMENT OF SUZAN D. JOHNSON COOK, OF NEW YORK, TO BE 
    AMBASSADOR AT LARGE FOR INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

    Dr. Cook. Madam Chair, Senator Gillibrand, and members of 
the committee, thank you so much for the opportunity to appear 
before you today.
    I am truly grateful for your consideration of my nomination 
by President Obama as United States Ambassador at Large for 
International Religious Freedom. I am deeply honored by the 
trust that President Obama and Secretary Clinton have placed in 
me by nominating me to serve our Nation in advancing the right 
for religious freedom.
    I would like to thank my family and extended family, who 
are here with me today. This whole section here represents my 
family and extended family and two sons who have returned to 
school for premed and for law. I would like to thank them for 
your sacrifice, for your love, and for your endurance, and, 
most of all, your presence today.
    As President Obama so eloquently stated in his historic 
speech in Cairo in 2009, ``People in every country should be 
free to choose and live their faith based upon the persuasion 
of the mind and the heart and the soul.''
    Religious freedom is the birthright of all people 
everywhere. It is a foundation of civil society. It is a key to 
international security, and it must always be a pillar of U.S. 
foreign policy.
    The dramatic events in the Middle East and North Africa 
remind us that the desire for freedom within the human spirit, 
that inherent desire of all people to live according to their 
beliefs without government interference and with government 
protection should be had. Secretary Clinton has also made clear 
that we need to do much more to stand up for the rights of 
religious minorities. She also said we must speak out more and 
hold governments accountable. If confirmed, this will be my 
core mission.
    In my travels, I have found that my experience as an 
African-American woman and faith leader has enabled me to 
identify with other minority communities, both religious and 
ethnic. African-Americans, as you know, did not enjoy full 
religious freedom in this land for centuries, and religion was 
used by many to justify slavery and segregation. So I am 
particularly committed to this issue in the United States, for 
people of all faiths around the world.
    Immediately following and since the attacks of 9/11, where 
I served on the front line as the chaplain for the New York 
City Police Department, I have been called upon to aid many 
citizens from many faiths and diverse national backgrounds. We 
were tragically reminded just weeks ago that the universal 
value of religious freedom is not embraced by all. The 
assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's Minister for 
Minority Affairs and a courageous champion for religious 
freedom, is a painful reminder that our challenge is not easy. 
It requires an unwavering commitment to support those around 
the world who are risking their lives to stand up for religious 
freedom.
    If confirmed, I will carry out the full congressional 
mandate, as established in the IRF Act, including serving as 
the principal adviser to the President and the Secretary of 
State on religious freedom. I will bring bold and passionate 
leadership to advance and defend religious freedom abroad. I 
will ensure the integrity of the annual international religious 
freedom report to Congress and draw on these reports, while 
engaging governments and societies toward safeguarding the 
right of individuals to believe or not to believe.
    If confirmed, I will press for the timely and appropriate 
designation of countries of particular concern and Presidential 
actions, a critical tool to motivate progress on religious 
freedom. And I will seek to expand training projects that 
address systemic issues, including blasphemy, apostasy, and the 
right to change one's religion.
    The life and professional background I offer this position 
is unique. My international experiences have particularly 
shaped my perspectives. I have brought people of different 
faiths together to achieve common objectives, including 
religious freedom and respect for people of all faiths and 
beliefs.
    I have traveled to five continents to engage Muslims, 
Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Protestants, Jews, and those of 
other spiritual traditions. I have led interfaith delegations 
to Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and the Caribbean. And I have 
worked with World Vision in Ruschlikon, Switzerland, in its 
efforts to combat global poverty.
    In Zimbabwe and South Africa, I met with Zulu faith leaders 
to promote religious freedom and tolerance. And I have worked 
and lived with Operation Crossroads Africa, having participated 
in a cross-cultural exchange group with spiritual groups in 
Ghana, Liberia, and Nigeria.
    Now, if confirmed, I will also engage grassroots faith-
based communities, which have enormous impact on cultivating a 
climate more receptive to religious freedom in difficult 
places. As a religious leader myself, I would bring this 
perspective to encourage diverse religious communities to 
jointly defend and advance religious freedom and foster a 
climate of mutual respect.
    America has learned much from our experience with religious 
diversity. We must share our lessons, stand with the 
persecuted, and encourage all governments to respect and 
protect the universal rights of all people.
    As President Obama said on Religious Freedom Day on January 
14, ``The United States stands with those who advocate for free 
religious expression and works to protect the rights of all 
people to follow their conscience, free from persecution and 
discrimination.''
    If confirmed, I will seek to work with all religious 
groups, as well as human rights organizations, think tanks, 
universities, media partners, foreign governments, Congress, 
and of course, the U.S. Commission on International Religious 
Freedom, or USCIRF. I will work with colleagues across our 
Government to assure that, together, we advance religious 
freedom. The mission is too important to be left to one 
official or one office in the U.S. Government.
    If confirmed, I especially look forward to working closely 
with you, Congress, in advancing this agenda together on behalf 
of the American people, our national interests, and the values 
that we all hold dear.
    I thank you for considering my nomination. I thank you for 
this opportunity for a hearing, and I look forward to answering 
any questions you may have.
    Thank you.
    And thank you for your introduction.
    [The prepared statement of Dr. Cook follows:]

              Prepared Statement by Suzan D. Johnson Cook

    Madam Chair and members of the committee, thank you for this 
opportunity to appear before you today. I am truly grateful for your 
consideration of my nomination by President Obama as United States 
Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom. I am deeply 
honored by the trust that President Obama and Secretary Clinton have 
placed in me by nominating me to serve our nation in advancing the 
right to freedom of religion abroad. I would like to take this 
opportunity to thank my family and extended family, who are here with 
me, for their sacrifice, love, and endurance.
    As President Obama so eloquently stated in his historic speech in 
Cairo in 2009, ``People in every country should be free to choose and 
live their faith based upon the persuasion of the mind and the heart 
and the soul.'' Religious freedom is the birthright of all people 
everywhere; it is a foundation of civil society, it is a key to 
international security, and it must always be a pillar of U.S. foreign 
policy. I believe this in my mind, heart, and soul. Religious freedom 
is a universal principle, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of 
Human Rights and protected in the International Covenant on Civil and 
Political Rights (ICCPR).
    The dramatic events unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa 
remind us that the desire for freedom lies deep within the human 
spirit. No greater freedom exists than the inherent desire of all 
people to enjoy the freedom to live according to their beliefs without 
government interference and with government protection. I am deeply 
disturbed by the increase of persecution and violence against religious 
minorities in this region and in many other parts of the world. These 
developments belie both our values and our security.
    In addition to violence, Christians, Bahais, Jews, Ahmadis, and 
other religious minorities often face social, political, and economic 
exclusion or marginalization. Secretary Clinton has made clear that 
``We need to do much more to stand up for the rights of religious 
minorities'' She also said we have to speak out more and to hold 
governments accountable. If confirmed, this will be my core mission.
    In my travels around the country and around the world, I have found 
that my experience as an African-American woman and faith leader has 
enabled me to identify with other minority communities, both religious 
and ethnic. African-Americans did not enjoy full religious freedom in 
this land for centuries, and religion was used by many to justify 
slavery and segregation. So I am particularly committed to this issue, 
in the United States and for people of all faiths around the world. 
Immediately following and since the attacks of 9/11, as the Chaplain 
for the New York City Police Department, I have been called upon to aid 
many citizens from many faiths and diverse national backgrounds.
    We were tragically reminded just weeks ago that the universal value 
of religious freedom is not embraced by all. The March 2 assassination 
of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's Minister for Minority Affairs, and a 
courageous champion for religious freedom, is a painful reminder that 
our challenge is not easy. It requires an unwavering commitment to 
support those around the world who are risking their lives to stand up 
for religious freedom. President Obama paid tribute to Minister Bhatti 
with these words: ``Minister Bhatti fought for and sacrificed his life 
for the universal values that Pakistanis, Americans, and people around 
the world hold dear--the right to speak one's mind, to practice one's 
religion as one chooses, and to be free from discrimination based on 
one's background or beliefs.''
    If confirmed, I will carry out the full congressional mandate as 
established in the IRF Act, in letter and in spirit, including serving 
as the principal advisor to the President and the Secretary of State on 
religious freedom. I will bring bold leadership to advance and defend 
religious freedom abroad. I will ensure the integrity of the annual 
International Religious Freedom Report to Congress and draw on these 
reports, while engaging governments and societies on the importance of 
respecting and protecting religious communities and safeguarding the 
right of individuals to believe or not believe. If confirmed, I will 
press for the timely and appropriate designation of Countries of 
Particular Concern (CPCs) and Presidential Actions, a critical tool to 
motivate progress on religious freedom. I will seek to expand training 
of diplomats on religious freedom. I will use program resources to 
implement projects that address systemic issues challenging religious 
freedom--including blasphemy, apostasy, and the right to change one's 
religion.
    The life and professional background I offer this position is 
unique. My international experiences have particularly shaped my 
perspectives and brought me to this point. I have been privileged to 
enjoy a range of experiences in bringing people of different faiths 
together to achieve common objectives--including religious freedom and 
respect for people of other faiths and beliefs. I have traveled to five 
continents to engage Muslims, Catholics, Orthodox Christians, 
Protestants, Jews, and practitioners of several other spiritual 
traditions. I have led interfaith delegations to Israel, Jordan, and 
Egypt, and throughout the Caribbean. I worked with World Vision, in 
Ruschlikon, Switzerland, in its efforts to combat global poverty. I 
have traveled to Zimbabwe and South Africa to meet with Zulu faith 
leaders to promote religious freedom and tolerance. As a young woman, I 
worked with Operation Crossroads Africa, and participated in a cross-
cultural exchange with spiritual groups in Ghana.
    If confirmed, I will engage government and religious leaders, as 
well as grassroots faith-based communities around the world, which have 
enormous impact on cultivating a climate more receptive to religious 
freedom in difficult places. As a religious leader myself, I would like 
to bring this perspective and use my skills and experience to encourage 
diverse religious communities to jointly defend and advance religious 
freedom and foster a climate of mutual respect.
    America has learned much from its experience with religious 
diversity. We must share our lessons, stand with the persecuted, and 
encourage all governments to respect and protect the universal rights 
of all people. As President Obama said, on Religious Freedom Day, 
January 14, ``The United States stands with those who advocate for free 
religious expression and works to protect the rights of all people to 
follow their conscience, free from persecution and discrimination.''
    I have learned important lessons and wisdom from each of my 
experiences. If confirmed, to serve as Ambassador at Large, I will seek 
to work with all religious groups. And I will work with human rights 
organizations, think tanks, universities, media partners, foreign 
governments, Congress, and, of course, the U.S. Commission on 
International Religious Freedom. If confirmed, I will seek appropriate 
resources needed both for the IRF Office and for innovative programs 
and other activities to advance our priorities. I will work with 
colleagues at the Department, our Ambassadors overseas, and the White 
House to ensure that all parts of our government are working together 
to advance religious freedom. This mission is too important to be left 
to one official or one office in the U.S. Government.
    I also want to acknowledge and commend the efforts of the two 
previous Ambassadors at Large, Robert Seiple and John Hanford. Both 
embraced the mandate of the IRF Act and were responsible for overseeing 
the Office of International Religious Freedom in the Department of 
State. If confirmed, I pledge to build on their efforts as faithful 
stewards of this congressional mandate and President Obama's vision of 
focusing U.S. attention on issues of religious freedom and working with 
persons of all faiths to pursue this critical goal.
    If confirmed, I especially look forward to working closely with 
Congress in advancing this agenda together on behalf of the American 
people, our national interests and the values we hold dear. I look 
forward to answering any questions you may have.

    Senator Boxer. Thank you so much, Dr. Cook.
    And we are having this hearing because a couple of folks 
wanted to hear more about you. And I have got to say, I am so 
impressed. It is impressive.
    And you speak about traveling to five continents, which I 
think is a tremendous education. And is it true you speak 
Spanish?
    Dr. Cook. Yes; it is. I lived in Valencia, Spain.
    Senator Boxer. That is very good, too. And that, you know, 
to me, you have presented just a wonderful resume and a very 
strong presence here.
    I would like to ask those who came with you, family and 
extended family, just to stand for a minute. If they would 
stand? You don't need to introduce them all. I just feel they 
should be recognized because I know you traveled to be here 
with Dr. Cook, and I just want to thank you for that.
    Because when people come before us like this, they need 
support, and thank you very much for being here. Really, it 
means a lot to her, and I know I am very impressed that you are 
all here.
    So let me say I am convinced in terms of all that you have 
done in your life that you are ready for this challenge. And I 
so admire Secretary Clinton and Senator Gillibrand, who know 
you so well. And so, I am excited that you are willing to do 
this.
    I have a couple of questions on topics that I hope you are 
prepared for. If not, you can just get back to me on the 
record.
    As you know, violent attacks against Coptic Christians in 
Egypt have increased significantly in recent years. In January 
2010, on Coptic Christmas Eve, six Coptic Christians and a 
Muslim security guard were killed in a driveby shooting outside 
a church.
    On New Year's Day 2011, a suicide bomber killed 23 people 
in an attack on a church in Alexandria, Egypt. And just a few 
weeks ago, violent clashes between Muslims and Coptic 
Christians in the capital of Cairo left at least 13 dead and 
140 wounded.
    This violence against Coptic Christians, who make up 10 
percent of Egypt's population, is concerning, especially now 
while the Egyptian people are looking forward to a new lease on 
life for them. In her testimony before the Tom Lantos Human 
Rights Commission in January, Nina Shea, a commissioner of the 
U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, stated, 
``The U.S. and the community of nations have a fundamental 
obligation to address the violence and protect those religious 
minorities.''
    If confirmed, how will you work to ensure that U.S. 
prioritizes the protection of religious minorities and the 
prosecution of violators in its discussions with Egypt about 
its future?
    Dr. Cook. Thank you, Senator.
    I share your concern certainly about the Coptic Christians 
and other minorities in Egypt. Having traveled there and lived 
there, I know many of the religious leaders. It has been 
disheartening to learn of all the institutions that have been 
forbidden to be built or be renovated. So it has been ongoing.
    In this transition, it is important that there be dialogue 
and engagement with civil society. The U.S. Government high-
level officials have had numerous occasions to have dialogue 
with Egypt, including Secretary Clinton. And if confirmed, I 
would build upon those conversations and draw on the tools that 
are available to me, at my disposal.
    One of the keys that is happening is that religious leaders 
are emerging as voices, and it would be important, if 
confirmed, to sit down with all sectors and begin a dialogue 
that would include protection for Coptic Christians and others.
    Senator Boxer. So you would agree that this is a moment in 
time that we shouldn't waste when it comes to religious 
freedom----
    Dr. Cook. Without question.
    Senator Boxer [continuing]. In Egypt particularly, and 
these other countries that are going through this dramatic 
revolution, some peaceful, some not. I would say in that vein, 
and this would not be your portfolio, but I think this is 
really a moment in history where we should look at religious 
freedom and also equality for women because, you know, this is 
a rare moment.
    The other question I have, and then I will yield to Senator 
DeMint. I have questions for the record on the Congo. If I 
don't have a chance to answer it and some others, but this one 
I thought I would ask you.
    The spiritual leader of many of my constituents and 
hundreds of millions of Orthodox Christians around the globe is 
His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. As you know, his 
nearly 2,000-year-old sacred see is in Istanbul, Turkey, has 
faced tremendous discrimination at the hands of the Turkish 
Government over the better part of the past century.
    Fortunately, Turkey has taken some steps regarding the 
religious freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarch in recent months, 
including providing Turkish citizenship to potential successors 
of the patriarch and returning important property to the 
church. But much remains to be done, including reopening an 
important orthodox seminary that was closed by the Turkish 
Government in 1971 and recognizing the title of Ecumenical 
Patriarch.
    If confirmed, how would you work to significantly improve 
religious freedom and human rights for the Ecumenical Patriarch 
and for ethnic Greeks living in Turkey?
    Dr. Cook. Thank you for your question.
    A large part of my constituency is also Greek Orthodox. I 
had the pleasure of serving with Father John Poulos in Astoria, 
Queens, as a police chaplain. And so, for many years, that 
issue has been a highlight of my priorities.
    I have also had the pleasure of serving with Father Alex 
and Archbishop Demetrios in the New York region. And just 
Friday at the White House, I celebrated Greek Independence Day 
with them. So I am very attuned to the subject matter.
    If confirmed, I would continue to press the government to 
recognize the Ecumenical Patriarch. We are pleased that 12 
metropolitans were confirmed as citizens, which broadens the 
pool for the next Ecumenical Patriarch. But that would be one 
of the first trips in my priorities that I would like to take, 
to visit and see the Ecumenical Patriarch. Long overdue.
    Senator Boxer. Well, it is music to my ears. I thank you.
    Senator DeMint, the floor is yours.
    Senator DeMint. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
    I am sure the State Department would take exception to my 
comments. But over several administrations, I have seen an 
unwillingness at the State Department to address seriously 
religious freedom and religious persecution issues. I think, 
when pressed, they tend to pat you on the head, and I am 
speaking of my head at this point, and saying, ``That is 
important,'' rhetorically. But it is, frankly, too messy to 
compromise a political or economic relationship.
    And that is why I mentioned the importance of a real 
passion and boldness because I don't expect this administration 
or the next within the State Department culture to really take 
these issues as seriously as they should. Because one of the 
things that I know is important and true, that we are not going 
to have economic and political freedom where no religious 
freedom exists.
    I just would like to ask your response. As we look at 
violations in Afghanistan, where we have Americans of all 
faiths fighting, giving their lives, billions of dollars being 
spent, an Afghani who converted to Christianity was sentenced 
to death, effectively. And fortunately, because of I think a 
lot of political pressure, that is not going to happen, but 
that person no longer can live in their home country.
    What would you do? How would you deal with this? Because it 
is not just Afghanistan. It is Iraq. It is other places where 
American blood has been shed, and now we are faced with 
governments we have helped install who are not supporting 
religious freedom. What would you do in Afghanistan?
    Dr. Cook. Thank you for your question, Senator.
    I share the concern deeply because there is a lot of 
violence and persecution, and there are many laws that are 
written totally against those who are religious minorities. If 
confirmed, I will work together with partners, international 
partners who have been working on religious freedom issues for 
a long time.
    We are heartened by the release of Said Musa, who, although 
he is not able to live any longer in his country, it was the 
U.S. Government, as well as many of my partners, NGO partners, 
who have worked for his release and his reuniting with his 
family. So we are concerned. And if confirmed, I would continue 
to press the Afghan Government for protection of all of its 
citizens and to also work with them in terms of promoting 
religious freedom.
    Senator DeMint. Would you be willing to do that publicly, 
to speak to the media, or I know is the State Department will 
tell me and you, let us do this under the radar. Let us not 
make any waves. And so, the international pressure that we 
would like to be there is often not present.
    And I am not saying that some of the behind the scenes work 
does not pay dividends. As in Afghanistan, we did not establish 
religious freedom, but we saved the person's life. Frankly, for 
what we are fighting for, I am not sure that that should be our 
end goal.
    But you have mentioned working with our partners, or I 
mean, can you be more specific? We have that very real 
situation right now where countries where our troops are on the 
ground, where religious freedom does not exist. How would you 
work with our Government and those governments? How would you 
exert the pressure that is needed to get the attention here as 
well as there?
    Dr. Cook. Thank you for your question.
    The beginning of your question was would I certainly use 
public diplomacy as one of the tools? I would use all of the 
tools that are available to me to elevate religious freedom to 
the highest level, both in our Government and around the world.
    There are times situationally that public pressure and the 
headlines is important, and there are times, in the case of 
Said Musa, situationally that you need to do it more quietly. 
And Afghan is a very complicated situation, and there are times 
that you have to move quietly for the saving of a person's life 
and for the reunification of his family.
    So one of the tools that I am strong at is public 
diplomacy, and when appropriate, certainly I will use that and 
all the tools that are available to me.
    Senator DeMint. OK. Just one final question. It appears 
from what we see that this position has kind of been lowered in 
status at the State Department. Yet we expect you to be the 
primary adviser to the President on religious issues, which 
means, again, probably in the pecking order, you would have to 
use strong personality and a lot of push in order to get some 
attention. And again, that is very important.
    How do you anticipate dealing with that inside the 
structure there at the State Department?
    Dr. Cook. Well, thank you again for your question.
    I bring a 30-year, three-decade-long experience. You asked 
initially in your opening statement for boldness, courage, and 
passion, and those are three qualities that I have. But I don't 
see the position as lowered. I see it as being a premier 
bureau, the DRL bureau. I see a team of 20 wonderful full-time 
civil servants and also Foreign Service officers who are really 
on their game, their A game, and have worked very hard.
    They are just missing an Ambassador at Large to complete a 
strong team. And so, if confirmed, I would join that team, and 
we would elevate, again, religious freedom to the highest 
levels possible.
    Senator DeMint. Thank you, Dr. Cook.
    Senator Boxer. Senator DeMint, thank you for those 
excellent questions.
    Senator Menendez, welcome.
    Senator Menendez. Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Reverend Cook, thank you for coming again. I was ready to 
vote for you the last time you were here.
    Dr. Cook. Thank you, Senator.
    Senator Menendez. And I, having heard some of your answers 
that were preempted by the chair that I had to the questions of 
the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which 
is something that I am passionate about. Senator Snowe and I, 
in a bipartisan effort, are circulating a letter to the 
President on this issue, which we expect many Senators to join 
us on.
    And we are concerned that while we have made some progress 
with Turkey on this issue, especially with regard to objecting 
to referring to his All Holiness as ecumenical and proving some 
aspects of patriarchal succession, but there is a lot more that 
needs to be done. And you and I have had the opportunities in 
your visits before your nomination or as you were nominated, 
but before you were in the committee, in your responses to me 
the last time.
    And from what I have heard of your responses to Senator 
Boxer that are in line with the type of advocacy that I would 
want someone in this position to have, not only as it relates 
to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but to religious freedom 
internationally. And I know one thing. That until we get 
someone in this position, there will be no advocacy in the 
world for the religious freedom that we all believe in and 
espouse passionately. And so, I think it is incredibly 
important to get someone into this position as the Ambassador 
at Large for International Religious Freedom.
    Let me ask you, since I know some of my colleagues have the 
concern about the nature of the position and the structure of 
it and what not, before you took this nomination, I am sure you 
wanted to have a role to be effective.
    Dr. Cook. Yes.
    Senator Menendez. So what understandings did you come to in 
terms of what is going to be your ability, both individually 
and within the State Department and beyond, to be able to be 
that voice and make that case and to have the ear of those who 
can shape policy?
    Dr. Cook. Thank you for your question, Senator. It is good 
to see you again.
    As I came to this position, I read very carefully the IRF 
Act and understand critically that I would be the principal 
adviser to both the Secretary of State and the President of the 
United States, and I would carry out the IRF mandate as it is 
written fully to its potential. I have no problem doing that. 
The structure that is in place still allows me to do that.
    Again, I share we have a tremendous team of Foreign Service 
officers and civil service workers who make up or comprise 
about 20. I would head the IRF office and would do that to my 
full ability. I don't feel the position is diminished 
whatsoever. What is lacking is the person in the post of 
Ambassador at Large for Religious Freedom.
    So I am prepared to do that. I am ready to do that. And 
certainly, visiting the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Vatican is 
something this office has not done, and that would be one of my 
priorities when assuming the post, if confirmed.
    Senator Menendez. I appreciate that. Now do you know 
Secretary Clinton?
    Dr. Cook. I know her very well, and I would have access to 
the Secretary.
    Senator Menendez. You have known her since before she was 
the Secretary of State?
    Dr. Cook. I knew her before. I was in the Clinton White 
House when she was the first lady. Also, she was the Senator 
for my very famous State, New York.
    Senator Menendez. And she must have known you during that 
period of time?
    Dr. Cook. Very much so and very closely.
    Senator Menendez. And so, therefore, you know the Secretary 
in a way that maybe some other nominee would not know the 
Secretary and be able to get her ear. Is that fair to say?
    Dr. Cook. That is very fair to say, sir.
    Senator Menendez. OK. Do you know President Obama?
    Dr. Cook. I know President Obama as well, thank you. And I 
could have his ear also.
    Senator Menendez. Do you know him well enough that you will 
have the wherewithal to be able to, when you feel that it is 
fitting and appropriate and necessary on some issue of 
religious freedom in the world, to be able to make your case to 
him?
    Dr. Cook. Yes, sir. I do.
    Senator Menendez. Well, that is ultimately the two main 
opportunities that we want, for this person who would have this 
position to be able to speak to the Secretary of State and to 
the President of the United States when they feel that it is 
important, appropriate, fitting, and necessary to promote 
religious freedom in the world and to have the ears of those 
individuals.
    So I am once again ready and willing to vote for your 
confirmation. I believe from my conversations with you, not 
only as it relates to the Ecumenical Patriarch, but other 
concerns I have in the world, that you will be a strong 
advocate and not a shrinking violet in this respect.
    And so, thank you very much for coming once again before 
the committee.
    Dr. Cook. You are welcome, and thank you.
    Senator Boxer. Thank you, Senator.
    Senator Lugar.
    Senator Lugar. Dr. Cook, my colleagues have tried to help 
us all define your role as Ambassador at Large, and of course, 
you have related responses to questions from Senator Menendez 
your relationship with the President and the Secretary of 
State.
    Let me ask a question this way. A Pew Foundation study from 
December 2009 indicated that approximately 70 percent of the 
population of the world lives in areas where religious freedom 
is severely restricted. Now I suppose whether it is your own 
initiative, that of the 20 talented persons who are working 
with you, or even on occasion a thought from the President or 
the Secretary of State, how do you go about prioritizing what 
exactly you are going to do, and which countries you will be 
visiting?
    I ask this question because if you have two-thirds of the 
world where restrictions on religious freedom are very 
substantial, there is, of course, a long list of possibilities. 
How do you plan to occupy your time most profitably? Or, is 
this a situation where you wait for a crisis to occur and then 
head out to the front and see what you can do?
    Dr. Cook. OK. Thank you, sir, for your question, Senator 
Lugar.
    The Pew study goes on to say that not only 70 percent are 
persecuted daily, but also more than 200,000 million Christians 
each day are persecuted and discriminated against. And in the 
20th and 21st centuries, more people have been killed because 
of their faith than in the other 19 centuries combined. So I am 
very concerned about the lack of this office being filled.
    My priorities would be such that we can't cover all the 198 
countries, but we are mandated by the IRF Act to give a report 
on those countries. I would sit down with our staff and our 
team and our wider partners, NGOs and academy and others who 
have been working on religious freedom, and determine those 
priorities.
    Certainly the Middle East right now is urgent, and that 
cannot be ignored. I would want to travel immediately to Egypt 
and to Iraq. In Asia, I would love to travel to Vietnam and to 
Afghanistan and Pakistan and certainly China, where we are 
developing relationships. And then, in sub-Saharan Africa, 
would love to go to Nigeria, which is also of urgent concern, 
as well as stopping by Liberia, which is having the same 
conflict as Nigeria. But they are one of what we call a 
``promising practice,'' and I would use that as a model perhaps 
for Nigeria and other countries that are experiencing religious 
freedom issues.
    So those would be my priorities immediately. Certainly 
sitting down domestically with people who have been working on 
religious freedom for issues. Just as when religious freedom, 
the IRF Act was developed, there was a summit called of the 
academy scholars, NGOs, who were working on religious freedom, 
I would want to have those conversations as well. But those 
would be my priorities.
    Certainly a visit to the Ecumenical Patriarch and to the 
Vatican, which this office has not done for the last decade, I 
think, out of respect and as a priority.
    Senator Lugar. Well, you have named some very excellent 
priorities. But now how do you conduct yourself when you 
arrive? You come on the scene. You have already made a study 
indicating that things are not going well in terms of religious 
freedom.
    In a concrete sense, what do you actually propose? A plan 
for better conduct by that government, by the society? In other 
words, specifically what action does an Ambassador at Large 
take that makes any particular difference in the minds of those 
leaders?
    Dr. Cook. Thank you for your question.
    Certainly the tools that are available to me, first of all, 
is getting, securing the report and reporting on religious 
persecution in the 198 countries. But the second tool is 
diplomacy. We would work with the embassies and posts where we 
have a post on the ground as my first point of entry, and then 
also with the NGOs and civil society in those societies.
    Where there are diplomatic relations that are lacking, I 
would work with multilateral fora and also partners who are 
related to those countries. So there will be a strategic plan. 
I would not go without a plan. I would move strategically, not 
emotionally, and certainly work with those partners that are 
already on the ground.
    But wherever we have embassies, we would secure that 
relationship first.
    Senator Lugar. How do your responsibilities interact with 
those of the U.S. Commission on International Religious 
Freedom? Where do they fit into the picture?
    Dr. Cook. Oh, they fit very complementarily. We have not 
had a chance to sit down, but that would be part of the 
conversations I would have initially if I am confirmed. That 
would be one of the first conversations with the commissioners, 
and I would be an ex officio member of USCIRF. And so, part of 
that would be to have presence.
    One of the acronyms--this is a city of acronyms, and so I 
have had to learn a new language coming before you. So I have 
developed one, which is MAP, putting religious freedom on the 
MAP. And the M is for multilateral relationships and meetings 
that matter. A is for accessibility and availability of the 
Ambassador. And P is for policy, partnerships, and presence and 
using those tools that are available to me.
    So USCIRF would be one of those entities that I would sit 
with, that we, together, would put religious freedom on the map 
and work in a complementary collaborative relationship.
    Senator Lugar. Thank you very much.
    Dr. Cook. You are welcome.
    Senator Boxer. Thank you very much, Senator Lugar.
    Senator Lee.
    Senator Lee. Thank you for joining us today, Ms. Cook.
    Dr. Cook. Thank you.
    Senator Lee. I wanted to talk to you for a minute about 
Iraq's indigenous Christian population. Do you have any 
thoughts that you could share with us about what you would do 
to help Iraq's Christians?
    Dr. Cook. Yes; thank you, sir, for your question, and 
welcome.
    It is good to--there has certainly been a lot of violence 
and a lot of discrimination against Iraq's Christian 
population. There has been a shift certainly in military action 
there, and so part of what is going to be necessary is to also 
have conversations with General Petraeus and the military 
chaplains who are there.
    Being a religious leader, I also bring that camaraderie of 
relationship with the chaplains who are on the ground. But also 
we have Ambassador Bodde, who has been assigned to Iraq, and 
there also is Deputy Assistant Secretary Corbin, who has been 
assigned to Iraq. Those would be conversations that I would 
need to have with them as well, because they have been doing 
the work, and also partner with them and build upon the 
relationships that they have built in Iraq.
    Senator Lee. OK. What about in Pakistan, defamation laws? 
Those have proven problematic for religious liberty, as I 
suspect you would agree. Have you given any thought to those 
and how you might deal with those in this capacity?
    Dr. Cook. Well, yes. Pakistan is very complicated. It has 
some societal issues, as well as religious freedom issues. But 
we are thankful that on last Thursday, the antidefamation 
resolution, an alternative was presented by Pakistan, and 
defamation is no longer in the title. The United Nations Human 
Rights Council met in Geneva, and an alternative resolution was 
passed unanimously so that it will protect religious 
minorities.
    We are very concerned certainly about the Ahmadi 
communities there and the Christian communities and other 
religious minorities. And in our wider group of friends and 
partners, I have a wonderful friendship with an Ahmadi family, 
Mr. Nasir Ahmad. And so, talking with those persons from those 
communities which have been oppressed is certainly something 
that we want to continue to do.
    But Pakistan represents many complexities, and we will 
continue to work forward. We will certainly--our condolences 
certainly went out to Prime Minister Bhatti's family and to 
Governor Taseer's family, and we would hope that as we continue 
that they will have a new champion for religious freedom. But 
in the meantime, we certainly have to build upon the work that 
they did.
    Senator Lee. Do you feel well equipped to come into a role 
that is still in the process of being defined?
    Dr. Cook. I think the role is very defined, and I feel very 
equipped and compatible with this role. So I think that I am 
very prepared. Courageous and boldness and passion is what 
Senator DeMint asked for, and I bring those qualities to it, as 
well as a wealth of experience.
    Senator Lee. Thank you.
    Senator Boxer. Thank you very much, Senator.
    Well, Dr. Cook, I want to thank you and all of your family 
and extended family who came today. I speak for myself in 
saying you are an incredible witness before this committee. You 
have acquitted yourself, I think, magnificently. You have 
answered every question in detail. You never ducked a question.
    And I think you have shown, I hope--I hope--this committee 
that you are ready. I think you are more than ready for this 
job. So I thank you.
    I know Senator DeMint has a few questions. I have a couple 
of questions. Others may. So we will leave the record open for 
24 hours. So stay close to us, and get those answers back.
    Senator Boxer. And then we will work with the Foreign 
Relations Committee to have your nomination moved forward.
    Again, thank you so very much.
    And this hearing stands adjourned. Thank you, colleagues.
    Dr. Cook. Thank you, Senator.
    [Whereupon, at 3:16 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]
                              ----------                              


       Additional Questions and Answers Submitted for the Record


       Responses of Suzan Johnson Cook to Questions Submitted by
                         Senator John F. Kerry

    Question. What level of input will you have in the administration 
of the Human Rights and Democracy Fund (HRDF)? How would you ensure 
that religious freedom considerations are taken into account during the 
programming of HRDF funds?

    Answer. Established under President Clinton, the HRDF has funded 
such projects as promoting the rule of law, advancing democratic 
values, and supporting religious freedom efforts and worker rights in 
over 50 countries. Over the last 3 years, more than $10 million of the 
HRDF has been committed to religious freedom programming. As Ambassador 
at Large, if confirmed, I would be directly involved in the review and 
selection process on all proposals related to religious freedom.
    Religious freedom programming currently supports such areas as: (1) 
training religious groups, civil society, and lawmakers to develop 
legal and policy protections for religious freedom, (2) addressing 
expressions of intolerance, antidefamation, anticonversion, and 
antiblasphemy laws that restrict religious expression; (3) increasing 
public awareness of religious freedom through media outlets and opinion 
makers; and (4) strengthening capacity of religious leaders to promote 
faith-based cooperation across religious and sectarian lines.
    If confirmed, I will collaborate closely with DRL's programming 
office, on HRDF programs that are reviewed and approved generally under 
DRL authority, paying particular attention to those proposals where 
religious freedom is integrated with the larger promotion of freedom of 
expression. For example, programming on Internet freedom has direct and 
significant benefits for the advancement of freedom of religion.

    Question. The forces of change in the Middle East may pose a risk 
to religious minorities, particularly in those countries experiencing 
violent turmoil. What steps would you take to protect the religious 
freedom of minority communities in that region? How would you support 
moderate voices and encourage dialogue on religious freedom among 
representatives of different faiths?

    Answer. If confirmed as a principal advisor to the President and 
Secretary of State on international religious freedom issues, I look 
forward to promoting religious freedom as a core objective of U.S. 
foreign policy. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a 
pillar of a democratic society. The Middle East must be a top priority 
for promoting religious freedom, especially given recent attacks on 
religious minorities in the region. I am deeply disturbed by the 
increase of persecution and violence against religious minorities in 
this region and in many other parts of the world. I will impress upon 
governments that religious freedom enhances stability, and that 
restrictions on religious communities only serve to encourage more 
sectarian tensions and violence.
    The changes that we are seeing in the Middle East have been 
dramatic and often inspiring, yet violence and intolerance remain 
sources of concern--particularly for religious minorities in this 
region. We are observing a mixed picture in the region, and I would 
encourage those voices promoting religious freedom among the emerging 
political leadership and strengthened minority-community voices. 
Minority religious communities in Middle Eastern countries where they 
had previously been repressed should have new opportunities for 
engagement with governments, interfaith dialogue, and progress toward 
greater religious tolerance and religious freedom. It will be one of my 
top priorities to support those voices inside the region using these 
opportunities to increase respect for religious freedom and interfaith 
dialogue.
    If confirmed, I will lead the U.S. Government's efforts to press 
for reform with governments that violate religious freedom, work with 
governments that share our views, and reach out to religious leaders 
worldwide to urge them to work with the United States in this region to 
promote religious tolerance and freedom. The Secretary is deeply 
engaged on religious freedom issues, and the first line of defense on 
religious freedom is our hard-working embassies and missions worldwide. 
The IRF Act provides many tools to advance this agenda. I will use all 
the tools of diplomacy and engagement, including public and private 
messaging, pressure, and programs.
    I will work with my colleagues in the State Department and with 
civil society to advocate for a change in the Egyptian law to remove 
severe restrictions on building and renovating Christian places of 
worship. I would also press the Iraqi Government to protect vulnerable 
religious minorities by taking effective measures to prevent future 
attacks and to bring to justice the perpetrators of attacks on 
Christians and other minorities.
    If confirmed, I also look forward to engaging political and civic 
leaders directly to encourage greater reforms and protection of 
religious minorities. I specifically hope to travel to Egypt and Iraq 
soon to meet with my counterparts in the governments to urge them to 
fulfill their international obligations to respect freedom of religion 
and ensure the safety of its religious minorities. I will work more 
broadly with communities around the region to advance religious freedom 
by engaging religious leaders and civil society; through programming 
and exchanges; and by promoting interfaith dialogue, tolerance, and 
mutual respect through education.

    Question. In Uzbekistan, government restrictions on religious 
freedom have led to the arrest and imprisonment of thousands of 
persons, including many Muslim individuals and registered and 
unregistered religious groups. What strategy would you employ to 
encourage the Government of Uzbekistan to abide by its international 
commitments on religious freedom, including its commitments under the 
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights?

    Answer. I am deeply concerned about the Uzbekistan Government's 
restrictions on and abuses of religious freedom. If confirmed, I intend 
to build on the important work of State Department colleagues and press 
the Government of Uzbekistan to take specific actions to support 
religious freedom. Uzbekistan has been designated a Country of 
Particular Concern (CPC) since 2006. Since the CPC designation, State 
Department officials have met numerous times with Uzbek officials, both 
in Uzbekistan and in Washington, most recently during the Annual 
Bilateral Consultations in Tashkent in February 2011. Secretary Clinton 
also raised religious freedom, among other human rights issues, with 
President Karimov during her December 2010 visit to Tashkent following 
the OSCE summit.
    If confirmed, I would work with U.S. colleagues, key international 
partners, USCIRF, and NGOs to advocate for progress and help Uzbekistan 
improve its practices and legislation. If confirmed, I plan to travel 
to Uzbekistan to reinvigorate and elevate our dialogue on religious 
freedom. I will press hard for the Uzbek Government to simplify the 
registration process for religious groups and reduce the requirements 
for registration, and will also urge the Uzbeks to reduce or eliminate 
the civil and criminal penalties for unregistered religious activity. I 
will work to ensure that advocacy for religious freedom continues to be 
an integral part of future Annual Bilateral Consultations and will work 
with my colleagues to utilize all diplomatic tools to motivate and 
persuade the Uzbek Government to make improvements. I would use 
appropriate public diplomacy and program assistance toward that goal.

    Question. The status of the Rohingya in Burma, Bangladesh, 
Thailand, and other Southeast Asian countries remains precarious. 
Lacking citizenship, they often face restrictions on access to 
education and other basic services, live in deplorable conditions, and 
do not enjoy the right to certain fundamental human freedoms, including 
rights to freedom of religion, association, and movement. What role 
would your office play in encouraging greater protections for the 
Rohingya against policies that discriminate on the basis of religion?

    Answer. I am very concerned about the plight of the Rohingya, 
particularly in Burma where the government continues to refuse to 
recognize them as citizens, rendering them stateless, and imposes 
restrictions on their movement and marriage. I am also concerned about 
the treatment of Rohingya refugees in Thailand and Bangladesh. If 
confirmed, I will work with our embassies in the region as well as the 
Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration to continue to press for 
the rights of Rohingya in Burma and throughout the region. I will 
follow this issue closely, highlight Rohingya human rights problems in 
our annual reports, engage governments in the region to end 
discrimination against the Rohingya, and work toward developing 
regional solutions to address their plight.
    Burma is designated a Country of Particular Concern for its ongoing 
violations of religious freedom. The U.S. Government has a wide array 
of financial and trade sanctions in place against Burma for its 
violations of human rights. Our Embassies also offer support to local 
NGOs and religious leaders and exchange information with otherwise 
isolated human rights NGOs and religious leaders.
                                 ______
                                 

       Responses of Suzan Johnson Cook to Questions Submitted by 
                         Senator Barbara Boxer

    Question. As you may know, DRC has been called the ``rape capital 
of the world.'' The United Nations estimates that 200,000 women and 
girls have been raped in the DRC over the past 12 years, and that 
15,000 women were raped in eastern DRC in 2009 alone. This level of 
brutality is simply incomprehensible and it must be stopped once and 
for all. According to the U.S. State Department's 2010 Report on 
International Religious Freedom, ``Nearly 90 percent of the 
population'' of DRC ``attends religious services each week.'' Given 
that the vast majority of Congolese citizens regularly attend religious 
services, what, in your opinion, is the role of religious communities 
in raising awareness about violence against women? If confirmed, how 
will you work to encourage religious communities to take a leadership 
role in stopping violence against women in DRC?

    Answer. I know your staff visited the Democratic Republic of the 
Congo recently and applaud your efforts to raise awareness of these 
human rights issues. I share your concern about the broader human 
rights issues in the country, particularly the horrific widespread 
violence against women. As a religious leader myself, I believe that 
communities of faith, working in concert with traditional leaders, can 
and should play an important role in raising awareness to combat 
violence against women and elevating the role and status of women in 
society.
    If confirmed, I would strongly encourage churches and all religious 
communities to use their combined influence to address this horrific 
problem. Communities of faith can and should have a voice in reducing 
violence against women. If confirmed, I hope to travel to the DRC to 
help bring together these communities and urge them to demonstrate 
leadership in this important issue.

    Question. On Thursday, March 24, the United Nations Human Rights 
Council (UNHRC) passed a resolution on ``Combating Intolerance and 
Violence Against Persons Based on Religion or Belief.'' This was widely 
hailed by many religious groups and religious freedom advocates as a 
victory over a ``defamation of religions'' resolution that has long 
been championed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). 
Many feared that the ``defamation of religions'' resolution would be 
used to further criminalize peaceful criticism of religion, including 
reinforcing blasphemy laws in countries such as Pakistan where 
violations carry the risk of death. As noted by the U.S. Commission on 
International Religious Freedom, the new resolution ``properly focuses 
on protecting individuals from discrimination or violence, instead of 
protecting religions from criticism.''

   If confirmed, how will you work to build on this resolution? 
        And how will you work to encourage countries to eliminate 
        blasphemy laws, particularly those that carry the death penalty 
        such as in Pakistan and Afghanistan?

    Answer. The consensus resolution adopted by the U.N. Human Rights 
Council (UNHRC) represents a significant step forward in the global 
dialogue on countering intolerance, discrimination, and violence 
against persons based on religion or belief. The State Department, 
including staff from the Office of International Religious Freedom, 
worked intensively on developing this new approach.
    If confirmed, working with member states from the Organization of 
the Islamic Conference and the European Union, I will urge robust 
implementation of the concrete measures outlined in the resolution such 
as education, awareness building, government outreach, service 
projects, dialogue, and countering offensive speech with more speech. I 
will also partner with governments, civil society, and religious 
leaders on constructive joint initiatives to combat intolerance, 
discrimination, and violence against persons based on religion or 
belief.
    In countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, I am deeply 
concerned about abuses under the blasphemy laws. In Pakistan, the 
implementation of these laws has resulted in the arrest of, and attacks 
on, hundreds of Pakistani citizens, both Muslim and non-Muslim. If 
confirmed, I will urge the Government of Pakistan to address these 
problematic laws. I will also actively engage with the country's 
religious leadership and civil society actors advocating for tolerance 
and interfaith efforts. Our message is simple: we need to work together 
to reduce interfaith tensions and violence; blasphemy laws have 
actually contributed to violence and are thus counterproductive to 
their stated aims.
    In Afghanistan, although in recent years the death penalty has not 
been carried out either by local or national authorities, these kind of 
discriminatory laws and practices are rooted in intolerance that 
governments should combat. If confirmed, I will urge the Government of 
Afghanistan to uphold its international obligations to freedoms of 
religion and expression, and also work in coordination with the 
international community, including our European partners, the United 
Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), and other like-
minded partners to reinforce the importance of freedom of religion, 
tolerance, and respect. This will be a long process and progress will 
be measured in increments. If confirmed, I will use all of the tools at 
my disposal to engage with religious leaders and civil society--like 
the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), and I will help 
develop programs and exchanges to support these policies.

    Question. The Government of Vietnam has a long history of 
intolerance to religious freedom despite provisions contained within 
the Vietnamese Constitution that provide for individual belief.
    The government is especially harsh to individuals associated with 
religious groups that are not officially recognized. However, even 
members of churches that are acknowledged by the government, such as 
the Catholic Church, suffer persecution. Security officials interfere 
with religious gatherings, confiscate religious literature, and harass 
religious leaders with frequent interrogation.
    In some instances, government officials have destroyed churches and 
religious structures. Religious groups and activists are threatened, 
harassed, and even sometimes imprisoned, such as in the case of former 
prisoner of conscience, Father Nguyen Van Ly, who was sentenced to 8 
years in prison in 2007. He was released last year on medical parole; 
an order that expired on March 15, 2011. As a result, Father Ly faces 
possible rearrest by the government.

   If confirmed, how would you personally work to protect 
        individuals who are at risk of harassment and detainment as a 
        result of their religious activities?
   How will you work to more broadly to advance religious 
        freedom in Vietnam?

    Answer. If confirmed, Vietnam will be one of my top priorities, and 
I will use all the tools at my disposal to promote true religious 
freedom there, including reporting, diplomatic engagement, public 
diplomacy, and targeted programming. While there has been some overall 
progress in religious freedom over the last decade, Protestant 
minorities in the Central and Northwest Highlands, the Catholic Church, 
and individual religious believers of a variety of faiths still face 
serious problems. The State Department already engages regularly with 
the Government of Vietnam in Hanoi and in Washington, including at our 
annual Human Rights Dialogue, the most recent of which was led by 
Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Assistant Secretary Michael Posner 
in December 2010 in Hanoi.
    If confirmed, I will travel to Vietnam to meet with religious 
freedom activists and with the families of imprisoned activists to 
consult on how best to advocate for them. I will advocate with the 
Vietnamese Government in Hanoi, and I will engage the Embassy of 
Vietnam in Washington. If confirmed, I will raise individual cases and 
I will address the broad institutional and societal issues that 
obstruct full freedom of religion. I will also work with my colleagues 
in the State Department, the United States Commission on International 
Religious Freedom and other NGOs in the United States working on these 
issues, with Members of Congress, Vietnamese civil society, and the 
Vietnamese diaspora in the United States to bring about positive 
improvement toward full religious freedom in Vietnam.
                                 ______
                                 

       Responses of Suzan Johnson Cook to Questions Submitted by
                           Senator Jim DeMint

    Question. Do you believe the international standard for religious 
freedom protects the right of individuals to share their faith publicly 
(proselytism) and to change their faith (conversion)? If so, how will 
you work with foreign governments that have laws that criminalize the 
peaceful expression, teaching, or sharing of religion? Please be 
specific on how you intend to work with the most egregious government 
violators.

    Answer. It is clear to me that international human rights standards 
protect the ability of individuals to change their beliefs and to share 
their beliefs in public. These rights are protected under the freedoms 
of religion, of expression, and of associations as stated in the 
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on 
Civil and Political Rights. If confirmed, I will address this issue 
directly through communications with governments that place 
restrictions on the ability to proselytize or convert. The State 
Department has closely followed the development and implementation of 
anticonversion laws, blasphemy laws, and apostasy laws in South Asia, 
East Asia, and the Middle East. These laws generally violate human 
rights law. Moreover, they can often lead to increased societal 
tensions and violence.
    Therefore, in addition to directly pressing governments to bring 
their laws into conformity with international law, I will also engage 
civil society and religious leaders to hear their concerns and to 
engage them in building cultures of religious tolerance. I will also 
engage like-minded partners in the international community and raise 
these issues in regional and international human rights fora.
    In countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, I am particularly 
concerned about abuses under the blasphemy laws. In Pakistan, the 
implementation of these laws has resulted in the arrest of and attacks 
against hundreds of Pakistani citizens, both Muslim and non-Muslim. 
Last fall these laws led to a death sentence for a Christian convert, 
Aasia Bibi. If confirmed, I will urge the Government of Pakistan to 
address these problematic laws. I will also actively engage with the 
country's religious leadership and civil society advocates for 
tolerance and interfaith efforts.
    In Afghanistan, although in recent years the death penalty has not 
been carried out either by local or national authorities, 
discriminatory laws and practices that ban conversion are rooted in 
societal intolerance. If confirmed, I will urge the Government of 
Afghanistan to uphold its international obligations and commitments to 
respect freedom of religion and freedom of expression, and I will also 
work in coordination with the international community, including our 
European partners, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan 
(UNAMA), and other like-minded partners to reinforce the importance of 
freedom of religion, tolerance, and respect. This will be a long 
process and progress will be measured in increments. If confirmed, I 
will use all of the tools at my disposal, such as engaging religious 
leaders and civil society, like the Afghan Independent Human Rights 
Commission (AIHRC). I will also rely on programming and exchanges, and 
will promote interfaith efforts, tolerance, and mutual respect through 
education.

    Question. Will you recommend sanctions for the most egregious 
violators? What actions will you recommend for Countries of Particular 
Concern (CPCs) for the most egregious violators?

    Answer. The IRF Act mandates a Presidential Action for all CPCs, 
and provides specific examples of sanctions. If confirmed, I will 
recommend for consideration by the Secretary sanctions against 
egregious violators of religious freedom as appropriate to motivate 
improvement of the country's respect for religious freedom. The 
President also has the authority to waive the action only if the waiver 
would ``further the purposes of the Act,'' or if ``an important 
national interest'' is at stake. The CPC status remains, even if a 
waiver is granted.
    Presidential Actions are a critical tool in an effort to push a CPC 
toward improving conditions of religious freedom. For the most 
egregious violators, any sanction listed in the section 405 (9)-(15) of 
the IRF Act, or a commensurate action is appropriate. Sanctions are one 
of a number of tools under the IRF Act. To expect real progress on 
religious freedom, they should be part of a broader engagement strategy 
to address restrictions on religious freedom. The ultimate goal 
underlying the CPC designation process is to realize actual progress 
and improvements in religious freedom. If confirmed, I will seek as 
many opportunities and use as many tools as possible to achieve this 
goal.

    Question. Please explain how the Human Rights and Democracy Fund 
(HRDF) operates. You stated that roughly $4 million in HRDF funding 
would be at your disposal. Is that figure correct? For what purpose do 
you intend to use the HRDF? What measurable outcomes have there been, 
related directly to religious freedom, as a result of this funding?

    Answer. The HRDF supports the U.S. foreign policy goals of 
defending human rights and strengthening democratic institutions. The 
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) has administered the 
HRDF to implement innovative projects in over 50 countries since the 
HRDF was established. The HRDF supports projects that advance U.S. 
foreign policy goals such as promoting the rule of law, strengthening 
democratic institutions, and defending religious freedom and worker 
rights.
    Over the last 3 years, more than $10 million of the HRDF has been 
committed to religious freedom programming. These programs support: (1) 
training religious groups, civil society, and lawmakers to develop 
legal and policy protections for religious freedom; (2) addressing 
expressions of intolerance, antidefamation, anticonversion, and 
antiblasphemy laws that restrict religious expression; (3) increasing 
public awareness of religious freedom through media outlets and opinion 
makers; and (4) strengthening capacity of civil society leaders to 
promote interfaith cooperation.
    For example, the HRDF has funded a group of experts to analyze, 
identify, and eliminate hateful language in textbooks and increase 
content on tolerance in Israeli and Palestinian schools. In Vietnam and 
Laos, HRDF funds have supported joint trainings on religious freedom 
for government officials and religious leaders from diverse 
backgrounds. HRDF religious freedom programs are in place to increase 
discourse on religious freedom in the Middle East, Indonesia, and 
Pakistan in a wide variety of media, through print programming.
    If confirmed, I will work with my colleagues in the International 
Religious Freedom office, DRL, and throughout the State Department to 
strengthen the creative development, monitoring, and evaluation of this 
programming.

    Question. Will you be responsible for hiring and other employment 
decisions for the Office of International Religious Freedom? Please 
explain.

    Answer. If confirmed as Ambassador at Large, under the mandate of 
the IRF Act, I will head the Office of International Religious Freedom. 
This mandate includes overseeing hiring and employment for the office, 
within U.S. Government guidelines. The Office Director and the Deputy 
Director, in their supervisory capacities, handle the day-to-day 
responsibilities of personnel management.

    Question. Do you intend to meet with all new Ambassadors before 
they leave for their posts? Do you believe that the level of current 
training is sufficient?

    Answer. If confirmed, I would make it a priority to meet with 
ambassadors appointed to serve in countries where we have concerns 
about religious freedom. In some cases, I would also want to meet with 
ambassadors going to countries or missions with whom we collaborate to 
advocate for religious freedom. I will seek opportunities in my travel 
and when Chiefs of Mission are in Washington to promote collaborative 
strategic initiatives to promote religious freedom. Ambassadors and 
their staffs are the critical front line in advancing U.S. religious 
freedom policy. It is crucial that we work together to pursue common 
goals. If confirmed, my priority will be to cultivate constructive 
working relationships with our embassies.
    If confirmed, I look forward to participating in the new courses 
being developed at the Foreign Service Institute, our National Foreign 
Affairs Training Center, to help officers in Washington and abroad 
promote human rights and religious freedom. Much of the current 
training for ambassadors and other State Department officers is 
excellent in focusing on the challenges in the field of promoting 
religious freedom.
    The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor--including the 
Office of International Religious Freedom--together with the National 
Foreign Affairs Training Center (FSI), are working to create new 
courses dealing with religious freedom issues, for both senior and 
working levels, and including interagency courses. In a recently 
developed course, religious freedom has been a significant part of 
training on human rights. A new 3-day course in June will be offered 
with a specific focus on Religion and Foreign Policy, and the Office of 
International Religious Freedom is providing significant input on 
course design. I understand demand for all these courses is very high. 
If confirmed, I will also personally work with FSI, to ensure they have 
the resources and expertise they need on religious freedom issues to 
prepare diplomats to engage boldly and constructively on issues of 
religious freedom.

    Question. What is the Muslim Brotherhood?

    Answer. The Muslim Brotherhood is a transnational Islamic 
organization founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna as a 
religious, political, and social movement. It was established to 
advocate the centrality of Islam to all facets of life--including 
politics--and it argued for the creation of an Islamic state in Egypt 
based on Islamic law (Sharia). In modern times, the organization seeks 
to implement Islamic law in Egypt. Offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood 
have spread throughout Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Palestinian Territories, 
Lebanon, and North Africa. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt renounced 
domestic violence in the early 1970s, although it has defended the 
right to armed jihad in some cases, such as for Palestinians.
    The Brotherhood can also be seen as a broad ideological movement 
that has given birth to political parties in several countries, such as 
the Islamic Action Front in Jordan and Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank. 
These parties liaise and sometimes receive support from the Egyptian 
Brotherhood but today generally remain operationally independent from 
Cairo. In Egypt under Mubarak, the group was the frequent target of 
large-scale campaigns of arrest and intimidation by the government and 
was not allowed to participate legally in the political process, 
although ``independent'' candidates aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood 
were occasionally elected to Parliament, most notably in 2005.
    The stated goal of the Egyptian Brotherhood's current leader or 
General Guide, Muhammad Badie, is to ``show the world the true Islam, 
the Islam of moderation and forgiveness that respects pluralism in the 
whole world.'' However, in 2008, Muhammad Madhi Akef, then the 
Brotherhood's General Guide, said his organization supports democracy, 
but only the ``right kind . . . one that honors Sharia.'' While the 
Brotherhood continues to eschew violence and has consistently condemned 
al-Qaeda, its leadership has generally viewed attacks by groups such as 
Hamas and Hezbollah as legitimate because the Muslim Brotherhood views 
attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah as being categorically distinct from al-
Qaeda violence. In their mind, Hamas and Hezbollah are using violence 
in pursuit of legitimate national liberation goals in the face of 
foreign occupation. They view al-Qaeda attacks as indiscriminate, 
disconnected from any achievable political goals, and guilty of killing 
too many Muslims. In 2007 it released a draft political party platform 
statement that indicated a broad commitment to democratic norms, 
although some elements suggested ongoing ambiguity regarding universal 
civil rights and the status of Sharia. The movement's youth wing, which 
took part in the demonstrations in Tahrir Square, has expressed 
interest in reforming the Muslim Brotherhood by elevating the role of 
women within the organization, incorporating religious minorities, and 
placing less emphasis on the direct implementation of Islamic law.
    The Muslim Brotherhood has expressed its intention to participate 
in the post-Mubarak political process in Egypt and supported the 
constitutional amendments. A number of other Islamic parties have 
emerged since Mubarak's fall, some of which have come out of the 
Brotherhood itself. This reflects the variety of agendas and 
generational differences found today within this broad movement.

    Question. Do you believe that past actions by the United States 
against countries labeled by the Department of State as Countries of 
Particular Concern (CPCs) have been effective? If so, how? Please give 
examples.

    Answer. The effectiveness of past actions against CPCs has varied 
between countries. I am committed to the use of CPC designations and 
will use Presidential Actions as appropriate. The range of CPCs, the 
diversity of the abuses and restrictions on religious freedom, and in 
some cases the restrictions on direct engagement (such as North Korea 
and Iran), require evaluation on a case-by-case basis and targeted 
strategies. Past actions have yielded significant results in some 
countries. For example, an agreement in 2006 with the Government of 
Vietnam led to enactment of a new legal framework that opened the door 
to recognition of new religious groups and increased registration of 
Protestant churches. Despite this progress, significant issues remain, 
and, if confirmed, I will focus on Vietnam as a priority country. Even 
when CPC designation leads to progress toward religious freedom, we 
must remain vigilant and continue our diplomatic engagement.
    Actions taken by the United States against a country of particular 
concern must be part of a broader engagement strategy with that country 
to truly realize progress. If confirmed, I will develop broad 
engagement strategies--tailored to each country--that complement the 
important tool of a Presidential Action under the IRF Act. This 
engagement is critical to the IRF Act mandate for the Ambassador at 
Large ``to advance the right to freedom of religion abroad.'' For 
example, we can complement the threat or use of a Presidential Action 
through a range of tools, including diplomatic advocacy, working 
directly with religious and other civil society leaders, consulting 
with diaspora communities in the United States, funding effective and 
creative programs on the ground, and collaborating with other 
governments and NGOs to advance religious freedom.

    Question. What tools will you use other than public diplomacy?

    Answer. If confirmed, I will lead the U.S. Government's efforts to 
press governments that violate religious freedom, engage governments 
that share our views, and reach out to religious leaders and civil 
society worldwide to urge them to work with me on an agenda in their 
countries and regions to promote religious tolerance and freedom. I 
would work with my colleagues throughout the U.S. Government, 
particularly our ambassadors overseas, to develop robust strategies to 
monitor, promote, and report on religious freedom around the world. The 
IRF Act provides many tools to help advance these goals, including 
sanctions and other Presidential Actions when appropriate.
    We must also leverage multilateral efforts, especially in 
collaboration with like-minded partners, to reinforce the importance of 
freedom of religion. I would also work with religious leaders and other 
civil society groups in an effort to increase their influence on 
government policies and assist their efforts to confront societal 
pressures that cause religious persecution. Exchanges are also an 
important tool, bringing government and religious leaders to the United 
States to experience firsthand our policies on religious freedom and 
sending speakers from the United States to promote religious freedom 
abroad. In multireligious societies, there are many opportunities for 
creative programs such as training religious groups, civil society, 
lawmakers, and government officials to develop legal and policy 
protections for religious freedom; increasing public awareness of 
restrictions on religious freedom and international rights; and 
promoting interfaith tolerance and mutual respect through education, 
training, and media tools. Each country presents unique challenges and 
opportunities, and almost always will require a multi-faceted approach.

    Question. Given the recent unrest in Middle East, what new 
opportunities for involvement do you see that did not previously exist? 
Please outline in detail your strategy for the region.

    Answer. The Middle East must be a top priority for promoting 
religious freedom, especially given recent attacks on religious 
minorities in the region. I am deeply disturbed by the increase of 
persecution and violence against religious minorities in this region 
and in many other parts of the world. I will impress upon governments 
that religious freedom enhances stability, and that restrictions on 
religious communities only serve to encourage more sectarian tensions 
and violence.
    The changes that we are seeing in the Middle East have been 
dramatic and often inspiring, yet violence and intolerance remain 
sources of concern--particularly for religious minorities in this 
region. We are observing a mixed picture in the region, and I would 
encourage those voices promoting religious freedom among the emerging 
political leadership and strengthened minority community voices. 
Minority religious communities in Middle Eastern countries where they 
had previously been repressed should have new opportunities for 
engagement with governments, interfaith dialogue, and progress toward 
greater religious tolerance and religious freedom. It will be one of my 
top priorities to support those voices inside the region using these 
opportunities to increase respect for religious freedom and interfaith 
dialogue.
    If confirmed, I will lead the U.S. Government's efforts to press 
for reform with governments that violate religious freedom, work with 
governments that share our views, and reach out to religious leaders 
worldwide to urge them to work with the United States in this region to 
promote religious tolerance and freedom. The Secretary is deeply 
engaged on religious freedom issues, and the first line of defense on 
religious freedom is our hard-working embassies and missions worldwide. 
The IRF act provides many tools to advance this agenda. I will use all 
the tools of diplomacy and engagement, including public and private 
messaging, pressure, and programs.
    In Egypt, if confirmed, I would lead U.S. efforts to foster 
strategic dialogue between Muslims and minority groups who desire a 
civil state where all people, irrespective of religious identity, share 
equal rights, duties, and opportunities. I will work with my colleagues 
in the State Department and with civil society to advocate for a change 
in the Egyptian law to remove severe restrictions on building and 
renovating Christian places of worship. In Iraq, I would work with 
other U.S. officials to continue to press the Iraqi Government to 
protect vulnerable religious minorities by taking effective measures to 
prevent future attacks and to bring to justice the perpetrators of 
attacks on Christians and other minorities. I would also focus on Saudi 
Arabia, in particular pressing for meaningful reform of educational 
curriculum, which continue to incite hatred and intolerance toward non-
Muslims and certain Muslims. I will seek to reinvigorate our dialogue 
with the Saudis to reduce systemic restrictions on religious freedom 
for all Saudis, including Shia Muslims.
                                 ______
                                 

       Responses of Suzan Johnson Cook to Questions Submitted by
                        Senator Richard G. Lugar

    Question. The International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 
established the United States Commission on International Religious 
Freedom (USCIRF) to review annually the state of international 
religious freedom and to make policy recommendations to the President, 
Secretary of State, and Congress. The Commission's mandate is set to 
expire September 30, 2011. Does the administration support the 
reauthorization of the Commission? Why or why not?

    Answer. USCIRF has played and continues to play an important and 
positive role in advocating for religious freedom throughout the world. 
The respective roles of the Department of State and USCIRF under the 
International Religious Freedom Act (IRF Act) are complementary. Each 
continues to focus on the mutual goal of promoting religious freedom 
while fulfilling their statutory mandates, which include publishing 
annual reports. If confirmed I will seek out USCIRF's input and will 
welcome their recommendations. I will increase collaboration between 
USCIRF and the Department of States' Office of International Religious 
Freedom (IRF Office) toward our shared goal of ending religious 
persecution and advancing freedom of religious belief and practice 
around the world. With regard to a reauthorization, I understand that 
the legislation that has not yet been introduced. Since I am not 
confirmed, I am not yet in a position to speak on legislative matters.
    When enacted 13 years ago, the IRF Act envisioned clear and 
distinct roles for the Ambassador at Large as head of the IRF Office, 
and USCIRF as an independent congressionally funded Commission. Passage 
of the IRF Act brought heightened emphasis to the cause of religious 
freedom as a central component in U.S. human rights policy and U.S. 
foreign policy generally. In 1998, as evidenced by the structure of the 
IRF Act itself, Congress created USCIRF as an additional voice on 
religious freedom, and to evaluate progress on U.S. religious freedom 
policy and make recommendations accordingly.

    Question. In Pakistan, a Christian government official, and the 
first-ever Federal Minister for Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, was shot 
and killed after advocating the reformation of local blasphemy laws. 
This assassination followed on the heels of the assassination of Punjab 
Governor, Salman Taseer in January 2011 who also called for the 
reformation of these laws. What strategy would you employ to combat 
such religious intolerance?

    Answer. I am very concerned about the attacks on religious 
minorities in Pakistan, including abuses under the blasphemy laws; the 
treatment of Christians, Ahmadis, and reform-minded Muslims; and the 
increase in the number and severity of reported high-profile cases 
against members of religious minorities.
    I am deeply saddened by the brutal killing of Minister Bhatti and 
Governor Taseer and condemn the killings in the strongest possible 
terms. My deepest sympathies are with their families and friends. Both 
men gave their lives to defend the principles of religious freedom, 
equality, and human rights for all Pakistanis. The assassination of 
Minister Bhatti, merely 2 months after the assassination of Governor 
Taseer, emphasizes the need for aggressive advocacy of religious 
freedom and tolerance in Pakistan.
    I am committed to the same principles Minister Bhatti and Governor 
Taseer fought for, and, if confirmed, I will prioritize and elevate 
U.S. efforts to promote freedom of religion in Pakistan. I will work 
with Government officials to urge them to take the necessary measures 
to address the serious religious freedom problems in the country and to 
address discriminatory and repressive blasphemy and anti-Ahmadi laws. 
These laws have been exploited to harass religious minorities, 
sectarian opponents, and Muslims, and to retaliate in personal 
disputes. I will also work with civil society, including religious 
leaders, to encourage voices of tolerance and to support their efforts 
to promote religious freedom and interfaith respect and understanding 
in Pakistan.

    Question. A New Year's Day car bombing in Alexandria, Egypt killed 
21 worshippers at a local Coptic church and marked one of the deadliest 
terrorist attacks in Egypt since 2006. Many Coptic Christians worry 
that religious persecution will escalate given the uncertain political 
landscape in Egypt at this time. What role, if any, would your office 
play in addressing religious violence in the region and protecting 
religious minorities?

    Answer. The Middle East must be a top priority in promoting 
religious freedom, now more than ever, given both the attacks on 
members of religious minorities in the region and opportunities to 
build upon the common purpose that emerged as Muslims and Christians 
supported each other in Cairo's Tahrir Square. If confirmed, I will 
work with my colleagues in the U.S. Government to support those in 
Egypt and throughout the region who seek meaningful progress on 
religious freedom. If confirmed, I will encourage opportunities that 
have emerged from calls for political reform. I will join forces with 
my colleagues to combat efforts to exploit sectarian tensions. I remain 
very concerned about longstanding violence and discrimination against 
members of religious minorities in Egypt and elsewhere in the region.
    If confirmed, I would plan to visit this region soon and press the 
governments to protect religious freedom, and to discourage sectarian 
violence and societal intolerance. Governments that justify restricting 
religious freedom out of security and stability concerns only encourage 
impunity and often lead to more sectarian violence. I would emphasize 
that point to governments in the region. I would work with my USG 
colleagues to press governments to protect members of vulnerable 
religious minorities by taking effective measures to prevent future 
attacks and to bring to justice the perpetrators of attacks on 
Christians, Jews, and members of other religious minorities.
    I will also work to strengthen civil society that promotes 
religious tolerance, and programs that promote tolerance and mutual 
respect between different religious communities. If confirmed, I will 
advocate for increasing U.S. programs and activities to support 
initiatives in several areas directly related to religious freedom, 
such as funding for programs that work with Coptic and Muslim community 
groups, reform of official curricula to remove religious bias, as well 
as support for NGOs that monitor the country's media for occurrences of 
sectarian bias.
    Regarding Egypt in particular, if confirmed, I will work closely 
with our Ambassador and other USG officials to advocate for an end to 
acts of sectarian violence, for greater protection of religious freedom 
and equal rights under the law for persons of all faiths. I will 
advocate for the removal of laws that discriminate against religious 
minorities and for the adoption of a unified law on places of worship. 
I will also work with the Government of Egypt in its efforts to address 
concerns of the Coptic community. I am heartened to see that the 
Egyptian Prime Minister has met with the leadership of the Coptic 
community following the recent destruction of a Coptic church in Sol.
    I have also been encouraged by calls for unity and mutual respect 
among Egypt's various religious groups. If confirmed, I will support 
and encourage our Embassy in Cairo in its continuous efforts to promote 
religious freedom values with government officials, civil society, and 
political and religious leaders. I will also strongly support our 
Embassy's efforts to maintain and broaden an active dialogue with 
leaders of the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Baha'i religious 
communities, human rights groups, and other activists.

    Question. While religious minorities in Iran face constant 
persecution and harassment, many members of the Baha'i community have 
been arrested for proselytizing in Tehran, Bam, and Kerman, and seven 
Baha'i leaders who were sentenced to 20 years in prison in August 2010. 
Given the lack of diplomatic relations the United States has with Iran, 
what strategies, if any, would your office employ to foster religious 
freedom in Iran?

    Answer. I have been following the persecution of Baha'is and other 
religious communities in Iran with great concern. I understand that the 
State Department is working closely with representatives of these 
communities and other like-minded countries to develop best strategies 
for improving both religious freedom in Iran and the morale of the 
persecuted populations. President Obama's criticism of the Iranian 
Government's persecution of the Baha'i and Sufis in his March 20 
remarks marking the Persian holiday Nowruz, got the attention of the 
Iranian Government and was enthusiastically received by Baha'is and 
other religious minorities in and outside of Iran.
    If confirmed, I will continue these efforts of targeted and 
effective statements, partner with like-minded governments and the 
newly created U.N. Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, and 
develop additional opportunities to sanction those who continue to 
persecute Baha'is because of their faith.
    Under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and 
Divestment Act of 2010, the U.S. Government has applied targeted 
sanctions against Iranian officials for serious human rights abuses. 
Just last month, the Prosecutor General of Tehran--who among his many 
actions against minorities and others, ordered the arrest of seven 
Baha'i--was added to the sanctions list.


                              NOMINATIONS

                              ----------                              


                         TUESDAY, APRIL 5, 2011

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
                              ----------                              

Mara E. Rudman, of Massachusetts, to be an Assistant 
        Administrator of the United States Agency for 
        International Development
Robert Patterson, of New York, a Career Member of the Senior 
        Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador 
        to Turkmenistan
                              ----------                              

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:15 a.m., in 
room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Robert P. 
Casey Jr., presiding.
    Present: Senator Casey.
    Also Present: Senator Reed.

         OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. ROBERT P. CASEY JR.,
                 U.S. SENATOR FROM PENNSYLVANIA

    Senator Casey. The hearing will come to order.
    I want to thank everyone for being here this morning.
    The way we will proceed is, I will present an opening 
statement. I will turn to my colleague Senator Reed of Rhode 
Island. We are grateful he is here with us. And then, of 
course, we will turn to our nominees and go from there.
    But first of all, I want to thank everyone for being here. 
Today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, meets to examine 
the nominations of Mr. Robert E. Patterson to be Ambassador to 
Turkmenistan and Ms. Mara Rudman to be the Assistant 
Administrator for the Middle East at the U.S. Agency for 
International Development.
    First, with regard to Turkmenistan, the United States has 
not had an Ambassador in Turkmenistan for nearly 5 years. As 
the country begins to open up to the outside world, it is 
critical that the United States is fully represented to pursue 
a range of interests, including human rights, energy, and 
security interests.
    The human rights situation remains of serious concern in 
Turkmenistan. Last May, I signed a letter, led by Senators 
Durbin and Brownback, to Secretary Clinton on behalf of three 
prisoners of conscience detained in Turkmenistan. Just last 
week, Turkmen authorities confined a Radio Free Europe 
contributor to a psychiatric hospital after he criticized a 
local government official of corruption. This Soviet-era 
practice of committing political dissidents to psychiatric 
facilities, unfortunately, continues in Turkmenistan.
    As Turkmenistan continues to open more to the outside 
world, it is important for the United States, working with the 
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, to take an 
active role in advancing our interests and our values. I know 
that Mr. Patterson shares these concerns, and I look forward to 
hearing how he will address human rights issues amid our other 
important interests in Turkmenistan.
    Many in the Senate have concerns about Turkmenistan's 
energy resources and their export abroad. I understand that 
Turkmenistan shares a desire to diversify its energy export 
routes and has indicated that participating in the Nabucco 
Project is a possibility, and I look forward to hearing from 
Mr. Patterson on how he will encourage this diversification of 
Turkmenistan's energy export routes and how this important 
market can become more open to U.S. companies.
    Turkmenistan has played a positive role with respect to its 
neighbor Afghanistan. The Government of Turkmenistan has built 
hospitals and schools in parts of Afghanistan inhabited by 
Turkmen. We should be working to further encourage this kind of 
activity.
    Recognizing the deep historic ties between Afghanistan and 
the countries of Central Asia, some have expressed concern 
about the level of coordination among our diplomatic assets in 
the region. As the importance of the Northern Distribution 
Network through Central Asia to Afghanistan has grown, regular 
coordination among our diplomats in South and Central Asia will 
become even more important. I hope that communication and 
coordination among the posts in these countries will be a top 
priority for the State Department.
    Mr. Patterson is a career Foreign Service officer who has 
served in challenging posts around the world. He currently 
serves as the senior adviser for the Somali diaspora and has 
served in our embassies in Kenya, Russia, Hungary, Ukraine, and 
Armenia. His experience in the former Soviet Union will 
especially serve him well in this post, if confirmed. Mr. 
Patterson has served the United States in the U.S. Air Force.
    Mr. Patterson, I want to thank you for your longstanding 
service to the country and for your willingness to take on 
another challenging assignment. We are grateful.
    Next, to the Middle East. The Middle East is right now 
experiencing change of historic proportions. That is a dramatic 
understatement. There is almost no way to capture what we are 
seeing playing out every day in the Middle East on television 
news or in so many other ways that we get information.
    And if confirmed, Mara Rudman will assume a very 
challenging assignment in overseeing USAID's programs in the 
Middle East. As countries in the region continue to experience 
unrest, the work of USAID will be essential in helping to 
ensure political transitions based upon democratic institutions 
and economic reforms.
    USAID has missions in seven countries and two regional 
missions in the Middle East, for a total FY 2010 budget of $1.6 
billion. These programs are targeted toward health, education, 
good governance, and economic development.
    But more important than these statistics is how we 
calibrate our approach to development in a region where the 
United States foreign assistance has been historically 
criticized for supporting undemocratic governments. In this new 
environment, USAID will need to be more agile, responsive, and 
able to engage directly with more citizens in places like 
Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and Syria, more so than it has in the 
past.
    How we implement these programs and America's profile in 
supporting civil society and democratic governance is just as 
important as the programs themselves. During this seminal 
period in history and in the history of the Middle East, the 
developmental challenges in the region seem to grow by the day. 
I would like to touch on just a few.
    As we have transitioned responsibility for enforcing U.N. 
Security Council Resolution 1973 to NATO, the United States 
will continue to play an active role in providing humanitarian 
relief to the people of Libya. The President has declared as 
U.S. policy that Gaddafi must go. But he has also said that we 
will not use our military to effect this change.
    In this environment, the tools of USAID are all the more 
essential. Humanitarian and medical support for Libya's people 
and democratic institution-building for an emerging political 
class will be necessary in preparation for a democratic Libya.
    In Egypt, a political transition continues that will soon 
produce new leadership. Without improvements in Egypt's 
economic prospects, the accomplishments of those courageous 
people who marched and demonstrated in Tahrir Square, those 
activists' progress and accomplishments will be jeopardized.
    The United States has an important role to play in Egypt's 
economic development and must also encourage political reforms 
that reflect the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people.
    Next, to Yemen. Yemen, the poorest country in the region, 
has faced severe development problems ranging from water 
shortages to debilitating poverty. USAID's ability to conduct 
assistance in this country is critically important, and the 
deadly protests against the government have already had an 
impact on our ability to do that.
    Maintaining our ability to deliver assistance to the people 
of countries like Yemen amid the political turmoil will be 
increasingly important in the months to come. All of this takes 
place amid a challenging budget climate here in Washington.
    Administrator Raj Shah has made serious efforts to reform 
USAID and assure accountability and programmatic efficiency to 
the American taxpayer. And it is important that he is doing 
that, and it is important that we support him in doing that. 
Dr. Shah takes on this task not only in the name of fiscal 
responsibility, but also because our assistance needs to be 
strategic and targeted in order to best take advantage of these 
transformational openings and opportunities in the region.
    Events in the region demand a smart development approach by 
the United States that takes a long-term view. President 
Obama's nominee, Mara Rudman, has the experience to fulfill 
this strategic vision for the region. We are fortunate that she 
has accepted the President's appointment, and if confirmed, she 
will be a true asset during this historic period of change in 
the region.
    She currently serves as the Chief of Staff for Presidential 
Envoy for Middle East Peace, former Senator George Mitchell, 
where she has a unique perspective on the formulation of United 
States foreign policy in the region. Her public service at the 
State Department, at the National Security Council, and here on 
Capitol Hill will serve her well in her new position.
    And because today we don't have a ranking member with us 
for the hearing, I will turn immediately to our witnesses. But 
first, to my colleague, Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island. We 
are honored he is here. He is someone that was a mentor to 
young Senators like me when I got here in 2007.
    And I am always grateful that he is with us to provide his 
perspective on so many important foreign policy challenges we 
have. He is here today in a more limited sense, unless he wants 
to expound upon his comments about Mara Rudman. But we are 
grateful, Senator Reed, that you are here, and you have the 
floor.

                  STATEMENT OF HON. JACK REED,
                 U.S. SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND

    Senator Reed. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    It is a great pleasure and privilege to have the 
opportunity to introduce Mara Rudman, the President's nominee 
to be the United States Agency for International Development's 
Assistant Administrator for the Middle East.
    No one is as superbly qualified as Mara to address the 
critical challenges you have laid out, Mr. Chairman. She has an 
extraordinary background, extraordinary intellect, and 
extraordinary dedication.
    I first had the privilege to work with her about 15 years 
ago, when Lee Hamilton, the chairman of the House Foreign 
Relations Committee, detailed her to the Task Force on National 
Security organized by our leader, Dick Gephardt. I was part of 
that task force and extraordinarily impressed by her intellect, 
by her contribution, and by her sincere and absolute dedication 
to advancing our ideals and also good public policy.
    She has an extensive background, as you laid out, in terms 
of the Middle East. It began a long time ago at Dartmouth 
University, and continued at Harvard Law School. Then she went 
on to clerk for Judge Stanley Marcus in the Southern District 
of Florida, and was an associate in a Washington law firm.
    But really, it was on Capitol Hill where she found not only 
her niche, but also had so much of a profound and meaningful 
impact, working first for Gerry Studds and then as chief 
counsel to Lee Hamilton on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
    She also served on the National Security Council, under 
both President Clinton and President Obama. So she has the 
experience of both the executive, and the legislative, and all 
of it, indeed, in the context principally of Middle East 
policy. And as you pointed out, she has served the last few 
years as the Chief of Staff to George Mitchell in his 
extraordinarily important work as Special Envoy in the Middle 
East.
    She has also been in the private sector. She has worked 
with our former Secretary of Defense, Bill Cohen and the Cohen 
Group. All of this experience underscores how well prepared she 
is for the most challenging assignment I can think of, trying 
to provide the soft power in a region that requires that.
    She is a pragmatist, and a problem-solver. She is going to 
do a great job, and I would urge your immediate consideration 
and favorable consideration.
    And thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Casey. Senator Reed, thank you very much.
    We are honored that you are here today, and that is quite a 
significant testimony about a nominee. We are grateful you are 
able to provide that. You are welcome at the Foreign Relations 
Committee anytime.
    Thank you, everyone, and we will go right to our witnesses 
now.
    Mr. Patterson, you have the floor. Of course, if you want 
to submit your statement for the record, both of your 
statements, will be made part of the record in full.
    And of course, if you want to go through your statement, 
that is fine. We will try to keep it roughly to about 5 
minutes, if you can. Or if you want to just summarize that 
would be fine also.

STATEMENT OF ROBERT PATTERSON, OF NEW YORK, A CAREER MEMBER OF 
     THE SENIOR FOREIGN SERVICE, CLASS OF COUNSELOR, TO BE 
                   AMBASSADOR TO TURKMENISTAN

    Mr. Patterson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Chairman, I am honored to appear before you as 
President Obama's nominee to become U.S. Ambassador to 
Turkmenistan. I am grateful to the President and to Secretary 
Clinton for their trust in me. If confirmed, I will work with 
you to advance America's interests in Turkmenistan.
    The United States recognized Turkmenistan in February 1992 
and since that time has supported its development as a stable, 
secure, democratic, and prosperous Central Asian state. 
However, Turkmenistan lies in a tough neighborhood bordering 
Iran and Afghanistan and faces many challenges in building 
democratic institutions and in fighting corruption.
    A key U.S. priority in Central Asia is to encourage efforts 
to aid in the stabilization of Afghanistan. Turkmenistan shares 
a long border with Afghanistan and is aware of the danger that 
continuing instability there poses to itself and to other 
countries in the region.
    Turkmenistan has acted in accordance with its policy of 
positive neutrality to provide discounted electricity, housing, 
hospitals, and other forms of humanitarian aid to its Afghan 
neighbors. President Berdimuhamedov's recent announcement of 
the intention to increase electricity supplies fivefold to 
Afghanistan is a welcome sign of continued engagement in that 
important effort. If confirmed, I will encourage Turkmenistan 
to continue to provide all possible support to Afghanistan.
    Turkmenistan has significant natural gas reserves and is 
seeking to diversify their distribution. President 
Berdimuhamedov has expressed Turkmen interest in supplying gas 
to Europe through a Trans-Caspian Pipeline. We continue to 
strongly encourage Turkmenistan to send its gas across the 
Caspian to Europe via the Southern corridor.
    Another potential project is the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-
Pakistan-India, or TAPI, pipeline, which President 
Berdimuhamedov has taken a leading role in promoting. If built, 
TAPI would strengthen economic ties between Central and South 
Asia by sending needed resources to growing markets.
    U.S. firms have the experience and a demonstrated track 
record in major energy projects. And if confirmed, I would work 
hard to support their efforts to invest in Turkmenistan.
    Of course, our commercial relationship with Turkmenistan 
goes beyond energy. U.S. companies are active in various 
sectors of the Turkmen economy, from agriculture to civil 
aviation. If confirmed, I will actively support U.S. firms and 
seek to expand economic ties with Turkmenistan, particularly in 
light of the President's National Export Initiative.
    As recent events have yet again demonstrated, respect for 
human rights, the rule of law, and transparent and accountable 
governmental institutions are essential to peace and long-term 
stability in any country. If confirmed, I will energetically 
engage the Government of Turkmenistan on the full range of 
human rights issues, including arbitrary detentions and 
arrests, limitations on freedom of movement and expression, 
allegations of torture and prisoner abuse, and human 
trafficking.
    A frank and detailed discussion of human rights concerns 
already has a prominent place in our Annual Bilateral 
Consultations with high-ranking Turkmenistan Government 
representatives. These consultations began in June 2010, and I 
am certain that we will use future such meetings and other 
contacts to discuss important human rights issues.
    Turkmenistan's border with Afghanistan and its outlet to 
the Caspian Sea have made it a significant drug transit 
corridor. In recent years, the United States has had some 
success in increasing cooperation with Turkmenistan on 
counternarcotics programs, including improved control of its 
borders and ports.
    Much remains to be done, and if confirmed, I will seek 
opportunities to strengthen our emerging counternarcotics and 
border security cooperation with Turkmenistan, with the goal of 
improving regional stability. A better capacity to combat the 
drug trade at its source ultimately contributes to the well-
being of the United States.
    Much of my 25 years in the State Department has been spent 
at U.S. missions overseas, and I have come to believe that we 
make our greatest impact on a country through engagement with 
its people in their own communities. Some of these contacts 
fall under the formal heading of public diplomacy, but much 
happens when you simply get out and live life in the country to 
which you are assigned.
    In Turkmenistan, the small number of foreign visitors and 
residents makes such incidental contacts all the more 
important. And if confirmed, I will encourage colleagues in our 
mission to demonstrate American values in their daily 
interactions with citizens of Turkmenistan.
    Finally, I know that, if confirmed, I will ultimately be 
responsible for the welfare of the U.S. mission, my U.S. 
mission colleagues, and their families in a fairly remote part 
of the world. Their well-being and that of other Americans in 
Turkmenistan will be a top priority.
    Thank you. I look forward to answering your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Robert Patterson follows:]

               Prepared Statement of Robert E. Patterson

    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am honored to appear 
before you as President Obama's nominee to become U.S. Ambassador to 
Turkmenistan. I am grateful to the President and to Secretary Clinton 
for their trust in me. If confirmed, I will work with you to advance 
America's interests in Turkmenistan.
    The United States recognized Turkmenistan in February 1992 and 
since that time has supported its development as a stable, secure, 
democratic, and prosperous Central Asian state. Turkmenistan lies in a 
tough neighborhood bordering Iran and Afghanistan, and faces external 
and internal challenges in building democratic institutions and civil 
society, open media, and in fighting corruption.
    A key U.S. priority in Central Asia is to encourage efforts to aid 
in the stabilization of Afghanistan. Turkmenistan shares a long border 
with Afghanistan and is aware of the danger that continuing instability 
there poses to itself and to other countries in the region. 
Turkmenistan has acted in accordance with its policy of ``positive 
neutrality'' to provide discounted electricity, housing, hospitals, and 
other forms of humanitarian aid to its Afghan neighbors. President 
Berdimuhamedov's recent announcement of the intention to increase 
electricity supplies fivefold to Afghanistan is a welcome sign of 
Turkmenistan's continued engagement in that important effort. If 
confirmed, I will encourage Turkmenistan to continue to provide all 
possible support to Afghanistan.
    Turkmenistan has significant natural gas reserves and is seeking to 
diversify their distribution. In recent statements, President 
Berdimuhamedov has expressed Turkmen interest in supplying gas to 
Europe through a Trans-Caspian Pipeline. We continue to strongly 
encourage Turkmenistan to send its gas across the Caspian to Europe via 
the Southern Corridor. Another potential project is the Turkmenistan-
Afghanistan-Pakistan-India, or TAPI, pipeline, which President 
Berdimuhamedov has taken a leading role in promoting. If built, TAPI 
could strengthen economic ties between Central and South Asia by 
sending needed resources to growing markets. U.S. firms have the 
experience and a demonstrated track record in major energy projects, 
and, if confirmed, I would work hard to support their efforts to invest 
in projects in Turkmenistan, including projects like the Trans-Caspian 
Pipeline and TAPI.
    Our commercial relationship with Turkmenistan goes beyond its 
prominent energy sector, however. U.S. companies are active in various 
sectors of the Turkmen economy--ranging from agriculture to civil 
aviation. If confirmed, I will actively support U.S. firms and seek to 
expand economic ties with Turkmenistan, particularly in light of the 
President's National Export Initiative.
    As recent events have yet again demonstrated, respect for human 
rights, the rule of law, and transparent and accountable governmental 
institutions are essential to peace and long-term stability in any 
country. If confirmed, I will energetically engage the Government of 
Turkmenistan on the full range of human rights issues, including 
arbitrary detentions and arrests, limitations on freedom of movement 
and expression, allegations of torture and prisoner abuse, and human 
trafficking. A frank and detailed discussion of human rights concerns 
already has a prominent place in our Annual Bilateral Consultations 
with high-ranking Turkmenistan Government representatives. Those 
consultations began in June 2010, and I am certain that we will use 
such meetings and other contacts with the Turkmen Government in the 
future, to discuss important human rights issues.
    Turkmenistan's border with Afghanistan and outlet to the Caspian 
Sea have made it a significant drug transit corridor. In recent years, 
the United States has had some success in increasing cooperation with 
Turkmenistan on counternarcotics programs, including improved control 
of its borders and ports. Much remains to be done, and if confirmed I 
will seek opportunities to strengthen our emerging counternarcotics and 
border security cooperation with Turkmenistan with the goal of 
improving regional stability. A better capacity to combat the drug 
trade at its source ultimately contributes to the well-being of the 
United States.
    Much of my 25 years in the State Department has been spent at U.S. 
missions overseas, and I have come to believe that we make our greatest 
impact on a country through engagement with its people in their own 
communities. Some of these contacts fall under the formal heading of 
``public diplomacy,'' but much happens when you simply get out and live 
life in the country to which you are assigned. In Turkmenistan, the 
small number of foreign visitors and residents makes such incidental 
contacts all the more important, and, if confirmed, I will encourage 
colleagues in our mission to demonstrate American values in their daily 
interactions with citizens of Turkmenistan. I believe that ``public 
diplomacy,'' promoting more official people-to-people exchanges, should 
also be a major priority. More than 740 Peace Corps Volunteers have 
been actively engaged in this effort in Turkmenistan since the start of 
the program there in 1993, teaching English and promoting health 
education in remote parts of the country.
    Finally, I know that, if confirmed, I will ultimately be 
responsible for the welfare of my U.S. mission colleagues and their 
families in a fairly remote part of the world. Their welfare will be my 
top priority, as will the well-being and interests of other American 
citizens living in Turkmenistan.
    Thank you. I look forward to answering your questions.

    Senator Casey. Thank you, Mr. Patterson.
    Ms. Rudman.

    STATEMENT OF MARA E. RUDMAN, OF MASSACHUSETTS, TO BE AN 
    ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR OF THE UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR 
                   INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

    Ms. Rudman. Mr. Chairman, it is an honor to appear before 
you today.
    I want to express my appreciation for the trust and 
confidence that President Obama and Administrator Shah have 
placed in me through this nomination. And I am grateful to have 
the strong support of Secretary Clinton.
    It is difficult to conceive of a more challenging time to 
be considered for this portfolio. In country after country, the 
people of the region have, in a word, inspired. As the 
President said last week, ``We must stand alongside those who 
believe in the same core principles that have guided us through 
many storms.''
    If confirmed, I look forward to working with the dedicated 
women and men of USAID and colleagues throughout the U.S. 
Government, laying the foundation for diplomatic and 
development strategies that will serve us and the peoples and 
countries of the Middle East in the months and years ahead. I 
want especially to recognize the dedicated public service of 
George Laudato, who has led the Bureau for the past 3 years.
    This transition and period of regional change are providing 
a rapid-fire chance to operationalize Secretary Clinton and 
Administrator Shah's shared goal--to modernize and strengthen 
USAID, reaffirming its status as the premier development agency 
in the world. If confirmed, I can assure you that no one will 
work harder to see that we are responding effectively to the 
great challenges and historic opportunities that we face.
    In that regard, my objectives for the Middle East Bureau go 
to areas that I believe are critical to the sustainability, 
growth, and success of our policy missions. If confirmed, I 
would focus on managing our relationships with key countries so 
as to move from assistance to cooperation and partnership.
    I would work to ensure that the best and most innovative 
initiatives are not only developed, but implemented 
effectively. And I would coordinate closely with colleagues at 
State, Treasury, and the White House and Defense to see that we 
are truly practicing smart diplomacy, using development, 
diplomacy, and defense as mutually reinforcing policy platforms 
to make the objectives of the QDDR come alive.
    I focus on the pragmatic, on the details of how to get 
things done and bridge the gaps with a range of actors, across 
cultures internationally and domestically. I recognize that it 
is important to have a political horizon, a strategic vision. 
But once we have it, we must be able to maintain the vision 
while we implement programs and projects with maximum 
effectiveness.
    Under the leadership of Administrator Shah, USAID is 
implementing an aggressive agenda to streamline development 
work, the USAID Forward agenda, which you mentioned. In this 
context, I am excited that the Middle East Bureau is already 
brokering new approaches to development.
    I appreciate the enormity of tasks ahead in this region and 
in this position. I also recognize how fortunate I am to have 
worked with and for people who helped me prepare to take this 
challenge. I would like to specifically thank Representatives 
Lee Hamilton, Howard Berman, and Sam Gejdenson, leaders on the 
House Foreign Affairs Committee, for the investment they have 
made in guiding me.
    I also owe much to Senator Reed and Senator Shaheen, who 
have been gracious with their counsel to me over the years, and 
to Chairman Kerry. Among other things, Chairman Kerry showed me 
how, by example, to conference a bill in my early days as 
HFAC's chief counsel.
    I have spent much time deeply involved in the Middle East, 
from my first position as a legislative assistant for my 
hometown Congressman to my current work as a deputy to Senator 
Mitchell, where, among other things, I coordinate United States 
efforts to support Palestinian institution-building.
    Through my time in Government, I have learned to appreciate 
the dynamics among and between the agencies and actors that 
play a role on foreign assistance and foreign policy. To 
implement programs effectively and meet foreign policy 
objectives, it is critical to navigate smoothly in this 
environment. I also value the time I have spent working on both 
ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, in different parts of the 
executive and with the judiciary.
    When working on governance challenges in other parts of the 
world, it has made a huge difference for me to be able to draw 
upon the experience I have had in our own Government--a 
contentious floor debate, an intricate conference bill 
negotiation, a complex set of jury instructions to be drafted, 
advising a President, working out budget differences with a 
legislature controlled by the opposition party.
    I discovered the magic of how quickly this makes the world 
a much smaller place when I found myself explaining the House 
Rules Committee operations to a group of villagers in a remote 
part of the West Bank when the Palestinian Legislative Council 
had just run its first election in the mid-1990s, and rules 
that would govern its proceedings were at the time heavily 
debated among its citizenry.
    This is because, as President Obama described in Cairo 
nearly 2 years ago, ``All people yearn for certain things--the 
ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are 
governed, confidence in the rule of law and the equal 
administration of justice, government that is transparent and 
doesn't steal from the people, the freedom to live as you 
choose.''
    As President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and Administrator 
Shah believe, we have the power to create the world we seek if 
we have the courage to embrace opportunity and the willingness 
to do things smartly, sometimes differently, and together.
    I am honored to be considered for this position and fully 
appreciate the responsibility and challenges it entails. I am 
deeply committed to the mission of USAID and the role it plays 
in advancing our national security, promoting economic 
opportunity, and embodying our core American values.
    Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. I 
welcome any questions you might have.
    [The prepared statement of Mara E. Rudman follows:]

                  Prepared Statement of Mara E. Rudman

    Mr. Chairman, ranking member, distinguished members of the 
committee, it is an honor to appear before you today as President 
Obama's nominee to be the next Assistant Administrator for the Middle 
East at the U.S. Agency for International Development.
    I want to express my appreciation for the trust and confidence that 
President Obama and Administrator Shah have placed in me through this 
nomination. And I am grateful to have the strong support of Secretary 
Clinton.
    It is difficult to conceive of a more challenging time to be 
considered for this portfolio. In country after country the people of 
the region have, in a word, inspired. As the President said last week, 
``we must stand alongside those who believe in the same core principles 
that have guided us through many storms: our opposition to violence 
directed against one's own citizens, our support for a set of universal 
rights . . . [and] our support for governments that are ultimately 
responsive to the aspirations of the people.''
    If confirmed, I look forward to working with the dedicated women 
and men of USAID, and colleagues throughout the U.S. Government, laying 
the foundation for diplomatic and development strategies that will 
serve us and the peoples and countries of the Middle East in the months 
and years ahead. I want especially to recognize the dedicated public 
service of George Laudato, who has led the Bureau for the past 3 years, 
having been called back to USAID from retirement to do so.
    This transition and period of regional change are providing a 
rapid-fire chance to operationalize Secretary Clinton and Administrator 
Shah's shared goal: to modernize and strengthen USAID, reaffirming its 
status as the premier development agency in the world. If confirmed, I 
look forward to picking up the baton as my colleagues are working to 
make important progress. I can assure you that no one will work harder 
to see that we are responding most effectively to the great challenges 
and historic opportunities that we face.
    In that regard, my objectives for the Middle East Bureau go to 
areas that I believe are critical to the sustainability, growth, and 
success of our policy missions. If confirmed, I would:

   Focus on managing our relationships with key countries so as 
        to move from ``assistance'' to ``cooperation and partnership.''
   Work to ensure that the best and most innovative initiatives 
        are not only developed, but implemented effectively; that we 
        evaluate the results, and learn from and apply those lessons 
        going forward.
   Coordinate closely with colleagues at State, Defense, 
        Treasury, and the White House to see that we are truly 
        practicing smart diplomacy, using development, diplomacy, and 
        defense as mutually reinforcing policy platforms to make the 
        objectives of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review 
        (QDDR) come alive.

    I believe in the importance of focusing on the pragmatic--on the 
details of how to get things done and ``bridge the gaps'' with a range 
of actors, across cultures internationally and domestically. I 
recognize that it is important to have a political horizon, a policy 
objective, a strategic vision. But once we have it, we must be able to 
maintain the vision while we implement programs and projects with 
maximum effectiveness.
    Under the leadership of Administrator Shah, USAID is implementing 
an aggressive agenda to streamline development work, the ``USAID 
Forward'' agenda, which builds on Secretary Clinton's QDDR and the 
Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development. In this context, I 
am excited that the Middle East Bureau is already brokering new 
approaches to development.
    I appreciate the enormity of tasks ahead in this region and 
position. I also recognize how fortunate I am to have worked with and 
for people who have helped prepare me to take on this challenge. I 
would like to specifically thank Representatives Lee Hamilton, Howard 
Berman, and Sam Gejdenson, leaders on the House Foreign Affairs 
Committee, for the investment they have made in guiding me. I also owe 
much to Senators Jack Reed and Jeanne Shaheen, who have been gracious 
with their counsel, and to Chairman Kerry. Among other things, he 
showed me by example what it really meant to conference a bill in my 
early days as HFAC's chief counsel.
    I have spent much time deeply involved in the Middle East, from my 
first position as a legislative assistant for my hometown Congressman, 
who served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee; to a research 
fellowship in the region; to work as chief counsel at the House Foreign 
Affairs Committee, where I focused among other matters on rule of law 
efforts and programs.
    When I served President Clinton as a deputy national security 
advisor and Chief of Staff at the National Security Council, I helped 
to coordinate strategic and budget aspects of the Middle East peace 
negotiations efforts. I explored yet another aspect of these issues in 
my work in the private sector, where I assisted in creating the 
nonprofit economic development oriented Middle East Investment 
Initiative. Now, as a deputy to Senator Mitchell, I have spent the 
majority of my time focusing on coordinating U.S. efforts to support 
the Palestinian institution-building program, across U.S. agencies, in 
Washington and in the field, and among Palestinian Authority, Israeli, 
and international actors.
    Through my time in government, I have learned to appreciate the 
dynamics among and between the agencies and actors that play a role on 
foreign assistance and foreign policy matters. To implement programs 
effectively, and meet policy objectives, it is critical to navigate 
smoothly in this environment.
    I also value the time I have spent working on both ends of 
Pennsylvania Avenue, in different parts of the executive, and with the 
judiciary. Given the critical role of the legislative branch in funding 
and overseeing foreign assistance programs and policy, the executive 
branch in setting and developing policy, and the powerful balancing 
role of our judiciary, having an insider's familiarity with these 
institutions has served me well, and will continue to do so in this 
role, if confirmed.
    When working on governance challenges in other parts of the world, 
it has made a huge difference for me to be able to draw upon experience 
I have had in our own government: a contentious floor debate, an 
intricate conference bill negotiation, a complex set of jury 
instructions to be drafted, advising a President, or working out budget 
differences with a legislature controlled by the opposition party. I 
discovered this firsthand when I found myself explaining the House 
Rules Committee operations to a group of villagers in a remote part of 
the West Bank when the Palestinian Legislative Council had just run its 
first election in the mid 1990s and rules that would govern its 
proceedings were at the time heavily debated among the citizenry.
    Indeed, as President Obama described articulated in Cairo nearly 2 
years ago, ``[A]ll people yearn for certain things: the ability to 
speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in 
the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government 
that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people; the freedom to 
live as you choose.''
    In presenting the foreign assistance budget request recently, 
Secretary Clinton noted ``Generations of Americans . . . have grown up 
successful and safe because we chose to lead the world in tackling the 
greatest challenges. We invested the resources to build up democratic 
allies and vibrant trading partners. And we did not shy away from 
defending our values, promoting our interests, and seizing the 
opportunities of each new era . . . the world has never been in greater 
need of the qualities that distinguish us: our openness and innovation, 
our determination, our devotion to universal values.''
    As President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and Administrator Shah 
believe, we have the power to create the world we seek if we have the 
courage to embrace opportunity and the willingness to do things 
smartly, sometimes differently, and together.
    I am honored to be considered for this position and fully 
appreciate the responsibilities and challenges it entails. I am deeply 
committed to the mission of USAID and the role it plays in advancing 
our national security, promoting economic opportunity, and advancing 
our embodying our core American values.
    Thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you today. I 
welcome any questions you might have.

    Senator Casey. Thank you very much.
    I wanted to, for the record, just read the heading of a 
statement for the record that Senator Shaheen made available to 
us. This is a statement for the record for today's nomination 
hearing in support of the nomination of Mara Rudman to be 
Assistant Administrator for the Middle East, U.S. Agency for 
International Development. And that is, of course, dated today.
    I wanted to make sure that Senator Shaheen's statement was 
made part of the record.
    [The prepared statement of Senator Shaheen follows:]

               Prepared Statement of Hon. Jeanne Shaheen,
                    U.S. Senator From New Hampshire

    Chairman Casey and Ranking Member Risch, thank you for holding this 
important nomination hearing.
    I am pleased today to speak in strong support of Mara Rudman's 
nomination as the next Assistant Administrator for the Middle East at 
the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). At a critical 
time in the volatile and dangerous Middle East region, President Obama 
and USAID Administrator Shah have made an exceptional choice in 
nominating Mara to fill this important role.
    I had the great pleasure of traveling with Mara to the Palestinian 
West Bank on NDI election monitoring missions during the historic 
elections in both 2005 and 2006. During these missions, I had the 
opportunity to witness firsthand Mara's impressive grasp and 
understanding of this complex region, as well as her sharp intellect 
and her focused commitment to peace for the people of the Middle East. 
Mara has remained a good friend to my office, and her valued counsel 
over the years has been insightful, prudent, and sound.
    Mara's impressive background and experience in Middle East issues 
is substantive and wide-ranging. She is currently the Deputy Envoy and 
Chief of Staff to one of our country's most prominent and capable 
diplomats, Senator George Mitchell, the current Special Envoy for 
Middle East Peace at the State Department. Under President Clinton, as 
a Deputy National Security Advisor, she helped to coordinate U.S. 
efforts to negotiate Middle East peace.
    Mara has served in distinguished positions throughout government 
and the private sector--including stints on Capitol Hill, on the 
National Security Council staff, and at the Cohen Group. Her degree 
from New Hampshire's own Dartmouth College further adds to her 
impressive resume. Mara will face daunting challenges and enormous 
opportunities, should she be confirmed, but I am confident that Mara's 
experiences and background have prepared her well to take on these new 
responsibilities and to succeed at USAID.
    In today's complex international environment, it is critical for 
USAID and the State Department to recruit and retain America's best and 
brightest if we are to overcome the difficult security challenges of 
the 21st century. Mara Rudman is clearly one of our Nation's more 
capable and experienced foreign policy minds, and I am proud to fully 
support Mara's nomination for this important position at USAID.
    I would urge my colleagues to quickly and positively act on her 
nomination. I want to thank the committee for your time and 
consideration, and thank you to Mara for again returning to public 
service. I look forward to working with her in her new endeavor.

    Senator Casey. I want to thank you both for your 
willingness to serve again and again in difficult assignments, 
and I have a number of questions. I will try to alternate. I 
will start with Mr. Patterson, just by way of the order of 
speaking.
    First of all, I wanted to focus on Iran. As much as we have 
had a focus in the region, it seems like every other week, 
there is a new country that comes into sharper focus in the 
region, and that is understandable. We have, I think, an 
ongoing challenge presented by the Iranian regime. And I know 
that this Sunday, the New York Times had a review on that, and 
I thought it was very helpful.
    One of the strategies that we have employed with regard to 
Iran, and I think it is the right strategy--is to do everything 
we can to isolate the regime. And I think we have made some 
good progress on that, especially as it relates to sanctions.
    As we move down the pathway to further implementation of 
that particular part of our strategy of isolation, we know that 
the assignment you are about to undertake upon confirmation 
will have some tension with that. Based upon both geography and 
history, Turkmenistan has longstanding ties with Iran, and I 
guess I would ask you, as Ambassador, how you help to manage 
that in your own work, where one of our policy objectives is 
isolation as it relates to the regime. How are you supporting 
that policy, while not discouraging Turkmen investment and also 
the cooperation that takes place with Iran's energy sector?
    How do you manage all that in the context of a difficult 
assignment?
    Mr. Patterson. Mr. Chairman, thanks for that question.
    One of the key issues, obviously, is the sanctions regime 
that is in place with Iran. And the State Department, the 
administration has gone out of its way to make sure that the 
Government of Turkmenistan is aware of the sanctions that are 
currently in place. There have been demarches from our Embassy 
in Ashgabat on a number of occasions to the Turkmenistan 
Government to keep them aware of sanctions in place and as they 
change.
    Last week, a small delegation from the State Department 
traveled to Ashgabat and met there with American companies that 
are represented in Turkmenistan to brief them on sanctions 
regimes as well and to make sure that in the course of doing 
business with the Government of Turkmenistan and in the region, 
that they didn't, inadvertently do anything that would 
contravene the sanction regime in place.
    If confirmed as Ambassador, I would work very hard to make 
sure that the government is aware. I am aware, as are you, Mr. 
Chairman, that Turkmenistan shares a border with Iran, and 
there is a trading relationship in place. Part of it is as the 
result of people of the same nationality on both sides of the 
border, and this has been going on for centuries.
    But certainly our concerns would be first and foremost in 
my mind as I take up this post, if confirmed, and I would make 
sure that the Government of Turkmenistan was aware of them.
    Thank you.
    Senator Casey. No, thank you. And I know that probably one 
of the challenges is to be able to encourage leaders to be able 
to compartmentalize, to be able to understand and appreciate a 
strategic objective we have, but also knowing that we can also 
have a constructive relationship with Turkmenistan.
    I have another question that relates to energy and, of 
course, natural gas is central to that. I would ask you, if you 
are confirmed, what efforts would you make to encourage 
Turkmenistan to pursue alternative routes with regard to 
natural gas exports?
    Mr. Patterson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Turkmenistan has already taken a few steps in diversifying 
its markets. As you know, it has a relationship with China, and 
a pipeline was built and inaugurated in December 2009 that 
ships significant amounts of natural gas to China. In place at 
the time that the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991 were routes 
that took natural gas to Russia, of course.
    The administration has been encouraged by President 
Berdimuhamedov and the Turkmen Government's interest in 
aggressively exploring the possibility of the TAPI pipeline 
that I mentioned in my testimony. If built, and there are many 
challenges in building this pipeline, that pipeline would bring 
natural gas to India and to Afghanistan and to Pakistan.
    Much remains to be done, but we have made it clear to the 
Government of Turkmenistan that American companies are able and 
have the skills necessary to help the government overcome 
technical challenges as it considers going forward with that 
project. We have also been encouraged by recent statements that 
have been made supporting the Trans-Caspian pipeline, the 
Southern corridor that I mention in my testimony.
    Again, we believe that there are challenges to completing 
the construction of that pipeline, but American companies are 
in place in Ashgabat, as I mentioned earlier, and are more than 
eager to get involved in that kind of a project. So, if 
confirmed, I would work hard to make sure that this process of 
diversification that has already begun continues.
    Thank you.
    Senator Casey. I have one more question, and then I do want 
to turn to the Middle East. One question I have is just based 
upon your own review of the data and to the extent to which you 
can get a good sense of the economy in Turkmenistan. What is 
your assessment of their economic situation now?
    Because we know that throughout the world, we have lived 
through a couple of years of pretty fragile economies in many 
places. And of course, energy plays a big role in that. But how 
would you assess the strengths and the challenges in their 
economy?
    Mr. Patterson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Turkmenistan remains heavily dependent on natural gas 
resources. Attempts are being made to diversify, but at this 
point, much of the income that comes into the country comes 
from the distribution of natural gas and other such resources.
    It is difficult to find authoritative economic statistics 
on Turkmenistan. The statistics that we do have seem to show a 
major growth in the economy. Much of the basic purchases of the 
population are subsidized in one form or another by the 
government as a result of these natural gas and other incomes.
    But it seems that since coming to office in 2007, President 
Berdimuhamedov has understood the need to do more than just 
rely on natural gas and has begun looking for other 
opportunities for the economy. This includes in agriculture to 
a much lesser extent, of course, and manufacturing.
    American companies, again--and I see this as part of my 
mandate, if confirmed--have played a role in some of the 
sectors of the economy that have been explored by the 
Government of Turkmenistan. Agriculture, there are companies 
like Case, Caterpillar, and construction and others that are in 
place there. And if confirmed as Ambassador, I would make an 
effort to make sure that the expertise that U.S. companies have 
can help expand this process of diversification of the economy.
    Thank you.
    Senator Casey. Thank you.
    I want to turn to the Middle East for a couple of minutes. 
Ms. Rudman, thank you for your testimony, and I know when we 
were talking yesterday, one of the challenges that we discussed 
was how you do your job and how USAID approaches the region in 
light of this remarkable change.
    And again, it is hard in a few words to be able to 
summarize or fully encapsulate what has happened in the Middle 
East and what will happen yet ahead of us. For anyone who has 
any exposure at all to the challenges within the region, that 
is a difficult assignment. But how do you approach it in terms 
of rebalancing our priorities and our approach to the region?
    And I realize that you cannot simply think of it as one 
region, as one jurisdiction. You have to approach each country 
individually, in addition to having a regional strategic 
vision. But how do you approach that as you start down this 
road?
    Ms. Rudman. Mr. Chairman, thank you for the question.
    I appreciate the opportunity to look at these issues. I am, 
obviously, at this point in the position of looking at this 
from an ``if confirmed'' perspective, and I have had the 
opportunity, through the briefings I have been going through, 
to be looking at these issues prospectively.
    And so, in responding in that way, I would say that you, 
Mr. Chairman, brought up a number of points in your opening 
statement that I think are consistent with an approach that 
would be a sensible one here. In other words, to look at the 
region in a way that takes into account both, as you said, a 
country-by-country perspective, but also requires the U.S. 
Government as a whole, as well as the Agency for International 
Development, to be agile, to be more agile perhaps than the 
agency has been to date but is getting more so.
    To be agile, to be responsive, and to look carefully at how 
we respond, how the Agency for International Development 
responds and not just where the agency responds going forward 
as well. I would say that USAID has been going through a very 
thorough review of all of its programs across the board in the 
region, as well as a very significant country-by-country 
review, and has shown a significant degree of flexibility in 
terms of what it is able to do to respond with, I believe, a 
significant degree of flexibility. I think we have seen that.
    You mentioned Libya, for example, and what has been 
happening there in terms of humanitarian response. I know there 
has been a great deal of briefing on Egypt to date. And again, 
that is a whole of government response.
    And so, there is both a need to look at this in a--and we 
talked about this yesterday--in a country-by-country way. There 
is a need to look at it in terms of regional strategic 
approach, and there is a need to look at it in terms of a 
response to other countries in the region, consistent with some 
of the questions that you asked of my colleague here at the 
table as well.
    And in each of these cases, we are going to need to apply a 
variety of filters. We, the U.S. Government, as well as those 
specifically within the Agency for International Development, 
must be able to, from the soft development perspective, do our 
part for the whole of government response and be as agile as 
possible in doing so.
    Senator Casey. Yes; I guess in a region like the Middle 
East where you always have tension, that is one of the 
realities that will persist, even in this new environment. You 
probably have more instability now than you did before, but 
there are also some opportunities. Because prior to this, 
depending on the country, USAID might have been, in a sense, 
more limited, because you were dealing with a very strong, 
authoritarian government that would only let you do so much. 
Now you have opportunities.
    You have a fervor for change and for helping folks on the 
ground, and support for democratic change and human rights and 
development. These are all positive developments, I think. So 
you have both opportunities, but you also have some uncertainty 
about the institutions you are dealing with--who will be the 
leader, and how you will deliver that aid.
    So in a word, you have to be nimble, and you won't have as 
much predictability as you might have had before. And I don't 
underestimate the change.
    One of the difficulties that USAID will have, is a set of 
budget constraints and, I think, a focus on results and a 
heightened degree of scrutiny on the work that USAID does in 
this context. Because I think that the American people are 
paying much closer attention to the Middle East and to these 
developments in the context of not just what is happening 
there, but also in the context of budget constraints.
    I mentioned in our meeting yesterday that I was in the 
region in July. And it is just remarkable the difference 
between then and now. We were in Egypt and had a meeting at the 
Embassy with civil society leaders, and their the major focus 
was on fairness in the monitoring of elections. That was the 
extent, that was the full ambit of what they were thinking of 
at that time and focused on.
    I would have a much different meeting and much different 
visit now. We wouldn't even be meeting with the same government 
officials. And I think that is true of other places in the 
region.
    One of the places we visited was Lebanon. As I mentioned 
yesterday, the overwhelming and predominant presence of 
Hezbollah and the influence that Hezbollah has in that country 
is just extraordinary, at least from my own experience. I have 
never been in a place where there was that kind of predominant 
presence of one organization, in this case a terrorist 
organization.
    The Lebanese Government officials, as well as the leaders 
of their Armed Forces, were very grateful to the American 
people for helping train their army and their police, and I was 
happy that they recognized that. But of course, now the 
situation has changed in Lebanon as well. And with that change, 
with the ascendancy of Hezbollah and the greater impact and 
influence that Hezbollah will have, we have to consider whether 
or not our strategy will change with regard to aid, military 
and otherwise.
    I know that we have provided that kind of assistance, and 
the President requested $100 million in assistance for Lebanon 
for fiscal year 2012, the budget that we have not quite begun 
to debate here on Capitol Hill. But given the influence that 
Hezbollah has, I am worried about how we will approach this 
assistance.
    How do you deal with that as it relates to your work, upon 
confirmation, at USAID? How do you assess that in the context 
of all the changes, even apart from the region, just within 
Lebanon itself? Because we want to, obviously, continue to be 
helpful, but how do you approach that in your work?
    Ms. Rudman. Sure, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the question. 
I appreciate your concerns about it.
    I know that you raised the question with Secretary Clinton 
as well. So I know the depth of your concern on this issue.
    As you know, the government, of course, is still being 
formed in Lebanon. We are watching that very closely, and we 
will review, are in the process of reviewing our assistance 
closely and are continuing, however, to plan our assistance 
program so that we can be prepared for a variety of different 
outcomes and possibilities.
    So that for exactly I think what you observed when you were 
over there, that we are prepared to be able to have an impact 
in a variety of different circumstances so that we can have the 
greatest possible impact, understanding, of course, that we 
can't, won't, do not engage with Hezbollah under any 
circumstances. And so, we are watching very closely, obviously, 
the development of that government.
    That said, the USAID portfolio has been one that has had, 
we believe, a significant and useful impact in the country. 
USAID works in a number of low-income areas in that country, 
has worked in microenterprise, has created jobs, in significant 
ways has also worked in civil society. And so, USAID has had 
impact in some significant ways and has the opportunity to 
continue to have and build upon that kind of impact going 
forward, again, nongovernmental opportunities.
    And so, USAID has the ability to continue to do that kind 
of work, and the agency would look to, going forward, do that 
kind of work. And if confirmed, I would hope to have the 
opportunity to engage with you as we see what happens with the 
development of the government as we go forward.
    And we certainly know, are quite cognizant both of the 
budget situation and of the need to consult. We have heard loud 
and clear what your concerns are, and we would share those 
concerns as we see how that government develops.
    Senator Casey. I should say, are there lines, bright lines, 
redlines, whatever phrase you use? But I guess I would ask 
this. Do you think the lines will change in terms of how we 
deal with Hezbollah, or is there a kind of standard that you 
would use to approach how USAID deals with Lebanon with regard 
to Hezbollah?
    Is there a standard in place now, or is that something that 
would have to develop or be altered based upon the changed 
circumstances? Because the American people understand that when 
we provide aid to a country, sometimes there are figures within 
the government that cause us real concern.
    Hezbollah has, as you know, controlled ministries, and I 
want to get a sense of whether or not you would have to develop 
new standards or whether you would apply the same set of 
standards even in the aftermath of this change?
    Ms. Rudman. Mr. Chairman, the standards that are in place 
in terms of the rules that govern USAID and, in fact, the rest 
of our Government with respect to lack of contact and lack of 
assistance, it would be hard for me to imagine those changing 
under any circumstances.
    Senator Casey. I know the President's fiscal year 2012 
budget request includes $400.4 million in economic assistance 
to the West Bank and Gaza to strengthen the Palestinian 
Authority, and I am quoting here, ``To strengthen the 
Palestinian Authority as a credible partner in Middle East 
peace and security efforts and continue to respond to 
humanitarian needs in Gaza.''
    And the request also states that the assistance will 
``provide significant resources to support Palestinian 
Authority reform efforts,'' and it goes on from there about 
what that entails.
    Based on your own significant experience and on what you 
see ahead of us in terms of support for those efforts in the 
West Bank, in regard to the Palestinian Authority. In July, 
myself, Senator Shaheen and Senator Kaufman delivered a message 
on behalf of our government to our counterparts in Saudi Arabia 
encouraging Saudi Arabia, among others, to pay its dues, so to 
speak, to help the Palestinian Authority as we have done.
    But tell us a little a bit about that, and then I will move 
back to Mr. Patterson.
    Ms. Rudman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    My challenge in responding to this question is being brief. 
So I will try to take that into account.
    Senator Casey. We do have a lot of time because I am not 
going to call on anybody unless the staff wants to do some 
questions.
    Ms. Rudman. The effort for the United States Government 
with respect to Palestinian state-building is one where we have 
a real partnership with the Palestinian leadership with respect 
to President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad and also with 
respect to the Israeli side. And I say this from a position of, 
as I said in my opening statement, in the coordination role 
that I currently work in.
    I work on a regular basis both across our Government with a 
whole of government approach and with the Palestinian 
leadership and the Israeli leadership on a daily, if not 
sometimes an hourly, basis in moving forward with these 
programs. And so, in this case, we have a Palestinian 
leadership vision in a number of key areas from governance to 
health, education, infrastructure, which focuses on water 
issues; where we are very much focused point right now for both 
the West Bank and Gaza and working in close coordination, 
again, with the Israeli Water Authority and the Israeli Defense 
Ministry in moving forward on those key issues, as well as road 
infrastructure, and then also on economic development issues.
    And without close cooperation, again, with the Israeli 
side, we would not be able to advance in any of those issues. 
And we work very closely with key leaders of the international 
community as well.
    On all of these issues, I have often said it is a privilege 
to work with the doers, and often it is the doers more than the 
talkers on the state-building, institution-building side of 
things. And so that I do believe a number of real results have 
been achieved.
    Folks here may hear less about those results than you do, 
frankly, on the negotiating track side of things, and the 
United States has a dual track approach, on institution-
building and on the negotiating side of things. The 
institution-building side of things has been able to achieve a 
little bit more of late than the negotiating side has. We 
certainly very much hope that the negotiating side is able to 
pick up.
    But both sides are mutually reinforcing. And what we have 
said all along is that they need to be mutually reinforcing, 
and one ultimately cannot succeed without the other. And both 
are necessary for both Israelis and Palestinians and for the 
United States ultimately and for our interests in the region.
    And so, to get back to your initial question, the $400.4 
million request is one that folks should have every confidence 
is funding that is well spent, is money that is going toward 
tangible benefits on the ground for Palestinian people and for 
Israelis to be able to see the results of how that funding is 
spent.
    Senator Casey. On our trip, we had a chance to spend some 
time on the West Bank and we sat down with Prime Minister 
Fayyad. He was very focused on specific projects, literally 
hundreds, if not thousands of them. And so, the aid that our 
Government and a lot of governments have provided is bearing 
fruit.
    I do want to move back to Mr. Patterson for a few 
questions. I wanted to raise a question that I referred to in 
my opening statement about political prisoners in Turkmenistan. 
If confirmed, what steps would you take to persuade the 
government to free these prisoners, in the interim, to allow 
for free access for independent monitors to include the 
International Committee of the Red Cross?
    I realize that these kinds of challenges don't have a 
textbook that is prepared for you, but can you give us a sense 
of the kind of the steps you would take as you begin?
    Mr. Patterson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is an important 
question.
    We have in place some mechanisms for discussing human 
rights issues, including those with specific prisoners like the 
ones you mentioned in your opening statement. We compile 
reports every year, as you know, that get the best possible 
information. Both our religious freedom report and our human 
rights report and our trafficking in persons report cover human 
rights practices in Turkmenistan.
    And we take the information from those and from other 
sources and meet at our newly inaugurated Annual Bilateral 
Consultations where human rights plays a prominent role. The 
first meeting of the ABC was in June 2010. We recently, in 
February, had a review. And at both of those meetings, high-
level U.S. Government officials discussed with their Turkmen 
Government counterparts specific cases and specific practices 
and the challenges that they pose.
    We saw today perhaps a little bit of very modest progress 
on that agenda. We received--our Embassy in Ashgabat received 
information from the government about the status of two of the 
prisoners that you mentioned that you had signed a letter 
about, Mr. Amanklychev and Mr. Khadzhiev. The Turkmen 
Government provided us information about the medical care that 
they have received, visits they have had from their families, 
et cetera.
    So this is modest, as I said. But it is, perhaps, a sign 
that the kind of dialogue that we have is beginning to bear 
some fruit. If confirmed, I would hope to go to Ashgabat, build 
a constructive relationship with Turkmen Government 
representatives, and use that constructive relationship to make 
human rights an important part of the interactions that I have 
there.
    You mentioned visits to prisoners and the problem with the 
ICRC. It is a difficult nut to crack. The ICRC has felt that 
the conditions that have been offered it aren't acceptable. I 
would do what I can to ensure that some access to prisons is 
made available. It is not clear to me at this juncture, to be 
honest, how I will proceed. But certainly, it will be one of my 
major concerns when I am there.
    Thank you.
    Senator Casey. And of course, the earlier that you can 
raise it, the earlier you can implement a strategy, the better. 
But I realize as well sometimes we have expectations that can 
exceed the reality. Upon confirmation, you will be walking into 
an assignment that hasn't been filled in quite a while, and you 
will have to develop relationships and build some confidence 
and trust. But obviously, the earlier that you can move on 
that, the better.
    Also one question about nongovernmental organizations, 
NGOs, and the restrictions that the government places on them. 
Can you tell us anything about how you will approach that 
issue?
    Mr. Patterson. Yes, Mr. Chairman. Again, a very good 
question.
    The Mejlis, the Turkmen Parliament, has been considering 
changes to the public organizations law. We will have to see 
what those changes might produce. Some changes that are 
contemplated, if implemented, might mean a somewhat better 
environment for nongovernmental organizations to operate in.
    In the meantime----
    Senator Casey. Statutory change of some type?
    Mr. Patterson. These would be, if implemented, statutory 
changes. Again, adopting the law and implementing the law, as I 
understand it, are two different things. But perhaps there is a 
possibility here.
    As I mentioned in my opening statement, I would like to 
focus a lot on people-to-people exchanges. I think we have had 
some modest success in building a degree of trust with the 
Turkmen Government about those exchanges, about bringing 
students and others to the United States. I am for having 
representatives from Fulbright programs and other programs go 
to Turkmenistan.
    I didn't mention in my statement, but in the part that is 
for the record, we have a Peace Corps that is in place with 31 
members throughout Turkmenistan. And from what I have heard, 
their presence has done a good deal toward perhaps trying to 
erase stereotypes about the United States and giving people 
some firsthand contact with Americans.
    So I would foresee an incremental approach to this 
difficult problem, hope for changes in the law that will create 
a better environment, but in the meantime, work on the people-
to-people front. And of course, talk to the Turkmen Government 
about how more opportunities for participation among more of 
its citizens ultimately is in the interests and engendering 
stability in the country.
    Thank you.
    Senator Casey. I will ask you one broad question. If you 
had to point to one or more experiences you have had around the 
world in different places and different assignments, is there 
one or a combination of experiences you had that you think will 
be particularly helpful in this assignment if you are 
confirmed?
    Mr. Patterson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I wouldn't point to one specific experience. Much of my 
career was spent in what was then the Soviet Union, and I had a 
good deal of experience at the times that I was there in 
working with NGOs that were attempting to move their agendas 
forward in a difficult environment.
    I feel that I understand, although this may be a little bit 
too optimistic before going there, the kind of environment that 
awaits me in Turkmenistan. I hope that some of the experiences 
that I had in the Soviet Union during the Perestroika period 
and before and also experiences that I had in Russia after the 
Soviet Union fell apart will come to my aid as I attempt to 
grapple with these problems.
    To be sure, Turkmenistan is not Russia, and I don't mean to 
imply that it is. But it was part of the Soviet Union for some 
time, and there is a certain legacy that it shares. That legacy 
is fading with time, as all things do. But I think, 
nevertheless, that some of the ideas that I had in working with 
people there and some of the practices that I saw might be 
useful as I approach this new assignment, if confirmed.
    Senator Casey. Thank you.
    Along those same lines, Ms. Rudman, as you have the 
experience of working with Democrats and Republicans in the 
House and the Senate, you are probably prepared for just about 
anything. And I know that experience will help you enormously.
    One of the places that we hear most about when it relates 
to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or when President Saleh 
might be moving to a different chapter in his life, is Yemen. 
And this is true of a lot of countries in the Middle East; we 
hear most about them when there are stories that relate to 
violence. We hear a lot about Yemen in those contexts, but we 
don't hear nearly enough about the poverty, the water shortage, 
the human misery that sometimes creates the foundation or the 
wellspring of a lot of the difficulties that that country is 
having.
    In some ways, a place like Yemen is almost ready-made for 
all that USAID does well. And I wanted to get your sense of 
that in light of not just the problems, the horrific poverty 
and the challenges there, but also in light of both those 
problems juxtaposed with substantial unrest and change at the 
highest levels of the government. How do you approach that?
    What was a difficult set of circumstances before, but maybe 
now even more difficult in light of what you would be trying to 
do with USAID there. What is your sense of that? And I know it 
is kind of a broad, difficult question. But as you know, we 
have some time here.
    Ms. Rudman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the 
question.
    And USAID has been looking, not surprisingly, at the 
situation in Yemen. It has been working there, USAID, for some 
time. It has been doing capacity-building work in Yemen. It 
continues to work in Yemen, even now with the situation as it 
is, and has been able to continue working there, even with the 
difficult situation.
    It has been looking at changing some of its programming, 
obviously, with the situation on the ground. And the work that 
it has been doing in the capacity-building context, some of 
that work has been at the level of technocrats in the 
government. So it is not that all work is--there is a 
transitional element to it, even with, as you say, President 
Saleh, with some transition going on there, there is a level 
within the bureaucracy that would continue to benefit from the 
types of capacity-building work that has been ongoing.
    But more broadly, the type of negotiation and dialogue and 
discussion that is very important within Yemen and that has 
been opening up more broadly across a greater part of the 
population is something that USAID has been involved in, 
continue to be involved in, and is looking help to foster more 
of and to be able to support in broader ways, in addition to 
the type of economic support with the very poor parts of that 
population, as you pointed out, and in ways that USAID is well 
situated to be able to do with a number of its partner 
organizations.
    And so, it has--USAID has that kind of outreach within the 
country and will continue to look for opportunities to be able 
to do that work, again through this transition period.
    Senator Casey. And USAID, like every part of our Government 
now, is under budget constraints and is somewhat limited. In a 
place like Yemen, and I will ask another question because I 
know it is in the news today even more so than it has been in 
the last couple of weeks. But there is certainly a water 
shortage issue, and part of the problem there is true of other 
countries in the region. Regardless of who is in charge, there 
seems to be an institution-building challenge.
    When you come into a country that has issues of poverty and 
instability and that kind of turmoil, the institutions often 
need to be either built up or reformed. If you are in Yemen 
today, where would you start in terms of making progress on the 
institutions?
    I am assuming that the challenges are almost across the 
board. But are there places in Yemen's Government where the 
most attention would be warranted, or do you have a sense of 
that yet?
    Ms. Rudman. Well, Mr. Chairman, it is a fair question, and 
it is a good question.
    Where I think that USAID has some opportunities here is the 
fact that there are programs in place that USAID has been 
working on. So there is the ability to know who different 
players are, and I say this without myself personally having 
that information. But what I would do, if confirmed, is to go 
and talk to the folks who have been running those programs for 
USAID in the mission to understand who the technocrats are who 
have been working the different programs.
    So to get a feel for whom USAID has worked with effectively 
and who has been less effective in the different ministries. 
And again, this is at the technocrat working level. But in my 
experience in other places, you can get a pretty good feel 
pretty quickly about who runs programs well and who doesn't 
from your partner organizations. And when you have people at 
missions who are in the field, you get that kind of direct 
information very quickly.
    That is very useful, and you also obviously have an embassy 
and your ambassador and your DCM, and you get a mix of that 
type of information. It helps to inform, obviously, your policy 
judgments, but also your ability to use your precious 
assistance resources carefully.
    You want to make sure. You have limited dollars to use. You 
want to put it toward the programs that are going to use those 
dollars most effectively, and you want to make good judgments 
about it.
    And that is where, even if you are going to be shifting 
those resources, the fact that you have had a mission and that 
that mission has experience, and even if some of the players in 
that government are shifting, you have been working with some 
of them for a while. And so, you should be using the judgments 
from your people in the field to make some of the assessments 
about how you are going to be shifting things.
    I don't have that data at my fingertips, but I have some 
sense about how to go about getting that data to be able to 
come back and talk with you all and be making those assessments 
going forward.
    Senator Casey. Some of the biggest challenges you have 
involve working with and coordinating among the various 
departments of our Government. I know that in your testimony, 
when you focus on your approach, your third bullet point was 
``coordinate closely with colleagues at State, Defense, 
Treasury, and the White House to see we are truly practicing 
smart diplomacy using development, diplomacy.''
    Just that coordination alone is difficult. I think that 
both of our nominees will run into that kind of challenge in 
managing within the boundaries of our own Government and our 
own institutions.
    Well, I think we are coming almost to the close of our 
hearing. I don't know if there is any further statement either 
of you would want to make or any point you would want to 
amplify? We won't take audience questions today. [Laughter.]
    But I wanted to give you an opportunity if you had any 
further statement or further information you wanted to give to 
the committee. And of course, we may send questions that will 
be for the record that you would submit answers to in writing. 
But if there is anything that either of you wanted to add to 
the record now, I can certainly give you that opportunity.
    We don't need a closing statement, but if there is 
something you wanted to add?
    Ms. Rudman. Mr. Chairman, I would just thank you, 
obviously, for the opportunity to appear before you.
    And on your last point, as with any challenge, including 
the challenge of coordinating with the rest of my colleagues in 
Government, I actually really do see it as an opportunity 
because you don't get to solve any problems if you don't get to 
use the resources of everyone all together.
    And so, if there is anything I think I have had experience 
with, it is figuring out how to kind of work together with 
everyone on the team. And I fully appreciate that it is not 
always easy, but if you don't get process right, you don't get 
policy right.
    And so, I recognize the challenges, but I really do see it 
as an opportunity to try to get it right in the whole of 
government way of doing things.
    So thank you. Thank you.
    Senator Casey. Well, thank you. And I appreciate both of 
you putting yourself forward for further and challenging 
service, especially at this time.
    And as I think I have shared with Ms. Rudman, I could also 
apply to you, Mr. Patterson. You could be doing other things in 
the private sector and making a lot of money, I am sure, and 
you have chosen to serve your country. And we appreciate both 
of you putting yourself forward for that kind of service, and 
we are particularly grateful.
    We hope that we can move your nominations as expeditiously 
as possible through the committee and then through the Senate. 
I will never make a prediction or a promise about that because 
there is a great deal of uncertainty about the process here. 
And we are going to try to move it as fast as we can.
    But we are grateful for your service, for your testimony, 
and for your willingness to take on these difficult 
assignments.
    Thank you very much.
    And we are adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 11:30 a.m., the hearing was adjourned.]
                              ----------                              


       Additional Questions and Answers Submitted for the Record


          Responses of Mara Rudman to Questions Submitted by 
           Senator John F. Kerry and Senator Richard G. Lugar

    Question. Please describe your responsibilities as an officer for 
International Commission for Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) 
and the ICHEIC Trust from 2002-09. Please indicate, in particular, what 
role, if any, you played in the following areas:

   Developing or implementing policies or procedures for 
        identifying relevant insurance policy records and publishing 
        names of policyholders;
   Developing standards of proof or providing guidance to 
        claims arbitrators on criteria to be used in making decisions 
        on or related to claims; and
   Developing or implementing policies or procedures for 
        responding to requests for information from the U.S. Department 
        of State pursuant to Section 704 of the Foreign Affairs 
        Authorization Act of 2003 (Public Law 107-228).

    Answer.
   introduction to icheic and my responsibilities as chief operating 
                                officer
    I was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for ICHEIC from 2002 to 
2007 (former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger was the Chairman/
Chief Executive). As COO, my primary responsibility was to do 
everything possible to carry out the mission of the organization, that 
is, to help ICHEIC to find previously uncompensated claimants and pay 
them.
    ICHEIC was created several years earlier, in August 1998. By the 
late 1990s, the question of Holocaust-era asset restitution had 
reemerged and numerous class action lawsuits were filed. U.S. insurance 
regulators recognized that given the understandable challenge of 
documentation, the length of time that had passed, and the effort and 
costs involved, the path of litigation presented significant 
difficulties. Working through state insurance regulators, the National 
Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), identified the companies 
most likely affected and worked with these companies to arrive at a 
means of resolving the issues presented. These issues were identified 
working with Holocaust survivors, by conducting interviews, researching 
the historical background, and organizing informational hearings across 
the country. ICHEIC was the result.
    I began working with ICHEIC 4 years into this pioneering startup's 
efforts. It faced many bumps in the road in its early years, with 
initial high administrative costs combined with a lengthy development 
period for claims forms that led to slower initial outreach and claims 
processing and awards. In April 2003, several months after I had 
joined, 59,117 claims had been submitted to date, only $38 million had 
been paid to claimants, and a low percentage of claims had been decided 
overall. Critics said ICHEIC would run out of funds long before its 
member companies made decisions on the claims that had been submitted, 
and that the Commission would never make the completion deadlines it 
had set.
    Four years later, when ICHEIC closed its doors, we had moved more 
than $500 million in total for Holocaust-related work. More than $306 
million had been paid to more than 48,000 Holocaust victims or their 
heirs for previously unpaid insurance policies (of a total of 91,558 
claims submitted and decided), along with nearly $200 million 
distributed for humanitarian purposes. Of the $306 million paid out 
directly to claimants, more than half went to individuals with so 
little information about their potential claim that they were unable to 
identify even the company that may have issued the policy.
    Upon joining ICHEIC, my team and I worked hard to make sure that 
ICHEIC's mission could be implemented effectively and expeditiously. At 
Chairman Eagleburger's direct instruction, we were charged with 
addressing concerns that had been raised about the Commission's 
operations prior to our coming on board. We increased its transparency 
and outreach; we succeeded in reaching terms of agreement among 
Commission members with respect to the German Foundation, and the 
French and Swiss insurance companies (AXA, Winterthur, and Zurich) that 
were critical to implement claims decisionmaking timelines and funding 
structures; and we reduced administrative costs, ensuring that overall 
operating expenses would absorb less than 18 percent of the overall 
ICHEIC budget.
    Additionally, as COO, my work, with my staff, included:

 Transparency/Accessibility:

      Redesigning the ICHEIC Web site to make it user friendly and 
            make available information including the final valuation 
            guidelines as well as committee structures, claims 
            processing statistics, audit reports, quarterly reports, a 
            guide to how the process worked, and annual meeting 
            presentations;
      Working to publicize ICHEIC mission and no-cost procedures 
            to make sure potential claimants worldwide knew how to file 
            a claim;

 Costs/Service Quality:

      Moving international call center operations (for claimants) 
            from a for-profit contractor to the nonprofit Claims 
            Conference, with operators trained by my staff, to lower 
            costs and improve quality of service;
      Instituting measures to reduce administrative costs 
            including changing locations for the annual meeting, 
            instituting and strictly enforcing member and staff travel 
            reimbursement policies, etc.;

 Service Quality/Effectiveness:

      Using the agreed upon audit process to examine insurance 
            company files, and ensuring database built which was 
            constructed from research in archives across Europe;
      Establishing systems to process the more than 90,000 claims 
            submitted from all over the world;
      Administering an independent appeals system presided over by 
            jurists who, over the life of the process, reviewed 
            hundreds of appeals that provided every claim that named a 
            company the opportunity for review. The relatively small 
            percentage of reversals on original decisions underscored 
            the strength of the initial system of checks and balances 
            my team constructed. This included internal ICHEIC staff 
            verification of every company decision, as well as outside 
            independent audits of companies' records and decisionmaking 
            practices, to make sure they complied with ICHEIC rules and 
            guidelines.
I. Developing/ implementing policies or procedures for identifying 
        relevant insurance policy records and publishing names of 
        policyholders
    In addition to these tasks, when I started working with ICHEIC, my 
team and I built upon the work that had been underway since the late 
1990s with respect to archival research and building a research 
database and lists of possible policyholders.
            I.A. Research and matching
    Working closely with European insurance companies, I accelerated 
implementation of the protocols developed by ICHEIC committees prior to 
my arrival to make sure that information provided by claimants was 
matched to all available and relevant surviving records in the 
companies' possession. Since many claimants had little or no 
information about specific insurance policies, ICHEIC also conducted 
archival research to locate documents that were relevant to Holocaust-
era life insurance claims. I ensured that where necessary, we 
commissioned experts to conduct additional research in public archives 
and repositories in Central and Eastern Europe, Israel, and the United 
States to collect as much relevant information as possible. These 
efforts augmented the database ICHEIC created that provided a critical 
tool used by companies and ICHEIC to further enhance information 
provided by claimants and thus the chances of identifying policies on 
submitted claims.
    Our research spanned 15 countries and included over 80 archives. 
Researchers reviewed three types of records. The first, representing 
the bulk of the material reviewed, consisted of Nazi-era asset 
registration and confiscation records. Files pertaining to the post-war 
registration of losses made up the second category. The third category 
was comprised of insurance company records located in public and 
regulatory archives. ICHEIC researchers located almost 78,000 policy 
specific records. This research augmented the often limited information 
provided with claims. This research effort had a significant positive 
impact on the disposition of claims. More than half of the total amount 
awarded to claimants was based on this archival research and went to 
individuals who were unable to identify a policy or name a company that 
was the source of their claim.
            I.B. Publishing potential policyholders' lists
    In my role as COO, I participated in ICHEIC's work to develop and 
publish these lists, and to maintain the lists on the Yad Vashem Web 
site after ICHEIC ceased operations. Development of lists of potential 
policyholders' names was a by-product, however, of our efforts to match 
claim form information with relevant policy information discovered 
through archival research or in companies' records. Finding one's name 
on a list published by the Commission was never intended as necessary 
to file a claim. Our extensive outreach efforts made that clear.
    Consistent with the Commission's mission of reaching out to the 
broadest possible universe of interested parties, ICHEIC published on 
its Web site its research and the 519,009 potential Holocaust-era 
policyholder names who were thought likely to have suffered any form of 
racial, religious, or political persecution during the Holocaust.\1\ In 
so doing, however, the Web site also carried a clear warning that 
finding a name on the Web site was not evidence of the existence of a 
compensable policy. There were many similar names with spelling 
variations, policies that might have been surrendered or paid out prior 
to the Holocaust, and some policies that had already been the subject 
of previous government compensation programs, making them ineligible 
for further payments under the ICHEIC process. The list remains 
accessible through the Yad Vashem Web site (www1.yadvashem.org/
pheip).\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ The number of policies issued during the period (1920-1945) 
would be considerable and in many cases, records, when available, would 
not be in a database but on microfiche, film, and paper. The prewar 
proportion of the persecuted population (as determined by ICHEIC's 
research) was only a fractional part of the prewar insurance market.
    \2\ ICHEIC's published lists--as components of ICHEIC's research 
database--result from working closely with archival experts in Germany, 
Israel, the United States, and elsewhere, and drawing on information 
from company policyholder records. During the ICHEIC process, companies 
had to identify which policyholders might potentially fit the 
definition of Holocaust victim. For companies with many surviving 
records, this presents a considerable challenge, because in most 
instances, insurance companies did not identify policyholders based on 
racial, religious, political, or ideological factors. Nor was it 
possible to filter solely on the basis of ``Jewish''-sounding last 
names: the name Rosenberg, for example, often believed to be a typical 
Jewish name, was also the name of one of the Nazi party's highest 
ranking ideologues. Similarly, Anne Frank shares her last name with the 
notorious governor-general of occupied Poland, Hans Frank, who was 
hanged at Nuremberg.
      The Commission considered all these factors, and culled out from 
an overall list of policyholder names that are those most likely to 
have been persecuted during the Holocaust. The Commission's list also 
contained many more names of policyholders likely to have been 
previously compensated on their policies because the majority of 
policies issued in Germany had already been subject to prior postwar 
compensation programs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
II. Developing standards of proof or providing guidance to claims 
        arbitrators on criteria to be used in making decisions on or 
        related to claims
    I was able to implement ICHEIC's relaxed standards of proof as 
criteria to be used in making decisions on or related to claims among 
companies and ICHEIC's claims verification team. I also ensured the 
distribution of the relaxed standards of proof, and all ICHEIC's rules 
and guidelines, through all available routes, including to claims 
arbitrators.\3\ I could do so because these relaxed standards of proof 
were developed by ICHEIC prior to my arrival. Very early on as claims 
were coming into ICHEIC, it became clear that the bulk of the claim 
forms contained little detailed information, that policy documentation 
was the exception rather than the rule, and that many claims did not 
name a specific company, or named a company that ceased to exist before 
1945. So ICHEIC worked, through its committee structure--with Jewish 
organization representatives, insurance regulators, and companies--to 
establish relaxed standards of proof and create valuation standards 
that could be calculated without the usual policy documentation. This 
is also when decisions were made to develop an extensive research 
database and matching system.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\ Appeals process judges (arbitrators) were to be provided copies 
of ICHEIC rules and guidelines as part of their initial training; 
though part of that training also included informing them that while 
they had the use of legal advisors to staff them and help with 
researching and drafting their decisions, they had absolute discretion 
and independence in the ultimate determination of decision outcome.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Under my tenure, my staff and I created and instituted the separate 
but related humanitarian claims payment process for unnamed unmatched 
claims, and for Eastern European claims on companies that had been 
liquidated, nationalized, or for which there were no known 
successors.\4\ All these elements became part of the critical 
architecture of the Commission. The audits to which all companies were 
subjected, conducted by outside independent auditors, proved the 
effectiveness of this architecture; and our ability to carry out our 
mission depended on it.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\ ``ICHEIC not only facilitated the payments of claims against 
existing companies, it also paid out claims against now defunct 
companies and funded survivor assistance programs.'' Eric Fusfield, 
Director, Legislative Affairs, B'nai B'rith International, Letter to 
Chairman Barney Frank and Ranking Member Spencer Bachus, House 
Financial Services Committee, February 6, 2008.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    With respect specifically to relaxed standards of proof: during its 
existence, the Commission directly or through its member companies/
partner entities offered payment to more than 48,000 of the 91,558 who 
made inquiries. As noted, only a small percent of all the claim forms 
the Commission received named a specific company and far fewer 
contained policy documents. Survivors who had attempted to recover the 
proceeds of insurance policies during the immediate postwar period had 
been frustrated by companies' demands for death certificates and proof 
of entitlement that they could not provide. Understanding that 
expecting such documentation was both insensitive and in most cases 
impossible, the relaxed standards of proof adopted by the Commission 
did not require claimants to submit such evidence to make a claim.
    Under ICHEIC's relaxed standards of proof, the claimant produced 
whatever evidence the claimant had available. Individuals filling out 
claim forms were asked to provide all information available to them, 
including copies of existing documents in their possession that might 
be relevant. Sometimes claimants had actual copies of policies, but 
there was no expectation that such would be the case. The relaxed 
standards of proof allowed claimants to provide nondocumentary and 
unofficial documentary evidence for assessment.
    Companies were similarly required to produce the evidence they had, 
with the objective of helping claimants to establish sufficient 
evidence of a contractual relationship. Once the existence of a policy 
was substantiated, the burden shifted to the company to show the status 
of the contract or to prove the value of the contract had been adjusted 
or the contract had been paid. All parties agreed, however, that the 
relaxed standards of proof were to be interpreted liberally in favor of 
the claimant.
    ICHEIC established independent third party audits for the claims 
review process for each participating company to assess the status of 
existing records, and to ensure that records were appropriately 
searched and matched, in accordance with ICHEIC rules and guidelines. 
The ground rules for these audits were dictated by written agreements 
ICHEIC entered with its participating companies and partner entities 
such as the German Insurance Association and the German Foundation, 
reviewed and ultimately approved by ICHEIC's Audit Mandate Support 
Group, a committee on which regulators and Jewish organization 
representatives served.
    The relaxed standards of proof adopted by the Commission aimed to 
ensure that every claim, no matter what evidence the claimant could 
produce, would be reviewed to identify whether evidence could be 
located sufficient to substantiate the existence of a contract.
    Finally, during my tenure we instituted an in-house verification 
team to cross-check every company decision. The verification team also 
conducted a series of large-scale exercises to review decisions made by 
member companies. Discrepancies were reported back to the companies for 
reassessment and, where appropriate, remedial action. At the conclusion 
of ICHEIC's work, the verification team also carried out major 
reconciliation exercises, to make sure that all research information in 
ICHEIC's database conformed to and had been matched against companies' 
policyholder information, and that all claims filed had been checked 
against all companies' decisions.
III. Developing/implementing policies or procedures for responding to 
        requests for information from the U.S. Department of State 
        pursuant to Section 704 of the Foreign Affairs Authorization 
        Act of 2003 (Public Law 107-228)
    I worked with staff to make as much information as possible 
publicly available on the ICHEIC Web site at www.icheic.org. ICHEIC 
also provided the State Department an observer position on the 
Commission, in addition to the public information to which the State 
Department had easy access. Through ongoing consultation with State 
Department representatives, my team at ICHEIC viewed this cooperative 
approach as an effective way to ensure that the Department had the most 
extensive possible array of information to report to the Congress 
pursuant to the obligations of the State Department under section 704. 
In addition, we provided U.S. state insurance regulators with regular 
updates on claims submitted by claimants residing in their states, both 
through electronic statistical reports and participation in NAIC 
International Holocaust Commission Task Force quarterly meetings and 
monthly teleconference calls.
IV. Responsibilities as an officer for the ICHEIC Trust
    The final meeting of the ICHEIC board of directors and members on 
March 20, 2007, decided that ICHEIC would cease its legal existence at 
a time to be determined by Chairman Eagleburger. This occurred on July 
17, 2007, at which point a trust, which became the ICHEIC Trust, 
undertook the final closedown of ICHEIC's operations. Lawrence 
Eagleburger, Pat Bowditch, (formerly ICHEIC's Chief Financial Officer), 
and I served as the Trust's officers; I resigned my position early in 
the administration.
    The responsibilities of officers of the ICHEIC Trust include: 
paying all outstanding obligations and liabilities of ICHEIC as they 
become due; preparing the final financial audit of ICHEIC and causing 
it to be posted on ICHEIC's Web site; preparing, signing, and filing 
ICHEIC's wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, ICHEIC LLC's, final U.S. tax 
return and other tax reporting; overseeing and controlling defense and 
disposition, including litigation and settlement, of all claims, 
lawsuits, and other forms of litigation, if any, asserted against 
ICHEIC, its officers or directors, or any person who has been 
indemnified by ICHEIC, serving as the notice party in all outstanding 
contracts to which ICHEIC is a party, signing all required documents, 
including tax returns, on behalf of ICHEIC, and providing all required 
administrative functions on behalf of ICHEIC after its legal 
termination.

    Question. Some have questioned the work of ICHEIC, for which you 
served as CEO. It has been reported in the press that, in response to 
such criticisms, you explained that: ``Everybody expected too much. . . 
. We at ICHEIC have had a lot of ground to make up.'' (Tom Tugend, 
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, ``ICHEIC Hit By New Broadside,'' available 
at http://www.jta.org/news/article/2004/06/15/11639/ 
Inbroadsideoffici2004.) Please provide any additional information 
concerning this statement that you believe would be helpful to the 
committee in considering your nomination.

    Answer. I was asked to respond to criticism that we were not going 
to complete our mission, would still be deciding claims in 2011, and 
would run out of funds. I felt confident that we were going to get done 
in time, though I recognized we had considerable work ahead. Events 
proved me right. In the interview, I explained my view that while the 
critics' assertions would not prove correct, I also appreciated the 
basis for concern that had led to some of the statements. I understood 
that when the Commission was in its early years, those involved were 
pioneers. All involved had acknowledged to me that they had 
underestimated the complexity and timeframe for carrying out the 
centerpiece of ICHEIC's mission: finding previously uncompensated 
claimants and paying them. This makes me particularly proud to report 
that by 2007, when ICHEIC closed its doors, we had moved over $500 
million directly supporting Holocaust-related purposes. We had 
processed (decided and verified) decisions on more than 91,000 claims, 
more than $306 million in claims had been paid, and we distributed 
nearly $200 million for humanitarian purposes.

    Question. Information has come to the committee's attention that in 
2007, you, as ICHEIC CEO, may have announced that certain of ICHEIC's 
records would be sealed for several decades, or no longer retained. 
Please provide any additional information concerning this matter that 
you believe would be helpful to the committee in considering your 
nomination.

    Answer. The goal was and remains preserving important historical 
information, making everything publicly available that we possibly 
could, while appropriately protecting the privacy rights of 
individuals.
    There is evidently confusion with respect to ICHEIC records that 
were provided to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and are publicly 
available there, and personal files of individuals who filed claims 
with ICHEIC, which were archived at the Museum. The terms of the 
agreement between ICHEIC and the museum were proposed and explained 
generally at ICHEIC's concluding meeting on March 20, 2007, and are 
available on the ICHEIC Web site. Under this agreement, the museum 
maintains and hosts the ICHEIC Web site (www.icheic.org); it maintains 
ICHEIC key documents, including all relevant historical and research 
database in its library, and makes them available to visitors to the 
library. These documents include key policy decision memoranda as well 
as meeting minutes produced over the lifetime of the organization, as 
well as the research information that ICHEIC culled from its work in 
archives across Europe.
    With respect to individual claimants' files, applications and 
appeals, the museum maintains these in its archives. Given that these 
documents contain personal and sensitive information, this material 
must be closed to research by third parties for a period of 50 years. 
In reaching this agreement, ICHEIC sought legal guidance from privacy 
law experts, who reviewed the releases that individuals signed when 
they filed with ICHEIC and recommended that based on the strong 
commitments made by ICHEIC regarding data confidentiality and use of 
data only for the limited purpose of investigation/claims processing, 
combined with relevant data protection laws, ICHEIC would need to 
obtain specific consent from claimants prior to sharing of any claimant 
data with a third party. Given ICHEIC's 90,000+ claimants, the costs in 
March 2007 of obtaining such specific consent were estimated in the 
millions, and the more prudent outcome was deemed to be restricting 
access to this data for the 50-year period (recommended given range of 
ages of individuals filing.)
    There was also a reference made at the March 2007 ICHEIC meeting to 
ICHEIC's routine financial and administrative records, which would be 
maintained in storage for a period of 5 years; I have been told that 
the ICHEIC Trust has since determined that those will be maintained for 
a period of 10 years, consistent with Swiss law for corporate entities 
(since ICHEIC was an unincorporated Swiss verein).

    Question. Your 2007 Lobbying Disclosure Form describes certain work 
that you performed on behalf of the American Insurance Association 
(AIA) as ``supporting work done by International Commission on 
Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC), including defending against 
legislative attacks on its efforts and ability to carry out its 
mission.''

   a. Please provide additional information concerning the 
        nature and scope of the lobbying work you performed on behalf 
        of AIA.

    Answer. Once ICHEIC closed, there was no one available to do work 
for the organization. In the transition period after it closed but when 
it was subject to an organized public attack, I was asked by its 
members, including European insurance companies, to continue my work 
for a transitional period. This transitional year was the practical 
next step to ensure that our previous several years' efforts at ICHEIC 
were not rolled back or undone. I registered under the Lobbying 
Disclosure Act when these efforts involved advocacy on behalf of 
ICHEIC. ICHEIC's members believed it was important to maintain a clear 
record on the work it had done, through participation in congressional 
hearings, briefings, and the like, and responding to ongoing inquiries 
regarding ICHEIC (including those from Congress and survivor groups). 
The AIA was a membership association for several European insurance 
companies who were ICHEIC participants. It was the available mechanism 
because ICHEIC was no longer in existence.
    This work included preparing draft written testimony for Secretary 
Lawrence Eagleburger to submit to the House Foreign Affairs Europe 
Subcommittee; preparing Diane Koken, Vice Chairman of ICHEIC, former 
Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner and former President of the NAIC, 
for testimony before the House Financial Services Committee and helping 
with subsequent followup communications; preparing Ms. Koken and 
Secretary Eagleburger for testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations 
Committee, and helping to prepare Anna Rubin, of the Holocaust Claims 
Processing Office of New York, and Stuart Eizenstat, for testimony 
before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the same day, as well 
as helping Secretary Eagleburger with drafting initial responses to 
follow up questions for the record from that hearing. I also worked 
through the latter half of 2007, with Diane Koken and Anna Rubin 
particularly, in following up with European companies to gain their 
written commitments to what they had previously pledged orally at the 
closing ICHEIC meeting: to continue to process individual claims 
consistent with ICHEIC rules and guidelines. We also discussed the 
extent to which the New York Holocaust Claims Processing Office had the 
capacity to monitor informally the ongoing claims decisionmaking by 
companies, and communicated with congressional staff on these matters.

   b. Please describe the extent, if any, to which you had any 
        responsibility for or involvement in matters relating to 
        ICHEIC, Holocaust-era insurance claims, and any legislation or 
        litigation related thereto, during your employment by the 
        Department of State from 2009 to the present.

    Answer. I had neither responsibility for nor involvement in matters 
related to ICHEIC, Holocaust-era insurance claims, and any legislation 
or litigation related thereto, during my employment by the Department 
of State from 2009 to the present.

   c. Please describe the extent to which, if any, you expect 
        to have responsibility for or involvement in matters relating 
        to ICHEIC, Holocaust-era insurance claims, and any legislation 
        or litigation related thereto, if you are confirmed as USAID 
        Assistant Administrator for the Middle East.

    Answer. I would not expect to have any responsibility for or 
involvement in any matters related to ICHEIC, Holocaust-era insurance 
claims, or any legislation or litigation related thereto, if I am 
confirmed as USAID Assistant Administrator for the Middle East.

    Question. Please provide any further information on your work for 
ICHEIC or AIA that would be useful to the committee in considering your 
nomination.

    Answer. In closing, I appreciate the time and care you have taken 
in putting together these questions. I have tried to respond with the 
same attention to detail in response. I was and remain committed to the 
work that the Commission accomplished. Putting together these responses 
have made me reflect, with some pride, at the mission ICHEIC developed 
in 1998, the disparate stakeholders who were brought together, the 
hurdles that were overcome. It was an organization that almost 
necessarily was going to be confronted with constant challenges. I knew 
when I stepped in to take on the responsibilities of COO, 4 years into 
its operations that I was taking on a troubled but worthy organization. 
I am comfortable that my team and I were able to accelerate 
significantly ICHEIC's ability to achieve its mission.
    In 5 years, we moved more than $500 million in Holocaust-related 
funds to those who deserved them. In the process, we made the 
organization more transparent and accessible to people worldwide. After 
the organization closed, I made what I considered a practical decision, 
at the urging of ICHEIC members, to see that the work of the 
organization was not undone. The European insurance companies had 
provided ICHEIC's operating funds as well as the funds to compensate 
claimants and for humanitarian purposes. I did this work fully 
anticipating that I would operate in the same manner as I did as 
ICHEIC's COO--I would provide my best and most forthright advice and 
guidance on what was most important and necessary to fulfill the effort 
at hand: to support the work done by ICHEIC, and defend it against 
efforts that we viewed as undermining its mission.
    Again, I thank you for your efforts to understand ICHEIC's work and 
mission, and the work that I did with and for it. As always, I stand 
ready to respond to any additional questions you may have.
                                 ______
                                 

           Responses of Mara Rudman to Questions Submitted by
                        Senator Richard G. Lugar

    Question. With dramatic change taking place in countries throughout 
the Middle East on almost a daily basis, what is your view on how USAID 
programs in these countries should be reviewed and recalibrated in 
order to most effectively promote democratic principles? How will you 
lead in promoting increased flexibility of USAID programs to respond to 
these changes? How do you plan to work with Mission Directors in these 
countries in your decisionmaking process for responding to these 
changes?

    Answer. If confirmed, I will ensure that every USAID mission in the 
region is maintaining a close watch on local political conditions, 
engaging in scenario planning and reviewing existing and projected 
resource flows to anticipate and rapidly respond to changing 
conditions, as well as short and medium opportunities, as they arise. 
This is an unprecedented moment of opportunity for political reform in 
the region--reform necessary for longer term regional stability. 
Missions need to ensure they are agile, so they can work with the broad 
range of civil society groups that are defining and leading the popular 
movements in each of these countries, consistent with U.S. law and 
policy. If confirmed, I will work aggressively to ensure that USAID 
utilizes the necessary procurement and personnel instruments to act 
quickly in support of openings in the political environment, including 
utilizing centrally based rapid response mechanisms.
    It is my understanding that USAID is working to provide assistance 
as needed and requested--to pursue credible transitions to democracy 
and to meet expressed social and economic needs throughout the Middle 
East. These transition programs will be demand-driven, but are expected 
to cover needs related to the political transition, youth engagement, 
economic recovery, and rebuilding social networks and support 
institutions.
    If confirmed, I would seek to build on these efforts, specifically 
by:

   Redirecting ongoing programs and putting in place new 
        programs to respond to the rapidly unfolding situations in 
        Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen and to be prepared to meet new needs 
        as they emerge;
   Utilizing contacts with implementing partners and civil 
        society to significantly increase direct engagement with a wide 
        range of critical actors, including civil society 
        organizations, youth, political party representatives, labor, 
        and others who have been mobilized by recent events.
   Reviewing previous commitments and identifying new ways of 
        partnering through a renewed focus on implementation by those 
        most engaged in their own transition, while tapping an 
        extensive network of existing programs and relationships.

    As for my approach vis-a-vis the Mission Directors, if confirmed, I 
will maintain regular communication with USAID's Mission Directors to 
benefit from their on-the-ground analysis and deep knowledge of local 
conditions. As we move forward, it will also be critical to consult 
regularly with interagency partners and with Congress.
    USAID is hosting a forum in Morocco later this spring to discuss 
how missions can best support the historic trend toward political 
liberalization underway in the region. I understand that this meeting 
will be both a brainstorming and a practical discussion generating 
actionable recommendations. It should provide help in revising mission 
strategies to reflect the evolving environment. If confirmed, I would 
consider this Morocco discussion a starting point for (1) my ongoing 
dialogue with Mission Directors; (2) readjustments and reinvigoration 
as needed on existing programs; and (3) implementation of new efforts.

    Question. As you are testifying, the U.S. Government's support for 
Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh has begun to shift. What do you 
believe should be the highest priority investment for U.S. development 
assistance in the country at this time?

    Answer. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula remains a major threat 
not only to the U.S. homeland, but also to Yemen's stability and that 
of the region. AQAP has taken advantage of insecurity and poor 
governance in regions of Yemen that suffer from ongoing internal 
conflicts, resource challenges, insufficient delivery of services, and 
an ineffective security architecture. For this reason, the United 
States has adopted a two-pronged strategy for Yemen--helping the Yemeni 
Government confront its security concerns in the near term, and 
mitigating the serious political, economic, and governance issues that 
the country faces over the long term.
    USAID, in conjunction with Embassy Sanaa, supports a peaceful 
political solution. Existing programs are being reviewed based on their 
ability to respond to current needs and the extent to which they can 
take advantage of new openings and future opportunities. Since the 
programs were designed as stabilization projects, there is considerable 
flexibility consistent with the ``stabilization'' objective.
    Elections and political process reform are clearly a priority at 
this time of political transition. Economic stability programming and 
fiscal reform will also be necessary to address severe economic 
challenges facing the country. It is my understanding that USAID is 
currently analyzing needs in this regard, and will continue to 
rigorously test the hypothesis that meeting the development needs of 
underserved communities is causally related to improving political and 
social stability. If confirmed, I would look forward to seeking the 
Congress' counsel on USAID's overall approach to development assistance 
in Yemen.

    Question. In addition to significant funding through the new 
Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Account at the State Department, 
the administration is proposing over $300 million again in FY12 for 
continued funding for Iraq through the Economic Support Fund. What 
kinds of programs will USAID promote in developing Iraq's agriculture 
sector and in building its private sector economy? What examples can 
you provide? What programs will be ending/discontinued? With the 
transition to a civilian-led mission, will the Joint Campaign Plan 
still be the guiding document? Are there any sectors that, despite 
their problems, will not receive funding from USAID?

   a. What kinds of programs will USAID promote in developing 
        Iraq's agriculture sector and in building its private sector 
        economy?

    Answer. USAID is not receiving funding through the OCO account in 
the FY12 Iraq request. Rather, USAID's requested ESF funds are 
accounted for in the base request. USAID/Iraq will implement three 
existing programs focusing on economic growth and agriculture and may 
consider new programs focused on private sector competitiveness 
contingent on funding and interest from potential Iraqi beneficiaries. 
The current programs are:
    i. The Provincial Economic Governance program, which supports 
microfinance, small business development centers, access to credit for 
small and medium size enterprises, and technical assistance to the 
Iraqi Government on trade and investment reforms leading to possible 
WTO Accession.
    ii. The Financial Sector Development program, which improves the 
soundness of Iraqi private financial institutions by establishing and 
developing a credit bureau, a financial sector training institute, a 
payments system and modern centralized data Repository System, and 
enhancing the sectors' ability to advocate for private sector 
investment, growth and development.
    iii. The Agribusiness program, which works to improve the value 
chain of existing Iraqi agribusinesses, farmers, and marketers to 
improve productivity and marketing, increasing agricultural revenues, 
incomes, and employment.
    Since the inception of USAID-supported microfinance institutions in 
Iraq since 2004, the Provincial Economic Growth program has disbursed 
more than 257,200 microloans worth a combined value of $593 million, 
with the average loan valued at $1,400 at 15-18 percent annual interest 
rates with a repayment rate of over 98 percent. For the period of April 
2008 to February 2011, USAID-sponsored programs have generated 206,456 
jobs through sustainable microfinance, SME Bank lending, its youth 
initiative and Small Business Development services.
    USAID's FY12 request for Iraq, as reported in the Congressional 
Budget Justification, contains a line item on Private Sector 
Competitiveness intended for a new program to assist the Government of 
Iraq in leveraging private sector resources to improve the delivery of 
electricity. Effective electricity delivery is critical to Iraq's 
economic growth and development.
    The Financial Sector Development program started in the summer of 
2010. It is implementing USAID's Memorandum of Understanding with the 
Central Bank of Iraq to build its capacity to oversee and promote the 
private financial sector in Iraq.

   b. What programs will be ending/discontinued? Are there any 
        sectors that, despite their problems, will not receive funding 
        from USAID?

    Answer. USAID is no longer engaged in counterinsurgency (COIN) 
programming in Iraq. Programs such as the Community Stabilization 
Program (CSP) have ended. CSP was vital in helping stabilize urban 
communities in priority areas by creating employment opportunities for 
insurgent-prone Iraqis. However, as conditions have improved and with 
the drawdown of the U.S. military, it is my understanding that USAID is 
now focused on development programs that will help bolster Iraq's 
economy, create jobs, restore essential services, and build Iraq's 
institutional capacity.

   c. With the transition to a civilian-led mission, will the 
        Joint Campaign Plan (JCP) still be the guiding document?

    Answer. After the U.S. military departs by December 31, 2011, my 
understanding is that there will be no JCP and all American citizens 
will be under Chief of Mission authority. This means that 2012 will be 
the first critical year of full civilian leadership of the U.S. 
bilateral relationship with Iraq. Provincial Reconstruction Teams will 
be fully demobilized and replaced by at least two consulates and two 
Embassy Branch Offices.
    Additionally, USAID will have at least one regional representative 
and one locally employed specialist in each of the two consulates in 
Erbil and Basrah. USAID is currently determining how security 
requirements may change for its development programs in the absence of 
a U.S. military presence.

    Question. The State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative 
(MEPI) has a mission of developing more pluralistic, participatory, and 
prosperous societies throughout this region through economic and 
political empowerment. How do you plan to work with MEPI during this 
historic time in the region? How do you plan to work to prevent 
duplication in your efforts in individual countries?

    Answer. I have a longstanding and excellent working relationship 
with Tamara Wittes, the Deputy Assistant Secretary at the State 
Department with responsibility for MEPI. We have worked together 
closely in our current responsibilities, and if confirmed, I have every 
expectation that cooperative partnership would continue into my next 
role at USAID.
    MEPI and USAID have worked together since MEPI's establishment in 
2002. Their work is both complementary and should be well-coordinated 
at embassies and in Washington. USAID maintains a mission and field 
presence in seven countries in the region, while MEPI operates, in some 
capacity, in every country in the region, except Iran. This allows MEPI 
and USAID to play to their respective strengths and comparative 
advantages.
    Each NEA embassy has an internal coordination committee chaired by 
the Deputy Chief of Mission. The committee's core responsibility is to 
coordinate all USG foreign assistance programming in the host country. 
Broad representation from embassy sections, including coordination with 
public diplomacy and representational activities, assures maximum 
possible cross-fertilization among programs and projects, whether 
USAID, MEPI, or DRL.
    The committee looks to each embassy's Mission Strategic Resource 
Plan (MSRP) and to its Democracy Strategy for overarching guidance as 
it responds to queries and proposals from Washington agencies and 
offices. USAID, DRL, and MEPI participate in the annual review process 
for each embassy's MSRP, providing an additional feedback loop in the 
coordination process.
    MEPI, DRL, and all embassies receiving foreign assistance are 
required to submit an Operational Plan, which is a budget and 
programmatic proposal for the use of new foreign assistance resources. 
The operational plan contains detailed information on how foreign 
assistance resources are coordinated by various implementers
in each country. After an interagency review designed to resolve any 
areas of conflict or overlap, each operational plan is approved by the 
Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance.
    Again, if confirmed, I look forward to working closely with the 
MEPI office, and discussing with Mission Directors as well, how the 
current system is functioning and where there may be room for 
improvement.

    Question. Please put U.S. Assistance to the Palestinian Authority 
into the broader political context. With Israeli-Palestinian political 
negotiations frozen, is U.S. budget support for the Palestinian 
Authority and development assistance in the West Bank and Gaza building 
trust between the parties? Are projects designed to increase 
cooperation, in trade, private sector development, infrastructure, etc? 
If so, please provide examples. Also, please provide current trade 
figures through the Jalameh crossing in the northern West Bank, as 
compared to the period prior to USG reconstruction of that facility.

   a. With Israeli-Palestinian political negotiations frozen, 
        is U.S. budget support for the Palestinian Authority and 
        development assistance in the West Bank and Gaza building trust 
        between the parties?

    Answer. The United States Government is committed to achieving a 
two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as part of the 
administration's comprehensive regional peace between Israel and its 
Arab neighbors. U.S. policy is premised on the assumption that 
establishing sustainable peace requires forward movement on two 
simultaneous and mutually reinforcing tracks: political negotiations 
and the hard work of building institutions and the capacities of the 
future Palestinian state.
    While the political negotiations track is outside the purview of 
USAID, USAID's efforts with respect to supporting Palestinian Authority 
(PA) capacity-building and institutional reform and economic 
development efforts regularly show results with respect to building 
trust between the parties. I have seen these results in ways small and 
large: most recently in the resumption of bilateral working-level 
discussions between Ministries of Finance, similarly in productive 
working level discussions between justice officials, and with respect 
to ongoing cooperation on immediate and long-term needs on the 
difficult issues surrounding water resources.
    USAID programs are designed and implemented to help the PA to 
become more effective and credible partners with respect to governance 
and institutional capacity. Budget support to the PA is the most 
tangible and direct means of helping the PA to build the foundations of 
a viable, peaceful Palestinian state. U.S. budget assistance helps 
ensure that the PA remains solvent and thus can be an effective and 
credible partner in Middle East peace efforts and continue progress on 
reforms and capacity-building.
    The United States has made it clear that we will work only with a 
PA government that unambiguously and explicitly accepts the Quartet's 
principles: a commitment to nonviolence, recognition of the State of 
Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations.

   b. Are projects designed to increase cooperation, in trade, 
        private sector development, infrastructure, etc? If so, please 
        provide examples.

    Answer. Facilitating trade into and out of the West Bank and Gaza 
is critical to improving Palestinian economic growth, and it must occur 
consistent with Israeli security needs. More than 240,000 truckloads of 
imports and exports crossed through the three main West Bank commercial 
cargo crossings last year; USAID provided scanning equipment and other 
assistance to the Government of Israel to expand the capacity of the 
crossings while addressing Israeli security concerns.
    USAID has supported the tourism sector in Bethlehem by setting up 
festivals and concerts to attract local and international tourists; and 
is working with the Government of Israel to open up Bethlehem's three 
checkpoints for tourist buses, ensuring that the Arab-Israeli 
communities had transport to Bethlehem during the high-volume Christmas 
period. All three checkpoints are now open for tourist buses and the 
long waiting lines in front of the previously lone access point to 
Bethlehem have disappeared.
    USAID has partnered with international information technology (IT) 
firms such as HP, Apple, Microsoft, and Cisco to help to develop 
Palestinian IT firms in particular and the IT sector in general to be 
able to provide world-class services. USAID introduced many Israeli 
high-tech firms to Palestinian counterparts, and the Israeli firms have 
signed several contracts for Palestinians to provide IT services.
    In response to both Israeli and Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) 
concerns that groundwater quality is deteriorating due to the lack of 
wastewater treatment, the United States will focus significant energy 
and resources in coordinating donor efforts to respond. USAID completed 
an assessment of 10 small-sized wastewater treatment plants for several 
villages in the northern West Bank. Design of these facilities began in 
October 2010 and is expected to be completed by November 2011, with 
permitting and land acquisition to begin once design is complete.

   c. Also, please provide current trade figures through the 
        Jalameh crossing in the northern West Bank, as compared to the 
        period prior to USG reconstruction of that facility.

    Answer. Facilitating trade into and out of the West Bank and Gaza 
is critical to improving Palestinian economic growth. USAID's 
assistance helped to reopen the Jalameh vehicle crossing between Israel 
and the northern West Bank. What was previously a closed facility 
without traffic is now a busy crossing with an average of more than 
8,000 cars and buses entering the West Bank every week. USAID's 
investment of less than $2 million for upgrades at the crossing has had 
important impacts on commerce, trade, and investment in Jenin and the 
northern West Bank. Last year, Arab-Israeli visitors through the 
crossing made over $40 million in purchases in Jenin.

    Question. There are concerns about anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli 
incitement in Palestinian Authority textbooks. Please provide the 
latest assessment of the textbooks used by the Palestinian Authority 
and describe any USG involvement in their development or 
implementation.

    Answer. USAID supports the Palestinian Ministry of Education and 
Higher Education in its efforts to provide quality education for 
Palestinian youth. USAID assistance in education focuses on 
improvements in teaching methodologies, introducing contemporary 
approaches to teaching and learning, integrating information technology 
into the classroom, and expanding the impact of early childhood 
programming throughout the West Bank and Gaza.
    Since 2000, when the Palestinian Authority (PA) began introducing 
new textbooks that included many references to promoting values of 
reconciliation, human rights, religious tolerance, and respect of law, 
diversity and environmental awareness, a succession of studies has 
found that the new textbooks represent a significant improvement and 
constitute a valuable contribution to the education of young 
Palestinians.
    Although not a USAID-funded program, UNRWA has developed an 
expanded human rights curriculum for use in all UNRWA regional schools 
based on the history and content of the 30 articles that comprise the 
1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Despite opposition from 
Hamas in Gaza, the new curriculum is being taught in grades 1-6, with 
plans to roll out a more advanced set of lessons for grades 7-9.
    Additionally, the State Department/MEPI's My Arabic Library program 
works with the PA Ministry of Education to deliver libraries to schools 
in the West Bank, organize teacher training sessions, and provide 
after-school programming. This program encourages independent reading, 
thinking, and analytical skills in young readers.
    The Palestinian curriculum is transparent, and all textbooks are 
available for review in Arabic on the Web site of the official 
Palestinian Curriculum Development Center at http://www.pcdc.edu.ps/.
                                 ______
                                 

         Response of Robert Patterson to Question Submitted by
                       Senator Benjamin L. Cardin

    Question. As cochairman of the Helsinki Commission, I remain deeply 
concerned over the dismal human rights situation in Turkmenistan. Over 
the weekend, we received a report that an elderly gentleman of 80 years 
old, Mr. Shapudakov, has been detained by Turkmen authorities and 
confined to a psychiatric facility. Reportedly, his activities in 
uncovering and reporting on corruption may have prompted this apparent 
reprisal by local officials.

   Has the State Department looked into this case and raised it 
        with Turkmen officials?

    Answer. The U.S. Government has received reports from RFE/RL and 
other sources that civic activist Amangelen Shapudakov was recently 
detained and committed to a psychiatric hospital. According to some of 
these reports, Mr. Shapudakov's confinement may be linked to a family 
dispute over property.
    Our Turkmenistan Desk officer in Washington and the Public Affairs 
Office at Embassy Ashgabat are in daily contact with RFE/RL 
headquarters in Prague regarding the Shapudakov case. We are following 
the situation surrounding Mr. Shapudakov's detention. DAS Susan Elliott 
raised Mr. Shapudakov's case with the Turkmenistan Ambassador to the 
United States and our Embassy is also raising his case with Turkmen 
officials. We have asked the Turkmen government to verify the 
circumstances surrounding the case in order to ensure that it was 
handled appropriately by local officials, and that Mr. Shapudakov is 
afforded access to any legal counsel or proceedings, consistent with 
Turkmen law.
    The State Department remains actively engaged with the Government 
of Turkmenistan on human rights through the Annual Bilateral 
Consultations (ABC) process, launched in June 2010 by Assistant 
Secretary Robert Blake. At the 6-month ABC review in Ashgabat on 
February 16, A/S Blake raised several specific human rights concerns by 
the USG, including the recent uptick in harassment and blacklisting of 
RFE/RL journalists and family members by Turkmen security services. We 
have also raised issues of government harassment of journalists with 
the Turkmenistan Ambassador to the United States.
                                 ______
                                 

 Responses of Mara Rudman to Questions Submitted by Senator Marco Rubio

    Question. For decades, the United States consented to authoritarian 
Arab regimes' requests not to engage opposition groups in exchange for 
regime cooperation on security matters. The previous administration 
started to reverse these policies, but the current administration has 
rolled back or significantly limited many of those initiatives. I 
believe this practice has severely restricted our influence in many of 
these countries. Can you define the aims and principles that would 
guide USAID's programs in the Middle East following the Arab Spring? 
Have the recent events changed our engagement policy with opposition 
groups in countries like Syria and Yemen? How is the U.S. Government 
preparing for contingencies in Syria and Yemen?

   a. Can you define the aims and principles that would guide 
        USAID's programs in the Middle East following the Arab Spring?

    Answer. This is an unprecedented moment of opportunity for 
political reform in the Middle East. It is my understanding that USAID 
is providing assistance as needed and requested--to pursue credible 
transitions to democracy and to meet expressed social and economic 
needs throughout the Middle East. These transition programs are demand-
driven, but are expected to cover needs related to the political 
transition, youth engagement, economic recovery, and rebuilding social 
networks and support institutions.
    In the short term, I understand, USAID is reviewing its 
partnerships with government entities and pursuing programs aimed at 
empowering civil society with democratic transition and governance 
issues. In the long term, it is my understanding that the Agency will 
focus on addressing those underlying conditions that were a catalyst 
for popular unrest, including unemployment and education.
    As the situation evolves, it is my understanding that USAID will 
continue reviewing how best to use its assistance to support democratic 
transition, economic development, and the aspirations of the local 
population. If confirmed, I will work aggressively to utilize the 
necessary personnel and procurement instruments to act quickly in 
support of openings in the political environment, including utilizing 
centrally based rapid response mechanisms.
    If confirmed, I would build on USAID's existing efforts by:

  --Redirecting ongoing programs and putting in place new programs to 
        respond to the rapidly unfolding situations in Egypt, Tunisia, 
        and Yemen and to be prepared to meet new needs as they emerge;
  --Utilizing contacts and grants with implementing partners and civil 
        society to significantly increase direct engagement with a wide 
        range of critical actors, including civil society 
        organizations, youth, political party representatives, labor, 
        and others who have been mobilized by recent events; and
  --Reviewing previous commitments and identifying new ways of 
        partnering through a renewed focus on implementation by those 
        most engaged in their own transition, while tapping an 
        extensive network of existing programs and relationships.

   b. Have the recent events changed our engagement policy with 
        opposition groups in countries like Syria and Yemen?

    Answer. It is my understanding that USAID is willing to work with 
elected, peaceful groups, provided they operate through democratic 
institutions and the rule of law, with respect for equal rights, and 
reject violence as a way to achieve their political goals. 
Additionally, I understand, USAID will also continue to work with USG 
counterparts providing democracy and governance programming to explore 
appropriate USG assistance opportunities in support of unfolding events 
in the Middle East.
    I am aware that it is USAID's view that the transitions in the 
Middle East and North Africa must be locally owned processes and that 
any organization or individual that adheres to the principles of 
democracy, including the principle of nonviolence, should be able to 
participate in these processes.

   c. How is the U.S. Government preparing for contingencies in 
        Syria and Yemen?

    Answer. It is my understanding that every U.S. Embassy and USAID 
mission in the region is maintaining a close watch on local political 
conditions and in some instances is engaging in scenario planning. I am 
aware that USAID also has a Middle East Strategic Planning Group 
conducting a range of strategic and contingency planning in USAID 
presence and nonpresence countries in the Middle East.
    As we face tough fiscal decisions as a nation, the United States 
will need to be creative and flexible in identifying resources to 
support security and prosperity in Syria, Yemen, and other regions of 
great strategic value. I understand that USAID is actively reevaluating 
its programming and assistance to prepare for contingencies and adapt 
its support to the transitions underway across the region.

    Question. As you know, the Department of Defense constantly 
develops and updates contingency plans on possible U.S. responses to 
conflicts and crises that may arise abroad. Does USAID have a similar 
process to guide our response in times of crisis? If not, would you 
recommend legislative mandates to help USAID implement such practices?

   Does USAID have a similar process to guide our response in 
        times of crisis? If not, would you recommend legislative 
        mandates to help USAID implement such practices?

    Answer. It is my understanding that USAID maintains contingency 
plans for humanitarian disasters in all overseas missions. Missions in 
the Middle East are currently reviewing their country programs to 
identify short- and medium-term needs in the region in order to be able 
to provide assistance as needed and requested.
    Additionally, I understand that USAID also maintains internal 
processes to regularly develop, review, and update contingency plans 
for conflicts or crises abroad. As a result of this planning, I am 
aware that USAID is currently engaged with the Department of Defense in 
a joint review of stabilization contingencies in the Middle East and an 
interagency ``defense, diplomacy, and development'' review for steady 
(nonconflict) state planning.
    Finally, I understand that USAID possesses contingency funding 
capabilities to provide the U.S. Government with the flexibility 
necessary to respond to rapidly developing political, humanitarian, and 
security scenarios, without forcing the Agency to divert funding from 
other priority programs.
    At this time, I do not believe that additional legislative mandates 
are needed to help USAID implement contingency planning practices. If 
confirmed, I would assess USAID contingency plans in detail to 
determine more fully whether legislation in this regard would be 
beneficial.

    Question. Under the Millennium Challenge Account, American foreign 
aid is disbursed through Compacts to recipient countries that 
demonstrate a commitment to just and democratic governance, investments 
in the country's population, and economic freedom. Going forward, would 
the administration support applying the policy indicators of the 
Millennium Challenge Compacts to all USAID programs in the Middle East?

    Answer. The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and USAID are 
intricately linked, but their purposes and mission are distinct. The 
link between the two agencies is codified in the Millennium Challenge 
Act of 2003. USAID assistance regularly plays a transformative role in 
countries throughout the world in ways that support progress toward 
consideration for MCC compact eligibility. For example, USAID 
implements almost all of MCC's threshold programs in countries not 
quite ready for compact assistance. In addition, the USAID 
Administrator serves as a permanent board member on the MCC Board of 
Directors and has a voice in MCC policy and selection decisions. 
USAID's Office of Development Partners (ODP) supports interagency 
coordination efforts on U.S. Government development policies.
    MCC works in synergy with USAID's core development policies. MCC 
was created, in part, by incorporating some of USAID's best practices 
and lessons learned into its model, but it was not designed to 
substitute for USAID's range of development programs. In countries 
where MCC and USAID are both active, their programs augment and 
complement each other.
    Most developing countries do not meet the MCC eligibility criteria, 
since MCC was created to work only with a select group of developing 
countries that meet high hurdles in terms of governance in the areas of 
ruling justly, investing in people, and economic freedom. Yet the 
United States still has a compelling foreign policy and national 
security interest to provide foreign assistance in nonqualifying 
countries, and USAID is the primary agency to provide that assistance.
    MCC compact assistance focuses on economic growth; USAID's mandate 
is much broader and includes global health, food security, democracy 
and governance, and disaster relief, among other areas. Applying MCC 
policy indicators to USAID programs in the Middle East would preclude 
the United States from doing some of our most important work.

    Question. Since joining the Obama administration, have you had any 
contact with any organizations or persons in connection with the 
Holocaust-era insurance claims issue or the government's position on 
the Generali litigation? For the purposes of this question, the word 
contact includes discussion(s) on the Holocaust-era insurance claims 
issue with any insurance company; lawyer, lobbyist, or representative 
of any insurance company associated with Holocaust-era claims; any 
federal department or agency concerning Holocaust-era claims; any 
Member of Congress or staff concerning Holocaust-era claims?

    Answer. Shortly after joining the Obama administration, I was 
recused from matters related to World War II Holocaust restitution 
programs for a period of 2 years from the date of my appointment.
    I thus had no contacts of the nature referenced, for this period. 
However, I did have limited contacts with colleagues at ICHEIC Trust, 
the close-down entity that filed taxes and carried out other 
administrative functions when ICHEIC ceased to exist, which were 
required to complete my administrative responsibilities, prior to 
resigning as an officer.
    As a direct result of the correspondence sent to the Senate Foreign 
Relations Committee about me, and this issue, I have since been in 
touch with several colleagues with whom I worked closely on Holocaust-
era insurance claims issues, and others who were familiar with the 
history of its efforts.
    I have not had any contacts related to government's position on the 
Generali litigation since joining the Obama administration.


                              NOMINATIONS

                              ----------                              


                         TUESDAY, APRIL 5, 2011

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
                              ----------                              

Scott Gration, of New Jersey, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
        of Kenya
Michelle Gavin, of the District of Columbia, to be Ambassador 
        to the Republic of Botswana
                              ----------                              

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:31 p.m., in 
room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Christopher 
A. Coons, presiding.
    Present: Senators Coons, Isakson, Inhofe, and Lee.

        OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CHRISTOPHER A. COONS,
                   U.S. SENATOR FROM DELAWARE

    Senator Coons. I am pleased to call to order the first 
Africa Subcommittee nomination hearing of the 112th Congress 
and will start by saying that I am both humbled and honored to 
assume the chair of this subcommittee. Africa is a continent of 
tremendous strategic importance to the United States and the 
world, and I am extremely grateful to our committee chairman, 
Senator Kerry, and my colleagues on the committee for 
entrusting me with the gavel.
    I look forward to working with my friend, Senator Isakson, 
to accomplish our shared vision and strategic goals for the 
subcommittee and hope to serve as a model for bipartisan 
cooperation on issues pertaining to Africa in the 112th 
Congress and beyond.
    Before I go any further, I want to just say a few words, if 
I could, about my predecessor in this role, Senator Russ 
Feingold of Wisconsin, who chaired this subcommittee for 4 
years with great integrity and focus and resolve. I only hope 
to bring to the table the degree of substance, direction, and 
drive which made Senator Feingold such a well respected 
chairman of the subcommittee and Senator.
    Today I am honored to chair the confirmation for Ms. 
Michelle Gavin, nominated to be Ambassador to Botswana, and 
Maj. Gen. Scott Gration, nominated to be the Ambassador to 
Kenya. While these are different countries with divergent 
histories, accomplishments, and challenges before them, the 
issues we will discuss today in the context of these nomination 
hearings and in the context of Botswana and Kenya, issues of 
governance, of democratic institutions and elections, of health 
initiatives, human rights, and trade, counterterrorism, U.S. 
interests, and a broader regional strategy, are the larger 
themes that will serve as focal points for this subcommittee in 
the year ahead.
    Kenya, as some of you may know, has special meaning for me. 
I developed a deep interest in Africa during my junior year of 
college when I studied at the University of Nairobi through St. 
Lawrence University and traveled through Kenya and Tanzania in 
an attempt to immerse myself in African culture. After college, 
I wrote about antiapartheid divestiture strategies while 
serving as an analyst for a research center here in Washington 
and subsequently returned to Africa as a volunteer for the 
South African Council of Churches. So my ties to Kenya and 
Africa are both professional and personal.
    And today's nominees bring to their positions significant 
and meaningful experiences. Ms. Michelle Gavin knows this 
subcommittee extremely well, having previously served as staff 
director under Senator Feingold for whom she also served as 
foreign policy advisor. Following her tenure with Senator 
Feingold, Ms. Gavin was legislative director to Senator Salazar 
and most recently served as special assistant to the President 
and senior director for Africa at the NSC. Prior to joining the 
National Security Council, Ms. Gavin was an adjunct fellow for 
Africa and an international affairs fellow at the Council on 
Foreign Relations where she focused on democracy and governance 
issues. Perhaps most importantly, I am extremely proud that she 
and I and her husband all by coincidence are Truman Scholars.
    Gen. Scott Gration has most recently served as the 
President's special envoy from March 2009 until, I believe, 
just last week--special envoy on Sudan when Ambassador 
Princeton Lyman was appointed to that post. I recently met with 
Ambassador Lyman and look forward to working with him on 
priorities relating to Sudan such as the humanitarian 
conditions in Darfur and preparations for Southern Sudan's 
impending independence for which both General Gration and Ms. 
Gavin have played an instrumental role in their immediate past 
capacities. Today I look forward to hearing from General 
Gration the lessons he learned as the envoy in Sudan that may 
apply or be relevant to Kenya, with a particular focus on 
accountability and human rights and transitions to sustainable 
democracies.
    General Gration served in the United States Air Force from 
1974 to 2006, began his career as an F-5 and F-16 instructor, 
including a 2-year assignment with the Kenyan Air Force. In 
1995, General Gration took command of an operations group in 
Saudi Arabia during the Khobar Towers bombing. The following 
year, he was transferred to Turkey to oversee Operation 
Northern Watch, enforcing a no-fly zone over Iraq. Since then 
he has served as deputy director for operations in the Joint 
Staff, director of regional affairs for the Deputy Under 
Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs, and 
commander of the Joint Task Force-West during Operation Iraqi 
Freedom, among many other roles.
    General Gration speaks Swahili and has served as the CEO of 
Millennium Villages, an organization dedicated to reducing 
extreme poverty, as well as the Safe Water Network, an 
organization helping to provide safe water to vulnerable 
populations in India, Bangladesh, and Ghana.
    I look forward to hearing from both of you about how we can 
advance United States interests in Botswana and Kenya, two 
strong allies which play distinct, yet critical regional roles. 
Since the 1960s, Botswana has moved on a path of outstanding 
governance and economic growth. It is a model of stability in 
Southern Africa and a close partner of our country, including 
in its extraordinary battle with HIV and AIDS. I look forward 
to hearing from Ms. Gavin about how we can deepen bilateral 
ties in a manner that furthers shared diplomatic, political, 
and economic goals in the region.
    I look forward to hearing from General Gration about the 
role he will play in this critical period as Kenya implements a 
new constitution and prepares for elections, emerging from the 
dark period of the 2007-08 violence in a manner that holds 
those responsible at the International Criminal Court. As 
President Obama has recently said, the United States stands 
with the Kenyan people as they continue to reach for a better 
future, and I hope that brighter future is near, especially as 
it relates to democracy, accountability, and national 
reconciliation.
    I would now like to turn to the distinguished ranking 
member with whom I am honored to serve for his opening remarks.
    Senator Isakson.

           OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JOHNNY ISAKSON,
                   U.S. SENATOR FROM GEORGIA

    Senator Isakson. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman, and 
congratulations to you on your appointment to this committee. 
And for the benefit of all, we have already met on a couple of 
occasions to discuss the subcommittee and its role in the 
committee. And I look forward to working with Senator Coons, 
and he will be a great chairman, I am confident.
    I am also delighted to see Michelle Gavin and Gen. Scott 
Gration here before the committee today. I fortunately have 
worked with General Gration on a number of occasions before in 
his role as special envoy to the Sudan, and I appreciate the 
guidance and help he has given to me as I have gone to that 
region and gone to Darfur and tried to work as a supporter of 
what we all want, which is: liberation, and better health care, 
and better food, and better accommodations for the people of 
Darfur, but also a peaceful settlement to the split between the 
North and the South. And I think it should be noted that we all 
realize how dangerous the potential was for another civil war 
in the Sudan.
    I commend General Gration and his support for the 
comprehensive peace agreement and his ability to see to it that 
peaceful elections were held, and hopefully between now and, I 
guess it is--July--when that takes effect, we can continue to 
have basically a peaceful and respectful division of the Sudan. 
Hopefully the fledgling South will be a good democracy and a 
good partner with the United States.
    And further, if it is peaceful, it will allow us to really 
focus on Darfur where we need to continue to focus on the 
humanitarian tragedy in that region of the West Sudan.
    And I congratulate General Gration on his nomination to be 
Ambassador to Kenya. Kenya is an equally important country to 
the United States in Africa, and it has some similarities in 
ways to the Sudan. One, it has a refugee area in the northern 
part, bordering on Somalia, the Dadaab, which is going to be an 
important area for us to deal with and to help the Kenyans deal 
with. And then second, I know the ICC is in Kenya investigating 
post-election difficulties which that country had, and General 
Gration's experience, I am sure, will help in assisting that to 
take place.
    And finally, hopefully General Gration will be as committed 
to the NGOs in Kibera as he has been to the NGOs in Darfur. Two 
of the most tragic scenes I have personally ever seen in my 
life were the slum of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya, and the Darfur 
situation. And we deserve to support those NGOs with every 
strength that we possibly can.
    For Michelle Gavin, I will simply say, if she sends her 
daughter to all the meetings, she will be the greatest diplomat 
this country ever had. She has got an infectious smile and 
beautiful eyes, and she is a pretty 2-year-old young lady. And 
I congratulate Michelle on her nomination.
    Botswana is a country the United States sees as a real 
shining star in Africa, but like all African countries, it does 
have its challenges, none greater than the HIV/AIDS epidemic 
and explosion that has taken place there. And I look forward to 
working with her in the role of PEPFAR and the other things we 
do in that country to help bring about a moderation of the 
infection rate and hopefully a decline in years to come.
    I congratulate both of you on your nomination and look 
forward to the question and answer period to follow.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Coons. Thank you, Senator Isakson.
    I am now going to read a statement from Chairman John 
Kerry. It was his specific request to me that rather than 
simply introducing this into the record, that I read it at the 
outset of this hearing.
    Senator Inhofe. Mr. Chairman, could I make a special 
request? I am not sure that you are going to be able to get to 
everyone. I have a commitment. I may have to leave a little 
earlier. Could I just make a comment about our two nominees?
    Senator Coons. Certainly.

                STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES INHOFE,
                   U.S. SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA

    Senator Inhofe. All right. I appreciate it.
    First of all, I have had the chance and the opportunity to 
spend a long time with each one of you guys, and as you know, 
the only thing I look for with someone going into a position as 
an ambassador is to have a real heart for Africa. And I talked 
about that. And I did go back and see, Scott. After our visit, 
I found out that the year after I came from the House to the 
Senate, when you were in Saudi Arabia, that is when I first met 
you because I was over there and we looked up our notes. And to 
think that we have someone with your background who is willing 
to do this.
    And I have to say to you, Michelle, I echo the words about 
your cute, little 2-year-old daughter. When I showed her the 
picture of my 20 kids and grandkids, she picked out the one she 
thought was the prettiest, and I will be calling Jesse Swan to 
tell her that she won.
    But let me just say, in case I do have to leave, that it is 
very rare that we get people who honestly have a heart for 
Africa, and when Joel Starr, back here who is with me, told me 
that he first met you when he was with Tom Campbell, I figured 
you must have been about 12 years old at that time. [Laughter.]
    But it is nice that you have kept your heart for Africa. 
And after 116 African country visits, it is showing you my 
commitment to Africa. I am always really happy when I see 
someone who has not just a formal commitment to a job but a 
heart for Africa. Both of you are high on the list of that.
    So I just thank you for letting me to get that off in case 
I have to leave before it is my turn.
    Senator Coons. Certainly, Senator.
    I am now going to move to reading a statement that Chairman 
John Kerry wanted introduced at the beginning of this 
nomination hearing.
    [The prepared statement of Senator John F. Kerry, as read 
by Senator Coons follows:]

               Prepared Statement of Hon. John F. Kerry,
                    U.S. Senator From Massachusetts

    Today, I would like to express my strong support for the 
nominations of Scott Gration and Michelle Gavin.
    General Gration has spearheaded the Obama administration's Sudan 
policy since 2009. On January 9, 2011, we saw the fruits of those 
efforts when the people of Southern Sudan went to the polls to vote for 
independence. I had the tremendous privilege to be there that day, with 
General Gration, and to bear witness to that historic moment--to the 
triumph of the forces of peace over those of war.
    Much remains to be done in Sudan to secure long-term peace between 
North and South and to strengthen the ties between what will be two 
separate but interconnected nations. The status of Abyei must be 
resolved, and the people of Darfur still wait for their peace 
agreement. It is therefore absolutely critical that we remain fully 
engaged in Sudan, and particularly in Darfur. For that reason, I am 
glad that the President has named Ambassador Princeton Lyman to succeed 
General Gration as Special Envoy.
    But we must recognize the tremendous achievements that have been 
made to date. Just a few months ago, many were predicting that the 
referendum would not even take place. But it did, and both the nominees 
before the committee this afternoon played a key role in helping to 
make success possible--General Gration through his direct negotiations 
with the Sudanese and Ms. Gavin through her work at the White House.
    This experience will serve them well in their new posts. I have met 
and traveled with both General Gration and Ms. Gavin, and we have 
worked closely in our shared quest to help the peoples of Sudan find a 
lasting peace. They are both dedicated public servants with deep 
experience in the region, and I strongly support their nominations.

    Senator Coons. That having been said, I would like to now 
turn to the nominees for their opening remarks. And if I might, 
I would like to specifically invite you to also introduce your 
families who we have already had the pleasure of meeting but 
who should be recognized, I think, for the sacrifices they have 
made to support your commitment to public service. If I might 
first, General Gration.

STATEMENT OF SCOTT GRATION, OF NEW JERSEY, TO BE AMBASSADOR TO 
                     THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA

    Mr. Gration. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member, and 
members of the committee.
    It is an honor to appear before you this afternoon to seek 
your approval to be America's next Ambassador to the Republic 
of Kenya. I am truly grateful to President Obama, to Secretary 
Clinton for the confidence that they have placed in me for the 
nomination to represent our country in Kenya. If confirmed, I 
will work with you and other Members of Congress to advance 
American interests in Kenya, to promote a common understanding 
between our two countries.
    I appreciate the opportunity to introduce my wife Judy, the 
mother of our four children and my full partner in over 35 
years of public service. If confirmed, Judy will bring a wealth 
of knowledge to this assignment. She was born in Nairobi. She 
spent her childhood in Kenya as the daughter of missionary 
teachers. And in fact, both of her parents are buried there in 
Kenya.
    Like Judy, I was also raised in Africa, in Congo and Kenya. 
I learned to speak Swahili as a toddler and developed a 
lifelong interest in the region. In 1974, I returned to Kenya 
to do humanitarian work. In the early 1980s, I spent time as an 
F-5 instructor pilot in Kenya for 2 years. And during the last 
20 years, I have returned to Kenya numerous times, on military 
duty, as CEO of Millennium Villages, and with an NGO working to 
increase access to safe drinking water.
    For more than five decades, Kenya has been one of our most 
reliable partners in Africa. If confirmed, I look forward to 
leading our diplomatic efforts in this next important period of 
Kenya's history.
    Since the terrible period of post-election violence in 
2007, Kenyans have embarked on an ambitious program of reform. 
Implementing the new constitution, cooperating fully with the 
ICC, and advancing accountability are critical elements that 
must be in place to ensure a peaceful, transparent, and 
credible Presidential election next year.
    As the reform process moves forward, I am committed to 
working privately and publicly to protect human rights, to 
fight corruption, and to promote democratic values, 
development, accountability, and national reconciliation.
    The 1998 attack on our Nairobi Embassy, an attack that 
killed 218 people, is a solemn reminder of the constant 
terrorist threat. Furthermore, the conflict in Somalia 
continues to increase Kenya's security and humanitarian 
challenges. If confirmed, I will support Kenya's efforts to 
secure its borders, to protect its citizens, and to care for 
those who seek refuge.
    You can count on me to protect Americans living and 
traveling in Kenya. If confirmed, I will reach out to the 
estimated 20,000 Americans in Kenya. We will work together to 
find ways to strengthen the economic and cultural ties between 
our two countries.
    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, if approved, I 
will be grateful and exceedingly proud to serve as the next 
U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Kenya.
    And I will be pleased to respond to any questions you may 
have for me. Thank you very much.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Gration follows:]

                  Prepared Statement of Scott Gration

    Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member, and members of the committee, it is 
an honor to appear before you this afternoon as you consider my 
nomination to be our country's next Ambassador to the Republic of 
Kenya. I am truly grateful to President Obama and to Secretary Clinton 
for the confidence they have placed in me and for the nomination to 
represent our Nation in Kenya. If confirmed, I will work with you and 
the Congress to advance American interests in Kenya and to promote a 
common understanding between our two countries.
    I would like to introduce my wife, Judy--mother of our four 
children and my full partner in over 35 years of public service. If I 
am confirmed, Judy will bring a wealth of knowledge to this assignment. 
She was born in Nairobi and spent her childhood in Kenya, where both of 
her parents are buried.
    Like Judy, I was also raised in Africa, in Congo and Kenya, where I 
learned Swahili and developed a lifelong interest in this region. In 
1974, I returned to Kenya to do humanitarian work. In the early 1980s, 
I served as an F-5 instructor pilot with the Kenyan Air Force for 2 
years. During the last 20 years, I've returned to Kenya numerous 
times--on military duty, as CEO of Millennium Villages, and with an NGO 
working to increase access to safe drinking water.
    For more than five decades, Kenya has been one of our most reliable 
partners in Africa. If confirmed, I look forward to leading our 
diplomatic efforts in this important period of Kenya's history.
    Since the terrible period of post-election violence in 2007, 
Kenyans have embarked on an ambitious program of reform. Implementing 
the new constitution, cooperating fully with the ICC, and advancing 
accountability are critical elements that must be in place to ensure a 
peaceful, transparent, and credible Presidential election next year.
    As the reform process moves forward, I am committed, if confirmed, 
to working both privately and publicly toprotect human rights, to fight 
corruption, and to promote democratic values, development, 
accountability, and national reconciliation.
    The 1998 attack on our Nairobi Embassy that killed 218 is a solemn 
reminder of the constant terrorist threat. The conflict in Somalia 
continues to increase Kenya's security and humanitarian challenges. If 
confirmed, I will support the Government of Kenya's effort to secure 
its borders, to protect its citizens, and to care for those seeking 
refuge.
    If confirmed, you can count on me to protect Americans living and 
traveling in Kenya. I will work with the estimated 20,000 Americans in 
Kenya; to seek ways to strengthen economic and cultural ties between 
Kenya and the United States.
    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, if confirmed, I will be 
grateful and proud to serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to the Republic 
of Kenya. I would be pleased to respond to any questions you might 
have.

    Senator Coons. Thank you, General.
    Ms. Gavin.

STATEMENT OF MICHELLE GAVIN, OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, TO BE 
             AMBASSADOR TO THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA

    Ms. Gavin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Isakson, 
Senator Inhofe. It is a great honor and privilege to appear 
before you today as President Obama's nominee to be the 
Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana, and I deeply appreciate 
the confidence the President and Secretary Clinton have placed 
in me by putting my name forward for your consideration.
    I am also deeply, deeply grateful for the support of my 
husband, David Bonfili; my daughter Clara; and my parents, 
Michael and Jeanette Gavin.
    My own professional background has left me keenly aware of 
the importance of working with this committee and the Congress, 
if confirmed, in order to advance U.S. interests in Botswana, 
including maintaining a strong tradition of democratic 
governance, encouraging economic diversification, and combating 
the HIV/AIDS epidemic. For many years, as you mentioned, I 
served on the staff of Senator Russ Feingold who focused 
intensely on African issues during his tenure on this 
committee, and most recently I was a special assistant to 
President Obama and senior director for African affairs at the 
NSC, a position that gave me new insight on the importance of 
our partnerships on the continent and a rich understanding of 
the critical role that interagency cooperation plays, both in 
Washington and in the field, as we work to achieve our foreign 
policy objectives.
    At independence in 1966, Botswana was, by many measures, 
one of the poorest countries on earth. Now it is a middle-
income country and an exemplar for the continent, having 
consistently maintained a democratic government, responsibly 
managed its natural resources, and invested in its people and 
infrastructure. Botswana is an excellent partner and our 
bilateral relationship is strong, grounded in a shared 
commitment to democracy, good governance, and human rights.
    The United States and Botswana also share an interest in 
ensuring the sustainability of Botswana's success by deepening 
economic diversification, promoting regional economic growth 
and development. Botswana aims to strengthen the nondiamond 
sectors of its economy, creating jobs and opportunities for the 
next generation, and supporting this endeavor through 
partnerships with the United States, including increased 
bilateral trade, will be one of my priorities, if confirmed.
    In addition, if I am confirmed, I will serve as the United 
States representative to the Southern African Development 
Community, or SADC. Regional integration and cooperation are 
essential to the long-term stability and prosperity of all of 
southern Africa's countries. So I look forward to exploring 
appropriate opportunities to work with SADC to promote these 
objectives.
    Despite a remarkable commitment on the part of the 
Government of Botswana to save its citizens from HIV/AIDS, and 
despite strong support from the United States and 
nongovernmental entities, Botswana still has the second highest 
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the world. Much has been done to 
combat the epidemic, particularly with regard to treatment. And 
currently, depending on the measure you use, either 83 or 
closer to 95 percent of Botswana who need antiretroviral 
treatment receive it free of charge from the government--of 
Botswana, not our Government. This success could not have been 
achieved without the $480 million in support provided by the 
United States through PEPFAR since 2004. And if confirmed, I 
will do my utmost to ensure that taxpayer resources are used 
effectively in combating HIV/AIDS in Botswana, working to build 
on existing successes and focusing critical attention on 
prevention where more gains must be made.
    In Accra in 2009, President Obama said, ``I do not see the 
countries and peoples of Africa as a world apart; I see Africa 
as a fundamental part of our interconnected world, as partners 
with America on behalf of a future we want for all of our 
children. That partnership must be grounded in mutual 
responsibility and mutual respect.''
    Botswana is a small country but plays an important role 
both regionally and globally. It has been a strong, clear voice 
in support of human rights around the world. In fact, it was 
one of the first countries in the world to sever relations with 
Libya when it became clear that the regime in Tripoli was 
prepared to massacre its own citizens in order to cling to 
power.
    In partnership with the United States, Botswana hosts an 
International Law Enforcement Academy that helps law 
enforcement professionals from around the continent sharpen 
their skills and improve their capacity to combat transnational 
crime.
    Botswana is an international leader in conservation and has 
important insight to offer in global discussions regarding 
environmental issues.
    If confirmed, I look forward to encouraging leadership by 
Botswana on a range of issues where our interests align.
    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you so 
much for the opportunity to appear before you today, and I 
would be happy to answer any of your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Gavin follows:]

                  Prepared Statement of Michelle Gavin

    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, it is a great honor and 
privilege to appear before you today as President Obama's nominee to be 
Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana. I appreciate the confidence the 
President and Secretary Clinton have placed in me by putting my name 
forward for your consideration. I am also deeply grateful for the 
support of my husband, David Bonfili, my daughter Clara, and my 
parents, Michael and Jeanette Gavin.
    My own professional background has left me keenly aware of the 
importance of working with this committee and the Congress. If 
confirmed, I pledge to work with you to advance U.S. interests in 
Botswana, including maintaining its strong tradition of democratic 
governance, encouraging economic diversification, and combating the 
HIV/AIDS epidemic. For many years I served on the staff of Senator Russ 
Feingold, who focused intensely on African issues during his tenure on 
this committee. Most recently, I was a Special Assistant to President 
Obama and Senior Director for African Affairs on the National Security 
Staff, a position that gave me new insight into the importance of our 
partnerships on the continent and a rich understanding of the critical 
role that interagency cooperation plays both in Washington and in the 
field as we work to achieve our foreign policy objectives.
    Upon independence in 1966, Botswana was, by many measures, one of 
the poorest countries on earth. Today it is a middle-income country and 
an exemplar for the continent, having consistently maintained a 
democratic government, responsibly managed its natural resources, and 
invested in its people and infrastructure. Botswana is an excellent 
partner and our bilateral relationship is strong, grounded in a shared 
commitment to democracy, good governance, and human rights.
    The United States and Botswana also share an interest in ensuring 
the sustainability of Botswana's success by deepening economic 
diversification and promoting regional economic growth and development. 
Botswana aims to trengthen the nondiamond sectors of its economy, 
creating jobs and opportunities for the next generation of Batswana, 
and supporting this endeavor through partnership with the United 
States, including increased bilateral trade, will be one of my 
priorities. In addition, if confirmed, I will serve as the United 
States representative to the Southern African Development Community or 
SADC. Regional integration and cooperation are essential to the long-
term stability and prosperity of all of southern Africa's countries, 
and I look forward to exploring appropriate opportunities to work with 
SADC to promote these objectives.
    Despite a remarkable commitment on the part of the Government of 
Botswana to save it citizens from HIV/AIDS, and despite strong support 
from the United States and nongovernmental entities, Botswana still has 
the second highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the world. Much has been 
done to combat the epidemic, particularly with regard to treatment. 
Currently 83 percent of Batswana who need antiretroviral treatment 
receive it free of charge from the Government of Botswana. This success 
could not have been achieved without the $480 million in support 
provided by the United States through PEPFAR since 2004. If confirmed, 
I will do my utmost to ensure that taxpayer resources are used 
effectively in combating HIV/AIDS in Botswana, working to build on 
existing successes and focusing critical attention on prevention, where 
more gains must be made.
    In Accra in 2009, President Obama said, ``I do not see the 
countries and peoples of Africa as a world apart; I see Africa as a 
fundamental part of our interconnected world, as partners with America 
on behalf of the future we want for all of our children. That 
partnership must be grounded in mutual responsibility and mutual 
respect.'' Botswana is a small country, but plays an important role 
both regionally and globally. Botswana has been a strong, clear voice 
in support of human rights around the world; in fact it was among the 
first countries to sever relations with Libya when it became clear that 
the regime in Tripoli was prepared to massacre its own citizens in 
order to cling to power. In partnership with the United States, 
Botswana hosts an International Law Enforcement Academy that helps law 
enforcement professionals from around the continent sharpen their 
skills and improve their capacity to combat transnational crime. 
Botswana is an international leader in conservation and has important 
insight to offer in global discussions regarding environmental issues. 
If confirmed, I look forward to encouraging leadership by the Batswana 
on a range of issues where our interests align.
    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you again for the 
opportunity to appear before you today. I will be happy to answer any 
questions you may have.

    Senator Coons. Thank you, Ms. Gavin. Thank you, General 
Gration.
    We are now going to begin 7-minute rounds with members of 
the committee asking questions.
    General Gration, thank you for your service to our Nation, 
both in the Air Force and as special envoy.
    The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi is the largest in sub-Saharan 
Africa with roughly 1,400 employees, and as the Sudan envoy, 
you managed roughly 30, obviously in your military experience, 
much larger contingents.
    I would be interested in your overall plan for running an 
effective and operating an efficient Embassy, what your 
priorities are for that Embassy, and in particular, given there 
are 86 who are Department of Defense direct hires, comment, if 
you would, on how as a retired general from the Air Force who 
served both in a military and diplomatic capacity what you view 
is the relationship on unity of effort between our civilian and 
military representatives in Nairobi.
    Mr. Gration. Thank you very much. It will be a big 
challenge because there are people from many different 
organizations who represent many different agencies. But I 
believe my job is to orchestrate and to provide a vision where 
all of these people who represent America do just that: 
represent America. And I want to create within the Embassy, 
within the country a team, a strong team that is an all-of-
Government team, where it is not just the military or it is not 
just USAID or it is not just CDC and other people working 
independently, but we are working together to further the 
interests of our great Nation in Kenya and in the region. So 
there are many things that I want to do in terms of 
establishing the priorities.
    First of all, I think in building the team, we have to make 
sure that it is an inclusive team, a team where everybody can 
contribute, where everybody is resourced, and where they have a 
sense of what the mission is. So I will be creating that very 
early in my time there.
    I have worked on a speech that I plan to give in Swahili 
within the first couple days to all the local employees, so 
that they are part of the team because without them, we really 
cannot do the mission we have in Kenya and in the region.
    So the concept is to start bringing that team together.
    And then I want to put no question in anybody's mind who 
works for who. I think, as you point out, when you have 
military people and you have other people--that is why I spent 
a lot of time understanding the NSDD-38, Chief of Mission 
authorities, and what is my responsibility and what I am 
accountable for, and how I can continue on to control and 
manage those processes.
    As for the military people, I understand that they work for 
the COCOM, but again, it is the communication, the personal 
relationship that I have with the commanders of the military. I 
plan to work very hard to strengthen those.
    But the concept that I am trying to get to right now is 
making sure that everybody understands the mission, understands 
our objectives in the country and works as a team to make that 
all happen. I believe I can do that based on the experience I 
have had in the military and based on my experience that I have 
had in the State Department.
    Senator Coons. Thank you, General.
    You have, as we mentioned, served as President Obama's 
special envoy to Sudan since March 2009, and in that capacity, 
you have received both criticism and praise for your handling 
of an array of challenges, ranging from the expulsion of 
humanitarian groups working in Darfur in 2009 to the southern 
Sudan referendum in January which Chairman Kerry's statement 
lauded you for playing a critical role in moving forward. Some 
have said that you compromised on humanitarian issues while 
others have lauded your ability to be an effective negotiator 
with the Government of Sudan. Some have criticized you in your 
tenure as special envoy for being too close with Khartoum in 
negotiating with them, and others believe that that was 
critical to achieving progress on the referendum.
    Do you believe the advocacy groups and other critics have 
accurately characterized your approach toward Darfur, and what 
are the lessons you might have learned from your experience as 
envoy and how would they inform your approach if confirmed as 
Ambassador to Kenya?
    Mr. Gration. When I took this job, the President was very 
clear. He said my primary mission was to save lives, and that 
was when we were facing 1.5 million people at risk in Darfur 
after the NGOs were thrown out. And to do that, it became 
increasingly clear to me, as I thought about how I would 
conduct this mandate that I had, that I had to be able to talk 
with the Government of Khartoum. As we thought about ending the 
conflict that displaced so many people in Darfur, the conflict 
with the proxy forces between the Government of Khartoum and 
Chad, it became increasingly clear that I had to talk to 
N'Djamena and I had to talk to Khartoum. When we thought about 
implementing the comprehensive peace agreement and the 12 
outstanding issues that had to be negotiated, it was clear that 
I had to have a relationship with Juba and Khartoum. And in 
every situation, it was obvious that I had to have a 
relationship.
    And so it became a question of how do you build that 
relationship. And I believe that in all relationships, it has 
to be transparent. There has to be trust, and there has to be 
respect if you want to have influence. I also believe that you 
have to have both a blended application of both incentives and 
pressures, and that is what we tried to achieve in Sudan, using 
all the tools to achieve our national interests and desired 
results and behavior changes that were required by using a 
blend of both sticks and carrots, as some people say. I would 
say pressures and incentives.
    And that is what I think I will take also to Kenya, an 
ability to look at a situation, to build the relationships that 
are based on trust and respect, to create an atmosphere of 
transparency where we can talk clearly, where we can express 
opinions in a way that are accepted by both sides, and that we 
can use the appropriate mix of pressures and incentives to 
achieve America's interests in that land.
    Senator Coons. Thank you, General.
    We are now going to move to the first round of questions 
from Senator Isakson. I understand there is a vote underway on 
the floor. And so my suggestion--hopefully this meets the needs 
of the other members of the committee as well--is that we allow 
Senator Isakson to go through his first 7-minute round, and 
then we will recess so that all the members of the subcommittee 
can go and vote, return, and resume the hearing.
    Senator Inhofe. Mr. Chairman, I am not going to speak 
anyway. I am aware of the bipartisan support for both of these 
nominees and the challenges that they face. And I will yield to 
Senator Isakson. Thank you, Senator.
    Senator Coons. Senator Isakson.
    Senator Isakson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    General Gration, I appreciate your answer to the question 
asked by Chairman Coons. Having been to Khartoum myself and 
then to Darfur, but dealing with the Khartoum Government, the 
comments that you were criticized for are understandable 
comments when put in the context of what you were dealing with 
at the time. And I commend you on your effort there and what 
you did and the fact that the results have proven to be a 
peaceful transition, at least as far as it has gone with the 
election. And I hope you will give continuing advice to 
Princeton Lyman, so that continues through July and we can 
actually get to a point where we resolve the remaining issues.
    Now, to Kenya, are our Somalia efforts still housed in the 
Kenyan Embassy?
    Mr. Gration. Yes, sir; they are. There will be, though, 
some changes that are happening right now.
    There will be an ambassador-rank individual that will be 
part of the Somalia unit, and that individual will report 
directly to Assistant Secretary of State Carson and will be 
responsible for all policy decisions having to do with the 
Somalia portfolio.
    The Kenya Embassy will still have the operators, the people 
that interface on a day-to-day basis, and they will all be 
housed and be the responsibility of the chief of mission.
    And if confirmed, I will stay very closely involved with 
this new ambassador and with all the units to make sure that 
there is continuity and make sure that everything is taking 
place in accordance with procedures and policy that have been 
given to me.
    Senator Isakson. But the special mission will report 
directly to Johnnie Carson?
    Mr. Gration. The Somalia unit that is responsible for 
policy and about nine people will report directly to him.
    And it makes sense that they are located in Kenya because 
many of the TFG members, many of the people that work directly 
in Somalia are there in Nairobi right now. So it certainly 
makes sense that that organization is there and is sponsored by 
the American Embassy under the Chief of Mission authority.
    Senator Isakson. How deep is your knowledge of the refugee 
camp at Dadaab?
    Mr. Gration. I have never been there, but I want to get 
more knowledgeable, but I have a basic understanding.
    Senator Isakson. My understanding is it continues to grow 
and has the potential to be a real problem.
    Mr. Gration. Yes, sir. There are somewhere between 315,000 
to 350,000 people there, and that number continues to grow. It 
needs more land. I understand the Kenyans' reluctance to do 
that because they don't want it to get too big, but the reality 
is that we have to do a better job not only to help these 
people with nourishment, sanitation, and health care, but to 
give them the hope that they need to make the adjustment to a 
normal life and also to life after Dadaab.
    So that means we have to have a policy in Somalia that will 
restore the country and give it some stability so people can 
return because just to house people in Kenya is not the right 
answer and to house them better. The answer is to bring peace, 
stability, and the conditions where they can come back and 
return to their normal livelihood.
    So I believe that the two-track policy the United States 
has right now is the right approach, but it is going to take a 
tremendous amount of effort because for 20 years there has been 
unrest. There has been so little governance, and we have got to 
treat Somalia with a higher sense of priority in my view to be 
able to create the environment so that there can be governance 
and there can be the stability that they so need to be able to 
restore the refugee problem that is spilling out into Kenya.
    Senator Isakson. I appreciate that answer.
    Ms. Gavin, I am sorry your 2-year-old left. She was 
stunning and as pretty as her mother. It is good to have you, 
and I congratulate you on your nomination.
    Botswana is a country that the United States sees as a 
shining star. One of the things that I am most interested in as 
I have been to Africa is: the tremendous Chinese investment 
that is being made on that continent and the challenge between 
the Chinese extracting natural resources with their own 
workers, and the United States investing money and trying to 
create a climate of United States business investment. What 
will you do as Ambassador to try and foster that type of 
investment in Botswana?
    Ms. Gavin. Thank you so much, Senator. I think that, if 
confirmed, that will actually be one of my highest priorities. 
The Government of Botswana is a willing partner in wanting to 
diversify its economy, and there are a lot of positives to that 
particular investment climate. But it is also a very small 
market, 2 million people. So one thing that I think is going to 
be essential is going to be to work closely with Ambassador 
Gips in South Africa and others in the region to take a 
regional approach to economic development. It is a much more 
attractive investment, I think, for U.S. businesses. There is 
much more opportunity for the United States that would be 
extremely beneficial to Botswana as well if we address this 
regionally.
    You are absolutely right. China has been increasing its 
involvement in Botswana and in the rest of southern Africa 
largely in extractive industries, but also getting involved on 
some health issues, getting involved with the University of 
Botswana to increase sort of their Asian studies capacity. So I 
will also look for opportunities to work with the Chinese where 
we do have some shared objectives so that I am not reacting in 
a way that suggests this is always a zero-sum game.
    Senator Isakson. Well, I commend both of you on your 
nomination and look forward to working with you.
    And I will end where I began in my opening statement. I 
hope both of you will do everything you can to support the NGO 
efforts, in particular, what is happening in Kibera: CARE, 
USAID, Save the Children, Catholic Relief. You saw what they 
did, obviously, in Darfur. Those organizations are doing an 
awful lot to bring some degree of quality of life to very 
impoverished people, and I know in terms of Botswana, I assume 
there is PEPFAR money in Botswana and CDC, which is based out 
of Atlanta, and the other volunteers that are there--the 
support for those volunteers and those NGOs is critical to the 
future of that continent and the betterment of those people.
    Again, I congratulate both of you on your nomination.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Coons. Thank you, Senator.
    We are going to recess for a period of 15 minutes so that 
members of the subcommittee can vote, and then we will resume. 
The subcommittee stands in recess.
    [Recess.]
    Senator Coons. We are going to resume the nomination 
hearing of the Africa Subcommittee. Thank you for being patient 
with our recess while members of the committee cast their 
votes.
    The ranking minority member may or may not rejoin us, but 
he urged me to proceed and complimented you both on your 
statements and answers so far.
    General Gration, if I might. The International Criminal 
Court has recently summoned--I believe it is six individuals 
from Kenya accused of crimes against humanity during the post-
election violence of 2007. And I believe they are appearing in 
The Hague just a few days from now.
    If confirmed as Ambassador, what would be your approach to 
handling these ICC cases in Kenya?
    I noted that the Kenyan Government has called for an 
Article 16 delay, arguing instead for local tribunals to 
address these questions of violence, and the AU has endorsed 
Kenya's request. What is your view of the issue of deferment?
    Do you believe the ICC process threatens peace and 
stability in Kenya as some have claimed? And given your prior 
experience with the ICC in Sudan, how will you handle this in 
the context of Kenya?
    Mr. Gration. Thank you. Certainly I believe that the 
underlying issues have to be resolved, and I will talk about 
that in a minute.
    But just to answer your questions directly, in terms of an 
Article 16 deferment, I do not support that and neither does 
our country and do not believe that if there was a deferment, 
that it would change the peace and security situation either in 
Kenya or regionally. And the fact is it may in some way 
exacerbate the situation.
    There are other processes that the Kenya Government is 
pursuing. One is asking whether article 17 and article 19 would 
be appropriate, and that would be where they would appeal to 
the ICC to have the process moved back into Kenya, but the ICC 
would have to approve that process. If indeed they do that and 
ICC approves the process, that may be one other avenue that the 
government has, but in terms of article 16, we do not support 
that.
    But I think the most important element is that we cannot 
have a situation where a culture of impunity, where corruption 
is not curbed, where human rights are at risk, where people are 
looked at as tribesmen and not as citizens of the country. 
Those issues have to be resolved.
    And that is why as a government we support the reform 
actions that have been put in place. On the 4th of August, 
Kenya put together a new constitution, but that constitution 
has to be implemented. The fact is there are almost 25 
different legislative pieces that have to be passed to fully 
implement it. In addition to that, there are committees, 
courts, commissions, things that have to be set up, and then 
people have to be able to understand and buy into this process. 
And the government has to show that they are committed to 
making sure that these reform measures become part of practice 
and become part of the process and there is a democratic 
process where people can demonstrate their will through 
elections and that they can do this freely and in a transparent 
way and a peaceful way. This is what we will be aiming for.
    And I think the ICC is part of this, showing accountability 
for those, and if they are not guilty, that will come out. But 
if folks are proven to have been involved in issues, in crimes, 
then they would have to be held accountable for that.
    Senator Coons. Thank you.
    Ms. Gavin, in the Botswana context, Botswana has often been 
recognized as one of the most stable democracies in all of 
Africa, one of the most transparent, and President Khama has 
spoken out about some of the challenges in Zimbabwe, was one of 
the first, in fact, to come out and recognize President 
Ouattara as the winner of the elections in Cote d'Ivoire.
    Could you just comment on to what do you attribute the 
stability, the predictability, the regularity of elections in 
Botswana? What actions might we take to strengthen the 
multiparty nature of electoral democracy in Botswana, and then 
what are we going to do, should you be confirmed as Ambassador, 
to strengthen their hand in being a regional supporter of 
initiatives that we have taken both in questioning the 
legitimacy of elections in Zimbabwe and in strengthening the 
region as it has to do with civil institutions?
    Ms. Gavin. Thank you so much. It is an interesting thing to 
think about, why has Botswana been able to achieve so much 
success, and I think it can certainly be attributed to good 
leadership, some decisions early on particularly when the 
country's diamond wealth was discovered regarding natural 
resource management that are highly relevant for the rest of 
the region where there are so many mineral-rich economies that 
have not been managed as well.
    There is also a culture in Botswana of open debate and 
dialogue that has existed for a very long time that I think 
helps to inform the democratic culture that has developed 
there.
    I also think it is important to avoid treating Botswana as 
the exception to the rule and sort of letting everybody else 
off the hook as if Botswana had some special set of ingredients 
that other countries do not have, which I think gets to another 
part of your question about how to help to amplify their voice 
in the region and sometimes globally where we, in fact, have 
shared interests and shared objectives, and that, if confirmed, 
is certainly something I would hope to work on by encouraging 
the Botswanan Government to participate in some global 
dialogues and discussion, encouraging the head of state to come 
to the U.N. General Assembly, for example, and make sure that 
their voice is heard.
    I think that as far as strengthening the multiparty aspect 
of Botswana's democracy, there are some very encouraging signs 
that the opposition is alive and well. In the last election, 
the opposition--well, the ruling party received something like 
53.3 percent of the vote. So it is not as if no one is out 
there voting for opposition parties. They recently, in fact, 
came to some agreement to unify and try and rally around the 
same candidates the next time they take a go at this.
    The press is extremely free in Botswana, and sometimes 
highly critical of the government.
    So I think what I could do, if confirmed as Ambassador, is 
to continue a dialogue with representatives of all political 
parties in Botswana and continue engaging the Botswanans and 
particularly young Botswanans on issues of just civic 
participation, civic activism, make sure that as long as 
everybody is participating in the dialogue and the dialogue 
stays rich, I think that multiparty democracy is likely to 
remain quite strong.
    Senator Coons. General Gration, to follow up on that, if I 
might. As we go toward the 2012 elections in Kenya, what are 
the things that we can and should be doing to continue to push 
along the path of reform to strengthen democratic institutions 
in Kenya to ensure we do not have a repeat of the 2007 
elections and their irregularities? And what do you think 
should be our major concerns in terms of potential flashpoints 
as we move toward those elections?
    Mr. Gration. Certainly we need to encourage all segments of 
the population to become involved in this. In other words, we 
have to have programs that not only help the government itself 
with the implementation programs--and we do need to help 
those--but we need to help people like Patrick Lumumba and 
folks that are working with corruption. We need to engage again 
and continuously with the civil society to make sure that the 
people understand the process and they understand that 
democratic reform will give them a voice that is clear and that 
represents exactly what they are saying and that it does that 
without fear.
    We need to engage the youth because much of the actual 
violence was done by the youth even though they may have been 
controlled by other aspects of the government or individuals. 
But the youth have to become part of the solution. They have 
understand that it is not about bullets. It is about ballots. 
It is not about machetes, but it is about getting out there and 
making a difference with words and votes and concepts.
    So it is going to take an education process, and that is 
something we can do through our USAID grants, through things 
that we become involved in, things we put our fingerprints on.
    But the bottom line is just to, again, push on 
accountability, push on these wherever we are through all 
aspects of our Embassy so that in my view that should be the 
highest priority of getting from now until whether it is next 
August or next December when the election is held, that we have 
done everything possible so that we can ensure that it is 
peaceful. And if for some reason it is not, we will look back 
and say we have done everything we could have done.
    And that is why in my view, if confirmed, I want to get out 
there as soon as possible to start building the relationships 
with the government so I can have influence, that I can 
understand the situation, and that I can do everything I can to 
prepare not only our Embassy to get involved but to bring the 
rest of the multilateral organizations, our international 
partners, and other people around so that we are all going the 
same way same day on this very, very important issue. It is a 
high priority and I believe that we can make a difference.
    But we cannot waste another day. There is so much that 
remains to be done. We saw it in Sudan in both the election and 
in the referendum. We can, through right training, through 
right programs, and right focus, produce an election that does 
represent the will of the people. That is what we will continue 
to do, and if I am confirmed, I will put my effort toward this 
because in my view it is one of the highest priorities I have.
    Senator Coons. One concern I have around sort of 
legitimacy, given the recent protests throughout north Africa 
and the Middle East, is transparency and corruption. A recent 
BBC report projected that maybe as much as a third of the 
Kenyan national government spending is lost or wasted through 
corruption. It has not ranked high on transparency indices.
    How pervasive do you think a problem or challenge 
corruption is for Kenya? Is it potentially a source of some 
tension or difficulty in the same way that it has been in other 
countries that have recently seen popular uprisings? What sort 
of a barrier is it to United States-Kenya trade, and what can 
we do to help those elements within Kenyan society and 
leadership that really want to tackle and fight corruption 
within Kenya?
    Mr. Gration. Exactly right. From what I understand, Kenya 
is rated 154 out of 178 in terms of the corruption index. This 
is in my view has to stop, and it is not going to be able to 
stop maybe even under my tenure. But I think that, if 
confirmed, this is something that we need to put a big dent in 
because while the government officials and other people who are 
in a position to take, while they gain, what it is doing is it 
is just destroying the opportunities for creating wealth at the 
local level. Kenya is suffering with--well, they already have 
about half their population under 18, but if you take a look at 
folks under 30, only about 30 percent really have jobs that are 
producing incomes upon which they can support a family and 
their desired livelihood.
    So when you have corruption, it just hurts, and it also 
takes the motivation out of people. If they see somebody else 
getting rich by not working hard, it undermines the work ethic. 
So in my view for the good of future generations, this has got 
to be a priority.
    And while I do not know yet all the tools we can use, I 
think that there are a lot of tools that we can. And the first 
is the whole concept of reform and making sure that as is laid 
out in the new constitution, that ministers and Cabinet 
officials, I should say, have to get appointed and approved, 
that there is a new system of representation, a new house, the 
eight provinces are going into 47 counties, and they will have 
representation. And you will not have the cronyism, hopefully, 
as in there right now.
    So it is going to start at the government, but it has got 
to go right down to the individual people because, having lived 
there--and I am sure you experienced too--even down at the 
local level, there are elements of corruption and a way of 
doing business. And somehow that has got to change. And I 
believe we have to use all elements to help it change, whether 
it is the church with Judeo-Christian values or whether it is 
part of the Muslim community through their outreach, whether it 
is through schools and teaching ethics from grade school on up.
    I do not know what the right solution is, but I got to tell 
you this is so pervasive and such a big problem and it is 
keeping Kenya from having access to the Millennium Challenge 
Account. It is keeping the people down, and I believe that we 
need to work together.
    Maybe this is something that we can form a task force among 
the international community to try to figure out how do we all 
together help make a difference because I do not think this is 
something America can solve. I think it is going to have to be 
done by the government itself, by the people themselves, by the 
Kenyans themselves, but it is going to take the full support of 
all the international community to help make this happen 
because it is going to involve that kind of dramatic change for 
it to be able to make a difference and be able to stick.
    Senator Coons. Ms. Gavin, Botswana has often been cited on 
those same rankings as among the most transparent in the world. 
And you previously cited the longstanding cultural traditions 
of openness and debate. I do not have much insight into how 
Botswana, an extraction economy that experienced a sudden rise 
in wealth, has managed to avoid the same challenges that many 
other governments of all kinds have fallen into of exactly the 
sort of widespread corruption, large- and small-scale, that has 
characterized many other developing nations and some developed 
nations.
    Any advice or insight for us on how in a multilateral way, 
either through the international community or through values 
and ethics changes, we might make progress in nations 
throughout the region and the world? What lessons might we 
learn from Botswana?
    Ms. Gavin. Well, I hope to, if confirmed, certainly learn 
more about why the things that work so well in Botswana work 
that way. But I do think there is real value simply in their 
example of a resource-rich country where the rule of law 
prevails, and in fact, government officials, controversial 
cases--sometimes the courts rule against the government. So you 
have a truly independent judiciary and a police force that 
protects the citizens rather than preying on them.
    I do think that the International Law Enforcement Academy 
that Botswana hosts and that the United States Government 
supports is an interesting example of trying to highlight 
Botswana's reputation for good governance, rule-governed 
procedures, and respect for the rule of law to help build 
capacity internationally. Some 29 African countries participate 
in training there, largely focused on different aspects of 
transnational crime. But simply having the seat of this academy 
in a country with such a low level of corruption, I think is a 
good example of trying to maximize the value of the Botswanan 
story and make it relevant to the rest of the region.
    Senator Coons. Ms. Gavin, one of the biggest challenges, as 
you mentioned in your opening statement, facing Botswana is a 
very high rate of AIDS and HIV infection. There has been 
significant progress made to some large extent because of 
United States investment, but it is now moving to being one 
more directly led by the Botswana Government but where I 
understand there might be some great progress being made 
through a partnership between Merck and the Bill and Melinda 
Gates Foundation and the nation of Botswana.
    What can you suggest about lessons for us and challenges 
ahead to have an adult population that is, I think, at about 25 
percent infection? It must be an enormous challenge for 
Botswana. How do you see the path ahead in terms of the 
American role, the multilateral role, and the role for the 
private sector and the philanthropic sector in tackling this 
greatest challenge for Botswana?
    Ms. Gavin. I think you are right. There is no single thing 
that the United States Government does in Botswana that is more 
important than continuing this fight against HIV and AIDS, and 
I think that we probably can extract some valuable lessons for 
other countries hard hit by the epidemic, particularly in the 
success they have had in rolling out treatment and also almost 
eliminating mother-to-child transmission.
    But on prevention, there is still a tremendous amount of 
work to be done, and it will take interagency collaboration. 
PEPFAR, as you know, Senator, works best when the CDC and AID 
are working in a collaborative and complementary way and not 
engaged in a constant tussle for resources.
    In Botswana, we also have some interesting other elements. 
DOD participates helping to work on HIV/AIDS issues with the 
Botswana defense forces.
    And our Peace Corps Volunteers in Botswana work exclusively 
on health issues. Botswana had graduated out of Peace Corps and 
then invited the Peace Corps back when the pandemic hit and 
they realized the magnitude of the challenge.
    So I think that there are very positive lessons that we can 
extract on the treatment side, much more to do on the 
prevention side, and I think critical to all this is going to 
be that interagency collaboration, making sure all those 
interagency elements are working together in conjunction then 
with the nongovernmental elements, Merck, Gates, and others, 
and critically, the most important partner, the Government of 
Botswana, in trying to address the prevention challenge.
    Senator Coons. Thank you.
    General, Kenya is a major focus for both the Global Health 
Initiative and the Feed the Future initiative, and both of 
these are signature initiatives for the administration and 
critical to our role in the region. But Congress is facing 
understandable significant pressure to reduce Federal spending, 
reduce the Federal deficit, and there is the very real 
possibility being discussed literally now of significant 
reductions in spending in the current fiscal year or possibly 
going forward in these areas.
    I would be interested in hearing what role you think there 
might be for urging either the Government of Kenya or other 
multilateral partners to contribute more of the funding, what 
kinds of changes you think there might be in terms of our role 
in Kenya, our progress in Kenya if funding is dramatically 
reduced, and what you see as the contribution that you could 
make as Ambassador in advancing both the Global Health 
Initiative and Feed the Future initiative on the ground in 
Kenya and then regionally.
    Mr. Gration. In terms of Feed the Future, I think it is a 
very important program, but I think that we have to think about 
what we are trying to accomplish. And in my view, Kenya is too 
dependent on rain-fed agriculture, and there are a lot of ways 
you can get around that.
    First of all, I think what Feed the Future is doing in 
terms of understanding the lay of the land and the threats that 
people face are very important.
    But second, I think what they are doing in terms of 
subsistence farming is important. With better seed, better 
fertilizer, natural fertilizers, planting legumes, and in 
addition to nitrogen enrichment and planting of other crops in 
rotation is important. And so those kinds of things are very 
important. Even in terms of planting, techniques are important.
    But the piece that I believe would really help Kenya is if 
we think more about value chain analysis, what are the right 
crops, and then marketing and banking. If you build banks to 
where you can take the grain and bank it for a year, if it does 
not rain the next year, you can eat it, and if it rains, then 
you sell it. With fumigation and other techniques, you can 
store grain for a year very, very easily.
    The second part of banking--it sort of evens out the 
market. Instead of having a glut of food when the harvests come 
around and then a dearth 4 months later, banking allows you to 
put food on the market in a way that it is stabilized.
    So there is a whole lot of things that I think can be 
included in the Feed the Future initiative so we can actually 
get more bang for the buck and ensure people when it does not 
rain.
    In terms of the Global Health Initiative, I think you are 
exactly right. We need to think about programs so that they can 
be absorbed by the government. The problem is that when you 
infuse a lot of capacity, clinics, more people on 
antiretroviral medicines, that kind of thing and then stop the 
funding and the government is not in a position to absorb it, 
it really creates a lot of problems. So I think two things need 
to happen.
    One is we need to be partnering with the government when we 
put these in so that there is a transition program built into 
the Global Health Initiative program or the Feed the Future 
program such that if there is going to be public sector 
adoption of this, then it is built right in in the beginning, 
and the governments know that they have to produce more nurses, 
they have to get a way to bring more medicines in so they can 
bring it in, which means that our programs may have to be 
smaller in the beginning or else we have to take the risk that 
we are going to have to fund these for a longer period of time. 
But the reality is build a program so the government can accept 
it, build a program that helps them accept it. So maybe the 
right answer is in the Global Health Initiative is not so much 
putting in more clinics but building more nurse training 
programs or more other ways that you can build the capacity for 
them to take this over in a way that allows you not to skip a 
beat when you do the transition.
    So I will be looking at both of these programs. I think 
they are both good programs, but I understand that they should 
be stopgap programs. They should not be programs that are still 
there 25 years from now. And if we are not building programs to 
work ourselves out of that program, then I think there is a 
mistake.
    If you know anything about me, I am a big believer in 
affordability, sustainability, self-sustaining ability, and 
then scalability. If the program is really good, it should be 
able to take off on its own. So what I look for in the Feed the 
Future programs is while we put in pilot programs, we ought to 
be doing this in a way that they are self-sustaining or 
government-sustainable and then that they take off by 
themselves so that you are not always building a program, but 
they will end up growing by themselves.
    So these are the things that I think--those principles--we 
can look at in both the Global Health Initiative and Feed the 
Future to make sure that these programs do last without a 
constant infusion of U.S. dollars. But then again, bringing the 
international community in and mulilats into the program is 
also very important.
    Senator Coons. Thank you, General.
    Ms. Gavin, one of the criticisms of the Botswana Government 
that some indigenous people's advocates have had is that there 
has been a resettlement policy for the San people mostly in the 
Central Kalahari Reserve, and the challenge has been raised 
that it is viewed as having been done largely to advance 
diamond extraction and at the expense of a traditional culture.
    If confirmed as Ambassador, what would you do to be 
involved in this issue and what do you see as the opportunities 
for some progress in dealing with the loss of this traditional 
culture in the Kalahari?
    Ms. Gavin. This has been a longstanding, very difficult 
issue in Botswana, and I think that they have tried to address 
it both through direct dialogue between the government and 
different representatives of the San people, and sometimes the 
issue has been taken to court. It is a positive indicator that 
the government is not always on the winning side of the court 
decisions and it shows there is merit in seeking redress in the 
courts certainly. But it is not an issue that has been 
resolved, and I think it will remain very difficult.
    I think what the U.S. Government can do is try to determine 
if there are ways we can help facilitate better communication 
between the community still residing in the Central Kalahari 
Game Reserve which is actually quite small, but there are 
different elements of the community and different voices in the 
government itself. If there are things that we can do to help 
facilitate those lines of communication, it is certainly I 
think well worth exploring every avenue to see what is the 
world of the possible there.
    Senator Coons. General, I would be interested in your 
thoughts on Kenya's role in fighting terrorism. Obviously, 
there is a significant challenge with piracy off the coast of 
Somalia and now extending out into the Indian Ocean quite a way 
and affecting not just the horn but the whole region. Also, 
Nairobi was the scene of one of the most horrific attacks on an 
American installation in the bombing of our Embassy.
    Your view on what as Ambassador you can and should be doing 
to be part of our fight against terrorism both within the 
nation of Kenya and in the region.
    Mr. Gration. I think Kenya can be a very good ally and a 
partner in this effort. Kenyans understand terrorism. As you 
pointed out, a facility in their country was bombed. But if you 
take a look at the number of people killed, they bore the brunt 
of that attack many, many times over what Americans lost: 218 
people and most of them Kenyan.
    They are also keenly aware of what happened on the 10th of 
July in Kampala when the al-Shabab bomb went off. Perpetrators 
of that crime, some of them potentially Kenyans. And so they 
are aware of that.
    And they are also aware that every time that one of these 
attacks happens, they lose income from tourism. Their economy 
is disrupted.
    So I think they are willing and ready to be partners.
    We have put a lot of effort into training police units and 
also military units, and in doing that, we are making sure that 
we are vetting properly to make sure that the people that we 
train will not be perpetrators of crimes of human rights 
violations and that kind of thing.
    Kenya has also proven themselves to be a strong partner in 
supporting out-of-country operations. They are involved in 
southern Sudan, and they have been involved in other 
contingencies around the world. So I think Kenya is a great 
foundation.
    Now, what do we need to do? I think we need to continue 
programs but maybe a little bit more specific. So we will take 
a good look at what are the ways that the Kenyans can be used 
more effectively.
    One area I think that we can do better is in intel. The 
Kenyans have their ear to the ground. They know a lot of things 
that are happening, as do governments throughout that region. 
And if we are going to operate, whether it be in Somalia or 
whether it be against piracy or whether it be in other 
transnational things that are happening in and around Kenya, 
they are probably going to know about it before we know about 
it. And to develop a relationship with them so that they will 
share intelligence, number one, but to develop a relationship 
with them and that we can train them in the areas where they 
are deficient so they can become more effective in helping us 
in the global effort, I think that would be important.
    So I will take a look and make sure that the training that 
we are doing meets the need not only for Kenyans, but for the 
rest of the international community and then look for areas 
that we can help with areas where they are deficient to improve 
their capacity to help. Kenyans can be and are already strong 
partners in the war on terrorism.
    Senator Coons. Ms. Gavin, what role do you see for the 
United States in promoting bilateral trade with Botswana and 
what opportunities, if any, are there for them to take 
advantage of United States technology transfer, partners with 
us for things like alternative energy, for water generation, 
for pharmaceuticals and otherwise? And what role do you see for 
yourself as Ambassador in promoting bilateral trade with 
Botswana?
    Ms. Gavin. Thank you. If confirmed, I think that will be an 
absolutely essential part of my role as Ambassador. 
Particularly because Botswana is a middle-income country, it 
does not qualify for things like Millennium Challenge 
Initiative. Playing a role in bringing investors together with 
Botswanan businesses, in some cases the Botswanan Government, 
and critically taking a regional approach since it is such a 
small market I think is an absolutely essential part of trying 
to facilitate the economic diversification that is such a high 
priority for Botswana. So I think you have hit on a number of 
sectors that appear to have some real potential.
    Southern Africa has tremendous energy needs. South Africa, 
which provides the lion's share of energy to the region, is 
strapped. It is clear that there is going to be a growing 
demand. And so there are some interesting small-scale projects 
in Botswana now around solar that probably bear a closer look. 
And I think that it is going to be essential to let people know 
what kind of investment climate Botswana has to offer and also 
to let people know what kind of regional infrastructure is 
there and see if we cannot be creative and get more done 
without using a lot of foreign assistance dollars to help what 
has been a very strong partner, sharing a lot of our interests 
and values, sustain that strength into the future.
    Senator Coons. Thank you.
    General--and this will be my last question--how do you see 
your role, if confirmed as Ambassador, in advancing United 
States-Kenyan bilateral trade ties? We export and import 
roughly the same amounts. Have there been opportunities for 
Kenya to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunities 
Act and are there other things we could be doing to promote 
their adoption of U.S.-distributed energy generation, for 
example, or water technologies or new developments in seed or 
grains or other things that you have spoken about before? How, 
as Ambassador, would you advance both the development of Kenya 
and American export opportunities?
    Mr. Gration. I think there is a great opportunity to create 
jobs in America by increasing trade in Kenya. We already have a 
great process going where we actually have quite a bit of 
trade. There is a surplus and the surplus has been for the last 
5 years. Last year it was $34 million.
    The issues that you point out are ones that I think we have 
to grapple with. Right now, AGOA is pretty much a textile kind 
of thing. In fact, I believe it is somewhere around 72 percent 
of the products that are exported from Kenya to the United 
States under AGOA would be in the textile. But there are so 
many other things that Kenya could add to this, and to help 
them diversify and increase their base so they do not take 
precut and just assemble them and ship them off to America, but 
they actually do things that would create jobs for Kenya. And 
then in return, I think there are so many things that can be 
done in Kenya on the IT side, on the energy production side.
    The Kenyans are bright. They are highly educated. The 
literacy rate is extremely high.
    I think that there is a way that we can import in a way 
that creates jobs, wealth creation opportunities in Kenya but 
would also create jobs back here. And I look forward to being 
part of that, working with our international community, 
Americans that are there. There are almost 20,000 Americans 
that are involved in private volunteer activities, NGO 
activities, but also in commercial business opportunities. 
Right now we are going to have to take a look at where our 
competitive advantages are and where we can strengthen them.
    The other thing I would say is that I want to make sure 
that we level the playing field. There are some competitions to 
American firms, whether they come from China or other kind of 
places, where we can probably do more to give our products a 
better shot of taking hold in the country.
    So those are the kind of things I will work with and I hope 
to work with the American community to come up with their ideas 
to know how I can help them better.
    Senator Coons. Thank you, General. Thank you, Ms. Gavin. 
Thank you to your families. Thank you for your service. Thank 
you to Clara for her great patience and persistence. She is 
asleep I know. I am grateful for your parents before us and 
your testimony.
    The record of this hearing will remain open until the close 
of business tomorrow, Wednesday, April 6, in the event there 
are other members of the subcommittee who were not able to join 
us today but who wish to submit additional questions for the 
record.
    Again, thank you very much.
    And with that, this hearing is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 4:08 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]
                              ----------                              


       Additional Questions and Answers Submitted for the Record


          Responses of Scott Gration to Questions Submitted by
                         Senator John F. Kerry

    Question. Previous reports by the Office of the Inspector General 
described a number of problems within the Africa Bureau, including 
poorly led posts and particularly notable failures in public diplomacy. 
In your testimony to the committee, you discussed ways you will 
approach some of the management challenges that result from the size 
and scope of the Embassy in Nairobi. How has your previous experience 
shaped your views regarding effective public diplomacy and if confirmed 
as Ambassador, how would you seek to approach related issues?

    Answer. Effective public diplomacy is a core element of diplomacy, 
and an exceedingly challenging one. As Special Envoy to Sudan, I saw 
firsthand how important it was to understand the many audiences with 
whom I was sharing my messages. I endeavored to reach out beyond 
government officials in all parts of Sudan to understand the 
perspectives of people from all segments of society and to engage in a 
substantive dialogue on their views about their country and about U.S. 
policy. In complex situations such as Sudan, effective public diplomacy 
builds confidence and trust that the policy and actions of the United 
States are based on an understanding and appreciation of the people and 
history of the host country. Such confidence and trust lays the 
foundation for effectively sharing our values and experiences in a way 
that furthers achievement of mutual interests. If confirmed, I expect 
to encounter that same diversity of background and perspectives in 
Kenya and plan to mobilize all sections of the embassy to support 
public diplomacy efforts.

    Question. Kenya is one of the original focus countries of the 
President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and HIV/AIDS 
funding makes up the largest portion of U.S. assistance to Kenya. In 
your testimony to the committee, you discussed the importance of 
partnering with the Government of Kenya on these issues. What aspects 
of such cooperation have been most successful and where do you see room 
for improvements?

    Answer. The Kenya PEPFAR program, together with other USG health 
investments there, is one of the U.S. Government's largest health 
portfolios. The PEPFAR program in Kenya has been very successful since 
its inception in 2004 and, in many ways, serves as a model in terms of 
success in delivering services, efficient program implementation, and 
country ownership. In 2009, the Government of Kenya (GOK) and the U.S. 
Government signed the Partnership Framework. This 5-year joint 
strategic agenda was based on the GOK's National AIDS Strategic Plan, 
and is organized around its four core pillars: health sector HIV 
service delivery, mainstreaming of the HIV and AIDS response, 
community-based HIV programs, and governance and strategic information. 
In addition, the U.S. team in Kenya team has worked together with the 
GOK to reform the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) of the Global 
Fund. The CCM in Kenya is now performing coordination and oversight of 
all donor funding in the health sector for improvements in bilateral 
cooperation--not just Global Fund. The committee is assuming 
accountability for overall health sector performance. This is a new 
model for Africa and promises to be a best practice.
    Our joint efforts have delivered strong results. For example, in FY 
2010, 410,300 individuals were receiving antiretroviral treatment 
thanks to PEPFAR support. In addition, 1,384,400 HIV-positive 
individuals received care and support (including TB/HIV) and 673,000 
orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) received support services. On the 
other hand, HIV incidence has remained stable from 2001 to 2009, 
showing that Kenya continues to face challenges in preventing new HIV 
infections. The Kenya PEPFAR program has also been a leader among 
PEPFAR-supported countries in streamlining service delivery and 
supporting development of Kenyan Government disease surveillance and 
monitoring capacity. As a Global Health Initiative (GHI) Plus country, 
the U.S. team in Kenya, together with the GOK, has developed a strategy 
that exemplifies a whole-of-government approach thereby increasing 
impact through strategic coordination and integration.
    Moving forward, if confirmed, I will work to strengthen national 
systems, including the health care workforce, and to build capacity and 
political will in Kenya for sustainable, long-term Kenyan-led 
responses. If confirmed, I expect to be personally engaged in the 
effort to promote these objectives.

    Question. In your work on Sudan, you sought to ensure that life-
saving assistance reached people in Darfur, to support the 
international peace process, and to help North and South navigate their 
way to a lasting and sustainable peace. While there have been setbacks, 
the January 9 referendum was a great achievement for the people of 
Sudan and a testament to U.S. engagement. If confirmed, how will your 
experience in Sudan guide your work in helping Kenya to address its 
challenges, including implementation of the constitution, and free, 
fair, and safe elections in 2012?

    Answer. There are some general principles that guided my work in 
Sudan which I believe will also help me effectively work with Kenya as 
it moves through this challenging and exciting time in its history. 
First, I believe that the United States needs to be actively engaged 
throughout the country, talking to all parties and helping to create an 
environment where they can forge home-grown solutions and lasting 
reconciliation. Second, these efforts in country need to be supported 
by sustained, high-level U.S. government attention and commitment to 
achieving those objectives. Third, we must work closely not only with 
Kenyans but with the international community, including multilateral 
organizations, regional states and other countries providing financial 
support to ensure a coordinated, coherent, and effective approach.
                                 ______
                                 

         Responses of Michelle Gavin to Questions Submitted by
                         Senator John F. Kerry

    Question. Previous reports by the Office of the Inspector General 
described a number of problems within the Africa Bureau, including 
understaffed, sometimes poorly led posts and particularly notable 
failures in public diplomacy. If confirmed as Ambassador, how would you 
seek to address these issues? How has your previous experience prepared 
you for such a post and shaped your views regarding managing an 
embassy?

    Answer. I have consulted extensively with the Africa Bureau and 
with the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone to understand the management 
challenges that I would face at Embassy Gaborone if confirmed as 
Ambassador. I have reviewed the 2009 Inspector General Report of the 
Africa Bureau that identified concerns over leadership and the need to 
engage proactively in broader public diplomacy. I have had discussions 
here in Washington about how to address these issues. If confirmed, I 
will ensure solid leadership and recognize that the success of Embassy 
Gaborone will be founded on a valued and productive mission team that 
incorporates a whole-of-government approach, which I will be honored to 
lead. I will ensure we have strong communication among our mission team 
and the Africa Bureau to deliver consistent messages and develop a 
vibrant public outreach strategy to share our U.S. policy goals. 
Embassy Gaborone is already working closely with government, the media, 
nongovernmental organizations and private citizens in Botswana to 
ensure that our close bilateral partnership continues and remains 
strong. I would continue ongoing Embassy efforts to reach out to key 
sectors of Batswana youth to expose them to U.S. culture, peers, and 
mentors; build close relationships with Botswana's media outlets and 
provide opportunities to the media for professional development and 
exposure to U.S. counterparts; ensure that rising stars in Botswana 
participate in academic and cultural exchanges to the United States; 
and I will strive to use social media tools to reach a broad segment of 
Batswana, especially youth, with information about U.S. policies and 
programs.
    In my position as Special Advisor to the President for African 
Affairs, I gained considerable experience facilitating cooperation and 
coordination between different U.S. Government agencies at the national 
level. If confirmed, I look forward to translating these skills into 
managing interagency relationships at the country level. In my position 
as legislative director for then-Senator Salazar, I had the privilege 
of mentoring a staff that was enthusiastic and dedicated but almost 
entirely new to Capitol Hill. I look forward to taking on the role as 
guide and mentor to the hardworking and dedicated staff at the Embassy 
in Gaborone, particularly the entry-level officers.

    Question. As you noted in your testimony to the committee, if 
confirmed you will serve as the United States representative to the 
Southern African Development Community (SADC). Given that regional 
integration and cooperation are essential to long-term stability, what 
are the benefits and challenges to Botswana stemming from its 
membership in SADC and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU)? How 
do you envision your role vis-a-vis SADC?

    Answer. Botswana has the privilege of hosting the SADC Secretariat 
in Gaborone. Botswana also benefits from its proximity to the regional 
economic hub of South Africa and from shared customs revenues from 
SACU. Nevertheless, Botswana has often been a lone voice in SADC on the 
peace and security front, particularly regarding Zimbabwe, and SADC 
itself has had difficulty emerging as an organization that is greater 
than the sum of its parts. With regards to SACU, Botswana may see 
reduced customs revenue as a result of a South African proposal to 
change the current revenue-sharing formula.
    If confirmed, I would work with Chiefs of Mission in other SADC 
countries on ways to help broaden the U.S.-SADC relationship so that 
Zimbabwe is only one of many issues we have to discuss. I hope to 
engage where appropriate to encourage greater regional integration that 
would promote U.S. trade as well as further economic diversification in 
Botswana. I also hope to encourage Botswana to continue their advocacy 
in the region on transparency and good governance in the mining sector 
and beyond.


                              NOMINATIONS

                              ----------                              


                        WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6, 2011

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
                              ----------                              

David Bruce Shear, of New York, to be Ambassador to the 
        Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Kurt Walter Tong, of Maryland, for the rank of Ambassador 
        during his tenure as U.S. Senior Official for the Asia-
        Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum
                              ----------                              

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:33 p.m., in 
room SD-419, Dirksen Office Building, Hon. Jim Webb, presiding.
    Present: Senator Webb.

              OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JIM WEBB,
                   U.S. SENATOR FROM VIRGINIA

    Senator Webb. This hearing will come to order.
    Today the subcommittee will consider the nominations of Mr. 
David Shear to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Socialist Republic 
of Vietnam and Mr. Kurt Tong to have the rank of Ambassador 
while serving as the U.S. Senior Official to the Asia-Pacific 
Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC).
    I would like to begin this hearing, as chair of the 
Subcommittee on East Asia, by expressing my condolences to the 
people of Japan and commending them for their courage and 
tenacity in facing the recovery from the terrible earthquake 
and tsunami that occurred nearly 1 month ago. Japan is a key 
security ally, a diplomatic partner and a great friend of the 
United States. And as these events have tragically illustrated, 
the nations of East Asia and Southeast Asia remain of critical 
importance to our economic, strategic and diplomatic interests.
    Following the earthquake and tsunami, the United States 
military and civilian agencies rapidly offered support to the 
Japanese Government to assist in the search and rescue of 
civilians. To date, the United States has delivered more than 
200 tons of food, 2 million gallons of water, 16,000 gallons of 
fuel, and 186,000 tons of other relief commodities. Also, teams 
from the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission continue to actively monitor and support the 
Government of Japan, as needed, and to mitigate the situation 
at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.
    Japan's economy and social system face enormous 
ramifications from this disaster, with the World Bank now 
estimating the cost of an economic recovery at more than $230 
billion. Our assistance and attention to this issue obviously 
will be for the long term, given the close relationship that we 
have with Japan and the role that Japan plays in the regional 
and global economy.
    It is vital that we remain engaged in this region, even as 
we balance diplomatic engagement in Asia with other global 
crises, particularly again in the Middle East. And for this 
reason, our relationship with Vietnam and our leadership in 
multilateral organizations such as APEC, will play a key role 
in promoting stability and prosperity in the region.
    I have had the good fortune to have observed and 
participated in United States/Vietnam relations now for more 
than 40 years. In the past 16 years, since the normalization of 
our relationship, I have seen dramatic improvements in the 
relationship, especially in the past 6 or 7 years. Our military 
effort in Vietnam, during that war, was characterized by 
strongly held and differing views, both here and there. Views 
that were sincerely held by well-meaning people across the 
spectrum. These divisions, the terrible cost of the war and its 
bitter aftermath, have made reconciliation between our two 
countries a long and complicated process. The process of 
reconciliation has been even more challenging for the 2 million 
overseas Vietnamese in the United States, many of whom suffered 
greatly under the victorious communist regime and have had to 
build new lives and chart a new course to reconnect with their 
homeland.
    In the years since normalization our governments have 
carefully, but demonstrably, come to communicate openly and 
positively. We have begun to cooperate on bilateral and 
regional challenges, including sovereignty disputes in the 
South China Sea and water security challenges along the Mekong 
River region.
    Last year, in large part due to Vietnam's successful 
chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, 
ASEAN, we saw increasing momentum in our relationship. At the 
ASEAN regional forum, in July of last year, Secretary Clinton 
announced a new American policy on sovereignty disputes in the 
South China Sea, arguing that the resolution of these disputes 
and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea are American 
national interests. This new policy offers American Government 
assistance to facilitate a multilateral resolution in these 
disputes. I will say for the record that I have not only 
supported these initiatives, but also suggested them, including 
while chairing a subcommittee hearing on maritime territorial 
disputes in July 2009.
    In addition to our regional cooperation, our trade 
relationship with Vietnam has grown, from $220 million in 1994 
to more than $18 billion 2010. The United States was the 
leading source of foreign direct investment in Vietnam in 2009 
and Vietnam is the second largest source of American clothing 
imports.
    Building off its 2007 entry into the World Trade 
Organization, Vietnam is moving to implement the structural 
reforms needed to modernize and open its economy. Moreover, 
Vietnam has joined the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade 
negotiations for an agreement, that if successfully 
implemented, will further open Vietnam's market and allow 
American trade with Vietnam to grow.
    With these developments there remain challenges to our 
relationship. The United States continues to encourage Vietnam 
to protect individual freedoms, including religious freedom, 
freedom of the press, expression and labor rights. In this 
process it is also important for both countries to make efforts 
to bridge the deep divisions affecting both American and 
Vietnamese societies, some of which still languish from the war 
and from the treatment of those who fought alongside Americans 
in that war. We must continue to push forward with an inclusive 
dialogue that allows for meaningful reconciliation among all 
sides.
    Just as our engagement with Southeast Asia has grown 
through ASEAN, our participation in APEC has illustrated the 
benefits of expanded American involvement in East Asia 
multilateral organizations. Our active participation in APEC 
supports our strategic and economic interests and it 
demonstrates that our commitment to this region's growth is 
permanent.
    Furthermore, this year the United States will serve as host 
for the annual APEC meetings, including the leaders' meeting in 
November. This role will allow us to continue the discussion 
initiated by Japan last year on regional economic integration, 
development and human security. Regional economic integration 
with likeminded trade partners, such as Japan and Korea, will 
be an important step forward in our long-term economic 
recovery, especially as Japan recovers from the recent 
earthquake and tsunami. This integration is best implemented in 
a way that maximizes the advantages of our respective economies 
and also protects our workers from unfair competition. And this 
principle is even more important when considering the growing 
interdependence of our economy with many of the economies of 
East Asia.
    The 21 member economies at APEC generate more than half of 
global trade. Five of our fifteen top trading partners are in 
East Asia and six of the top fifteen are members of APEC. This 
demonstrates that the United States is truly an Asia-Pacific 
nation and it is important to recognize that our economic and 
strategic future will be tied to this region. Therefore, I hope 
American participation in APEC can encourage an economic 
recovery for all members based on reduced barriers to trade, 
sustainable growth, and improved transparency. For our part, 
fulfilling commitments on free trade agreements, such as 
ratifying the United States-Korea free trade agreement and 
putting forward a comprehensive trade policy for the 21st 
century, can support these efforts.
    I look forward to the testimony of our nominees. I welcome 
both of them. And before we hear their remarks, I would like to 
briefly introduce them and then invite them to recognize those 
who have come with them today to support their nomination.
    And I would also state at this point that Senator Inhofe 
has an opening statement which will be included in the record 
at this point.
    [The prepared statement of Senator Inhofe follows:]

 Prepared Statement of Hon. James M. Inhofe, U.S. Senator From Oklahoma

    Thank you, Senator Webb, for chairing this full committee 
confirmation hearing today for Kurt Walter Tong and David Bruce Shear 
to be Ambassadors for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the 
Socialist Republic of Vietnam, respectively.
    Mr. Tong is currently the Economic Coordinator for the Bureau of 
East Asian and Pacific Affairs, organizing bureauwide efforts on 
economic policy issues. He is also U.S. Senior Official for APEC (Asia 
Pacific Economic Cooperation), managing all aspects of U.S. 
participation in the organization. Mr. Tong has spent 17 years working 
and studying in East Asia, including service at the U.S. Embassies in 
Manila, Tokyo, Beijing, and Seoul. Most recently, he served as Director 
for Korean Affairs at the Department of State from 2008 to 2009. Prior 
to that, he was Director for Asian Economic Affairs at the National 
Security Council from 2006 to 2008. He was a Visiting Scholar at the 
Tokyo University Faculty of Economics from 1995 to 1996. Prior to 
joining the Foreign Service, Mr. Tong was an Associate with the Boston 
Consulting Group in Tokyo.
    I have met with Mr. Tong and am convinced that his long and 
distinguished diplomatic record has prepared him well to be the 
Ambassador to APEC.
    APEC is the premier economic organization in the Asia-Pacific 
region. It was founded in 1989 for the purpose of promoting trade and 
investment liberalization in the Asia-Pacific as a means of fostering 
sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the region. APEC is one 
of a few international fora in which both China and Taiwan are members. 
And has made trade facilitation a major priority, something that I 
strongly support.
    APEC has two distinct features among multilateral trade 
organizations. First, all the liberalization measures taken by its 
members are voluntary. Members announce their liberalization measures 
via ``Individual Action Plans.'' Second, these liberalization measures 
are generally extended to all economies--not just APEC members--under 
the concept of ``open regionalism.'' However, there have also been 
criticisms that the United States is not sufficiently emphasizing U.S. 
ties to Asia. In 2010, plans for a Presidential trip to Australia, 
Indonesia, and other countries were repeatedly postponed due to 
domestic events. In addition, while the United States was the first 
nation to announce it would appoint a full-time, resident ambassador to 
the Asian Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), David Lee 
Cardin was not confirmed until March 3, 2011. The delay in appointing a 
U.S. Senior Official for APEC, especially when the United States is 
hosting the ongoing 2011 APEC meetings can be seen by some in Asia as 
another sign of insufficient prioritization of this important region.
    The U.S. is hosting APEC in 2011 for the first time since 1993. The 
United States has chosen for its theme, ``Creating a seamless economy 
in the Asia-Pacific region by strengthening regional integration and 
expanding trade, promoting a green economy, and better coordinating 
trade regulations.'' Mr. Tong commented on the significance of this 
before House Foreign Affairs Committee in 2009 by stating that, 
``Hosting APEC will be a tremendous opportunity for the United States 
to promote U.S. business and investment opportunities, which will 
benefit American workers, farmers, and businesses of all sizes. It will 
also be an important opportunity for the United States to define a new, 
21st century economic policy agenda for the Asia-Pacific region.'' I 
agree.
    I support the nomination of Mr. Tong, and I believe he will work 
with Congress, the business community, and his colleagues in the 
executive branch to utilize our hosting of APEC this year to the 
fullest as an opportunity to both restore confidence at home and 
promote new opportunities for our exporters overseas. If confirmed, 
Kurt Tong will work to advance U.S. interests through the Asia-Pacific 
Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum as we strive to create an economic 
system in the Asia-Pacific region that supports growth and job creation 
here at home.
    Mr. Shear is also a career Foreign Service officer--joining in 
1982--and is currently serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for East 
Asian and Pacific Affairs. He has a distinguished overseas career 
serving in Sapporo, Beijing, Tokyo, and Kuala Lumpur. In Washington, he 
has served in the Offices of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean Affairs and 
as the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. 
He was Director of the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs in 2008-
09. With this distinguished background, I believe that Mr. David Shear 
will serve honorably and effectively as our Ambassador to the Socialist 
Republic of Vietnam.
    Although U.S. relations with Vietnam have become increasingly 
cooperative in the years since political normalization, the freedom to 
practice religion and to express religious thought--an inalienable 
right to all individuals--is still not fully recognized in Vietnam. I 
feel that there is a dire need to focus on religious freedom in 
Vietnam, and should you be confirmed Mr. Shear, I charge you with 
taking up this dire need.
    In 2005, Vietnam passed comprehensive religious freedom 
legislation, outlawing forced renunciations and permitting the official 
recognition of new denominations. Since that time, the government has 
granted official national recognition or registration to a number of 
new religions and religious groups, including eight more Protestant 
denominations, and has registered hundreds of local congregations 
particularly in the central highlands. As a result, in November 2006, 
the Department of State lifted the designation of Vietnam as a 
``Country of Particular Concern,'' based on a determination that the 
country was no longer a serious violator of religious freedoms, as 
defined by the International Religious Freedom Act. This decision was 
reaffirmed by the Department of State in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
    Nevertheless, I strongly feel there is room for further progress. 
The government's slow pace of church registration, particularly in the 
northwest highlands, and harassment of certain religious leaders for 
their political activism (especially Father Ly Tong), including leaders 
of the unrecognized United Buddhist Church of Vietnam and Hoa Hao faith 
were an ongoing source of U.S. concern. Violence against the Plum 
Village Buddhist order at the Bat Nha Pagoda in Lam Dong and Catholic 
parishioners in Con Dau parish outside of Danang and outside of Hanoi 
at
Dong Chiem parish at the hands of the police and organized mobs is 
particularly troubling.
    Thus, there must remain focus on increasing the Vietnamese 
Government's respect for human rights and religious freedom. There 
remains a deep concern about the imprisonment of dissidents, 
restrictions on the media and the Internet, and the harassment of 
religious groups. Vietnam will not realize its full potential without 
greater respect for human rights, and its troubling record in this area 
could limit the growth of our relationship. I believe that if Mr. Shear 
is confirmed, and I will support his nomination, he will make human 
rights and religious freedom a central part of his conversations with 
Vietnam's communist leaders.
    Thank you again, Senator Webb, for chairing this full committee 
nomination hearing for ambassadorial posts in the East Asian and 
Pacific Affairs region.

    Senator Webb. First I would like to welcome David Shear, 
the nominee to be the Ambassador to Vietnam. He currently 
serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and 
Pacific Affairs at the State Department. Previously he was 
Director of the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs. His 
overseas assignments include Sapporo, Beijing, Tokyo, and Kuala 
Lumpur and he has served several assignments here in 
Washington.
    Deputy Assistant Secretary Shear speaks Chinese, Japanese, 
and is practicing Vietnamese. He just tried some on me when I 
said hello. And has a first degree rank in Kendo Japanese 
fencing.
    Kurt Tong, who is the nominee for the rank of Ambassador 
while serving as the U.S. senior official to the APEC Forum, is 
with us also. Prior to this assignment, Mr. Tong was the 
Director for Korean Affairs in the Bureau of East Asia and 
Pacific Affairs. He led the White House National Security 
Council's Asian Economic Affairs Bureau from 2006 to 2008. In 
his 17 years of work and study in Asia, Mr. Tong has completed 
assignments in Manila, Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul and was a 
visiting scholar at the Tokyo University Faculty of Economics. 
He speaks Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Korean and Tagalog.
    And again, I welcome both of you here today. I will look 
forward to your testimony.
    And Mr. Shear, why don't you begin and please feel free to 
recognize anyone who has come to support you in the hearing 
today.

 STATEMENT OF DAVID BRUCE SHEAR, NEW YORK, TO BE AMBASSADOR TO 
               THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM

    Mr. Shear. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Before I introduce my 
family members I would like to make sure that everybody 
understands that a first degree rank in Kendo is the lowest 
rank----
    [Laughter.]
    Mr. Shear [continuing]. Not the highest rank. It took a few 
years to get to----
    Senator Webb. You still swing a bad stick, I am sure.
    Mr. Shear. Sir, I have a large family cheering section here 
and I will--I would like to introduce my wife, Barbara, and my 
daughter, Jennifer, and my sister, Laurel. And I have a whole 
crowd of nieces and nephews here today, too, as well as our 
family friend, Dr. Barry Manning.
    Senator Webb. Well, we welcome all of you to the hearing 
today.
    Mr. Shear. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I am honored to appear before you as the President's 
nominee to serve as Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of 
Vietnam. I am deeply grateful for the confidence that President 
Obama and Secretary Clinton have shown in me. And if confirmed, 
I look forward to working closely with Congress to advance U.S. 
interests in Vietnam.
    Thirty-five years ago our two countries ended a war that 
left an indelible mark on both of our peoples. For Americans of 
my generation, the experience of that war represents an 
important juncture in our history. Yet today, just 16 years 
after restoring diplomatic relations, we are already seeing the 
benefits of the commitment, on both sides, to move beyond our 
difficult past and forge a constructive relationship.
    As Secretary Clinton said in Hanoi last year, our two 
countries have reached a level of cooperation that would have 
been unimaginable just a few years ago. That is why, in her 
conversations with Vietnam's senior leaders in Hanoi last year, 
she proposed that we consider establishing a strategic 
partnership with Vietnam. This is the logical next step for a 
relationship that has moved toward increased cooperation and 
dialogue.
    The range of senior level engagement last year was quite 
extraordinary. If confirmed, I will continue to deepen our 
engagement in areas such as regional security, 
nonproliferation, law enforcement, health and climate change.
    I am also committed to increasing educational and other 
people-to-people exchanges. These people-to-people connections 
enrich us and strengthen the bonds between our two societies.
    Trade, of course, will remain a lynchpin of our 
relationship. Our two-way trade continues to grow, from $15.7 
billion in 2009 to $18.5 billion last year. If confirmed, I 
will do everything I can to increase U.S. exports to Vietnam 
through the President's National Export Initiative. I also look 
forward to continued negotiations what the Vietnamese to 
advance the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
    Improved military-to-military ties will also contribute to 
stronger bilateral relations. Currently we already cooperate in 
such areas as maritime security, search and rescue, 
humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and peacekeeping 
operations. We have also established a successful record of 
ship visits including an historic port call to Da Nang by the 
USS John S. McCain last year.
    As we develop a strategy partnership with Vietnam, we must 
remain focused on increasing the Vietnamese Government's 
respect for human rights and religious freedom. We remain 
concerned about the imprisonment of dissidents, restrictions on 
the media and the Internet and the harassment of religious 
groups. Vietnam will not realize its full potential without 
greater respect for human rights, and its troubling record in 
this area could limit the growth of our relationship. If 
confirmed, I will make human rights and religious freedom a 
central part of my conversations with Vietnam's leaders and 
with the Vietnamese people.
    Mr. Chairman, while major strides have been made in our 
relationship, 16 years is still too short to have completely 
overcome the painful legacy of our past. If confirmed, I will 
continue to strengthen our cooperation with Vietnam on the 
solemn task of accounting for Americans missing from the war. I 
will work hard to maintain our assistance with efforts to 
remove unexploded ordnance. And by January 2012 I expect that 
we will have broken ground on a major effort to remediate 
dioxin residue from the soil at Da Nang Airport, one of several 
hotspots where the defoliant, Agent Orange, was stored during 
the war. We also continue to provide assistance to Vietnam's 
disabled citizens, without regard to cause.
    Sir, I have spent my career in the Asia-Pacific region and 
I am personally committed to using all of the knowledge and 
skills I have gained over the past 29 years to pursue the 
American peoples' interests in Vietnam. If confirmed, I will do 
my utmost to ensure that our relationship with Vietnam is among 
the strongest in the East Asia region.
    There is much work to be done and I look forward to earning 
your confidence. Thank you for your consideration of my 
nomination and I welcome your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Shear follows:]

                Prepared Statement of David Bruce Shear

    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am honored to appear 
before you as the President's nominee to serve as Ambassador to the 
Socialist Republic of Vietnam. I am deeply grateful for the confidence 
that President Obama and Secretary Clinton have shown in me and, if 
confirmed, I look forward to working closely with Congress to advance 
U.S. interests in Vietnam.
    Thirty-five years ago our two countries ended a war that left an 
indelible mark on both of our peoples. For Americans of my generation, 
the experience of that war represents an important juncture in our 
history. Yet today, just 15 years after restoring diplomatic relations, 
we are already seeing the benefits of a commitment on both sides to 
move beyond our difficult past and forge a constructive relationship.
    As Secretary Clinton said in Hanoi last year, our two countries 
have reached a level of cooperation that would have been unimaginable 
just a few years ago. That is why in her conversations with Vietnam's 
senior leaders in Hanoi last July, and again in October, she proposed 
that we consider establishing a strategic partnership with Vietnam. 
This is the logical next step for a relationship that has moved 
consistently toward increased cooperation and dialogue.
    The range of U.S. senior-level engagement last year was 
extraordinary. If confirmed, I will continue to deepen our engagement 
in areas such as regional security, nonproliferation, law enforcement, 
health, climate change, and science and technology. I am also committed 
to increasing educational and other people-to-people exchanges. These 
connections enrich us and strengthen the bonds between our two 
societies.
    Trade will remain a linchpin of our relationship with Vietnam. Our 
two-way trade continues to grow--from $15.7 billion in 2009 to $18.5 
billion last year. If confirmed, I will do everything I can to increase 
U.S. exports to Vietnam through the President's National Export 
Initiative; in addition to continuing negotiations with the Vietnamese 
to advance the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
    Improved military-to-military ties will also contribute to stronger 
bilateral relations. Currently, there is already cooperation on 
maritime security, search and rescue, humanitarian assistance and 
disaster relief, peacekeeping operations, defense academy exchanges, 
and military medicine. There is also a successful record of ship 
visits, including a historic port call to Danang by the USS John S. 
McCain last year.
    Additionally, I hope that we will continue to provide funding to 
strengthen Vietnam's health systems and to help the country build the 
capacity it needs to address the scourge of HIV/AIDS and emerging 
pandemic threats.
    As we develop a strategic partnership with Vietnam, we must remain 
focused on increasing the Vietnamese Government's respect for human 
rights and religious freedom. There remains a deep concern about the 
imprisonment of dissidents, restrictions on the media and the Internet, 
and the harassment of religious groups. Vietnam will not realize its 
full potential without greater respect for human rights, and its 
troubling record in this area could limit the growth of our 
relationship. If confirmed, I will make human rights and religious 
freedom a central part of my conversations with Vietnam's leaders and 
with the Vietnamese people.
    While major strides have been made in our relationship, 15 years is 
still too short to have completely overcome the painful legacy of our 
past. If confirmed, I will continue to strengthen our cooperation with 
Vietnam on the solemn task of accounting for Americans missing from the 
war. I will work hard to maintain our assistance with demining and 
efforts to remove unexploded ordnance. By January 2012, we will have 
broken ground on a major effort to remediate dioxin residue from the 
soil at Danang Airport, one of several ``hotspots'' where the defoliant 
Agent Orange was stored during the war. We also continue to provide 
assistance for Vietnam's disabled citizens, without regard to cause.
    I have spent my career in the Asia-Pacific region, and I am 
personally committed to using all of the knowledge and skills I have 
gained over the past 29 years to pursue the American people's interests 
in Vietnam. If confirmed, I will do my utmost to ensure that our 
relationship with Vietnam is among the most successful in the East 
Asian region. There is much work to be done, and I look forward to 
earning your confidence.
    Thank you for your consideration of my nomination. I welcome your 
questions.

    Senator Webb. Thank you very much.
    Mr. Tong, welcome and if there are people you would like to 
introduce, please feel free to do so.

   STATEMENT OF KURT WALTER TONG, MARYLAND, FOR THE RANK OF 
 AMBASSADOR DURING HIS TENURE AS U.S. SENIOR OFFICIAL FOR THE 
         ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION (APEC) FORUM

    Mr. Tong. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I would like to introduce my wonderful wife, Mika, and 
daughter, Reia. I have another daughter, Mia, and a son, Kyle. 
They were not able to make it today. They are equally wonderful 
children as well.
    Senator Webb. Let the record show, you love all your 
children equally. [Laughter.]
    Welcome to those of you who are here. And I know it's a 
great day for you.
    Mr. Tong. Thank you. Thank you very much.
    I've also submitted a written record--written statement for 
the record.
    Senator Webb. Yes. Both of your full statements will be 
entered into the record of this hearing.
    Mr. Tong. So thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I am truly honored to appear before you today to seek 
Senate confirmation as the U.S. Senior Official for APEC with 
the rank of Ambassador. Mr. Chairman, if confirmed, I look 
forward to working very closely with you and with other Members 
of Congress to leverage the considerable potential of APEC to 
build an economic system in the Asia-Pacific region that 
supports growth and job creation here at home.
    As you know, APEC is the premier economic organization in 
the Asia-Pacific region and a key venue for engaging the most 
economically dynamic region of the world. APEC's 21 members, 
stretching from Chile to China, account for more than half of 
the global economy. They purchase 58 percent of our goods 
exports and comprise a market of $2.7 billion consumers. 
Through APEC the United States aims to tackle a wide range of 
issues critical to long-term prosperity around the Pacific rim.
    Most important, the United States uses APEC to open markets 
in the Asia-Pacific region, and to connect those markets to 
American exporters. Our focus includes eliminating barriers to 
trade and investment and creating better environments for our 
citizens to do business overseas. APEC initiatives lay the 
foundation for high standard, comprehensive trade agreements 
such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership now being negotiated, 
that can help deepen America's economic ties to the region and 
build a more level economic playing field for Americans to 
compete successfully.
    At the same time, the United States and the other APEC 
members recognize that rapid growth is not the sole objective. 
We must also achieve high quality growth to provide widespread 
benefits to society. APEC has undertaken useful initiatives to 
help promote growth that is balanced between and within 
economies, includes all segments of society, and is sustainable 
in the environmental sense.
    In 2011, as you noted, the United States is hosting APEC 
for the first time since 1993. This is a tremendous opportunity 
for the United States to exhibit leadership by forging a 21st 
century economic agenda for the Asia-Pacific and by building an 
enduring economic architecture for the region that is open, 
free, transparent and fair.
    Mr. Chairman, much is at stake. As President Obama has 
stated, if we can increase our exports to APEC countries by 
just 5 percent we can increase the number of U.S. jobs by 
hundreds of thousands. In 2010, a recovery year, U.S. exports 
to APEC actually expanded by 25 percent. American products, 
innovation and know-how are competitive and in high demand in 
Asia.
    APEC 2011 is a critical chance to showcase our strengths. 
If confirmed as U.S. Senior Official for APEC with the rank of 
Ambassador, I pledge to work tirelessly with Congress, the 
business community and my colleagues in the executive branch to 
leverage APEC to both restore confidence at home and to promote 
new opportunities for our exporters overseas. If confirmed, I 
pledge to put all of my experience and energy to work to 
advance our overall economic interests in the Asia-Pacific 
region.
    During my 21 years as a career Foreign Service officer, as 
you noted, I have handled trade, finance, and development 
issues at our Embassies in Manila, Tokyo, Beijing, and Seoul 
and have also served at the Department of State and in the 
National Security Council.
    Mr. Chairman, it would be a great privilege to serve my 
country as the U.S. Senior Official for APEC with a rank of 
Ambassador. The Asia-Pacific regions represents the future of 
the global economy, but the exact contours of that future have 
yet to be fully defined. APEC plays a key role in shaping the 
region and I stand ready to help seize this opportunity to 
promote growth and job-creating opportunities in the Asia-
Pacific for American businesses and citizens.
    And finally before closing, Mr. Chairman, I would like to 
take note of the condolences which you offered to Japan and 
share those condolences and also pledge that we will look for 
ways to utilize our hosting of APEC in 2011 to consider ways 
that that organization can be of assistance, both to Japan and 
to future sufferers of similar tragedies.
    Thank you for considering my nomination and I look forward 
to your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Tong follows:]

                 Prepared Statement of Kurt Walter Tong

    Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, I am honored to appear 
before you today as the President's nominee to serve as the U.S. Senior 
Official for APEC with the rank of Ambassador. I appreciate the 
confidence that President Obama and Secretary Clinton have shown in me 
and, if confirmed, I look forward to working with you to advance U.S. 
interests through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum as 
we strive to create an economic system in the Asia-Pacific region that 
supports growth and job creation here at home.
    APEC is the premier economic organization in the Asia-Pacific 
region and a key venue for engaging the most economically dynamic 
region of the world. APEC's 21 members, stretching from Chile to China, 
account for more than half of the global economy. They purchase 58 
percent of our goods exports, and comprise a market of $2.7 billion 
potential consumers.
    Through APEC, the United States works to tackle a wide range of 
issues critical- to long-term prosperity around the Pacific Rim.
    For example, the United States works within APEC to open markets in 
the Asia-Pacific region and connect them to American exporters. Their 
focus includes eliminating barriers to trade and investment and 
creating better environments for our citizens to do business overseas. 
APEC initiatives also lay the foundation for high-standard, 
comprehensive trade agreements--including the Trans-Pacific 
Partnership--that can deepen America's economic ties to the region and 
build a more level economic playing field that will help Americans to 
compete successfully.
    At the same time, the United States and the other APEC members 
recognize that attaining high rates of growth is not enough to ensure 
meaningful prosperity. We must also achieve high quality growth that 
provides widespread benefits to society. This is why efforts have been 
made to work within APEC to promote growth that is balanced between and 
within economies, sustainable environmentally, fosters innovation, and 
empowers all citizens with the skills and opportunities to prosper in 
the global economy.
    In 2011, the United States is hosting APEC for the first time since 
1993. In early March, we successfully held the first APEC Senior 
Officials Meeting of the year here in Washington. Hosting APEC this 
year presents a tremendous opportunity for the United States to exhibit 
leadership by forging a 21st century economic agenda for the Asia-
Pacific, and by building an enduring economic architecture for the 
region that is open, free, transparent, and fair.
    Much is at stake. As President Obama has stated, ``if we can 
increase our exports to APEC countries by just 5 percent, we can 
increase the number of U.S. jobs supported by exports by hundreds of 
thousands.'' American products, innovation, and know-how are 
competitive and in high demand in Asia. APEC 2011 is a critical chance 
to showcase our strengths. If confirmed, I will work with Congress, the 
business community, and my colleagues in the executive branch to 
utilize our hosting of APEC this year to the fullest as an opportunity 
to both restore confidence at home and promote new opportunities for 
our exporters overseas.
    If confirmed, I will put my experience and energy to work to 
advance our overall economic interests in the Asia-Pacific region. 
During my 21 years as a career Foreign Service officer, I have handled 
trade, finance, and development issues at our Embassies in Manila, 
Tokyo, Beijing, and Seoul. I have also served as Director for Korean 
Affairs at the State Department and Director for Asian Economic Affairs 
at the National Security Council.
    Mr. Chairman, it would be a great privilege to serve my country as 
the U.S. Senior Official for APEC with the rank of Ambassador. The 
Asia-Pacific region represents the future of the global economy, but 
the exact contours of that future have yet to be fully defined. APEC 
plays a key role in shaping the region, and I am ready to help the 
United States work through the organization to promote growth and job-
creating opportunities in the Asia-Pacific for American businesses and 
citizens.
    Thank you for considering my nomination. I look forward to your 
questions.

    Senator Webb. Thank you very much and again both of your 
full statements will be entered into the record.
    And what I would like to do, and I will have some specific 
questions obviously, but there are a couple of areas that I may 
ask both of you to comment on that I think overlap in where 
your interests are and your future responsibilities will be.
    First, Mr. Shear, you have had a distinguished career in 
Asia, but this will be your first posting to Vietnam. Would you 
like to tell us how you prepared for this position?
    Mr. Shear. Well, Mr. Chairman I started to prepare by 
taking Vietnamese language training. And I have got about a 
month under my belt and I've got 4 months to go.
    Senator Webb. [Speaking in Vietnamese] [Laughter.]
    OK. You don't need to try on that.
    Mr. Shear. Thank you very much for that lesson. I started 
by studying Vietnamese with my wife. She will be working with 
me in Hanoi and we both hope to interact very intensively not 
only with the Vietnamese Government but with the Vietnamese 
people. And I hope that what little Vietnamese language I can 
cram in before that time helps me do that.
    Second, I have done a fair amount of reading, both on 
attitudes toward our history as well as on the international 
relations of Vietnam and the region since learning of my 
nomination.
    And third, I think my experience in the region, both in 
Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia as well as with China, will 
suit me well for conducting the kind of intensive diplomacy we 
need to conduct both with Vietnam and in the region to continue 
pursuing our interests there.
    Senator Webb. To what extent have you reached out to the 
Vietnamese community here in the United States?
    Mr. Shear. Sir, I have not yet begun to reach out to the 
Vietnamese community, because I have not been confirmed. But as 
soon as I am confirmed I hope to start doing that. I will----
    Senator Webb. Well, I hope you will.
    Mr. Shear [continuing]. The Vietnamese community in the 
United States it plays an important role in this relationship. 
Their support for us during the war was important during that 
time and I recognize that importance. And it is my intention to 
stay very closely connected with the Vietnamese American 
community here.
    Senator Webb. I don't even think you need to be confirmed, 
quite frankly, to do that. But I hope you will take that 
opportunity before you post.
    As you know, this is probably one of the most complex 
relationships in American foreign policy because, I like to 
say, there are four different components that have had to come 
together in the aftermath of the war: those who fought the war 
here and those who opposed it; and those who were with us over 
there and those who opposed us. I have spent a great deal of my 
adult life, as you know, trying to build bridges so that we 
could move it forward. And the biggest hurdle, really, is the 
people who were with us, inside Vietnam, who remain inside 
Vietnam and also the involvement of the Vietnamese community 
here, in terms of the policies that we implement.
    In that respect, the issue inside Vietnam, when it comes to 
human rights, is supplemented by the issue of how people who 
were with us and their families are able to be embraced inside 
Vietnam itself.
    Would you comment on that?
    Mr. Shear. Well, I think that first of all, with regard to 
the Vietnamese community here and the four elements you 
mentioned, I agree with you completely. And I would like to 
stay in touch with you as I stay in touch with the Vietnamese 
community as well here, both before I leave for Hanoi and after 
I have gotten out there.
    Certainly continued contacts between the Vietnamese 
diaspora and their home country will be important, I think, for 
the develop--social--both the social and the economic 
development of Vietnam and I look forward to encouraging those 
contacts as--if confirmed as Ambassador.
    Senator Webb. Another question with respect to religious 
and other freedoms inside Vietnam today. I would say, first of 
all, we would be remiss if we did not recognize that there has 
been dramatic improvement in this area over the years. The 
first time I returned to Vietnam after the war was almost 20 
years ago today. I was in Hanoi on Easter. I went to Easter 
Mass at the Cathedral in Hanoi and there were maybe 10 people 
in there and they were older people. I went to Christmas Mass 
in 2008 in that same chapel and there were probably 2,000 
people in there. So credit needs to be given where it is 
deserved.
    And, at the same time there are issues that have come up 
over the past several months with respect to religious freedom 
and others areas and I wonder if you have any comment on that.
    Mr. Shear. Mr. Chairman, we agree with you that there have 
been improvements in religious freedom in Vietnam and the 
government's treatment of this issue. And that is why we 
removed Vietnam from the countries of concern list in 2006.
    This does not mean that we no longer have concerns about 
religious freedom in Vietnam, in fact we watch the issue very 
closely. We recognize that there continue to be improvements in 
religious practice in Vietnam, more religious organizations are 
being registered by the government and thereby made legal, more 
kinds of religious gatherings are being allowed to take place, 
more priests are being ordained. And with regard to 
Catholicism, the relationship between Hanoi and the Vatican has 
improved considerably over the past year or so.
    So we recognize that improvements have taken place, while 
at the same time, watching for setbacks very closely. And we 
are particularly concerned about the treatment of religious 
practices by the government in the Central Highlands, among the 
Montagnards, for example. This remains an issue in which 
frictions continue to be generated. We are also watching land 
disputes involving several church groups, particularly in 
Northern Vietnam. So while we recognize that improvements have 
taken place, we also believe that much more can be done and I 
hope to work with the Vietnamese Government and people to 
improve the basis for religious freedom.
    Senator Webb. Thank you. This week a Vietnamese legal 
scholar, Co Huy Ha Vu, who is a member of a prominent Communist 
family that was revolutionary antecedents--was convicted of 
propaganda against the State, sentenced to 7 years in prison, 
and 3 years house arrest. Are you familiar with this case?
    Mr. Shear. I am, sir.
    Senator Webb. What is the administration's position?
    Mr. Shear. The State Department issued a public statement 
the day after we heard that Dr. Vu had been sentenced. We 
stated in that release that we were deeply concerned by the 
sentencing and we called for the release of Dr. Vu.
    We've also noticed that two human--other activists, Pham 
Hong Sun and Le Quoc Quan had been detained since the 
sentencing of Dr. Vu and we are watching that situation very 
closely as well.
    Senator Webb. I personally have had strong concerns over 
many years about territorial claims in the South China Sea by 
the Chinese. Their activities have increased over the past 
several years, and particularly over the last year. And, part 
of these relate to claims by the Vietnamese Government that are 
in dispute. When Secretary Clinton was in Vietnam last year she 
raised these issues and announced that the administration was 
interested in pursuing a strategic partnership with Vietnam 
with respect to those issues. Would you have a comment on what 
that partnership would entail?
    Mr. Shear. The strategic partnership has yet to defined. 
And I expect that one of my main tasks as Ambassador, if I am 
confirmed, will be to define and implement that strategic 
partnership.
    I think it will basically consist of four parts:
    First, we hope to intensify and deepen our exchanges at the 
senior-most levels of government. Last year marked a good start 
to that with two visits, for example, by Secretary Clinton to 
Hanoi in July and October. We hope to continue that trend.
    A second aspect of a strategic partnership would be 
enhanced diplomatic cooperation with Vietnam in regional 
diplomacy. And again, we've already seen a good example of how 
that might work in the way in which we coordinated with the 
Vietnamese in the runup to the ASEAN regional forum last July. 
We think that the Secretary's statement on the South China Sea 
was very effective and since she made that statement the 
Chinese and the ASEAN claimants to the South China Sea have 
conducted, I believe, two or three meetings at the working 
level to discuss how to move forward, now to manage their 
conflicting claims and perhaps how to conclude a code of 
conduct for claimants in the South China Sea. So we consider 
the Secretary's intervention on this subject at the ARF last 
July to have been successful.
    A third area in which we will pursue a strategic 
partnership will be in improving military-to-military ties. As 
I mentioned in my statement, we are already implementing a 
fairly broad range of activities at the military-to-military 
level. We hope to further broaden those activities and deepen 
them as well.
    And fourth, the economic relationship, of course, will be 
key. The good news about the economic relationship is that we 
did almost $4 billion in export business with Vietnam last 
year. The bad news we have an $11 billion trade deficit and I 
hope that that trade deficit will narrow during my tenure, if I 
am confirmed. And I will do whatever I can to increase American 
exports and help create more American jobs back here.
    So those, I think, are four essential components to a 
strategic partnership. Of course, as we move forward in those 
areas we would also like to see progress on the human rights 
piece as well.
    Senator Webb. Thank you. There is another issue with 
respect to sovereignty, if not directly then certainly 
indirectly, and that relates to Mekong River and other riparian 
water areas. And actually, I would like to get an answer or an 
observation from both of you.
    I will start with you, Mr. Tong, on this. I have been among 
those here who are very concerned about what is happening in 
the Mekong River Delta. Also, in terms of Vietnam, if you have 
been following what has been happening with the Red River in 
North Vietnam, and north of Hanoi with the impact of 
hydroelectric damming of these waterways and other 
environmental concerns, but particularly the impact of the 
hydroelectric dams and the plans to do more of them. China, and 
in particular Laos, which has recently indicated it wants to 
become the battery of Asia with hydroelectric dams on the 
Mekong River.
    My understanding is China is one of the few countries in 
the world that does not recognize downstream water rights of 
other countries, that is riparian water rights. And Laos 
apparently is intent on moving forward with some of these 
larger dam projects without respect to what is happening 
downstream. I was in the Mekong River area in Vietnam last 
July, where I was briefed about what is happening with the 
increased salinity moving up as the water levels have gone 
down. Some people say this is simply climate change or 
industrial pollution. Certainly there may be elements of that, 
but I would say that the real challenge in the region is for a 
multilateral approach toward trying to resolve these issues. 
There is not one country in the region that has the diplomatic 
power in and of itself to stand up and start talking with the 
Chinese about the impact of what is going on.
    I introduced, or developed, a piece of legislation that 
would require environmental standards to be met before moneys 
from organizations like the ADB would go into the construction 
of these dam projects.
    Mr. Tong, because APEC strongly supports sustainable, green 
growth model, and you mentioned in your own testimony about the 
environmental considerations that were on the table with APEC, 
is this a matter that could be raised in an energetic way in an 
APEC environment?
    Mr. Tong. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for an opportunity to 
comment on this problem that is very important to the Lower 
Mekong Region, and as you noted, the Red River, which runs from 
China into Vietnam.
    Exactly as you pointed out, although advocates of 
hydroelectric dams point to the benefits from electricity as 
well as flood control, these dams can have a major and negative 
impact on downstream residents, in terms of issues like 
salinity, as you pointed out, and also fisheries. There is a 
natural rhythm to the flood cycle that replenishes the soil for 
agriculture. And so these are very legitimate concerns that 
residents downstream have regarding the resources that come 
from upstream.
    APEC, I think, would be a good venue to raise this question 
and consider it, and if confirmed I will certainly look into 
doing so. I would also like to point out the Lower Mekong 
Initiative that the State Department has initiated to work with 
the countries of the Lower Mekong on development issues and try 
to foster a sense of shared mission with regard to that river 
basin. It seems to be having a useful impact on that dialogue 
and hopefully using that we can then work with China to foster 
a greater dialogue in that region. Certainly it is the view of 
the United States that that kind of upstream/downstream 
communication needs to be enhanced and improved.
    Senator Webb. Thank you.
    Mr. Shear, any comment on that?
    Mr. Shear. Senator, you are absolutely right about the 
strategic importance of these rivers and many of these rivers 
that rise in China, including the Red River and the Mekong 
River. A variety of rivers that flow through Southeast Asia and 
South Asia all rise in China. All of the downstream countries 
have expressed concern about possible Chinese damming on the 
upstream portions of these rivers and while the Chinese have 
disclosed--recently started disclosing more information, for 
example, about conditions of river flow on the Mekong to Lower 
Mekong countries, certainly we believe that more Chinese 
transparency in this regard is called for. And we would like to 
see the Chinese interact more intensively with those Mekong 
River Commission, for example, as the Mekong River Commission 
considers future mainstream dams on the Lower Mekong.
    The Lower Mekong Initiative is a primary way in which we 
have been interacting with the countries of the Lower Mekong, 
including Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The Vietnamese 
are particularly concerned about the proposed construction of a 
dam in Xayaburi in Laos, south of Luang Prabang. The Mekong 
River Commission I expect will meet to determine whether or not 
to move forward on this dam project later this month.
    For our part, Secretary Clinton announced at the Mekong 
River summit in October in Hanoi, that we supported a pause in 
dam construction that would allow Mekong River countries to 
better assess the environmental and economic impacts that 
damming the Lower Mekong will have. We are very sympathetic in 
this regard to Vietnamese concerns, and we will be watching, 
very closely, in the run up to the next Mekong River Commission 
meeting how this decision plays out.
    Senator Webb. Thank you.
    I visited the Mekong River Commission headquarters in Laos 
nearly 2 years ago. First of all, I would point out that the 
Vietnamese representatives there were very bright and focused 
on this and quite impressive.
    But what I did not hear there, and what I wasn't hearing 
last year when I was visiting the Mekong areas and having 
discussions inside Vietnam, was anybody taking a deep breath 
and saying this is going to have to be a riparian water rights 
issue. This is, indirectly, a sovereignty issue. Water, that is 
the availability of water in that region, can become a national 
security issue too if one country or another decides they can 
shut water off. Seventy million people are in that Lower Mekong 
area, the Red River, from what I am reading, is at the lowest 
level it has been in decades, at least decades and only through 
a rational, but multinational approach, are we going to be able 
to get our arms around this.
    Mr. Tong, I would like your thoughts on the situation in 
Japan in terms of the devastation and the clear slowdown 
impacting other countries as a result. There was a figure that 
I saw the other day of about 40 percent slowdown in terms of 
automobile manufacturing or portions of the automobile industry 
that will trickle out in terms of the impact on other 
countries.
    What are your thoughts about that, and is there any role 
that APEC could play in assisting this recovery?
    Mr. Tong. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I think that the impact of this natural disaster on the 
Japanese economy and how that impacts other economies plays out 
in several ways. One is through financial markets, and 
fortunately to date we have not seen that much impact through 
that channel. One is through trade: Japan's role both as a 
buyer of goods from other nations and an exporter in gross 
terms of its products. And again, in that area there has been, 
thus far, limited impact.
    This was an enormous natural disaster affecting hundreds of 
thousands of people, however the Japanese economy is very large 
and very resilient and has a strong capacity to, in a 
macroeconomic sense--in the broadest sense of that term--bounce 
back very quickly.
    The issue of most concern perhaps at this point is with 
regard to specific products where particular Japanese factories 
produce important inputs into other processes around the world, 
including the United States. And the various elements of the 
U.S. Government, not necessarily the State Department, but a 
number of them have been watching this and with an eye toward 
seeing if there are issues of concern. I would say at this 
point that the jury is still out on that question. It may be 
that there will be, but it may be that these will be only 
short-term concerns. And so I think we need to keep an eye on 
it.
    The March 11 tragedy happened the day before the last 
Senior Officials' Meeting here in Washington. And the Senior 
Officials took some special time to consider what we can do as 
an organization, as a collection of economies, to address this 
kind of situation. Two things happened, really. There was a 
renewed sense of shared mission which is useful and important, 
and then some discussion about whether, through the APEC 
Emergency Preparedness Working Group, we can implement some 
projects that help private sector businesses, in particular 
small or medium enterprises, prepare for these kind of 
disasters so that they can recover more quickly in a financial 
sense or in a production sense.
    And we hope to, and if confirmed, I hope to continue this 
work and accelerate it. And I believe we have the support of 
the other APEC economies in this regard as well. We did ask 
that one project which had not received APEC funding, be 
renewed, and Senior Officials agreed to do that on an 
accelerated basis as a result of the events in Japan.
    Senator Webb. Thank you.
    I'm interested in your thoughts with respect to the Trans-
Pacific Partnership as a concept and how it is evolving and 
whether and how developed economies can also proceed in this 
arrangement with developing economies given the standards and 
those sorts of things. What do you think about that?
    Mr. Tong. Thank you, sir. The Trans-Pacific Partnership 
really is an enormously important initiative for the United 
States in several respects. And I would refer you to the speech 
that Secretary Clinton gave on this matter on March 9. This 
agreement, if we are able to conclude it, has some very unique 
characteristics which would set up the region very well for a 
much faster pace of economic integration going forward. And you 
have pointed to one very important aspect of that, which is the 
fact that TPP includes both developed and developing countries.
    So if we can, through that negotiation, come up with ways 
that developing countries find it within their means and their 
interests to sign up to some very tough disciplines as 
envisioned for this agreement, and see that the kind of rapid 
economic change that this sort of agreement will foster is in 
their interest, then we will have made some good progress 
toward really bringing a very diverse economic region together 
under this idea of a platform for economic activity which is 
free and open and transparent and fair.
    You know, with my colleague headed to Hanoi here I think we 
should make special mention of the fact that Vietnam, which has 
the lowest per capita income of all the TPP partners, has made 
a very, if you will, courageous decision to pursue a 
negotiation on terms which are quite challenging.
    Senator Webb. That actually was my next question, with 
respect to Vietnam and the hurdles that it faces in order to 
participate in TPP.
    Mr. Shear. I'll ask my colleague to chime in in the areas 
in which he is much stronger than I am. But, I think the TPP 
and Vietnamese participation in TPP offers the United States an 
opportunity to further increase our exports and to broadly 
strengthen our economic relationship with Vietnam and to 
further bring Vietnam into the international economic 
community.
    In the process, in the course of our negotiations on TPP we 
of course will also be looking at Vietnamese labor and 
environmental practices and we hope that as a result of 
concluding the TPP that those practices in Vietnam will 
improve.
    Mr. Tong. Well, I certainly share those sentiments and 
would just emphasize again that I do believe that it is a 
challenging negotiation--we are, collectively, the nine 
countries of TPP negotiation, setting the bar quite high. That 
is an intentional strategy which they have all bought into of 
establishing a state-of-the-art agreement which other economies 
in the future can join. We will find out this year really, 
whether this is an achievable objective, but it is certainly, I 
believe, a very strategically intelligent objective on the part 
of all nine countries.
    Senator Webb. Thank you. I would like to thank both of you 
for your willingness to serve and wish you both the best in 
your positions, should you be confirmed and I think you will be 
confirmed.
    Let me close with just a few thoughts. I have been very, 
very concerned for a number of years, and particularly over the 
last 10 or 11 years, that the United States has been ignoring 
this part of the world, as our attention has been so distracted 
with what happened after 9/11. This was something I was writing 
about and speaking about before 9/11, but it certainly is true 
today. The future of this country is so inextricably 
intertwined with this region, as both of you know, and as I 
think everyone in this room appreciates. There is no more vital 
place for the future of the United States than in East and 
Southeast Asia.
    And I have done everything I can since I have been in the 
Senate, to reinvigorate--do my part in reinvigorating our 
relationships with this part of the world. I hesitate to say 
the second tier countries, but the countries that are not 
China, which I think have fallen off the radar screen here in 
the Congress.
    I was very proud to have served as a Marine in Vietnam. I 
believed then that Vietnam was one of the most important 
countries in terms of our relationships in this part of the 
world, and I continue to believe it today. Vietnam is 86 
million people, a country larger in population than Germany.
    It has an enormous future and in terms of our own strategic 
interests I think we need to do everything we can, under the 
rubric of fairness and being loyal to the people who were with 
us when times were different, to strengthen this relationship 
and others on the mainland of Southeast Asia for the stability 
of the region and for the good of our own country.
    And that has been our focus here on this committee. And 
both of you, I think, will play a vital role in doing this. And 
I look forward to working with you in the future.
    This hearing is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 3:25 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]
                              ----------                              


       Additional Questions and Answers Submitted for the Record


        Responses of David Bruce Shear to Questions Submitted by
                         Senator John F. Kerry

                                security
    Question. Responding to concerns expressed by the United States, 
Vietnam, and many other Southeast Asian countries, China recently 
entered into multilateral negotiations with other claimants to reach a 
code of conduct for managing territorial disputes in the South China 
Sea. How do the United States and Vietnam plan to coordinate to achieve 
a successful conclusion to these negotiations?

    Answer. Secretary Clinton's statement on the South China Sea at 
last year's ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Ministerial Retreat in Hanoi was 
very effective in generating action on the South China Sea. Since the 
Secretary's remarks, ASEAN member countries and China have conducted 
several working-level meetings to discuss how to move forward on 
implementing guidelines for the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of 
Parties in the South China Sea. The United States encourages the 
parties to reach agreement on a full code of conduct. The United States 
is prepared to facilitate initiatives and confidence-building measures 
consistent with the Declaration.
    The United States will continue to discuss South China Sea issues, 
and broader maritime security, with Vietnam, as well as the other 
members of ASEAN and China. We will discuss how the United States can 
be helpful in advancing our shared interests and promoting peace and 
stability in the South China Sea.
    Secretary Clinton made it clear in her ARF remarks that the United 
States has enduring national interests in the South China Sea, 
including continued peace and stability and respect for international 
law, including freedom of navigation and unimpeded lawful commerce. We 
oppose the use of force or threat of force by any claimant to advance 
its claim. We share these interests with the region, as well as other 
maritime states and the broader international community.
    While the United States does not take sides on the competing 
territorial disputes over land features in the South China Sea, the 
United States supports a collaborative diplomatic process by the 
claimants for addressing the territorial disputes and finding means to 
build trust and reduce tensions in the region.
                              environment
    Question. Recent U.N. and Asian Development Bank reports--along 
with Vietnamese Government studies--describe how rising sea levels, 
increasingly frequent and intense typhoons and drought, and salt-water 
intrusion could affect Vietnam, with its heavily populated, low-lying 
areas. These reports also highlight that the future impacts of climate 
change will only serve to exacerbate these conditions. I have discussed 
the potentially far-reaching consequences with Vietnam's leaders, and 
they have expressed a willingness to work together to address this 
challenge, in areas like data collection and dissemination and 
transitioning to renewable energy sources. What steps will you take, if 
confirmed, to broaden and deepen cooperation to enhance climate 
security?

    Answer. If confirmed, I will both build on our existing cooperation 
and seek new opportunities to work with Vietnam to enhance climate 
security, which is advanced by our work on climate change mitigation 
and adaptation. The U.S.-Vietnam Climate Change Working Group 
established under the bilateral Science and Technology Agreement is one 
avenue I will use to promote cooperation on climate change adaptation 
and mitigation. Another program for continued support and possible 
expansion is the DRAGON Institute, which the U.S. Geological Survey 
launched with Can Tho University to facilitate joint research on 
climate change and other environmental issues threatening the Mekong 
Delta.
    In regard to new programs, Vietnam will be one of the first 
countries worldwide to participate in a new Low-Emission Development 
Strategy (LEDS) interagency initiative, under which the United States 
will support the development of a long-term strategy for robust, low-
carbon growth. As part of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and 
Forest Degradation (REDD+) initiative, the United States will offer 
training and technical cooperation to government agencies and NGOs to 
improve forest and watershed management capability and to better 
respond to the impacts of climate change on forests.
    If confirmed, I will also encourage Vietnam's continued 
participation in the Lower Mekong Initiative, our partnership with the 
countries of the Lower Mekong Basin, to build capacity in tackling 
regional and global challenges, including adaptation to and mitigation 
of climate change impacts.
                               governance
    Question. Some observers see the Vietnamese National Assembly 
assuming a greater role in domestic policymaking. How do you assess the 
National Assembly's evolving role in Vietnam?

    Answer. Although the Communist Party of Vietnam exerts ultimate 
influence and control over all governing bodies, primarily through its 
Central Committee and Politburo, the National Assembly, once a mere 
legislative arm of the Party, has taken on a more significant and 
quasi-independent role in recent years. The 493-member body, elected to 
a 5-year term, has a variety of powers, including the ability to amend 
the constitution and elect members of the Council of Ministers. Members 
of the National Assembly have openly debated sensitive political issues 
and produced original legislation. Over 1,000 candidates, including 
nonparty members, will contest an election in May to seat Vietnam's 
13th National Assembly. Although the process falls significantly short 
of a full-fledged democratic undertaking, it may produce a legislative 
body that better represents the interests of the Vietnamese people than 
in past versions.
                   human rights and religious freedom
    Question. How will your experience working with the Chinese 
Government on human rights concerns inform your thinking on these 
issues with respect to Vietnam?

    Answer. My work on human rights in China and elsewhere throughout 
my career has underscored for me the importance of human rights in 
overall U.S. foreign policy. My experience has also demonstrated for me 
our ability to achieve progress when we combine persistence with a 
well-defined agenda.
    Over the past year, we have seen an increase in suppression of 
political dissent by the Vietnamese Government, a worsening of the 
respect for rule of law, the imprisonment of dozens of activists, and 
new restrictions on the media and the Internet. If confirmed, I will 
seek an active and open dialogue with my Vietnamese counterparts. 
Vietnam cannot achieve its full potential without greater respect for 
the rights of its citizens.
    If confirmed, I will continue to seek progress on human rights 
issues, partly through the Human Rights Dialogue we have established 
with Vietnam. In December 2010, Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor 
Assistant Secretary Michael Posner led an interagency delegation in a 
successful 2-day visit to Vietnam to participate in the 15th round of 
the dialogue with the Vietnamese Government. The U.S. delegation 
expressed its concern about a wide range of human rights issues, 
including freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and Internet 
freedom. These meetings followed up on Secretary Clinton's July and 
October visits to Vietnam and yielded concrete outcomes and next steps.
                              human rights
    Question. I was disappointed to hear of Cu Huy Ha Vu's sentencing 
this week and am concerned that Vietnam may be following the example of 
intolerance being established elsewhere. Cu's conviction is the latest 
evidence of a troubling crackdown against freedom of expression in 
Vietnam. If confirmed, what steps will you take to encourage greater 
official tolerance for the views of Vietnam's people?

    Answer. If confirmed, I will regularly engage the Vietnamese 
Government at the highest levels to express our concerns about the 
country's recent increase in suppression of political dissent. The 
bilateral Human Rights Dialogue with Vietnam held last December in 
Hanoi was successful in raising a wide range of human rights concerns, 
including freedom of expression. The Department of State continues to 
press those points with the Government of Vietnam. The long-term 
success of our growing relationship, and the long-term prosperity of 
Vietnam, depends in large part on its people enjoying the freedom to 
freely express their views.

    Question. Can the full potential of this growing bilateral 
partnership be realized in the absence of greater official respect for 
freedom of expression?

    Answer. I strongly believe that the strength of our long-term 
bilateral relationship depends heavily on the ability of the Vietnamese 
people to freely express their views, including political opinions that 
challenge the policies or positions of the government. If confirmed, I 
will encourage the government to respect the freedom of expression as 
enshrined in Vietnamese law, bolster the rule of law, end restrictions 
on the media and the Internet, and engage all political voices in 
Vietnam in meaningful dialogue.
                   human rights and religious freedom
    Question. What is your assessment of Vietnam's progress in 
enlarging religious freedom, including its treatment of Montagnard 
Christians?

    Answer. Since 2006, the overall situation in Vietnam has improved, 
prompting the Department of State to remove Vietnam from the Country of 
Particular Concern list. Nevertheless, freedom of religion continues to 
be subject to uneven interpretation and protection by the Government of 
Vietnam. Significant problems remain, especially at the provincial and 
village levels and for some minority groups, such as the Montagnard 
Christians. The Vietnamese Government can and should do more. If 
confirmed, I will make the promotion of religious freedom one of my top 
priorities.
    Among the problems that remain on this issue are occasional 
harassment and excessive use of force by local government officials 
against religious groups in some outlying locations. Specifically, 
there were several problematic high-profile incidents in 2009 and 2010 
when authorities used excessive force against Catholic parishioners in 
land disputes outside of Hanoi at Dong Chiem parish, against the Plum 
Village Buddhist Community in Lam Dong province, and against Catholic 
parishioners outside of Danang at Con Dau parish. Registration of 
Protestant congregations also remains slow and cumbersome in some areas 
of the country, especially in the Northwest Highlands.
    However, Protestants and Catholics throughout the country continue 
to report significant improvements in their situation despite 
occasional setbacks. The government granted national-level recognition 
or registration to eight new Protestant churches, the Baha'i faith, the 
Bani Muslim Sect, and four indigenous Vietnamese religious 
organizations. Over 1,000 meeting points that had been closed in the 
Central Highlands were reopened with additional meeting points 
registered, and hundreds of new pastors were ordained and assigned to 
newly registered meeting points. Over 228 Protestant congregations were 
registered in the Northwest Highlands. The Catholic Church of Vietnam 
also continues to report that its ability to gather and worship has 
improved and restrictions have eased on the training and assignment of 
clergy. In January 2011, the Vatican named a nonresident representative 
as a first step toward full diplomatic relations with Vietnam.
                    agent orange/dioxin remediation
    Question. Last spring, Senators Whitehouse and Kerry, along with 
seven other senators, submitted a letter to Chairman Leahy and former 
Ranking Member Gregg of the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations 
and Related Programs of the Senate Committee on Appropriations 
requesting $26 million for dioxin remediation in Vietnam. As you know, 
$12 million was appropriated to commence cleanup efforts at Danang 
International Airport. What is the status of these efforts, and how do 
you assess their impact on United States-Vietnam relations? What 
additional efforts in Danang would the outstanding sum (that is yet to 
be appropriated) be able to sustain?

    Answer. We expect to have contracts in place by the end of this 
year and excavation to start about January 2012. New data (as of 
February 2011) show the need to excavate roughly 18 percent more soil 
and sediment than originally planned. Because we now have a more 
comprehensive understanding of site conditions and ongoing and future 
expansion plans at the Danang airport, the project is now anticipated 
to be completed by the end of 2015 and cost about $43 million.
    FY 2010 funding, including $12 million in supplemental funds, will 
enable USAID to fund contracts for project planning, construction 
management and oversight, and thermal design between now and the end of 
2011. However, with the anticipated award around November or December 
2011 of the excavation and the thermal construction contracts, 
estimated at $11.5 million and $21.6 million, respectively, the FY 2011 
requested $18 million would enable us to sufficiently fund these 
contracts initially. Both contracts will have major upfront costs. If 
the $18 million in FY 2011 funding is approved, additional funding of 
between $8 and $9 million would be required to meet total project cost 
requirements.
    Successful project completion will result in the elimination of the 
risk of future exposure to dioxin due to Agent Orange for the estimated 
800,000 Vietnamese living near the Danang airport. As we advance to 
each new project milestone with our Vietnamese partners, they continue 
to express heartfelt appreciation for this U.S. assistance.
                                 ______
                                 

           Responses of David Shear to Questions Submitted by
                        Senator Richard G. Lugar

    Question. In 2010, President Obama announced his intention to 
double U.S. exports in 5 years. If confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to 
Vietnam, what strategy will you employ to double U.S. exports to 
Vietnam by 2015?

    Answer. Providing greater opportunities for U.S. companies in 
Vietnam will be one of my core goals, if I am confirmed. U.S. exports 
to Vietnam in 2010 totaled US$3.7 billion, up 19.8 percent compared to 
2009. This increase follows equally impressive growth in 2009 when U.S. 
exports to Vietnam increased by 11 percent. However, U.S. exports 
accounted for just 4.2 percent of Vietnam's merchandise imports in 
2010, indicating a major opportunity to expand our limited share of 
this growing market and deepen our bilateral relationship through 
trade.
    Under the National Export Initiative (NEI), State Department, U.S. 
Commercial Service, and Foreign Agricultural Service officers at 
Embassy Hanoi and Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City work as a team to 
support the NEI Country Plan for Vietnam, which has been designated as 
a ``high priority market'' in Asia under the NEI. USAID also provides 
support for capacity development and technical assistance in 
establishing new legal mechanisms to facilitate trade and investment.
    If confirmed, with support from this strong Country Team, I would 
work to eliminate both tariff and nontariff barriers to U.S. exports of 
goods and services as well as advocate for implementation of 
commitments under existing agreements. I would also work with Vietnam 
to encourage them to meet the high standards of the Trans-Pacific 
Partnership free trade agreement that is currently being negotiated. 
Helping U.S. industry identify new export opportunities would be 
another key component of my strategy, particularly in the areas of 
energy, information and communication technology, education, 
transportation, infrastructure development, and agricultural products. 
I would also work closely with the American business community in 
Vietnam to maintain a favorable environment for business and U.S. goods 
and take action on concerns as they arise. I would actively reach out 
to U.S. companies interested in doing business in Vietnam and would 
advocate for U.S. business at all appropriate opportunities.

    Question. Several American families, including four from Indiana, 
have adoptions pending for Vietnamese children. This has been a long 
and laborious process with families frustrated by inconsistencies in 
information received from U.S. authorities as well as other challenges, 
some of which result from an evolving adoption mechanism and process on 
the part of the Government of Vietnam.
    Although Vietnam recently became a signatory to The Hague 
Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of 
Intercountry Adoption, U.S. officials indicate it will be several 
months before a formal agreement is implemented.
    Although the United States is awaiting the formal implementation of 
a new adoption agreement, it's my understanding that the two countries 
had agreed that six of the pending adoptions, ``already in the 
pipeline,'' could go forward. Your full assessment of this situation 
would be appreciated. Please inform me how you intend to proceed.

    Answer. Following the expiration of our bilateral agreement, the 
United States and Vietnam continued to process adoption cases for U.S. 
prospective adoptive parents who had received an official referral 
prior to September 1, 2008. The Department of State made every effort 
to encourage the Vietnamese to expeditiously complete all 
investigations and seek resolutions as quickly as possible in the best 
interest of each child.
    The Government of Vietnam took significant time to make a final 
decision in many of the cases in the province of Bac Lieu in part 
because of delays by the Bac Lieu orphanage in providing the government 
with needed documentation. In order to approve each case, the 
Government of Vietnam had to determine that each child was eligible for 
intercountry adoption and that the dossier could be processed.
    On September 14, 2010, the Ministry of Justice sent the U.S. 
Embassy in Hanoi a diplomatic note denying the remaining pipeline cases 
because of a lack of sufficient legal grounds on which to approve them. 
The U.S. Embassy has followed up with the Vietnamese Government on 
these cases and provided available information to all of the families.
    In order for intercountry adoptions to resume from Vietnam, 
Vietnamese law requires that either a new bilateral agreement must be 
in place between the United States and Vietnam, or Vietnam must ratify 
The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in 
Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Convention). Vietnam has stated 
its intention to ratify the Convention and in June 2010, the Vietnamese 
legislature passed a new adoption law which took effect January 1, 
2011. Vietnamese officials have recently finished drafting necessary 
regulations and will now need to implement the new law and regulations 
prior to their ratification and compliance with the standards 
established by the Convention.
    While the Government of Vietnam's steps toward Hague ratification 
and implementation are encouraging, we remain concerned that sufficient 
safeguards may not be in place and that the proposed implementation 
timeline may be too short. Under U.S. law, if/when Vietnam becomes a 
party to the Convention, the U.S. Central Authority must be able to 
certify that procedures leading to the adoption of a child in Vietnam 
conform to both the standards established by the Convention and the 
U.S. Intercountry Adoption Act. This decision, however, cannot be made 
prior to Vietnam's Hague ratification.
    Following the resolution of all pipeline cases, the Department of 
Adoptions has informed the Department of State that the children 
previously matched with U.S. prospective adoptive parents are now 
subject to the country's new adoption law. The new law requires that 
Vietnamese officials follow different procedures from those in the 
past, such as making children available for adoption for 2 months at 
the communal level, 2 months at the provincial level, and 2 months at 
the national level. If no qualified domestic family successfully 
completes an adoption of the child, the Department of Adoptions (DA) 
will then determine the eligibility of the child for intercountry 
adoption based on Vietnamese laws and regulations. The DA Director has 
expressed willingness to rematch the final remaining group of six 
children with their previously matched U.S. prospective adoptive 
parents under the new adoption law (i.e., that they first be made 
available for adoption in Vietnam.)
    The DA Director, however, has confirmed that Bac Lieu provincial 
officials have thus far refused to comply with Vietnam's new adoption 
law requirements for making the six children whose adoptions were 
denied in September 2010 available for domestic adoption at the 
provincial level. In addition, officials have refused to correct birth 
certificates with fraudulent information. The DA Director said he was 
not certain why these officials were unwilling to move forward and 
noted that he did not have authority to compel them to act. He said he 
will continue to communicate with these officials on the requirements 
of the new law necessary for these children to be eligible for 
intercountry adoption. When Special Advisor for Children's Issues Susan 
Jacobs was in Vietnam in March, she discussed these cases at length 
with the Director of the Department of Adoptions and urged him to find 
a way to provide these children with permanent homes. Special Advisor 
Jacobs urged him to rematch the children and the parents. The Director 
said he planned to hold a training seminar on the new law in the Bac 
Lieu province and he hoped the seminar would prompt local officials to 
comply with the new law's provisions.
    The Department of State has pressed for a strong regulatory 
framework and continues to communicate directly with the Government of 
Vietnam on implementation efforts. The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi has also 
worked closely with other countries in the Inter-Embassy Adoption 
Working Group in addressing concerns within the adoption process and 
regulations.
    The Office of Children's Issues and Embassy Hanoi continue to 
communicate directly with all of the Bac Lieu families regarding 
Vietnam's efforts to ratify the Hague Adoption Convention and to 
explain the processing of cases under the Convention if/when Vietnam 
ratifies the Convention.

    Question. Within Vietnam, there appears to be decreasing emphasis 
on matters related to human rights. Is this perception correct, and if 
so, what is the basis?

    Answer. The Vietnamese Government increased the suppression of 
dissent over the past year, arresting over two dozen political 
activists and convicting over a dozen more arrested over the last 3 
years. The government also increased measures to limit privacy rights 
and tightened controls over the press and Internet. Freedom of religion 
continued to be subject to uneven interpretation and protection; in 
spite of some progress, significant problems remained, especially at 
the provincial and village levels, including for some ethnic minority 
residents in the Central and Northwest Highlands. At the same time, the 
Vietnamese Government continues to engage with the United States and 
other countries in a series of regular human rights dialogues.

    Question. Some suggest that select Communist Party leaders in 
Vietnam are in large part responsible for limits on political dissent 
within the country. Is this accurate? Please describe the nature of 
interaction between the Communist Party leaders in Vietnam and 
Communist Party leaders in China.

    Answer. Vietnam is an authoritarian state ruled by the Communist 
Party of Vietnam (CPV). Political opposition movements are prohibited 
and Vietnamese citizens cannot change their government. Under Article 4 
of the Vietnamese Constitution, the CPV assumes the leading role in 
leadership of the state and society. As such, the highest levels of the 
Vietnamese Communist Party are aware of, and most likely approve, the 
prosecution and imprisonment of high visibility dissidents. We 
regularly urge the Vietnamese Government to engage all political 
opinions in a genuine dialogue and to respect fundamental human rights, 
including freedom of expression.
    As the United States and Vietnam celebrated 15 years of normal 
diplomatic ties in 2010, Vietnam and China were celebrating their 60th 
anniversary of relations. Vietnam was among the first countries to 
recognize the People's Republic of China, and China was the first 
country to establish official diplomatic ties with Vietnam. While 
China-Vietnam relations have been marked by periods of conflict over 
territorial and other issues, it appears that the deep historical ties 
between the CPV and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) remain strong.
    Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh famously summarized their friendship 
ties as ``both comrades and brothers.'' More recently, President Hu 
Jintao described China-Vietnam relations as a ``treasure'' of the two 
parties. Lines between party and government are blurred in both 
countries, making it difficult to differentiate between official 
government interaction and party-to-party interaction, but the two 
parties appear to maintain a robust schedule of senior-level visits and 
consultations.

    Question. Le Cong Dinh and Nguyen Tien Trung were among political 
reformers arrested in June of last year by Vietnamese officials and 
found guilty of ``organizing to overthrow the State.'' They received 
lengthy prison terms. Has the U.S. Government expressed concern 
regarding those political reformers arrested last June? What is the 
present status of Le Cong Dinh and Nguyen Tien Trung? Both have pending 
invitations from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law to study 
law at the Center for Constitutional Democracy at Indiana University.

    Answer. We are aware of the cases of Le Cong Dinh and Nguyen Tien 
Trung and remain very concerned over their continued imprisonment. Dinh 
and Trung were arrested in June and July 2009, respectively. Both were 
tried and convicted in January 2010, in a joint trial with two other 
activists. Dinh received a sentence of 5 years in prison; Trung was 
sentenced to 7 years. The U.S. Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City 
sought and was granted permission to attend both trials.
    The State Department has repeatedly condemned the arrests and 
convictions in strong terms, both publicly and privately, including in 
the form of public statements issued at the time of the arrests and 
convictions. Former Ambassador Michael Michalak and current Charge 
d'Affaires Virginia Palmer have regularly called for the release of 
Dinh and Trung. Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and 
Labor (DRL) Michael Posner also pressed for their release during the 
2009 and 2010 human rights dialogues with Vietnam. DRL Deputy Assistant 
Secretary Dan Baer just reiterated these concerns during his visit to 
Vietnam in February, as did Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asia 
Pacific Affairs Joe Yun in March.
    The Embassy and the Consulate General keep in regular contact with 
family members of Dinh and Trung, and officials at the State Department 
have met with both Mr. Trung's fiance and with Professor David 
Williams, Director of the Center for Constitutional Democracy at 
Indiana University.
                                 ______
                                 

           Responses of Kurt Tong to Questions Submitted by 
                        Senator Richard G. Lugar

    Question. In 2010, President Obama announced his intention to 
double U.S. exports in 5 years. If confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to 
APEC, what strategy will you employ to double U.S. exports to APEC 
countries by 2015?

    Answer. The Asia-Pacific region is essential to the success of the 
President's National Export Initiative (NEI) and our goal of doubling 
U.S. exports by 2015 to help create jobs at home. In the first year of 
the NEI, U.S exports to APEC economies totaled $774 billion, up 25 
percent from 2009, while U.S. exports to non-APEC member economies grew 
about 15 percent to reach $503 billion. We need to work hard to 
maintain this momentum.
    This year is particularly important as we host APEC for the first 
time since 1993. If confirmed, I will work with my interagency 
colleagues to increase the private sector engagement and input into the 
APEC discussions, and exercise U.S. leadership in delivering concrete 
outcomes through the APEC process to address barriers to trade and 
investment that American companies face and enhance regional economic 
integration. We will leverage APEC 2011 to advance work to make it 
cheaper, easier, and faster to do business in the Asia-Pacific, which 
will increase export opportunities for our businesses, particularly 
small- and medium-sized enterprises. Specifically, we will address 
nontariff barriers to trade and work to prevent new barriers from 
emerging; foster greater openness in the trade in green technology; and 
promote regulatory convergence and cooperation to tackle the regulatory 
issues within and between economies that increasingly inhibit trade and 
investment.

    Question. What is your perspective on the United States 
establishing a long-term strategy toward pursuing a Free Trade 
Agreement (FTA) with ASEAN?

    Answer. In Asia-Pacific trade negotiations, the administration is 
currently focusing on developing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as 
an advantageous pathway toward regional economic integration and an 
eventual Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) that could include 
all 21 members of APEC. APEC leaders last year endorsed the TPP as one 
of possible pathways toward FTAAP, and four ASEAN member countries, 
Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Brunei, are already party to the 
negotiations; others may be interested in joining in the future.
    At the same time, I believe the administration should continue and 
expand its efforts to deepen relations with the ASEAN nations, and 
ASEAN as an organization, on both strategic and economic issues. In 
particular, on trade policy, it makes sense for the United States to 
make concerted efforts to work with the ASEAN nations and the ASEAN 
Secretariat on issues such as trade facilitation and regulatory reform. 
Working hard on these matters will help build capacity and accelerate 
the reform and opening of the non-TPP ASEAN economies, increasing their 
readiness to negotiate high-standard free trade agreements with the 
United States.
    The U.S.-ASEAN Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) 
process is an especially useful channel in this regard, along with the 
U.S.-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership.

    Question. What is your perspective on the so-called ``centrality of 
ASEAN''?

    Answer. ASEAN, as an organization and as a group of nations, is 
playing an absolutely critical role in the development of the Asia-
Pacific's emerging regional architecture. ASEAN plays a formative and 
essential role in each of the ASEAN-centered institutions and summits 
such as the ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN+3, ASEAN+6, ASEAN Defense 
Ministers Meeting Plus, the Asia Regional Forum, and the East Asia 
summit. Many of these institutions include the United States. In 
addition to engaging these institutions, the United States is 
strengthening its engagement with ASEAN by sending our first Resident 
Representative to ASEAN, Ambassador David Carden, to Jakarta this 
month. If confirmed, I look forward to working closely with Ambassador 
Carden and other colleagues to develop new areas of cooperation with 
ASEAN.

    Question. Do you envision a situation whereby the United States 
could participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) while 
concurrently working to develop a long-term strategy toward pursuing an 
FTA with ASEAN?

    Answer. Through the Trans-Pacific Partnership process, the United 
States is negotiating a high-standard free trade agreement with four 
ASEAN members, plus four other partners. We will continue to work for 
the successful conclusion of these negotiations on an ambitious 
timetable.
    At the same time, considering the great strategic and economic 
importance of ASEAN, I do believe it makes sense for the United States 
to continue to consider long-term strategies that would most 
effectively expand the United States trade and investment relationships 
with the ASEAN member nations, individually and as a group. The main 
issue, of course, is the readiness of partner economies and their 
governments to enter into high-quality, comprehensive trade and 
investment arrangements with the United States, on terms that would be 
of benefit to our economy and be acceptable to the U.S. Congress. In 
order to lay a foundation, we should continue to work intensively with 
the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN governments, including through the 
U.S.-ASEAN Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) process, as 
well as our bilateral TIFAs and other dialogues, to help build their 
capacity, accelerate reform, and create opportunities for realizing 
long-term trade goals.


                              NOMINATIONS

                              ----------                              


                         WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
                              ----------                              

Daniel Benjamin Shapiro, of Illinois, to be Ambassador to 
        Israel
Stuart E. Jones, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior 
        Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be 
        Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Hon. George Albert Krol, of New Jersey, a Career Member of the 
        Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to 
        be Ambassador to the Republic of Uzbekistan
Henry S. Ensher, of California, Member of the Senior Foreign 
        Service, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador to the 
        People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
                              ----------                              

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:42 p.m., in 
room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Robert P. 
Casey, Jr., presiding.
    Present: Senators Casey, Risch, and Lee.
    Senator Casey. The hearing will come to order. I know we 
are starting maybe 3 minutes early, but that is not all that 
bad to do once in a while.
    Today the Senate Foreign Relations Committee meets to 
examine the nominations of Daniel Shapiro for the position of 
Ambassador to Israel, Stuart Jones to be Ambassador to Jordan, 
George Krol to be Ambassador to Uzbekistan, and Henry Ensher to 
be Ambassador to Algeria.
    I would like to, first of all, welcome Senator Bill Nelson 
of the State of Florida. I know we will be joined by Senator 
Lieberman as well, both of whom will provide introductions of 
Mr. Shapiro.
    But in the interest of keeping the Senate on an efficient 
path of time this afternoon, I am going to forgo my opening 
statement, which is traditionally the start of a hearing, and 
give the floor to Senator Nelson so he can make his 
introductory remarks. And that way we can keep the Senate 
moving at a good pace.
    But I am grateful to Senator Nelson for his appearance here 
today, and for his willingness to take time to help us have 
this hearing proceed. Senator Nelson, the floor is yours.

                STATEMENT OF HON. BILL NELSON, 
                   U.S. SENATOR FROM FLORIDA

    Senator Nelson. Mr. Chairman, thank you for your personal 
courtesies.
    I must say that in the 11 years that I have been here, this 
is one of the prouder moments that I have had to introduce a 
nominee to any of our committees. There are times in life when 
you know that what is about to occur is exactly the right 
thing, and the position of Ambassador to Israel and Dan Shapiro 
is the right thing.
    We have an extraordinary individual that I can commend to 
this committee because I know him very well. Dan was our 
legislative director for the first 6 years, my first term as 
Senator, and since I was then a member of this committee, 
Foreign Relations, as well as Armed Services, we traveled 
extensively. And of course, whenever we were traveling anywhere 
in the world, I had a walking encyclopedia with me, but that 
was magnified once we got anywhere into the Middle East and 
Central Asia.
    Just for starters, he speaks fluent Hebrew and fluent 
Arabic, not a shabby start for an Ambassador to Israel. And his 
depth of knowledge, even back when he was with this little 
country boy from Florida, was extensive in his advice and 
counsel to me. You can imagine what that depth of knowledge is 
now that he has been a member of the National Security Council 
with the portfolio in that council of the Middle East. And so 
we have someone who is uniquely qualified for this position.
    Second, I would point out that among all of the White House 
staff, when it comes to a matter of the Middle East, who does 
the President draw on for his advice, but the fellow who knows 
the Middle East backward and forward in order to give advice? 
That is an important component as well, so that as our 
representative in Israel, when Dan will speak as our 
Ambassador, everybody knows that he has got a direct pipeline 
to the Oval Office.
    And third, let me say that as he represents America, he 
will represent all of America. It is true that among the Jewish 
community, he is probably as popular as Benjamin Netanyahu. But 
I said Dan represents all of America. I so well remember how he 
was so capable of putting the interest of the United States 
first in whatever interest group that it was that came in 
seeking legislation or a change in legislation or having to 
deal with our foreign policy. And I particularly watched Dan as 
he interacted with a group of our Muslim constituents, of which 
I have a sizable representation in the State of Florida, and he 
was just so adept with such graciousness as he would carry on 
the affairs of our office.
    And so I give to this committee my unlimited 
recommendation, the highest recommendation, and I would ask 
that the committee--and I have already spoken to Chairman John 
Kerry--that you all proceed with this expeditiously so that we 
can have our new Ambassador in Israel.
    Thank you very much, Senator Casey.
    Senator Casey. Senator Nelson, thank you very much. We are 
welcoming you back to this committee. We appreciate the words 
that you expressed here about the nominee, and you have given 
us an assignment and we appreciate that.
    In furtherance of Senate courtesies before my opening, I 
wanted to also turn to Senator Lieberman who, of course, is the 
chairman of the Homeland Security Committee and has been a 
leader in the Senate for so many years. And we are grateful 
that he is here. We are honored by your presence as well, 
Senator Lieberman, and you have the floor.

            STATEMENT OF HON. JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, 
                 U.S. SENATOR FROM CONNECTICUT

    Senator Lieberman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am honored to 
be here to help introduce Dan Shapiro to the committee and also 
to join with our colleague, Senator Bill Nelson, in praising 
him.
    I cannot say that Dan ever worked for me as Bill could, but 
I am so proud to say that I have known Dan even longer for a 
much more important reason: his wife Julie taught my youngest 
child when she was very young. And we were very impressed with 
Julie. And, you know, Dan was not bad either. [Laughter.]
    Of course, I did get to know Dan when he worked with 
Senator Feinstein before that. As the record will show, he 
worked with Chairman Lee Hamilton in the House of 
Representatives and then, of course, his time with Bill Nelson.
    This is really a superb appointment. I endorse Dan's 
nomination wholeheartedly. He has an extraordinary background, 
as Bill said. When Bill said that Dan Shapiro was fluent in 
Hebrew and Arabic, I turned to him and wanted him to know that 
I knew that he was not bad in English either, and I know that 
will help him in his work. [Laughter.]
    But more to the point, he brings expertise. He brings a 
very informed judgment. He also brings--and I want to stress a 
point that Bill Nelson made. At this moment of really 
extraordinary change in the Middle East, which has a tremendous 
potential for good but also creates uncertainty, Dan Shapiro 
will bring to this position his obviously close relationship 
with President Obama. And this is a moment when I think it is 
more important than ever for there to be close and direct 
communications and a relationship of deep trust between the 
Government of the United States and the Government of Israel 
and really more particularly between the Oval Office here in 
Washington and the Office of the Prime Minister in Jerusalem. 
And Dan Shapiro as Ambassador will guarantee, I think, that 
there is that kind of trust on both sides.
    I always say to groups around the country who are concerned 
about Israel's security that since the founding of the modern 
state and the very rapid recognition of the State of Israel by 
then-President Harry Truman, which was so significant to 
Israel's immediate legitimacy among the nations of the world, 
that the United States has remained Israel's most steadfast 
ally and supporter, and it is a natural relationship because we 
are two great democracies. The relationship continues strong 
both from the White House and really broad bipartisan support 
for the United States-Israel relationship. I think Dan Shapiro 
understands all that and will bring all that with him.
    I will say, just to echo what Bill Nelson said, that in the 
pro-Israel community in America--and in that community, there 
is a range of opinion. I was quite impressed by the range of 
endorsements for this nomination after it was made, going on 
one side from the Zionist Organization of America to, on the 
other side, the Americans for Peace Now. And that covers quite 
a lot of real estate ideologically speaking. But it is a 
tribute to Dan's credibility and his accessibility and his 
personality that he enjoys that support.
    So I know you have a lot of business. I want to leave it to 
that. But I will come back to what I said at the outset. Dan 
will make a great Ambassador and Julie will make a great wife 
of a great Ambassador, and together I know that they will 
strengthen our already remarkably strong relationship with 
Israel.
    Thank you very much.
    Senator Casey. Senator Lieberman, thank you very much. We 
are grateful you are here with us today.
    We will move to my opening statement and then, of course, 
we will go to our nominees.

         OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. ROBERT P. CASEY, JR,
                 U.S. SENATOR FROM PENNSYLVANIA

    Senator Casey. Let me speak first about our nominee for the 
post of Ambassador to Israel.
    The United States relationship with Israel is a cornerstone 
of United States foreign policy, as we all know. It is all the 
more important during the current historic period of upheaval 
in the Middle East. The United States and Israel have an 
unbreakable and unshakeable bond based upon common values and a 
commitment to democratic institutions, and our strong 
relationship with Israel is in the national security interest 
of the United States.
    The United States relationship with Israel is more 
important than ever, given the increasing unrest in the region. 
In recent weeks, I and others have voiced concern about the 
democratic transition process in Egypt, the threat posed by 
extremism in that country, and the prospects for the Camp David 
Peace Accords. Countries like Libya, Syria, Bahrain, and Yemen 
continue to experience significant unrest. The United States 
must lead with policies that reflect our national security 
interests as well as our values.
    In light of all of these uncertainties, Israel's security 
in the region is of utmost concern. United States assistance to 
Israel is critical to supporting Israel's security and 
maintaining stability in the region. United States assistance 
for Israel's missile defense system has already proved 
successful in limiting attacks by terrorist groups, as 
demonstrated in Ashkelon last month, with the Iron Dome System 
which struck down eight short-range rockets fired by Hamas. In 
an ever-changing threat environment, the United States must 
ensure that Israel maintains its qualitative advantage over 
potential threats at home and abroad.
    Iran poses a uniquely significant threat to both Israel and 
United States national security as a result of its ongoing 
pursuit of nuclear weapons, failure to abide by its 
international obligations, and rejection of Israel's right to 
exist. We have recently seen disturbing instances of Iranian 
force projection into the region, including support for 
terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah which continue to 
launch attacks on innocent Israeli citizens and civilians. The 
United States must stand firm in its commitment to Israel's 
security by steadily increasing pressure on the Iranian regime. 
It is clear that stronger United States and multilateral 
sanctions have weakened Iran, but we must continue to work with 
our international partners to limit Iran's influence in the 
region.
    The recent announcement of a Palestinian unification 
agreement between Fatah and Hamas has raised serious concerns 
over the fate of the peace process. As we know, Hamas is a 
terrorist organization committed to the destruction of Israel 
itself. The United States must stand firm in our opposition to 
any Hamas role in the Palestinian Government and discourage 
Palestinian efforts to work outside the parameters of direct 
peace negotiations. These efforts are counterproductive and 
will only serve to delay the day in which we see Israelis and 
Palestinians living side by side in peace and security.
    Given Mr. Shapiro's extensive experience, I look forward to 
hearing from him about how he will manage this increasingly 
challenging environment in the region.
    Mr. Shapiro currently serves as the NSC Senior Director for 
the Middle East and North Africa and has been an adviser to 
President Obama since 2007.
    I would like to welcome Mr. Shapiro's family members who 
are joining us today, his wife, Julie, and daughters, Leat and 
Marav and Shirak, and parents, Elizabeth and Michael. I do not 
want to embarrass them, but if they would like to stand, we 
would certainly like to acknowledge their presence.
    Thanks very much.
    I tell you why I do that. Because I know, as a public 
official, that when someone is putting themselves forward to 
provide public service, especially of the kind we are talking 
about here today with our nominees, I know a family serves with 
them in one way or another. So we are grateful for your 
commitment as well as members of a family.
    Let me just move quickly to our second nominee, Mr. Jones.
    Jordan, as we know, is an important partner in 
counterterrorism and has been a key ally in the Middle East 
peace process. Since signing a peace treaty with Israel in 
1994, Jordan has provided a strategic buffer to more 
adversarial neighbors such as Syria. U.S. support has been 
critical to helping Jordan address internal and external 
challenges and, in turn, has helped ensure stability in an 
increasingly unstable region. Jordan has experienced a series 
of prodemocracy protests in recent months with youth-led groups 
calling for political reforms and criticizing the lack of 
government response to the demonstrations. As public criticism 
of the monarchy grows and the government crackdown in 
neighboring Syria worsens, the United States must assess how to 
best support the Jordanian Government's efforts to balance 
political and economic reforms with political stability. I look 
forward to hearing how Stuart Jones will navigate this complex 
political landscape.
    Mr. Jones is currently serving as Deputy Chief of Mission 
at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, a tough assignment. He has 
previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for 
European and Eurasian Affairs, Deputy Chief of Mission at the 
U.S. Embassy in Egypt, and Director for Iraq at the National 
Security Council. If confirmed, Mr. Jones' depth of experience 
in the Middle East will serve him well in this position.
    And so I now invite Mr. Shapiro to provide his remarks.
    Senator Risch.
    Senator Risch. Yes, very briefly.
    Senator Casey. Our ranking member, Senator Risch.

           OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES E. RISCH,
                    U.S. SENATOR FROM IDAHO

    Senator Risch. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    First of all, let me associate myself with the remarks of 
both Senator Lieberman and Senator Casey. We get a lot of 
publicity here about partisan issues, and our relationship with 
Israel is truly a bipartisan affair and has been for some time. 
And in that regard, we are all pulling the wagon together.
    Mr. Shapiro, thank you for taking the time to meet with me 
and with my staff. I sincerely appreciate it. I think this is a 
good appointment.
    Mr. Jones, let me say this. You are going to a country that 
is a friend of the United States and has been a good partner of 
ours in the region. Probably one of the great success stories 
that we hear very little about in the media is the peace treaty 
between Israel and Jordan. Certainly it is a model, and we 
obviously support that. It has worked very well, and I know 
that you will work to see that it continues to work. Obviously, 
there are going to be challenges with the recent matters that 
have arisen there. So we look forward to hearing from you as to 
how you are going to do that.
    With that, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Casey. Thank you, Senator Risch.
    We are joined by Senator Lee from Utah as well, and we have 
time now or we can have comments later. But I think we will 
just move to the testimony and then questions.

      STATEMENT OF DANIEL BENJAMIN SHAPIRO, OF ILLINOIS, 
                   TO BE AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL

    Mr. Shapiro. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for the warm 
welcome.
    I have submitted a written statement which I would ask be 
made part of the record, and in the interest of time, I will 
summarize my remarks.
    Senator Casey. Your statement and all the statements will 
be made a part of the record.
    Mr. Shapiro. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Chairman, Senator Risch, Senator Lee, members of the 
committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you 
today. I am humbled and honored by the trust President Obama 
and Secretary of State Clinton have placed in me with the 
nomination to serve as United States Ambassador to Israel. If 
confirmed, I will do my utmost to meet that trust and 
responsibility and to promote the interests of the United 
States.
    I also recognize the vital role of this committee in our 
Nation's foreign policy as well. If confirmed, I look forward 
to close cooperation with its members and its staff and with 
the Congress as a whole on strengthening our close and 
unbreakable relationship with the State of Israel.
    I am grateful, of course, to Senator Nelson for his 
introduction and for his support and guidance over the past 
decade, and I thank Senator Lieberman for his support and 
introduction as well.
    Mr. Chairman, I have been involved with Israel most of my 
life. I lived in Israel as a young child during the 1973 war. I 
went there twice for university studies, and I worked here in 
the Congress for many years to support Middle East peace 
efforts, strengthen the United States-Israel relationship and 
combat terrorist threats against both our nations. I have 
gained through those experiences a deep understanding both of 
Israel's security needs and its people's justifiable concerns 
about the threats they face and Israel's strengths, and its 
people's dreams manifested in the building of a modern state 
and the unrelenting search for peace. And I have also gained a 
deep appreciation for the importance of the United States-
Israel relationship for our own national security.
    The United States has stood by Israel as its partner and 
ally since its creation. It is a bipartisan commitment, as 
Senator Risch says, and I have been privileged to serve 
President Obama as he has continued, deepened, and advanced 
that partnership. Israel has been and remains our most 
dependable ally in the Middle East. We share both common 
strategic interests and the values of open democratic 
societies. Our militaries train together and learn from one 
another. We share critical intelligence to counter terrorist 
threats, and our economic ties continue to grow.
    The United States has an unwavering commitment to Israel's 
security and to ensuring Israel's qualitative military edge. 
With Congress' support, we have provided full funding for 
Israel's foreign military financing under the terms of the 10-
year memorandum of understanding and helped achieve tangible 
success in the development of missile defense technologies such 
as Arrow and Iron Dome, and we have seen dramatic evidence of 
that success, Mr. Chairman, as you mentioned recently with the 
Iron Dome system. We conduct joint exercises and maintain very 
close, high-level consultations between our civilian and 
military leaders.
    We coordinate closely with Israel also on the threat posed 
by Iran. President Obama is determined to prevent Iran from 
acquiring a nuclear weapon. Israel is a key partner in that 
effort, supporting the strong sanctions contained in the U.N. 
Security Council resolution 1929 and the Comprehensive Iran 
Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, and we maintain 
extremely close consultations with Israel at all times on the 
nature of this threat.
    We firmly reject all attempts to delegitimize Israel. We 
consistently oppose anti-Israel resolutions in all U.N. bodies. 
We withdrew from the Durban Review Conference in 2009, and we 
supported Israel's right to defend itself in the wake of the 
deeply flawed Goldstone Report.
    We also continue to seek a comprehensive peace between 
Israel and all its neighbors. President Obama believes that a 
two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is 
essential to safeguarding Israel's future as a secure Jewish 
democratic state, as well as to achieving the Palestinian 
people's legitimate aspirations for independence in a viable 
state of their own. It is also profoundly in the United States 
own interests. We also believe that direct negotiations are the 
only way to achieve this goal, and we oppose unilateral actions 
by any party that would prejudice the outcome of a negotiated 
settlement.
    Mr. Chairman, if confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to 
strengthening and deepening the excellent cooperation between 
the United States and Israel.
    Thank you very much. I will be pleased to answer any 
questions you and the committee may have.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Shapiro follows:]

             Prepared Statement of Daniel Benjamin Shapiro

    Mr. Chairman, Senator Lugar, members of the committee, thank you 
for the opportunity to appear before you. I am humbled and honored by 
the trust President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton have placed in 
me with the nomination to serve as United States Ambassador to Israel. 
If confirmed, I will do my utmost to meet that trust and responsibility 
and to promote the interests of the United States.
    I am truly honored by the opportunity to appear before this 
committee today. I have spent hundreds of hours in this room, but this 
is my first time in this seat. For more than a decade, I worked for 
Senator Feinstein and Senator Nelson, and sat on the staff benches 
behind the dais. From that experience, I have a deep appreciation for 
the vital role that this committee plays in the conduct and oversight 
of our Nation's foreign policy. If confirmed, I look forward to close 
cooperation and consultation with the members and staff of this 
committee and with the Congress as we pursue our shared commitment to 
strengthening our close and unbreakable relationship with the State of 
Israel.
    I am grateful to Senator Nelson for his introduction, and for his 
support and guidance over the past decade. I owe much of my 
professional development to the opportunities he gave me. And I thank 
Senator Lieberman, with whom I have worked closely on our shared 
commitment to the closest of United States-Israel relations. I am 
grateful to him for coming here today and for his support and 
introduction.
    Mr. Chairman, my own interaction with Israel has taken many forms 
over the years, each of which has helped me gain a greater appreciation 
of the unique experience and perspective of the Israeli people. I first 
went to Israel at the age of 4. My parents, who were academics, took 
our family there for a 6-month sabbatical. It was 1973, and I was there 
during the Yom Kippur war. There were air raid sirens, followed by 
hours spent in bomb shelters. I saw soldiers driving through the 
streets on their way to the front. This was very different from my life 
in Illinois, where we never experienced such visible and vivid threats 
to our security and way of life. I remember, at the same time, our 
family enjoying many examples of the warmth and generosity of the 
Israeli people, from the Israeli schools my siblings and I attended to 
long hours spent together with other families in our Jerusalem 
neighborhood.
    I returned to Israel after high school and again during college. In 
1988, as the country was reeling from the violence of the first 
intifada, rocks rained down on the bus I took to Hebrew University and 
my Israeli classmates intensely debated the meaning of these events for 
their country's future.
    As a congressional staffer, I traveled to Israel as the hopes born 
of the Oslo Accords made peace seem within reach, celebrated the 
signing of the peace treaty with Jordan, mourned the assassination of 
Yitzhak Rabin days after he had returned to Israel from Washington, and 
worked to address the threats posed to our nations by Hamas and 
Hezbollah.
    As my professional involvement with Israel has deepened, so too has 
my understanding of Israel's security needs and its people's 
justifiable concerns about Iran's nuclear weapons program, suicide 
bombers, missile attacks from Hamas and Hezbollah, and the ongoing 
efforts of some to delegitimize the Jewish state. But I have also grown 
more keenly aware of Israel's deep-rooted strengths and its people's 
dreams--manifested in the building of a modern state, the flowering of 
Jewish culture and democracy, the Start-up Nation, and the unrelenting 
search for peace.
    The United States has stood by Israel as its partner and ally from 
the first minutes of its creation, and I have been proud to serve 
President Obama as he has continued, deepened, and advanced that 
relationship.
    In a region beset by wars, terror, and autocracy, and in which we 
have much at stake, Israel has been our most dependable ally. Our 
militaries train together and learn from one another. We share critical 
intelligence to counter the threats of terrorist organizations that 
target the United States and the West, as well as Israel. Our economies 
have grown progressively more intertwined, particularly in the high-
tech and renewable energy sectors. And, perhaps most importantly, we 
share the fundamental tenets of open and democratic societies.
    The United States security relationship with Israel has 
strengthened and deepened under President Obama. Our commitment to 
ensuring Israel's Qualitative Military Edge is reflected in our 
security assistance, joint exercises, and an extraordinarily close 
level of consultation and cooperation at the highest levels of our 
civilian and military leaderships. The Congress is our partner in this 
commitment, fulfilling the President's request to fully fund Israel's 
Foreign Military Financing even in tight budgetary times.
    As a candidate, President Obama went to Sderot and saw a community 
damaged by rockets and people living in fear of the next attack. As 
President, he acted to see that Israeli defenses were significantly 
strengthened. With Congress' full support, there has been tangible and 
important success in the joint development of missile defense 
technologies. The Arrow missile defense program provides Israel with a 
significant strategic missile defense capability. More recently, the 
Iron Dome short-range missile defense system successfully intercepted 
several rockets fired from Gaza last month. The additional $205 million 
the President requested and Congress provided for this program will 
help produce and deploy additional Iron Dome batteries to protect 
Israeli civilian lives in northern and southern Israel. If confirmed, I 
will work to provide continued support for United States-Israeli 
missile defense cooperation.
    Our security relationship also encompasses close coordination on 
the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program. President Obama is 
determined to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and has 
dramatically ramped up pressure on Iran, passing in the U.N. Security 
Council the most sweeping and biting international sanctions ever 
enacted to increase Iran's isolation and cut off sources of funds and 
resources to advance their missile and nuclear programs. Israel is a 
key partner in that effort, supporting the strong sanctions contained 
in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929 and the Comprehensive Iran 
Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act. If confirmed, I will 
seek to intensify our regular consultations, in which we share 
assessments and exchange ideas on ways to increase international 
pressure on Iran.
    Defending Israel's security also means fighting attempts to 
delegitimize Israel. The Obama administration's record is one of 
unshakeable opposition to this campaign. We've been steadfast in our 
opposition to anti-Israel resolutions in the U.N. Human Rights Council, 
the General Assembly, the Security Council and other U.N. bodies; we 
withdrew from the Durban Review Conference in 2009; and we've supported 
Israel's right to defend itself in consideration of the deeply flawed 
Goldstone report.
    Our agenda with Israel in these international fora is not purely 
defensive--we are working to ensure that Israel receives full and equal 
treatment in all international organizations. Israel has much to offer 
the world, and the United Nations and other international organizations 
would benefit from Israeli capabilities and expertise. If confirmed, 
one of my goals will be to work with the Israeli Government to identify 
further opportunities for Israeli participation in the international 
civil service, across the U.N. system, and in the governance of the 
bodies they serve.
    Economic ties between the United States and Israel are also at 
their highest levels ever. As Silicon Valley taps into the amazing 
Israeli high-tech talent pool and startup culture, we see an 
astonishing $32.3 billion in bilateral trade, despite the global 
economic slowdown. The Department of Energy and the Government of 
Israel have just renewed the bilateral Agreement that frames our joint 
research program on alternative energy, which promises to further 
enhance our ties in technology cooperation. If confirmed, I will work 
hard to expand these successes in areas such as energy production, 
green technologies, and defense and aerospace technologies.
    No commitment to Israel's security is complete without absolute 
dedication to achieving a comprehensive peace between Israel and all 
its neighbors. The peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, which have 
brought so much stability to the region, are vital and must be 
protected and strengthened. The Obama administration believes that a 
two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is essential to 
safeguarding Israel's future as a secure, Jewish, democratic state, as 
well as achieving the Palestinian people's legitimate aspirations for 
independence in a viable state of their own. It is also fundamentally 
in the United States own interest.
    We have been consistent and clear in our call for direct 
negotiations as the only way to achieve this goal, and we have 
consistently opposed unilateral actions by either side that would 
prejudice a negotiated settlement.
    We are closely following developments regarding the announced 
agreement between Fatah and Hamas. Many of the details remain unclear, 
and its implementation is uncertain. What is clear, however, is that 
Hamas is a terrorist organization which targets civilians and calls for 
the destruction of Israel. To play a constructive role in achieving 
peace, any Palestinian Government that emerges must renounce violence, 
abide by past agreements, and recognize Israel's right to exist. As we 
have said many times, the United States strongly supports Palestinian 
reconciliation, but it must be on terms that support the cause of 
peace.
    Mr. Chairman, it has been a deep honor to be part of President 
Obama's team working on these complex and critically important issues. 
If confirmed by the Senate to be the United States Ambassador to 
Israel, I will work to the best of my abilities to further strengthen 
and deepen the excellent cooperation and communication that already 
exists between our nations, as we work together toward a more peaceful, 
stable, democratic, and prosperous Middle East.
    Thank you for your attention, and I would be pleased to answer any 
questions you may have.

    Senator Casey. Thanks very much.
    Mr. Jones.

 STATEMENT OF STUART E. JONES, OF VIRGINIA, A CAREER MEMBER OF 
             THE SENIOR FOREIGN SERVICE, CLASS OF 
 MINISTER-COUNSELOR, TO BE AMBASSADOR TO THE HASHEMITE KINGDOM 
                           OF JORDAN

    Mr. Jones. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, Senator 
Risch, and thank you, Senator Lee, for being here.
    It is an honor to appear before you today as President 
Obama's nominee to serve as Ambassador to Jordan. I am grateful 
to the President for this nomination and to Secretary Clinton 
for her confidence in me and for her leadership of the 
Department of State. If confirmed, I will do my best to live up 
to their trust and to work as closely as possible with this 
committee to advance United States goals in Jordan.
    With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I would like to 
introduce my family. My wife, Barbara, is here, a former 
Foreign Service officer, and my two sons, Thaddeus and Woody, 
are here. My daughter, Dorothy, is unable to join us because of 
school obligations. I am grateful for their support, especially 
during this year while I have served as Deputy Chief of Mission 
at the Embassy in Baghdad.
    Mr. Chairman, Jordan, as you said, is one of our closest 
partners in the Arab world. We share mutual interests and 
values. It is well known that Jordan has been a powerful agent 
for peace in the region, as one of only two Arab States to sign 
a peace treaty with Israel. Jordan is committed to a 
comprehensive peace in the Middle East and to a two-state 
solution. Jordan has also been a valued partner on Iraq. It 
accepted hundreds of thousands of refugees and hosted them with 
dignity, opening its schools and its hospitals, and 
collaborating with the international community in providing 
humanitarian aid.
    In this Arab Spring, as other countries have faltered, 
Jordan has undertaken important reforms. King Abdullah is a 
leader who has long listened to his people. In November 2010, 
Jordan held free and fair elections under procedures that met 
international standards. In February, we welcomed the new 
Jordanian Government with an ambitious mandate for political 
reform.
    We support the King's and the government's efforts to 
respond to the aspirations of Jordan's citizens. Our efforts 
include working with Jordanian Government institutions and 
civil society to expand citizen participation in the country's 
political and economic systems, strengthen independent media, 
strengthen the judicial system and the rights of women and 
laborers, and increase religious tolerance.
    Our economic assistance programs are aimed at addressing 
structural challenges in the Jordanian economy. Our security 
assistance also strengthens Jordan's capabilities to support 
and contribute to Middle East peace efforts, international 
peacekeeping operations, counterterrorism efforts, and 
humanitarian assistance within the region. If confirmed, I will 
work with the Jordanian Government and people to ensure that 
all of our assistance advances a sustained and comprehensive 
partnership and to ensure that these programs create genuine 
benefits in the lives of the people of Jordan.
    We have a large Embassy in Amman. I care deeply about the 
welfare and security of our personnel, American and Jordanian. 
If confirmed, I will also dedicate myself to ensuring efficient 
and cost effective stewardship of our programs.
    I appreciate and value this committee's oversight of our 
mission in Jordan. If confirmed, I look forward to welcoming 
this committee's members and staff to Amman. Your presence and 
interest are a vital element in ensuring that we remain 
successfully engaged with the government and people of Jordan.
    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, again thank you 
for this opportunity. It is an honor to be here. Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Jones follows:]

                 Prepared Statement of Stuart E. Jones

    Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, it is an honor to appear 
before you today as President Obama's nominee to serve as Ambassador to 
Jordan. I am grateful to the President for his nomination and to 
Secretary Clinton for her confidence in me and for her leadership of 
our Department. If confirmed, I will do my best to live up to their 
trust and to work as closely as possible with this committee to advance 
U.S. goals in Jordan. I will also build on the excellent work of my 
predecessor and friend, Ambassador Steve Beecroft, to deepen our 
partnership with the government and people of Jordan.
    With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I would like to introduce my 
family. My wife, Barbara, a former Foreign Service officer, and my two 
sons, Thaddeus and Woody, are here today. My daughter, Dorothy, is 
unable to join us because of school obligations. I am grateful for 
their support, especially during this year while I have served as 
Deputy Chief of Mission at our Embassy in Baghdad.
    Mr. Chairman, Jordan is one of our closest partners in the Arab 
world. We share mutual interests and values. It is well known that 
Jordan has been a powerful agent for peace in the region. As one of 
only two Arab States to sign a peace treaty with Israel, Jordan is 
committed to the achievement of comprehensive peace in the Middle East 
and to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Jordan 
has also been a valued partner on Iraq. It accepted hundreds of 
thousands of refugees and hosted them with dignity, opening its schools 
and hospitals and collaborating with the international community in 
providing humanitarian aid. The Jordanian Prime Minister was the first 
high-level visitor to Baghdad after Iraq's new government was formed in 
January.
    As other countries have faltered, Jordan has undertaken important 
reforms. King Abdullah is a leader who has long listened to his people. 
In November 2010, Jordan held free and fair elections under procedures 
that met international standards according to both international and 
domestic election observers. In February, we welcomed a new Jordanian 
Government with an ambitious mandate for political reform. The King has 
also established a National Dialogue Commission with a
3-month timeline to enact electoral and political party reform.
    We support the King's and the government's efforts to implement a 
reform agenda that responds to the aspirations of Jordan's citizens. 
Our efforts include working with Jordanian Government institutions and 
with Jordanian civil society to expand citizen participation in the 
country's political and economic systems; strengthen independent media, 
the judicial system, and the rights of women and laborers; and increase 
religious tolerance.
    Our economic assistance programs are also aimed at addressing 
structural challenges in the Jordanian economy. Jordan is one of the 
most water-starved nations in the world. The Millennium Challenge 
Corporation is funding a 5-year program on water management in Zarqa 
which we hope will provide a template for water management throughout 
the nation. Jordan has also been impacted by rising energy costs; we 
are now engaging the Government of Jordan to promote energy efficiency 
and explore the potential for shale gas production. These are just two 
examples of our extensive programs in Jordan. Assistance also 
strengthens Jordan's capabilities to support and contribute to Middle 
East peace efforts, international peacekeeping operations, 
counterterrorism efforts, and humanitarian assistance within the 
region.
    If confirmed, I will work with the Jordanian Government and people 
to ensure that all of our assistance effectively and efficiently 
advances a sustained and comprehensive partnership and to ensure that 
these programs create genuine benefits in the lives of the people of 
Jordan.
    We have a large Embassy in Amman. I care deeply about the welfare 
and security of our personnel--American and Jordanian. If confirmed, I 
will also dedicate myself to ensuring efficient and cost-effective 
stewardship of our programs.
    I appreciate and value this committee's oversight of our mission in 
Jordan. If confirmed, I look forward to welcoming the committee's 
members and staff to Amman. Your presence and interest are a vital 
element in ensuring that we remain productively and successfully 
engaged with the government and people of Jordan.
    Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, thank you for this 
opportunity to address the committee. I would be pleased to respond to 
any questions you may have.

    Senator Casey. Mr. Jones, thanks very much. I should have 
provided the opportunity to introduce your family. If they 
would like to stand. I want to make sure that we give them that 
opportunity.
    Mr. Jones. Thank you.
    Senator Casey. Thank you very much.
    I would reiterate what I said before about a family serving 
with you in public service. We appreciate not only their 
presence here but also the work that they do to make it 
possible for you to serve.
    Mr. Jones. Thank you.
    Senator Casey. And we commend both of you for your 
willingness to serve.
    I will start the first round of questions. I wanted to 
start, Mr. Shapiro, with a rather difficult topic related to 
what has been happening just in the last couple of days and 
weeks: the decision of the Palestinian Authority to form a 
unity government with Hamas. We are aware of all of the 
difficulties and concerns that that presents. As you know, and 
as most Americans I think have a sense of, we have always, and 
I think the international community has always said, that the 
only way that Hamas could be a legitimate partner in any effort 
is if they do at least three things: that they recognize Israel 
and renounce violence and agree to abide by the previous 
obligations and agreements of the Palestinian Authority. They 
have not done that yet.
    And I have profound and deep concerns about what is 
happening, and I wanted to get your sense of what our policy is 
or what it should be going forward, making sure that we are 
adhering to those conditions that we have always insisted upon 
as it relates to Hamas, which is a terrorist organization.
    Mr. Shapiro. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    There is no question that we in the administration share 
many of the concerns that you have just articulated, and I know 
many of your colleagues share as well, about the reconciliation 
agreement that was announced and signed this morning in Cairo. 
We are closely following this in part because we need to learn 
more about it. There are many details that are as yet unknown 
about this agreement. There are ambiguities in the language of 
it. There are deep uncertainties about its prospects for 
implementation. And so we will be following that very closely 
and staying in close touch with the Congress and also 
maintaining, as we always do, very close consultations with our 
colleagues and our partners in the Israeli Government to ensure 
that we have the closest possible common understanding of the 
meaning of these events.
    We share the characterization that you provided of Hamas. 
Hamas is a terrorist organization that calls for Israel's 
destruction and that directs violence against civilians. We 
have no disagreement about that whatsoever.
    Now, Palestinian reconciliation ultimately is a desirable 
goal, but it must take place on terms that support peace, and I 
think you have articulated them well. Only a Palestinian 
Government that recognizes Israel and renounces violence and 
abides by previous agreements between the PLO and Israel can 
really be a true partner for peace.
    So those are the considerations. We will be watching very 
closely as we gain further understanding and facts about the 
agreement that was announced.
    Senator Casey. Well, I just want to reiterate what I know 
to be a bipartisan consensus, as you know, on that issue and 
want to remind--I am not saying it is necessary--but I want to 
remind 
the administration of that commitment that we have to Israel's 
security.
    I have made a number of trips to the region. When I was in 
Israel in July 2010, I had the chance to tour part of Sderot, a 
community, among others, that has been assaulted for many 
years, to actually see the shrapnel and the results of the 
rockets that have landed there, to the point where children, as 
you know--and again, you know better than I, but it bears 
repeating--couldn't play in playgrounds. They literally built, 
as many people here know, a bomb-fortified indoor playground. 
So something as simple as playing in a community playground is 
virtually impossible, at least at various periods in recent 
history, because of those rockets. There have been thousands 
and thousands that have landed as a result of the violence 
perpetrated by Hamas.
    I note that Hamas' leader--this is timely and I think it is 
important for the record--his response to the killing of Osama 
bin Laden referred to the assassination of an Arab holy 
warrior. I do not know what more we can say about the threat 
that Hamas poses to Israel and to the region.
    So let me move to at least one more question before I turn 
to our ranking member, Senator Risch.
    A lot of us have worked long and hard on making sure that 
we do everything possible to hold the Iranian regime in check, 
especially as it relates to the potential nuclear capability, 
but also to the ever-present and ongoing threat that is posed 
by the Iranian regime's support for extremists and terrorist 
organizations in the region, not the least of which are Hamas 
and Hezbollah. I spent some time last summer in Beirut, and you 
do not have to be on the ground in that country very long 
before you feel the overwhelming sense of the power of 
Hezbollah in Lebanon, not to mention the impact it has on the 
region as a terrorist organization.
    But because of that support that the Iranian regime has 
provided, we need to be determined and even more determined, I 
think, than we have been to make sure that the sanctions we 
have applied to the regime work. We are getting some results 
from that, but frankly not enough, and we need to consider 
tightening up or increasing the sanctions in my judgment.
    I wanted to get your thoughts on that in terms of the 
impact as you see it of those sanctions and what other steps we 
can take to hold the Iranian regime in check.
    Mr. Shapiro. Mr. Chairman, we share the concern and the 
assessment about the threat posed by Iran not just to Israel, 
but to the region--and of course, the threat is very real. It 
is articulated openly by the President of Iran who calls for 
Israel's destruction. It is a threat to the United States and 
it is a threat to our allies and our interests and, indeed, 
international stability throughout the region. It is posed both 
by Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and by its support for 
terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and like Hamas which it 
attempts to arm.
    As I said, President Obama is determined to prevent Iran 
from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and the sanctions enacted by 
the U.N. Security Council resolution, additional measures 
coordinated and taken by the European Union and a number of our 
other partners, and the sanctions passed by this Congress have 
all created several layers of economic sanctions against Iran 
that have had a real impact and that has made Iran struggle in 
ways economically that it has not previously done and begin to 
feel the pain of the result of its continued pursuit of these 
policies.
    Now, obviously, we will look for additional measures that 
may be available to tighten those sanctions. We are in close 
consultations with a number of international partners about 
ways that can be done, whether it is countries acting on their 
own or in concert. It is something that my colleagues at the 
State Department will remain in close consultation with this 
committee about, but I can assure you it has our full and 
undivided attention.
    Senator Casey. Thank you.
    Mr. Jones, I will get to you in the next round, but Senator 
Risch.
    Senator Risch. Thank you very much.
    Mr. Shapiro, when you travel over there, you cannot help 
but be struck by the difference between what is happening in 
the West Bank and what is happening in Gaza. So I guess this 
new reconciliation pact raises the question in my mind--and I 
would like your personal view on this. With that reconciliation 
or whatever it turns out to be, is the population going to move 
more toward what is happening in the West Bank or is the West 
Bank going to move more backward toward what is happening in 
Gaza? What is your personal view on that?
    Mr. Shapiro. Well, Senator Risch, I think it is hard to 
judge exactly how public opinion will react to this agreement. 
I would say there is strong support among Palestinians for 
reconciliation, and I think that was a driving factor in this 
agreement being reached at this time.
    We agree with you. There have been tremendous gains made in 
the West Bank through an improved economy that is growing 
rapidly through improved security that is carried out both by 
the Israeli forces and by the Palestinian security forces and 
an improved governance under the reforms initiated by Prime 
Minister Salam Fayyad. So there is much progress that has been 
made, and it is in our interest, as well as Israel's interest 
and the Palestinians' interest, that it be sustained.
    That will certainly be a priority for us as we again 
evaluate the details of this agreement that has been announced 
and assess its prospects for implementation. We are very 
mindful of that progress and want to see it sustained.
    Senator Risch. You didn't really get to your personal view 
as to what you think is going to happen, but if you had to 
guess, what direction are they going to slide?
    Mr. Shapiro. Senator, it is very hard not being on the 
ground to get a sense of the reaction. I think at least within 
the West Bank we have seen Palestinians appreciating the kinds 
of changes that they have experienced in their lives in the way 
I have just described. They certainly have other aspirations as 
well, as I mentioned, for statehood and for reconciliation. But 
I think we would certainly hope the Palestinians would try to 
support a government that would allow that progress to be 
sustained, and that is what we will be working toward.
    Senator Risch. One cannot help but think that those that 
live in Gaza have to look across and see what is happening in 
the West Bank and say, look, what they are doing is working and 
what we are doing is not working, how can we move more in that 
direction. One would hope that that is the thought process that 
an intelligent person would pursue.
    Mr. Jones, your view, please if you would, about the 
instability in Syria and how that potential is affecting or 
could potentially affect things on the ground in Jordan.
    Mr. Jones. Thank you, Senator.
    I think all of us are watching developments in Syria with 
real concern. People of Syria are demonstrating their 
frustration and their lack of satisfaction with the Government 
in Syria, and the response of the Assad regime has been 
extremely brutal. It is a source of concern from a humanitarian 
standpoint and, as you said, from a political standpoint.
    I think that the situation in Jordan is quite distinct. The 
King has long listened to his people, as I said in my 
statement. He had already put in place a series of reforms to 
address people's concerns, and for the relatively minor 
demonstrations that we have seen in Jordan, there has been a 
completely different relationship between the people and the 
security forces where you see Jordanian security forces 
actually providing water and juice to the demonstrators.
    Any instability in the region, of course, is a cause for 
concern and this is something we are going to have to continue 
to watch. But I think certainly our continued support for 
Jordan will be essential through this period.
    Senator Risch. I appreciate that.
    Back to you, Mr. Shapiro. You are at least modestly an 
expert on Syria. Do you agree with that assessment? We all 
understand the difference between the two governments, but do 
you agree with the assessment that that will carry the day?
    Mr. Shapiro. I do. I do, sir.
    Senator Risch. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Casey. Thank you, Senator Risch.
    Senator Lee.
    Senator Lee. Thank you both for coming to join us today, 
and thank you for your willingness to serve your country.
    Mr. Shapiro, I want to echo the comments that have been 
made by my colleagues, and I will echo what Senator Casey was 
saying a minute ago. I have visited that same village, Sderot, 
and visited the same playground. On the outskirts of that city, 
I visited this little lookout point where you could look out 
and see into Gaza. I have it on good authority that within 
about 72 hours after I visited that lookout spot, it was 
destroyed by rockets coming over from Gaza. So I am very 
sympathetic to the security risks that Israeli citizens face 
every single day and my heart goes out to them. I hope that we 
can be a support to Israel as we acknowledge that they are in a 
very vulnerable position and do everything we can to help them 
maintain defensible, secure borders.
    In light of the involvement of Hamas and the Palestinian 
Organization, is that something that has caused you to consider 
whether we should withhold United States funding to the 
Palestinian Organization until such time as it clearly and 
thoroughly disassociates itself from Hamas?
    Mr. Shapiro. Well, Senator, as I stated earlier, there are 
a lot of details about this agreement that has been announced 
that are still rather obscure, and many of them may not become 
clear until it is implemented or attempted to be implemented. 
And those details, I think, will bear very much on the question 
that you have raised about assistance. There are clear laws 
regarding our Palestinian assistance program. I can assure you 
that the administration will remain in full compliance with 
those laws, and I have already articulated the kinds of 
conditions that we think represent a Palestinian Authority that 
is committed to peace. So we will, obviously, be considering 
that question, but it requires a much greater and better 
understanding of an agreement that has not yet begun to be 
implemented.
    Senator Lee. Sure, but there does come a point at which we 
turn that off. Do we not?
    Mr. Shapiro. Well, the law is very clear. There are 
circumstances under which we would not be able to provide 
assistance to the Palestinian Authority.
    Senator Lee. And so notwithstanding the fact that there is 
sometimes wiggle room--particularly in laws relating to foreign 
relations, there is sometimes wiggle room--you stand by the 
proposition that the law does have limits. This is a law. This 
is not just an aspirational statement.
    Mr. Shapiro. Yes, I agree with that.
    Senator Lee. I appreciate a statement made recently by 
Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who said it is 
clear that an Egypt that is anchored in democratic values would 
never be a threat to peace, particularly a threat to peace in 
Israel. I hope that he is right. Do you agree with his 
assessment?
    Mr. Shapiro. Well, we certainly support the transition that 
is underway in Egypt and believe it represents an incredible 
opportunity for the Egyptian people to experience the kind of 
self-rule and democracy and the realization of those 
aspirations. We think it is absolutely critical that Egypt 
remain, as it goes through that transition, the responsible 
regional leader that it has been, and a big component of that 
is the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt which has been not 
only so important to Israel's security but really an anchor of 
regional stability and key to our own interests. So we have 
been very pleased that the Egyptian transitional government has 
repeated its commitment to all of Egypt's international 
obligations, including that treaty, and we would certainly have 
the expectation that any Egyptian Government would live up to 
those obligations and maintain the treaty.
    Senator Lee. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Casey. Thank you, Senator Lee.
    Mr. Jones, I wanted to get back to you. I meant to do that 
in the first round and I ate up all my time and actually took 
more time. So I owe the committee a minute and 22 seconds or 
something like that.
    You have been asked before and your answers, as well as 
your statement, acknowledge the challenge in the region and the 
impact on Jordan and obviously the reaction by King Abdullah, 
as well as Jordanian leaders other than he, have been of marked 
contrast to what we have seen in other places in the region.
    I wanted to develop that a little further in the sense that 
we know that in this fight against terrorism we have had to 
develop new relationships and even stronger relationships. I 
think it can be said without contradiction that Jordan has been 
a strong counterterrorism partner. We appreciate that probably 
even more so in the last couple of days. We know that that 
fight has been and will continue to be against Islamist groups 
in the Middle East.
    We also know that even as Jordan is a strong 
counterterrorism partner, its peace treaty with Israel has also 
played an important role in the Middle East as well.
    But given the unrest in the region and given the increasing 
influence of terrorist organizations that I mentioned before 
like Hamas and Hezbollah, what measures should the United 
States take to support King Abdullah's reform efforts 
especially at this time?
    Mr. Jones. Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Chairman.
    As you know, the United States is an important provider of 
assistance to Jordan, both economic support funds and foreign 
military financing. The economic support funds I think can play 
a vital role in terms of helping grow the economy, helping it 
address some of its structural challenges. Jordan is an 
importer. It imports 96 percent of its fuel. We are involved in 
helping Jordan look for alternative fuel sources and look at 
nontraditional fuels.
    We are also helping them address their water problem. 
Jordan is one of the most water-starved countries in the world, 
and through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, we have just 
issued a $275 million grant over 5 years to work with the 
community of Zarqa to develop water management techniques that 
we hope will be a model for the rest of the country.
    So I think at this level, helping communities, helping 
create prosperity--that is a very important way to help combat 
terrorism.
    Of course, the security side is also very important. Jordan 
has been an outstanding partner with us in the struggle against 
terrorism, and at all levels we should continue the work that 
we are doing with them, supporting their efforts and working 
closely with them as a partner.
    Senator Casey. I know we are almost ready to wrap up 
because we are going to move to our second panel, and we have 
had almost 50 minutes so far. So I do want to wrap up.
    Senator Risch, do you have any questions?
    Senator Risch. No. I am going to pass. Thank you very much, 
Mr. Chairman. I appreciate it.
    Senator Casey. I would thank our ranking member for being 
here.
    After we move to our second panel, we may have to adjourn 
briefly because of a potential vote, but that is not certain 
yet.
    I do, as well, want to offer each of you the opportunity to 
make any closing statement or any point that you want to 
emphasize that we did not ask about or something you did not 
have a chance to cover--not that we encourage closing 
statements, but if you really feel the need to say something 
else.
    Mr. Shapiro. No, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Casey. Thank you very much.
    Mr. Jones. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is an honor to be 
here.
    Senator Casey. I do want to mention, which I should have 
earlier, that Mr. Jones, I am told you are a Pennsylvania 
native. That is what the record shows. You grew up in, and your 
mother still lives in, Lafayette Hill, PA?
    Mr. Jones. Correct.
    Senator Casey. I want you to know that that will not have 
any impact on your confirmation. [Laughter.]
    But it is possible it will have some impact on me.
    Thank you very much to both of you and we will move to our 
second panel.
    What I will do, as we are changing seats, so to speak, is I 
will begin a statement so that we can keep the hearing moving.
    We have two more nominees today and I wanted to start with 
our nominee for Uzbekistan. As many people in this audience 
know, Uzbekistan is an important partner in the Northern 
Distribution Network which is a major strategic priority for 
the United States war in Afghanistan. The airbase in Uzbekistan 
provides a vital supply route for the United States and NATO 
efforts to defeat al-Qaeda and its allies in Afghanistan and 
western Pakistan. The Uzbek Government also cooperates with 
United States security forces on counterterrorism and drug 
trafficking, two serious international threats.
    The United States, however, must balance our strategic 
interests in Uzbekistan with the need to hold the government 
accountable for serious human rights abuses, including the use 
of force to oppress its own citizens as demonstrated by the 
massacre in Andijan in the year 2005. According to the State 
Department's 2010 Human Rights Report, the Uzbek Government 
continues to commit serious human rights violations, including 
arbitrary arrests and detention, restrictions on freedom of 
speech and assembly, and forced child labor in the cotton 
industry.
    I would like to especially acknowledge Senator Harkin's 
efforts to expose child labor in Uzbekistan, which remains of 
critical concern.
    I look forward to hearing how Mr. George Krol will 
encourage the Uzbek Government to abide by its international 
human rights commitments while maintaining our important 
security cooperation.
    Ambassador Krol is Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for 
South and Central Asian Affairs. He has served as United States 
Ambassador to Belarus from 2003 to 2006 and has served in 
several other challenging posts in Poland, India, Russia, and 
Ukraine. I am confident that his broad knowledge and experience 
working in the former Soviet Union will serve him well in this 
post if confirmed.
    Algeria is an important strategic partner of the United 
States in the fight against al-Qaeda-linked groups in north 
Africa, most notably Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb, so-called 
AQIM. The Algerian Government has taken an active leadership 
role in the African Union's efforts to combat terrorism, and 
the recently announced U.S.-Algeria Bilateral Counterterrorism 
Contact Group will help to expand our existing cooperation to 
ensure greater security, peace, and development in the region.
    Algeria's protest movement has remained limited compared to 
other countries in the region, but economic factors and 
longstanding political grievances have contributed to a series 
of strikes and demonstrations.
    Algeria's decision in February to lift the 1992 state of 
emergency law was a welcomed step, but more needs to be done to 
address the human rights concerns such as freedom of assembly 
and association, prisoner abuse, and violence against women.
    I look forward to hearing from Henry Ensher about how the 
United States can work with the Algerian Government to promote 
further democratic reforms while also strengthening our 
security relationship.
    Mr. Ensher is currently serving as adviser to the Office of 
Afghanistan Affairs. He recently returned from southern 
Afghanistan where he served as Senior U.S. Civilian 
Representative. He has also served in our Embassies in Algeria, 
Saudi Arabia, Oman, Syria, Israel, Iraq, and was the Director 
of Political Affairs for Iraq in the State Department's Bureau 
of Near Eastern Affairs in 2006. That is a mouthful.
    I would also like to welcome Mr. Ensher's wife, Mona, and 
two sons, Henry and Tariq, who are here with us today. And if 
they do not mind, we offer the chance, but we would love to 
have them stand up and be acknowledged. Thank you for being 
here today and thank you for your support for what I know is a 
family commitment to public service.
    Mr. Krol, would you like to start? Thank you.

 STATEMENT OF HON. GEORGE ALBERT KROL, OF NEW JERSEY, A CAREER 
    MEMBER OF THE SENIOR FOREIGN SERVICE, CLASS OF MINISTER-
   COUNSELOR, TO BE AMBASSADOR TO THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN

    Ambassador Krol. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Risch.
    I am honored to appear before you today as President 
Obama's nominee to become Ambassador to Uzbekistan, and I am 
grateful for the trust and confidence the President and 
Secretary Clinton have placed in me with this nomination.
    Unfortunately, my family is not here today. My wife is 
serving our Nation abroad, but she and I think my family are 
watching on the Webcast. So I say hello to them. You can stand 
up. Right? [Laughter.]
    Senator Casey. That is permitted. I want to give them a few 
minutes to stand up. [Laughter.]
    Ambassador Krol. Since establishing diplomatic relations 
nearly 20 years ago, the United States has supported 
Uzbekistan's sovereignty and independence and encouraged its 
development as a prosperous, tolerant, internationally 
responsible, and democratic state at peace with its neighbors 
and the world. And those remain our fundamental goals to this 
day.
    Most recently, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for 
Central Asia, I came to appreciate firsthand Uzbekistan's 
unique importance to United States foreign policy interests.
    Uzbekistan has provided crucial assistance to its neighbor 
Afghanistan and to international efforts to stabilize the 
situation there. Electricity from Uzbekistan keeps the lights 
on in Kabul. And Uzbekistan is also, as you noted, Mr. 
Chairman, an important part of the Northern Distribution 
Network, a major supply route for coalition forces. And if 
confirmed, I will encourage Uzbekistan to maintain this 
critical support.
    As you also noted, illegal narcotics flows, trafficking in 
persons, terrorism, extremism, and weapons of mass destruction 
proliferation concerns plague Uzbekistan's neighborhood. Over 
recent years, our cooperation with Uzbekistan has grown in 
addressing these transnational challenges through engagement 
and vetted training programs, and if confirmed, I would work to 
strengthen our partnership with Uzbekistan in these areas.
    With the largest population in Central Asia and huge energy 
and mineral resources and its strategic location, Uzbekistan 
has a great economic potential, and if confirmed, I will 
encourage Uzbekistan to take steps to attract United States 
companies to help develop and diversify its economy and to buy 
American goods and services.
    Mr. Chairman, almost 30 years' experience in the Foreign 
Service has taught me that long-term peace and durable 
stability are only possible with respect for human rights, the 
rule of law, transparent and democratic institutions, a vibrant 
civil society, and an open and free media. If confirmed, I will 
engage the government and the people of Uzbekistan fully and 
forthrightly on human rights issues such as preventing 
arbitrary arrests, addressing the allegations of torture and 
mistreatment in prisons, ending forced child labor, and 
allowing the free practice of faiths.
    If confirmed, I will encourage the Government of Uzbekistan 
to increase space for civil society in Uzbekistan and for 
international and domestic nongovernmental organizations to 
register and function freely.
    In 2009, the administration established regular bilateral, 
interagency consultations with Tashkent, and in these high-
level meetings, the full range of bilateral and multilateral 
interests, including political, security, economic, and 
commercial issues, as well as human rights, are discussed 
frankly and comprehensively. And flowing from these 
consultations, an ambitious work plan is being developed to 
make realistic progress in all these areas.
    As Secretary Clinton stressed in Tashkent last December, we 
desire to move from words to actions. And if confirmed, I look 
forward to applying my energy and experience, creativity and 
leadership to constant, consistent engagement that meaningful 
action in these areas demands.
    I know from past ambassadorial experience that being an 
Ambassador is not only an honor but a responsibility, and if 
confirmed, I will endeavor to be a responsible and accountable 
steward of the American people's trust and property, a caring 
leader for the entire embassy community, and a faithful 
representative of our values and word and deed. And I will 
ensure that our mission looks out for the interests of American 
citizens living and traveling in Uzbekistan.
    If confirmed, I will aim not only to develop effective 
relationships with the government but also to get out among the 
people of Uzbekistan and engage all elements of Uzbek society. 
Public diplomacy is a critical element of our work, and I will 
encourage all members of the mission team to be ambassadors to 
the people of Uzbekistan, helping to increase understanding of 
American policies and values. And fostering greater exchanges 
and contacts between our peoples and communities and not just 
between our governments will be a major priority.
    Finally, Mr. Chairman, I know success depends on building 
and leading a strong, dedicated mission team and keeping it 
fully in step with Washington and not only with the executive 
branch but also with Congress, and if confirmed, I will want to 
work closely with Congress, with you and the committee and your 
staff to advance America's goals and interests in Uzbekistan, 
hosting congressional visits and briefing you.
    Thank you, sir, and I look forward to your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Ambassador Krol follows:]

                Prepared Statement of George Albert Krol

    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee,I am honored to appear 
before you today as President Obama's nominee to become U.S. Ambassador 
to the Republic of Uzbekistan. I am grateful for the trust and 
confidence the President and Secretary Clinton have placed in me with 
this nomination. If confirmed, I will work with this committee and the 
entire U.S. Congress to advance America's goals and interests in 
Uzbekistan.
    Since recognizing Uzbekistan and establishing diplomatic relations 
nearly 20 years ago, the United States has supported Uzbekistan's 
sovereignty and independence and encouraged its development as a 
prosperous, tolerant, democratic society and internationally 
responsible state at peace with its neighbors and the world. Those 
remain our fundamental goals to this day.
    Most recently, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central 
Asia, I came to understand and appreciate the importance of Uzbekistan 
to U.S. foreign policy interests.
    Uzbekistan has provided crucial assistance to its neighbor 
Afghanistan and to coalition efforts to stabilize the security 
situation there. Electricity from Uzbekistan keeps the lights burning 
in Kabul. Uzbekistan is also an important part of the Northern 
Distribution Network, a major supply route for coalition forces. If 
confirmed, I will encourage Uzbekistan to maintain this support.
    Illegal narcotics, trafficking in persons, terrorism and extremism 
plague Uzbekistan's immediate neighborhood. Over the years, U.S. 
cooperation with Uzbekistan has grown in addressing these transnational 
challenges through engagement and vetted training programs. If 
confirmed, I will work to strengthen our partnership with Uzbekistan in 
these areas.
    Uzbekistan has the largest population in Central Asia and also is a 
major producer of energy and minerals. If confirmed, I will encourage 
Uzbekistan to take steps to attract U.S. companies to help develop and 
diversify its economy and to buy American goods and services.
    Almost 30 years experience in the Foreign Service has taught me 
that long-term peace and durable stability are only possible with 
respect for human rights, the rule of law, transparent and democratic 
institutions, a vibrant civil society and an open and free media. If 
confirmed, I will engage the government and people of Uzbekistan fully 
and forthrightly, to increase not only our bilateral security and 
economic engagement, but also our engagement on human rights issues 
such as preventing arbitrary arrests, addressing allegations of torture 
and mistreatment in prisons, ending forced child labor, and allowing 
free practice of faiths.
    If confirmed, I will encourage the government to make space for 
civil society in Uzbekistan and for international and domestic 
nongovernmental organizations to register and function freely. These 
steps can facilitate Uzbekistan achieving its self-declared goal to 
become a prosperous, tolerant, and stable society in full accord with 
its international commitments and rich heritage as a crossroads of 
cultures, education, and human values.
    The Obama administration has established an atmosphere and a 
mechanism of constructive dialogue and trust with the government and 
people of Uzbekistan. In February of this year the second series of 
comprehensive annual bilateral consultations with Uzbekistan were held 
in Tashkent. Secretary Clinton visited Tashkent last December to 
elevate our engagement with Uzbekistan's leadership and civil society. 
In these consultations the full range of bilateral and multilateral 
interests including political, security, economic and commercial 
issues, as well as human rights, are discussed frankly and 
comprehensively.
    An ambitious work plan is being developed to make realistic 
progress in all these areas. Many of these issues are not easy to 
resolve and will require great effort. The United States and, I 
believe, Uzbekistan are committed to this process and to achieving 
results. As Secretary Clinton stressed in Tashkent, we desire to move 
from words to actions. If confirmed, I look forward to applying my 
energy, experience, creativity, leadership and insight to the constant, 
consistent engagement that meaningful action in these areas demands.
    I know from my past ambassadorial experience that being an American 
ambassador is not only a great honor but also a great responsibility. 
If confirmed, I will endeavor to be a good steward of the American 
people's trust and property, a caring leader for my embassy colleagues, 
and a faithful representative of our values and our interests. I will 
ensure that our mission looks out for the interests of American 
citizens living and traveling in Uzbekistan.
    If confirmed, I will aim not only to develop effective 
relationships with the leadership and government authorities, but also 
to get out among the people of Uzbekistan and engage all elements of 
Uzbek society. To me, public diplomacy is a critical element of our 
diplomatic engagement. I will encourage all members of the mission team 
to be ambassadors to the people of Uzbekistan working to increase 
understanding of the United States, our policies and our values. 
Fostering greater exchanges and contacts between our peoples and 
communities, and not just between our governments, will be a major 
priority.
    Finally, I know success depends on my leadership in encouraging and 
supporting a strong, dedicated mission team and keeping it fully 
synchronized with Washington, not only with the executive branch, but 
with the Congress as well. If confirmed, I would look forward to 
continuing an active dialogue with you as we seek to strengthen our 
relations with the people of Uzbekistan.
    Thank you. I look forward to answering your questions.

    Senator Casey. Thank you, Mr. Ambassador. I will also note 
for the record that you were born in Pittsburgh. Is that 
correct?
    Ambassador Krol. Yes, sir.
    Senator Casey. That will have some impact on me. OK.
    Ambassador Krol. And I am a Pirate fan too I have to say. 
[Laughter.]
    Senator Risch. Do we have any Idaho appointees here, Mr. 
Chairman?
    Senator Casey. We are going to work on those. We are going 
to make that part of the next hearing.
    Mr. Ensher, we want to welcome you as well and thank you 
for your commitment to public service. You can provide a 
summary. Both your full statements will be made part of the 
record.

STATEMENT OF HENRY S. ENSHER, OF CALIFORNIA, A CAREER MEMBER OF 
     THE SENIOR FOREIGN SERVICE, CLASS OF COUNSELOR, TO BE 
   AMBASSADOR TO THE PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ALGERIA

    Mr. Ensher. This will be just a brief summary, Senator, if 
that is all right with you.
    Senator Casey. Thank you.
    Mr. Ensher. Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Risch, thank you 
very much for the opportunity to appear before you today. I am 
honored by President Obama's nomination to be U.S. Ambassador 
to Algeria. I deeply appreciate the confidence he and Secretary 
Clinton have shown by making this nomination.
    If confirmed, my No. 1 goal will be to protect all 
Americans living and working in Algeria. I will work to advance 
critical United States foreign policy and national security 
interests in Algeria by using the full range of our diplomatic 
tools to promote security and economic prosperity. Both the 
President and the Secretary have emphasized the importance of 
outreach to civil society in countries of the region, 
especially women's organizations, and if confirmed, doing so 
will be a priority.
    Mr. Chairman, I wanted to thank you very much for 
acknowledging my family, but I feel I would be remiss if I 
didn't add just a couple of words. So with permission, I will 
do that.
    I have been away from the family for much of the last 
several years, 2 years, including time spent in Iraq and 
Afghanistan, and that would not have been possible particularly 
without Mona's unwavering love and support. She has done 
splendidly at home even while she was doing a very important 
job in service to the people of the United States. So I wanted 
to acknowledge that again.
    Thank you, sir, for that.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Ensher follows:]

                 Prepared Statement of Henry S. Ensher

    Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Lugar, members of the committee, I 
thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today.
    I am honored by President Obama's nomination of me to be U.S. 
Ambassador to Algeria. I deeply appreciate the confidence President 
Obama and Secretary Clinton have shown by making this nomination. If 
confirmed by the Senate, my No. 1 goal will be to protect the people 
who serve the United States at our mission in Algiers and to protect 
the Americans who live and work in Algeria. I will work to advance 
critical U.S. foreign policy and national security interests in Algeria 
by using the full range of our diplomatic tools to promote security and 
economic prosperity. Both the President and the Secretary have 
emphasized the importance of outreach to civil society in countries of 
the region and, if confirmed, doing so will be a priority.
    With your permission, I would like to introduce my wife, Mona, and 
our two sons, Henry and Tariq. I would not be here today without their 
unwavering love and support. The service to our country in Iraq and 
Afghanistan that have kept me away from them for more than 2 years 
would not have been possible without Mona's steadiness and grace at 
home, even while she excelled at her own very important job.
    The relationship between the United States and Algeria has never 
been stronger. As the third-most populous country in the Arab world, 
Algeria is the largest producer of oil and gas on the African 
Continent, and an important supplier of energy to both the United 
States and Europe. Algeria also plays a critical role on the front 
lines countering violent extremism, and knows firsthand how important 
it is to maintain constant vigilance against those who wish to do us 
harm.
    Like other countries in the region, Algeria has been impacted by 
events of the ``Arab Spring.'' President Bouteflika has recently 
announced important reforms of the Algerian system, and we look forward 
to their early implementation. Algerians will decide any next steps 
they wish to take and, if confirmed, I look forward to developing our 
relations with them as they continue to craft their own destiny.
    Algeria exports nearly 2 million barrels of oil a day. The United 
States is by far Algeria's largest trading partner, accounting for 
nearly a quarter of all hydrocarbon sales. However, when it comes to 
Algeria's imports, the United States doesn't even make it into the top 
five. While maintaining a constant flow of oil is critical, if 
confirmed I will work with American companies to develop Algerian 
partners to help them make use of Algeria's considerable resources for 
their shared benefit.
    Our relationship with Algeria is built on counterterrorism 
cooperation. President Bouteflika was the first Arab leader to call 
President Bush following the attacks on 9/11, which reflected our 
shared view of the dangers posed by terrorism and led to even greater 
cooperation. Algeria's fight against violent extremism in the 1990s 
cost tens of thousands of lives, imposing still more sacrifice on the 
Algerian people, who have such a long history of struggle to win and 
preserve their freedom and sovereignty. Actions of the government 
caused the level of violence to decrease, but Algeria knows as well as 
the United States that violent extremism remains a threat.
    To further improve our bilateral cooperation, we recently kicked 
off a Counterterrorism Contact Group. Additionally, Algeria has taken a 
leading role in international cooperation on counterterrorism, and, if 
confirmed, I will encourage them to continue to do so.
    Algeria has long had a significant role in Middle Eastern and 
African affairs. It is a key player in conflict resolution throughout 
the wider region. It is a leading member state of the Arab League, the 
African Union, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. It is a 
longstanding member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting 
Countries and a founding member of the New Economic Partnership for 
African Development. Its mediating role in conflicts in the Sahel will 
remain vital to finding peaceful solutions there. The ``frozen 
conflict'' over Western Sahara cannot be resolved without Algerian 
involvement. Not least, Algeria is literally at the confluence of 
Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Arab world. It would gain from 
increasing trade within the region, and its willingness to lead in this 
area will be critical to realizing long-held dreams of regional 
integration.
    Regarding the Embassy itself, our team has recently moved to a new, 
more secure facility, which is critical to our ability to promote our 
interests in an environment that still has the potential to be 
dangerous to us. To be clear, there has been a lot of improvement in 
our ability to operate freely in Algiers since I served there 11 years 
ago, but some necessary restrictions remain in place. If confirmed, I 
will have no higher priority than the security and safety of the entire 
American community in Algeria. Thank you for this opportunity to 
address you today. I would be pleased to address any questions that you 
may have.

    Senator Casey. Thank you very much and thanks for offering 
that personal note. That is probably not acknowledged enough in 
this city.
    I wanted to start with Algeria and some of the challenges 
we have with our relationship. We know that we are partners in 
counterterrorism and we know that as Ambassador you would have 
the chance and the opportunity to build on what is the newly 
formed U.S.-Algeria Contact Group, the Counterterrorism Contact 
Group. I guess I would ask you first how you see that part of 
our relationship and how you would build on that foundation.
    Mr. Ensher. That is a great word, Senator. There is a 
strong foundation there that goes back some time, even into the 
1990s, and takes into account the fact that the Algerians were 
the first to acknowledge and express condolences after the 
events of 9/11 from the Arab world. Since then, we have engaged 
in a number of activities designed to improve that 
counterterrorism cooperation, of which the recent beginning of 
a contact group is only the latest example.
    Sir, if confirmed, I would expect to intensify those 
relations across the full range of activities, including 
enhanced military cooperation and support for enhanced law 
enforcement cooperation and what can be done by improved 
relations with civil society as well. There are great 
opportunities here and we would look to exploit them fully, 
especially the Algerian desire to be a regional leader in this 
area, and we will look to support that in particular.
    Thank you, sir.
    Senator Casey. I was going to ask you another question that 
relates to what we have seen play out over the last couple of 
months in the region, starting in Tunisia. I was struck by the 
contrast, just having been to the Middle East in July, and with 
Egypt being the last stop on our trip. We met with civil 
society leaders and their request at that time seemed so 
limited because of the circumstances that were at work then. In 
a meeting with three U.S. Senators, they requested that we and 
the U.S. Government provide more help for a freer election in 
Egypt--nothing about regime change or the kind of changes we 
have seen. In every country in that region, over many years, 
there have been civil society leaders, many of whom are now 
among the leaders and the activists for change.
    In Algeria, the democratic movement or protest movement has 
been more limited compared to other countries in the region. 
There have been a series of prodemocracy protests and strikes 
and demonstrations that have their origins in economics. If you 
are confirmed, how would you work with Algeria's civil society 
leaders to make sure that the focus is on political reform? It 
is a two part question really. How do you see the reform 
movement and progress, if any, and two, how would you work with 
civil society leaders?
    Mr. Ensher. Thank you for that, Mr. Chairman.
    It is a two-part response to your two-part question.
    First of all, I could not agree more with my colleague, 
Ambassador Krol, on the importance of public diplomacy, simply 
being out there, making ourselves available as an embassy team 
to all aspects of society. We are supposed to be the embassy 
not just to the government but to the entire society, and we 
will do that under my leadership if I am confirmed, Senator. So 
that is one aspect of it.
    The other is that we have a number of really excellent 
programs under the Middle East Partnership Initiative which 
enable us to help certain parts of civil society and, in fact, 
even the government develop their capacity better to improve 
their capability to advocate effectively for their rights, 
which already exist under the Algerian Constitution. And so I 
will continue and intensify those.
    I would also point out that the Algerian people have long 
expressed a desire for broader participation in their own 
government, and we will support that as well.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Casey. Thank you.
    In my remaining time, I will turn to Ambassador Krol. Mr. 
Ambassador, like so many places where we have committed brave 
Americans serving in diplomatic posts, there are always 
tensions and conflicts that you have to try to resolve as 
Ambassador. And I do not envy the challenges that Ambassadors 
like you, and those who seek to serve, face.
    You are going to have difficulties balancing two things, at 
least. One of the problems is the Northern Distribution 
Network. I am told that when we move supplies to our troops in 
Afghanistan, an estimated 98 percent of the traffic in that 
network passes through Uzbekistan. So it is a critical route to 
getting supplies to our troops in Afghanistan.
    At the same time, we have got to be very tough and 
determined about making sure that Uzbekistan addresses the 
significant human rights abuses, the concerns that people have 
regarding a persecution of religious minority groups, forced 
child labor, restrictions on domestic and international 
nongovernmental organizations, torture, or illegal treatment in 
the criminal justice system. That is a long, long list.
    How do you see that challenge and can you give us some 
indication about how you will address that priority, in the 
context of the necessity for us to get supplies to our troops 
through the Northern Distribution Network?
    Ambassador Krol. Thank you, Senator. That is a very good 
question and certainly a very important one. It is a basic 
challenge that I will face, if confirmed, as have my 
predecessors.
    However, I do not view it so much as an either/or. We have 
to pursue both of these matters together, and I would say on 
the matter of the Northern Distribution Network, which is all 
part of the effort to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan, 
that it is clearly in the interest of Uzbekistan. And in our 
conversations with the leadership of Uzbekistan, they clearly 
wish to see Afghanistan, their neighbor, stabilized. And so I 
think they see it very much in their interest to facilitate and 
support the international efforts in Afghanistan for their own 
merits and for their own security for Uzbekistan. So it is not 
a matter that they are just doing this for us. We are doing 
this together, and they understand it. They live in a tough 
neighborhood, and when we have discussions with them at the 
highest level, as when Secretary Clinton was there last 
December, this is quite clear that they join us in wishing to 
see success in Afghanistan, stability on their border so that 
it does not spread into their own country.
    On human rights issues, that too is a security and a 
stability issue. And if confirmed, what I would like to do, as 
my predecessors have, is to develop an atmosphere of trust and 
confidence with the government and the people of Uzbekistan so 
that they understand that respect for human rights creates 
greater stability in a country in order to weather 
difficulties, whether they are economic and the like. And this 
is not something of simply because we like it to be done and 
simply because it is a matter of their obligations under their 
international commitments, but that having a respect for human 
rights in all the areas that you said do create a durable 
stability for a country, which is what is in everyone's 
interest, the Uzbek authorities, the Uzbek people, and 
ourselves. And so I would like to be able to encourage them to 
take steps that broaden this sphere, this space for civil 
society, for broadening the choices that people have.
    Another issue in Uzbekistan is that a very large percent of 
its population is young, very young, and they have aspirations. 
They need choices. And a lot of it will be finding jobs, what 
kind of a future that they have, and having a society that can 
provide those choices will stabilize that so you will not have 
resentments building up that could lead to some of the lessons 
we have seen elsewhere in the world of late.
    Thank you, sir.
    Senator Casey. Thanks very much.
    Senator Risch.
    Senator Risch. Well, thank you very much.
    Mr. Ensher, let me start with you. My chief of staff was in 
Algiers for a week during the recent break. So I am modestly 
informed as to what is going on on the ground there. But I 
would like to get your views generally as to how the popular 
uprisings, for want of a better word, will move forward in 
Algiers. How will that resolve? How do you see it?
    Mr. Ensher. Thank you very much for that.
    I have to say that because of the activities of your chief 
of staff, sir, you are well ahead of me. It has been 11 years 
since I have been in Algiers.
    But with that in mind, I would say----
    Senator Risch. By the way, there are still sandstorms there 
in case you forgot.
    Mr. Ensher. There always are, yes.
    It seems to me that there are a couple of ways that this 
could go. One way would be for the government to do, as it is 
apparently trying to do, which is to get out ahead of the 
demands of the population for greater openness, improved press 
freedom, broader access to the government, all those sorts of 
things. And they have done that by lifting the state of 
emergency that had been in place for 18 years and by 
promising--promising--the type of legislation necessary to 
achieve those goals to be passed sometime in fall of this year. 
So that would be the good course of action.
    And here I will point out that so far in Algeria, there 
have been very few calls for a change of regime. It all has 
been about economic and social and political aspirations within 
the framework as it exists, not requiring the departure of any 
particular leader. That is a huge difference I think from some 
of the other places in the region.
    The other way that it could go would be for the security 
situation to get out of control, and to lead to the sorts of 
things that we have seen elsewhere. I frankly do not expect 
that to happen. Algeria has a lot of resources to bring to 
bear. There is a longstanding demand, a tradition of democratic 
practice and a sense that democracy is already the right way to 
go. And so I am really quite optimistic about the future there.
    Thank you, Senator.
    Senator Risch. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
    Mr. Krol, you have covered the waterfront I think pretty 
well. I wonder if you could comment a little bit in general 
terms about the terrorism issue in Uzbekistan. We know that 
there are Islamic extremists there that pose security threats. 
Can you give us your view of that, please?
    Ambassador Krol. Yes, Senator. That is again a very good 
question, a very pertinent one.
    Unfortunately, Uzbekistan has been the victim of terrorist 
attacks. There are organizations such as the Islamic Movement 
of Uzbekistan, as well as the Islamic Jihad Union, that are 
comprised in part of people from Uzbekistan who may be 
operationally working in places further to their south, 
Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the like. The Uzbeks are very 
concerned to keep that threat at bay. That is why they wish to 
maintain strong border controls, as well as controls within 
their country, to prevent these groupings from consolidating or 
taking action in Uzbekistan.
    And it also requires working with their neighboring 
countries. I think they are concerned that the neighboring 
countries, particularly Tajikistan and Kyrgizstan, that have 
long borders with Uzbekistan, that those countries are able to 
prevent terrorist groups from conducting or having a safe haven 
in these countries in order to have attacks on Uzbekistan or 
into Uzbekistan or in the whole region. This is certainly an 
area that is of great concern to everyone in the region and the 
United States even though we are not of the region, but as you 
know, we do have significant assets in Afghanistan as well. And 
so it is serious. It demands a great deal of attention, and it 
is certainly one of the areas that we wish to cooperate with 
Uzbekistan to address.
    Senator Risch. Thank you very much.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Casey. Thanks very much, Senator Risch.
    Ambassador Krol, I wanted to go back to the concerns we 
have about human rights, and I know you share these. I wanted 
to refer back to a particular statement you made in 2008, and 
to get your reaction to some of the information that surrounds 
this issue.
    In a Voice of America interview in Uzbekistan in October 
2008, you commended the Uzbek Government for ``passing orders 
to enforce legislation about child labor.'' During the same 
year, during the 2008 cotton harvest, the School of Oriental 
and African Studies at the University of London found that 
approximately 2.4 million school children between the ages of 
10 and 15 were forcibly recruited to harvest cotton. A followup 
study by the same group released in November 2010 noted that 
the practice remains ubiquitous. Our own U.S. Department of 
Labor last year included Uzbek cotton on the list of ``goods 
produced by child labor and forced labor.''
    Clearly, it seems that the government has, in a real sense, 
thumbed its nose at the obligations under the ILO Convention 
182. I want to have you comment on that based upon those 
studies and based upon a previous statement you made.
    Ambassador Krol. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    It is a serious issue and a problem in Uzbekistan. It is 
one that we raise consistently with the Uzbek authorities, and 
if confirmed, I know it will be one of the ones that I will be 
dealing with with them.
    As you had mentioned, the Uzbek Government has acceded to 
all of the ILO Conventions dealing with child labor. The 
government and the President have passed and signed decrees 
that prohibit forced child labor in Uzbekistan. And so we 
commend them, as we say, for those actions that they have 
taken, at least in passing or at least adhering to these 
international conventions and signing the legislation.
    But as you said, we need to move from the words to actually 
fulfilling the commitments made to the ILO Conventions, as well 
as fulfilling even the decrees of the President. And most 
recently, one could say that there was encouraging news because 
the Government of Uzbekistan--and their Embassy here passed us 
the information--has set up an interagency commission across 
the entire government authorities of Uzbekistan for the purpose 
of implementing these commitments made under the ILO and other 
things.
    So again, it is welcoming to see that, but again, we will 
want to see that this goes beyond simply creating a commission 
to actually going to the action of addressing the children that 
are working in the fields. And I think our human rights report 
and other reports of our Embassy have made it clear that it 
does continue. So again, I would quote Secretary Clinton again 
when she was in Tashkent. ``We need to move from the words 
which are welcoming and good to hear to the actions of actually 
ending this practice.''
    Senator Casey. Well, we would urge you to continue to press 
them very aggressively. We appreciate the commitment you have. 
Your statements today are important to that.
    I will have a number of other questions for the record 
probably for both nominees and those that preceded you.
    Ambassador Krol, I did not get to prisoners of conscience, 
the criminal justice system. There is a long list that we do 
not have time to get into today, but we will make sure that the 
questions and the answers are made part of the record of this 
hearing and your nomination.
    We are grateful to both of you for your commitment to 
public service at a tough time internationally, and for the 
commitment of your families as well.
    Unless there is anything else to come before the 
committee--Senator Risch?
    Senator Risch. Mr. Ensher, on a personal note, is your 
family, your wife and your children, going with you?
    Mr. Ensher. They will be back and forth a great deal I 
suspect. Mona does have a very important job. The boys are in 
school and doing other things. But this will be a big change 
from Iraq and Afghanistan where at least we have the option. 
Thank you for asking.
    And, Senator, from those two experiences, the one thing 
that I have learned or a thing that I have learned is the 
absolute criticality of CODELs and STAFFDELs. It is so 
important to reinforce the message that they are getting from 
we diplomats out there. It is so important for them to 
understand the political environment that we operate in and 
that drives the things that we do. So I cannot urge you 
strongly enough. I cannot invite you more enthusiastically than 
to come to the Kasbah if confirmed.
    Thank you.
    Senator Risch. Thank you.
    Senator Casey. Ambassador Krol, any closing statements?
    Ambassador Krol. I would just echo my colleague Henry and 
welcome you all to Uzbekistan, the Great Silk Road, Samarkand, 
Bukhara, Khiva. It is a fascinating country and a very warm and 
hospitable people with long traditions and culture. I think 
having your staff and everyone coming out there makes a great 
deal of difference to the people.
    Thank you.
    Senator Casey. Thank you both very much.
    This hearing is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 4:05 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]
                              ----------                              


       Additional Questions and Answers Submitted for the Record


         Responses of Daniel Shapiro to Questions Submitted by
                         Senator John F. Kerry

    Question. 2011 has been a year of unprecedented change in the 
Middle East. How have the events in Egypt and Syria affected Israel's 
security situation? How do you see your role in supporting the Israeli-
Egyptian relationship? What can the United States do to help ensure the 
integrity of the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty? What can the United 
States do to ensure that the turbulence in Syria does not spill over 
into Lebanon or threaten Israel?

    Answer. If confirmed, I will ensure that we continue our close 
cooperation and consultation with Israel regarding any developments 
that might pose a threat to Israel's security.
    Egypt is undergoing a period of significant transition. Our 
relationship with Egypt remains strong, and we continue to work 
constructively and collaboratively with the Egyptian Government on a 
range of issues. We remain encouraged that the current Egyptian 
Government has repeatedly expressed its commitment to adhere to past 
agreements, including its Treaty of Peace with Israel.
    The Department of State fully appreciates the significance of 
Egyptian-Israeli peace to our regional interests and to regional 
stability. In our discussions with Egyptian leadership across the 
political spectrum, we have and will continue to underscore the 
importance of upholding this and Egypt's other international 
obligations.
    On Syria, our policy is that the abhorrent and deplorable actions 
of the Syrian Government against the Syrian people must end 
immediately. The Syrian Government must also immediately stop arbitrary 
arrests, detention, and torture.

    Question. What can be done to counter efforts to delegitimize 
Israel? Are there steps that Israel could take that would decrease the 
popular pressures in Egypt and Jordan to recalibrate their relations 
with Israel?

    Answer. In the U.N. system and in many international organizations, 
members devote disproportionate attention to Israel and consistently 
adopt biased resolutions, which too often divert attention from the 
world's most egregious human rights abuses. We will continue our 
ongoing effort in the full range of international organizations to 
ensure that Israel's legitimacy is beyond dispute and its security is 
never in doubt.
    We will do all we can to ensure that Israel has the same rights and 
responsibilities as all states in these bodies--including membership in 
all appropriate regional groupings at the U.N.
    The peace agreements between Israel and Egypt, and Israel and 
Jordan, are fundamental for long-term regional peace and stability in 
the region. We strongly support Israeli, Jordanian, and Egyptian 
efforts ensure productive relations and strengthened connections 
between their governments and peoples in support of regional peace and 
stability.

    Question. What is the administration's position on the Hamas-Fatah 
unity government? What factors will it use in determining the future 
relationship with, and financial support for, the Palestinian 
Authority?

    Answer. We understand Fatah and Hamas have reached a reconciliation 
agreement. What is important now is that the Palestinians ensure 
implementation of that agreement advances the prospects of peace rather 
than undermines them.
    We will continue to seek information on the details of the 
agreement and to consult with Palestinians and Israelis about these 
issues.
    We understand the concerns of some Members of Congress. As a new 
Palestinian Government is formed, we will assess it based on its 
policies and will determine the implications for our assistance based 
on U.S. law.
    We are confident President Abbas remains committed to the 
principles of nonviolence, recognition of the state of Israel, and 
acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties.
    To play a constructive role in achieving peace, any interim 
Palestinian Government formed in the period before elections must 
ensure its actions fully implement these principles. The U.S. stance 
toward such a government will be fully consistent with U.S. law.
    Our position on Hamas has not changed; Hamas is a designated 
Foreign Terrorist Organization.

    Question. In August 2010, the President said that he believed it 
might be possible to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement 
within a 1-year timeframe, a period which roughly corresponds with the 
end of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's 2-year institution-
building program.

   Do you still believe a peace agreement is possible? How do 
        you evaluate Salam Fayyad's program?

    Answer. A comprehensive Middle East peace agreement remains a 
central U.S. policy objective. As we have said many times, the status 
quo between Israelis and Palestinians is not sustainable. Neither 
Israel's future as a democratic Jewish state, nor the legitimate 
aspirations of Palestinians can be secured without a two-state solution 
that is achieved through serious and credible negotiations that address 
issues of concerns to both sides.
    The Palestinian Authority has set forth a clear vision for 
strengthening the institutions of a future Palestinian state, improving 
delivery of essential services, and implementing a reform agenda. Over 
the past year and a half, the PA has made steady progress in putting in 
place policies to reform the security sector, foster economic growth, 
expand public services, decrease reliance on donor assistance, 
effectively manage public expenditures and improve tax revenue 
collection. However, as we have often stated, the Palestinian 
institution-building program is mutually reinforcing with efforts on 
the political track; it cannot achieve a Palestinian state absent a 
negotiated outcome.

    Question. On March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie, an American citizen, 
was killed by an Israel Defense Forces bulldozer in Rafah, Gaza while 
protesting home demolitions. Both the Obama and Bush administrations 
have affirmed that Israel's investigation into Ms. Corrie's killing did 
not meet the standard of being ``thorough, credible, and transparent'' 
that was assured by the Israeli Government in 2003. On June 30, 2010, 
Department of State spokesperson P.J. Crowley stated, ``We continue to 
stress to the Government of Israel at the highest levels to continue a 
thorough, transparent, and credible investigation of the circumstances 
concerning her death.''

   Please provide information on steps taken under the current 
        administration, including the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, to 
        encourage the Government of Israel to undertake a thorough, 
        credible, and transparent investigation into Ms. Corrie's 
        death. What specific steps will the administration take to 
        ensure accountability is obtained in the case? What specific 
        steps will you commit to take, if confirmed, to encourage a 
        reopening of a credible investigative process?

    Answer. Since Rachel Corrie's death in March 2003, the Department 
of State and the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv have been in close contact 
with the Corrie family to provide them with support and assistance. For 
7 years, we have pressed the Government of Israel at the highest levels 
to conduct a thorough, transparent, and credible investigation into the 
circumstances of her death. The Israeli Government has responded that 
it considers this case closed and does not plan on reinvestigating the 
incident. In March 2010, an Israeli court began hearing the family's 
civil case against Israeli authorities. We hope that this venue will 
finally provide them with the answers that they seek.
    We will continue to work with and assist the Corrie family as 
appropriate.
                                 ______
                                 

          Responses of Stuart Jones to Questions Submitted by
                         Senator John F. Kerry

    Question. On February 20 King Abdullah of Jordan outlined an 
ambitious program for political and economic reform. What can the 
United States do to support these initiatives?

    Answer. The United States enjoys a warm relationship with King 
Abdullah and with the people of Jordan. If confirmed, I look forward to 
supporting their efforts to implement political and economic reform. 
Maintaining our MOU assistance levels is the first priority in 
supporting the Government of Jordan's political, economic, and social 
reform agendas. U.S. economic assistance aims to help Jordan on its 
path to growth and development by enhancing private sector 
competitiveness, trade, employment opportunities, and workforce 
development to promote economic growth. Our USAID programs are 
providing technical assistance to strengthen Jordan's tax 
administration and improve efficiencies through results-based budgeting 
and a more effective financial management information system. Democracy 
and governance (DG) programs capitalize on the renewed energy within 
civil society to promote civic participation, judicial independence, 
legal reforms (including electoral reform), respect for human rights, 
and anti-corruption measures.

    Question. An opening of the Jordanian political system could allow 
the Islamic Action Front to play a more prominent role in Jordanian 
politics. What is the United States policy toward the IAF?

    Answer. The Islamic Action Front (IAF), an opposition, Islamist 
party, has been a part of the Jordanian political system since 1992. 
They are a well-established, legal opposition party that participates 
nonviolently in the mainstream political process. In the previous 
Parliament, the IAF held six seats. The movement boycotted October 2010 
parliamentary elections and is therefore not represented in the current 
Parliament. The IAF continues to state its loyalty to the monarchy and 
allegiance to the system but has called for reforms to the system. The 
IAF opposed the appointment of the new Prime Minister in February 2011, 
refused to join the new Cabinet, and also boycotted the National 
Dialogue Committee. The IAF's specific statements are generally viewed 
as not representative of wider Jordanian popular opinion.
    The Embassy continues to meet at the working level with IAF 
officials, however, the IAF is often not interested in meeting with 
Embassy officers.

    Question. Jordan has expressed an interest in a bilateral agreement 
on peaceful nuclear cooperation. What is the status of these 
discussions?

    Answer. Negotiations between the United States and Jordan regarding 
an agreement for civil nuclear cooperation are ongoing. Since Jordan 
currently imports 96 percent of its energy needs, it is vulnerable to 
world energy prices which continue to strain its economy. We would like 
to help Jordan with its energy security by assisting with development 
of peaceful energy alternatives.
    Beyond the ongoing nuclear cooperation, we are also working on 
additional energy alternatives with Jordan. In order to promote the 
diversification of energy supply and a reduction in greenhouse gas 
emissions, the United States has engaged with the GOJ on unconventional 
natural gas resource development through the Global Shale Gas 
initiative (GSGI). A Jordanian delegation attended the inaugural GSGI 
Regulatory Conference in August 2010, and another GOJ delegation is 
scheduled to visit the United States at the end of 2011. Furthermore, 
in January 2011, a memorandum of understanding on shale gas development 
was signed between the United States and GOJ on shale gas development. 
This agreement set forth the framework under which the U.S. Geological 
Survey (USGS) plans to conduct a resource assessment of Jordanian shale 
gas resource potential and help build capacity through technical level 
workshops.

    Question. What has been Jordan's response to the Fatah-Hamas 
agreement signed in Cairo on March 4?

    Answer. The Government of Jordan took note of the agreement, is 
watching its implementation closely, and continues to engage in 
supporting a comprehensive peace in the Middle East and remains 
committed partner to that end. We are confident that the Jordanian 
Government will continue to play a constructive role in emphasizing to 
all parties the importance of securing a comprehensive peace.

    Question. As a result of the Arab Spring, there may be increasing 
pressure throughout the region to align policies more closely with 
public opinion. In the case of Jordan, there may be more pressure to 
recalibrate Jordan's relationship with Israel. What can the United 
States do to support this important relationship?

    Answer. Jordan, like the United States, remains committed to the 
vision of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by 
side in peace and security, and Jordan has been a critical partner in 
our efforts to make progress toward comprehensive peace in the Middle 
East. Jordan is one of only two Arab countries that have signed peace 
treaties with Israel (in 1994), and it considers the achievement of 
comprehensive peace a top priority for the region and one that is 
crucial to the security and well-being of future generations living in 
the region. King Abdullah and successive Jordanian governments have 
consistently spoken out publicly in support of comprehensive Middle 
East peace based on a two-state solution. Jordan views its peace 
agreement with Israel as an important component of the comprehensive 
peace it seeks to achieve.
    The United States will continue to encourage a strong bilateral 
relationship between Israel and Jordan by engaging both countries' 
leaders on the peace process, developments in the region, and regional 
security issues. We will continue to support ongoing programs that 
foster closer bilateral ties, especially between the two private 
sectors such as the Qualifying Industrial Zones program and encourage 
multilateral programming and partnership on resources, particularly on 
water use and science and technology.
                                 ______
                                 

           Responses of George Krol to Questions Submitted by
                         Senator John F. Kerry

    Question. Uzbekistan has assumed an increasingly prominent role in 
the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), an important series of air and 
ground routes that carry supplies to our troops in Afghanistan. 
According to recent figures, the United States now ships over 1,000 
containers each week to Afghanistan through the NDN, with an estimated 
98 percent of that traffic passing through Uzbekistan.

   How are we balancing the need for reliable access to such 
        routes with our responsibility to address Uzbekistan's 
        significant human rights concerns, including persecution of 
        religious minority groups, forced child labor, restrictions on 
        domestic and international nongovernmental organizations, and 
        torture and ill-treatment in its criminal justice system?

    Answer. Encouraging Uzbekistan to continue its support for the 
Northern Distribution Network (NDN) and working with it to improve its 
respect for human rights are not mutually exclusive goals. Both 
increasing NDN capacity and respect for basic human rights are in 
Uzbekistan's and America's national security interests as they can lead 
to greater and more durable security and stability for Uzbekistan and 
the region. Uzbekistan understands that NDN helps address one of its 
major national security concerns: establishing a stable and secure 
Afghanistan on their southern border. On this basis, we seek to 
maintain Uzbekistan's support for NDN. At the same time, we argue that 
respect for human rights also establishes greater domestic stability 
and security, which also meets Uzbekistan's national interest. We will 
continue to encourage Uzbekistan's authorities at all levels privately 
and publicly, bilaterally and multilaterally, to meet its international 
obligations to respect the full range of universal human rights, 
including freeing prisoners of conscience, eliminating child labor, and 
ending torture and mistreatment in prisons. To these ends, we will 
engage multilaterally with other diplomatic missions in Tashkent, the 
European Union (EU) and in international organizations, including the 
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the 
International Labor Organization (ILO) to reinforce the message that 
the Government of Uzbekistan meet its human rights obligations. We will 
continue to vigorously assist, support, and take up the cause of civil 
society and victims of human rights abuses in Uzbekistan. We will 
continue to make clear to Uzbekistan's authorities that the type of 
partnership we can have with the Government of Uzbekistan and the 
assistance we can provide it under current congressional legislation 
depends on its respect for human rights in accordance with its 
international obligations. We have and will continue to be constant and 
consistent in this principled approach.

    Question. In its FY 2012 budget, the administration has requested 
$100,000 in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Uzbekistan. What 
specific conditions will Uzbekistan have to meet to be eligible for 
these funds?

    Answer. The administration requested $100,000 in Foreign Military 
Financing (FMF) assistance in the FY 2012 budget to help the Government 
of Uzbekistan protect the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) supply 
lines. The FMF request was made as a signal of our willingness to 
cooperate with Uzbekistan on security issues. The current conditions on 
Uzbekistan's eligibility for FMF assistance are included in the FY 2011 
State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act and require progress on 
respect for internationally recognized human rights and a credible 
investigation of events in Andijon in 2005. The administration is 
working with the Government of Uzbekistan, through Annual Bilateral 
Consultations and other processes, to facilitate improvement in the 
areas related to the conditions currently included in the law and will 
continue to push for improvements in the government's respect for human 
rights.

    Question. On March 15, Human Rights Watch (HRW) announced that it 
was forced to end its 15-year presence in Uzbekistan after the 
government revoked its Tashkent office permit. HRW had maintained 
registration in the country after Andijan in 2005, but the Government 
of Uzbekistan constantly denied visas and accreditation for its staff.
    The committee understands that the matter of HRW's ``liquidation'' 
is now before the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan. What steps is the 
administration taking to urge the Government of Uzbekistan to allow the 
organization's office to operate freely and with full accreditation for 
its staff?

    Answer. We are raising the accreditation of Human Rights Watch and 
the legal proceeding to close its office in Tashkent vigorously at all 
levels of the Government of Uzbekistan. This issue, and the return of 
other reputable nongovernmental organizations supporting human rights 
in Uzbekistan, is one of the priority matters on our bilateral agenda 
with Uzbekistan, which is raised at our annual bilateral consultations 
and reviews. We also work with the European Union and in the 
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to reinforce 
our efforts to press the Government of Uzbekistan to open its country 
to international NGOs and to increase space for all forms of civil 
society.

    Question. According to the State Department's 2010 Country Report 
on Human Rights Practices in Uzbekistan, ``torture and abuse were 
common in prisons, pretrial facilities, and local police and security 
service precincts.'' What strategy will you employ to encourage the 
Government of Uzbekistan to end torture in its criminal justice system?

    Answer. We will continue to raise the cases of torture and abuse 
that occur in prisons to all levels of the Government of Uzbekistan 
privately and, when warranted, publicly. We support programs 
implemented through the Organization for Security and Cooperation in 
Europe (OSCE) to train and educate Uzbekistani prison officials on 
respecting the human rights of prisoners and preventing abuse. We 
recently began a new USAID rule of law program that will work with 
defense lawyers and prosecutors to improve understanding and 
implementation of habeas corpus legislation, with the goal of reducing 
the overall number of citizens placed in pretrial detention where a 
significant portion of abuse occurs. We also are strongly encouraging 
the Uzbekistani authorities to continue to allow the International 
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) access to prisons run by the Ministry 
of Internal Affairs and to extend this access to individuals 
incarcerated in prisons run by the National Security Service. This 
issue continually is one of the priority agenda items in our bilateral 
consultations with the Uzbekistani Government and one that is part of 
our bilateral work plan. During her visit to Uzbekistan in December 
2010, Secretary Clinton spoke with President Karimov on a number of 
human rights issues, including several specific cases of concern and 
prison conditions in general. She also met separately with 
representatives of Uzbek civil society, including human rights 
activists.

    Question. If confirmed, what steps will you take to press the 
Government of Uzbekistan to release the growing number of prisoners of 
conscience, both secular activists and religious believers, being held 
in prison in that country?

    Answer. We will continue to vigorously raise the cases of prisoners 
of conscience at all levels of the Government of Uzbekistan both 
privately and when warranted publicly. Past efforts contributed to the 
release of some prisoners such as Mutabar Tadjibayeva; Sanjar Umarov, 
and Farhod Mukhtarov. We have made clear to the Uzbekistani authorities 
that the unjust imprisonment of religious believers and secular civil 
society activists severely restricts the extent of cooperation and 
assistance the United States can provide to the Government of 
Uzbekistan in many areas of potential joint endeavor. At the same time, 
the United States will support and champion the victims of unjust 
imprisonment and work multilaterally with other diplomatic missions, 
the European Union, and through international organizations including 
the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the 
U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for their release and for a change of 
approach by Uzbekistani authorities.
                                 ______
                                 

          Responses of Henry Ensher to Questions Submitted by
                         Senator John F. Kerry

    Question. Some have been surprised that the wave of unrest that 
swept through North Africa in recent months has been relatively weak in 
Algeria. Why do you suppose Algerians have been relatively less vocal 
in demanding change than their Tunisian, Egyptian, and Libyan 
counterparts? How would you characterize the Algerian opposition and 
civil society?

    Answer. While there have been numerous protests in Algeria since 
January, these have been more socioeconomic rather than political in 
nature, as various groups have called for higher wages, better housing, 
access to education, and stronger employment prospects. Algeria 
experienced horrific violence in the 1990s, with some estimating nearly 
200,000 deaths during a 10-year civil war. Algerian citizens are, 
therefore, treading cautiously as change sweeps through the region, 
preferring to address issues at their own pace. They nevertheless 
remain committed to demanding improvements along these issues. 
Specifically, we have not seen widespread calls for President 
Bouteflika to step down, and his government has begun the process of 
reform.
    In February, Algeria lifted the 19-year-old State of Emergency Law. 
The United States welcomed this action as a positive step and publicly 
reaffirmed our support for the universal rights of the Algerian people, 
including the freedom of assembly and expression. President Bouteflika 
on April 15 also announced a slate of democratic and economic reforms 
in response to popular protests, including the appointment of a 
commission to draw up amendments to the constitution. He proposed to 
submit to Parliament reform legislation on elections, political 
parties, NGOs, local government and women in government, and to revise 
the media laws so as to decriminalize press violations. We encourage 
the Government of Algeria to move swiftly toward the implementation of 
these measures, as we have encouraged other governments, including in 
Tunisia and Egypt, to do. We are committed to working with the 
Government of Algeria to ensure that it is responsive to the legitimate 
demands of its people.

    Question. In February, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced the 
lifting of the Algerian emergency law, in place for almost two decades. 
Please describe the implementation of this and other reform gestures 
the government has announced. To what extent are restrictions on the 
freedoms of assembly, association, and expression enshrined elsewhere 
in Algerian law? Has the Algerian Government indicated a willingness to 
initiate a broader reform of these limitations?

    Answer. Algeria's Government has repeatedly stated its commitment 
to democracy, and its most recent Presidential election in 2009 was 
certified by international observers as being generally free and fair--
one of the few elections for a head of state in the Arab world to be 
conducted under such conditions. Algeria's independent press is also 
one of the more active and outspoken in the Arab world. That said, 
Algerian democracy would benefit from a more empowered and effective 
legislature, stronger and more democratically governed political 
parties, a more independent judiciary, and a more professional and 
better protected press, including electronic media. We have ongoing 
Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) programs of varying sizes and 
scopes that target our goals in each of these areas.
    We welcome President Bouteflika's announced reforms as a 
significant step forward for Algeria and its people. The proposed 
measures are wide-ranging and address many legitimate concerns of 
Algerian citizens, including reforming laws regulating political 
parties, NGOs, local government and women in government. President 
Bouteflika also announced that his government will take steps to 
decriminalize press offenses, which should lead to more open and free 
media. As both President Obama and Secretary Clinton have said on many 
occasions, there is a need for political, social, and economic reform 
throughout the region, and President Bouteflika's April 15 speech 
touched on each of these areas. President Bouteflika has announced a 
September deadline for legislative action on these reforms. We look 
forward to the concrete implementation of these reforms by the 
Government of Algeria and will closely monitor their effects on the 
situation in Algeria and the region. It is too early to predict how 
these measures will impact Algeria and its people, but we are pleased 
that the Government of Algeria has begun the process of reform.

    Question. How can the United States help foster a more conducive 
economic environment in Algeria that will successfully attract U.S. 
businesses to invest in the country, beyond the hydrocarbon industry?

    Answer. We are encouraged by growing economic ties between our two 
countries. President Bouteflika, during his April 15 speech on reforms, 
recognized economic enterprises--public as well as private--as key to 
job creation, and promised that the Government of Algeria would draft a 
``national investment program'' for companies.
    American companies are active in hydrocarbons, banking and finance, 
services, medical facilities, telecommunications, aviation, seawater 
desalination, energy production, and information technology sectors. 
Algeria is one of United States largest trading partners in the Middle 
East/North African region. We are supportive of Algeria's efforts to 
diversify its economy by attracting foreign and domestic investment 
outside the energy sector. We are working with the Algerian Government 
to help create appealing business conditions in key areas for foreign 
and domestic investors, including the adoption of clear rules and 
regulations, streamlining administrative processes, and increasing 
access to government decisionmakers. Algeria
has much potential, and U.S. firms could play an important role in 
realizing that potential.
    Additionally, an annual international trade fair in Algiers each 
June draws significant U.S. participation and highlights the U.S. 
corporate presence very positively. A trade mission this spring is 
being organized by the U.S.-Algeria Business Council which will 
demonstrate the interest of the Algerian Government and business 
sectors in working with U.S. businesses.

    Question. The Maghreb is arguably one of the world's least 
integrated regions. What is the potential for Algeria to play a more 
significant regional role in security, economic and political matters? 
How can the United States foster better regional integration in the 
Maghreb?

    Answer. Algeria has the ability to be a regional leader on a 
variety of fronts, including on economic, counterterrorism, and 
political issues. However, this capacity to lead is hampered by its 
cold relationship with its neighbor, Morocco. We consistently urge both 
Algeria and Morocco to recognize that better relations between their 
two countries will foster deeper regional integration, enable both 
countries to better address key bilateral and regional issues such as 
terrorism, illegal migration, drug trafficking, and trade promotion. 
While Algerian-Moroccan relations are uneven, we welcome the recent 
exchange of ministers and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding 
on Agricultural Development. Practical cooperation at the working level 
has often coexisted even with the unhelpful rhetoric at higher levels 
in the past. We have consistently encouraged both Algeria and Morocco 
to de-link the issue of Western Sahara from their bilateral 
relationship. The launching of the North African Partnership for 
Economic Opportunity at last December's first U.S.-Maghreb 
Entrepreneurship Conference is just one example of the United States 
ability to foster closer regional cooperation among all the countries 
of North Africa.
    Algerian law also makes certain forms of defense sales very 
difficult. Their laws require payment for items after they have been 
delivered. Since this goes against U.S. law, participating in Foreign 
Military Sales is not possible. Algeria does buy some defense items 
through Direct Commercial Sales and is negotiating with the United 
States on workarounds to its restrictive laws. They are also increasing 
the number of individuals they send to the United States for training, 
creating a closer relationship between our nations.

    Question. In light of the Arab Spring, some observers have noted 
that American diplomats have tended to engage too narrowly on ruling 
elites and security officials in capital cities at the expense of 
broader civil society. Do you agree with this characterization? If 
confirmed, will you commit to encourage the Embassy in Algiers to 
engage with a diverse cross-section of Algerian society?

    Answer. Through a variety of programs, both within and outside of 
the State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), we 
are working with the Algerian Government and civil society to develop 
key elements of a democratic society such as the media, political 
parties, and the judiciary, as well as reforming critical systems such 
as the education, banking and financial sectors. We also work closely 
with independent human rights organizations, journalists, political 
parties, and other nongovernmental organizations. Human rights are a 
significant part of our ongoing dialogue with the Algerian Government, 
as with all other governments.
    Additionally, while Algeria has traditionally been a country that 
afforded women considerable rights, we are always interested in ways in 
which we can help to further improve their status. Our educational 
programming, and in particular a judicial capacity-building program 
through the American Bar Association (ABA), have targeted building on 
Algeria's historical openness to equal rights for women. Algeria's 
women have an employment rate well above the average for the Arab 
world; several government ministers and leader of a large Algerian 
opposition party are women.
                                 ______
                                 

         Responses of Daniel Shapiro to Questions Submitted by
                        Senator Robert Menendez

                      fatah-hamas unity government
    Question. I am very concerned about the announcement that President 
Abbas has conceded to form a unity government with Hamas. Hamas rejects 
peaceful efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and continues 
to call for the destruction of the State of Israel. While I welcome 
statements from the administration recognizing that Hamas is a 
terrorist organization and requiring that it accept the Quartet 
conditions of recognizing Israel's right to exist, rejecting violence, 
and endorsing previous Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements in order to 
participate in the transitional government and elections, I think this 
agreement is going to require more than supportive statements.

   What is your view on whether the United States should work 
        with a Palestinian Authority government that includes an 
        unreformed Hamas? Do you support, pursuant to U.S. law, 
        suspending aid to the Palestinian Authority, if after reviewing 
        the situation it is determined that Hamas will not comply with 
        Quartet conditions?
   Where do you see the peace process heading in light of 
        President Abbas' decision to reconcile with an unchanged Hamas? 
        Do you really expect Israel to sit down and negotiate with a 
        Palestinian Government which includes the terrorist group 
        Hamas?
   Could you also comment on Egypt's role in bringing about the 
        agreement and whether their involvement foreshadows a change in 
        their longstanding relationship with Israel?

    Answer. We understand Fatah and Hamas have reached a reconciliation 
agreement. What is important now is that the Palestinians ensure 
implementation of that agreement advances the prospects of peace rather 
than undermines them.
    We will continue to seek information on the details of the 
agreement and to consult with Palestinians and Israelis about these 
issues.
    We understand the concerns of some Members of Congress. As a new 
Palestinian Government is formed, we will assess it based on its 
policies and will determine the implications for our assistance based 
on U.S. law.
    We are confident President Abbas remains committed to the 
principles of nonviolence, recognition of the state of Israel, and 
acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties.
    To play a constructive role in achieving peace, any interim 
Palestinian Government formed in the period before elections must 
ensure its actions fully implement these principles. The U.S. stance 
toward such a government will be fully consistent with U.S. law.
    Our position on Hamas has not changed; Hamas is a designated 
Foreign Terrorist Organization.
    Egypt is undergoing a period of significant transition. Our 
relationship with Egypt remains strong, and we continue to work 
constructively and collaboratively with the Egyptian Government on a 
range of issues. We remain encouraged that the current Egyptian 
Government has repeatedly expressed its commitment to adhere to past 
agreements, including its Treaty of Peace with Israel.
    The Department of State fully appreciates the significance of 
Egyptian-Israeli peace to our regional interests and to regional 
stability. In our discussions with Egyptian leadership across the 
political spectrum, we have and will continue to underscore the 
importance of upholding this and Egypt's other international 
obligations.
               countering the delegitimization of israel
    Question. Over the last several years there has been a noticeable 
increase in anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment, even by close U.S. 
allies. As you are aware, there has also been a concerted effort at the 
United Nations to demonize Israel, as well as to use U.N. bodies to 
circumvent the peace process. As U.S. Ambassador to Israel it will be 
important for you to oppose these efforts and to work within the 
administration to ensure that we do everything we can to blunt these 
destructive efforts.

   What priority do you give to U.S. diplomatic efforts at the 
        U.N. and on a bilateral basis to draw attention to growing 
        anti-Israel bias and to efforts to jeopardize the peace talks 
        by circumventing the negotiating table?
   If confirmed, how will you work to promote Israel's rightful 
        inclusion in the region and more broadly in the international 
        community?

    Answer. U.N. members devote disproportionate attention to Israel 
and consistently adopt biased resolutions, which too often divert 
attention from the world's most egregious human rights abuses. We will 
continue our ongoing effort in the full range of international 
organizations to ensure that Israel's legitimacy is beyond dispute and 
its security is never in doubt.
    We will do all we can to ensure that Israel has the same rights and 
responsibilities as all states--including membership in all appropriate 
regional groupings at the U.N. As the President said last September 
before the entire U.N. General Assembly, efforts to chip away at 
Israel's legitimacy will continue to be met by the unshakeable 
opposition of the United States.
    If confirmed, I will work to promote full and equal Israeli 
participation in consultative groups throughout the U.N. system as one 
of our highest priorities across the U.N. system. I will work with my 
Department of State colleagues at the Security Council, the General 
Assembly, and at all specialized U.N. agencies as they work closely 
with their Israeli counterparts to find ways to maximize Israeli 
participation.
    We strongly support Israel's continued election to U.N. bodies. 
With support from us and many others, Israel has been elected to all 
U.N. bodies and leadership positions to which it has sought membership 
over the last decade. In December 2009, for instance, the U.S. Mission 
to the U.N. in New York succeeded in formally adding Israel to the 
JUSCANZ negotiating group for the U.N. Fifth Committee, which handles 
budgetary matters. The United States achieved another major step 
forward when the JUSCANZ consultative group at the Human Rights Council 
in Geneva decided by consensus in January 2010 to include Israel in the 
group.
    In 2010 Israel chaired the Kimberly Process on conflict diamonds.
                                 syria
    Question. Over the course of the last 2 years you have played a key 
role in the formulation and execution of U.S. policy toward Syria. You 
have travelled to Syria and met with President Assad. Now in the last 
month we have seen the Assad regime brutally crackdown on the Syrian 
people. Hundreds of innocent Syrians have been killed with many more 
arbitrarily arrested or beaten.

   Is it time to signal that it is time for Assad to go, as we 
        did with Mubarak and Ghadaffi?
   How do you foresee events in Syria affecting Israel's 
        outlook on the region?

    Answer. I have been nominated to serve as the Ambassador to Israel. 
If confirmed, my responsibilities will not cover Syria. That said, the 
Obama administration's policy is that the abhorrent and deplorable 
actions of the Syrian Government against the Syrian people must end 
immediately. The Syrian Government must also immediately stop arbitrary 
arrests, detention, and torture.
    Given the number of variables involved, it would not be prudent to 
speculate on future developments in Syria.
    We are closely monitoring the constantly evolving situation 
throughout the region and consult with our Israeli counterparts on a 
regular basis on any developments that might pose a threat to Israel's 
security.
                                 ______
                                 

           Response of Stuart Jones to Question Submitted by
                        Senator Robert Menendez

    Question. Assistant Secretary Feltman is in Jordan this week to 
meet with King Abdullah and members of civil society to reportedly 
discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the Libya conflict and 
Jordan's domestic reforms.

   Jordan, like many parts of the region has been the scene of 
        protests calling for political and economic reform. What steps 
        do you see the Kingdom taking to address the protestors 
        concerns? How important will the reform agenda--supporting 
        civil society actors, human rights activists, and independent 
        journalist, be for you as Ambassador? Are you willing to foster 
        moderate and peaceful communities who are seeking democratic 
        change by providing assistance and standing in solidarity with 
        their efforts? Are you concerned about the ambitions of 
        extremist elements in Jordan or do you see that concern as a 
        red herring being voiced by the King in order to limit reform?

    Answer. King Abdullah has been responsive to the demands of the 
Jordanian people. In early February, he dissolved the Cabinet and 
appointed a new Prime Minister. He established a National Dialogue 
Committee in March with a 3-month mandate to write new political 
parties and elections laws. On April 26, King Abdullah formed a royal 
committee to propose constitutional amendments designed to promote 
political reform.
    If confirmed, I hope to continue a strong U.S. assistance program 
for Jordan. U.S. economic assistance aims to help Jordan on its path to 
growth and development, while supporting the Government of Jordan's 
political, economic, and social reform agenda. Economic support funds 
promote economic growth/job creation by enhancing private sector 
competitiveness, trade, employment opportunities, and workforce 
development. Democracy and governance (DG) programs capitalize on the 
renewed energy within civil society to promote civic participation, 
judicial independence, legal reforms (including electoral reform), 
respect for human rights, and anticorruption measures. DG programs 
build the capacity of local governments, independent media, and 
political parties.
                                 ______
                                 

            Response of George Krol to Question Submitted by
                        Senator Robert Menendez

    Question. Uzbekistan has emerged as one of the most repressive 
countries in the former Soviet Union. President Karimov has ruled the 
country with an iron fist for over 22 years and has a well-documented 
track record of persecuting individuals perceived to be his critics. 
Next Friday marks 6 years since forces directly accountable to 
President Karimov killed hundreds of unarmed people who participated in 
a demonstration on May 13, 2005, without warning as they ran from the 
square. Last year, Uzbek authorities intensified their crackdown on 
freedom of expression, prosecuting a correspondent for the U.S. 
Government-funded Voice of America news service. Well over a dozen 
human rights defenders, political activists, and journalists--many of 
whose cases the U.S. Embassy has quietly raised with the Uzbek 
Government for years--remain in prison. Torture is widely reported to 
be endemic in the criminal justice system. At the end of 2010, the 
Uzbek Government continued to suppress even tiny public demonstrations 
calling for more democratic freedoms, and denied accreditation to Human 
Rights Watch's representative, effectively expelling the last 
independent international NGO from Uzbekistan.

   The United States has raised many of these issues over the 
        years, but has usually opted for private rather than public 
        diplomacy, obtaining few results. What specific steps will you 
        take if confirmed to more effectively promote human rights in 
        Uzbekistan?
   Given Uzbekistan's lack of credibility on human and civil 
        rights, how will you ensure that U.S. policy in Uzbekistan is 
        consistent with its public support for the aspirations of 
        democracy activists and peaceful protesters across the Middle 
        East and North Africa?

    Answer. Uzbekistan's harsh actions against civil society, the 
media, political, and religious figures and its policies restricting 
media, political, and religious freedoms have for a long time greatly 
concerned the United States. We have severely limited our assistance 
and cooperation with the Government of Uzbekistan since the 2005 
Andijon events and subsequent severe crackdown. But concern is not a 
policy. We will relentlessly raise individual cases of repression both 
privately and publicly at all levels of the Uzbekistani Government and 
will seek to identify opportunities to support and expand space for 
civil society and human rights activists. We will seek out the voices 
of civil society in the country and we will do all we can to support, 
protect, and expand civil society. We will work multilaterally with 
diplomatic missions, the European Union, Organization for Security and 
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the U.N. Human Rights Council, the 
International Labor Organization (ILO), and other relevant 
international organizations, institutions, and partners to promote 
human rights in Uzbekistan. We will continue vigorously and strongly to 
encourage the Uzbekistani Government to expand the space for civil 
society, media, political discourse and allow religious freedom for all 
peaceful believers. We will continue to advance the view that a robust 
and unfettered civil society and free media can provide greater 
stability and security for Uzbekistan lest popular resentments grow as 
choices become even more limited for the hugely growing youth sector of 
Uzbekistan. Regardless of regional, cultural, and historical 
differences between Central Asia and the Arab world, this is the major 
lesson we take from the recent events in the Arab world, which infuses 
our policy toward promoting human rights in Uzbekistan. We will 
continue to remind Uzbekistani authorities that there are, and will be, 
severe bilateral and international consequences for human rights abuses 
such as those maintained in current congressional legislation passed 
after the Andijon events restricting direct U.S. assistance to the 
Government of Uzbekistan and its designation as a Country of Particular 
Concern since 2006 for its restrictions on religious freedoms. At the 
same time we will continue to engage with and, if resources permit, 
expand our support for embattled civil society and independent media in 
Uzbekistan and seek creative ways to provide that support more 
effectively under harsh and restrictive conditions.
                                 ______
                                 

         Responses of Daniel Shapiro to Questions Submitted by
                      Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.

    Question. Events of recent months have highlighted the unique role 
Israel plays in the Middle East as a reliable, stable, and democratic 
U.S. ally who not only shares our interests, but also our values. That 
said, ongoing unrest in the region has raised questions about Israel's 
qualitative military edge (QME) and the future of longstanding peace 
treaties with Egypt and Jordan.

   How do you see the unfolding events in the region affecting 
        Israel's security, and what new challenges may Israel face in 
        the months ahead? If confirmed, what steps will you take to 
        ensure that Israel's security remains a top priority for U.S. 
        assistance funding?

    Answer. Since the Reagan administration, the United States has 
remained committed to safeguarding Israel's Qualitative Military Edge 
(QME). This administration has consistently reaffirmed its unshakable 
support to Israel's QME. We have expanded the level and frequency of 
our QME consultations with the Israeli Government. If confirmed, I 
would continue to fully uphold the U.S. commitment to Israel's QME.
    The United States also protects Israel's qualitative military edge 
through the provision of substantial security assistance. For roughly 
three decades, Israel has been the leading recipient of U.S. security 
assistance through the FMF program. Currently, Israel receives nearly 
$3 billion per year.
    The United State also grants Israel privileged access to advanced 
military equipment, such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, to help it 
deter potential aggressors and maintain its conventional military 
superiority. Israel will be the only state in the region flying the F-
35.
    We are closely monitoring the constantly evolving situation 
throughout the region. Any developments that in our judgment pose a 
threat to Israel's QME will be carefully considered in pending or 
future sales of arms or services in the region.

    Question. The United States has clearly stated that the only path 
to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is direct 
negotiations based on the Quartet principles. However, Palestinian 
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas continues to seek support at the U.N. 
for recognition of Palestinian statehood, thereby circumventing the 
direct peace process. These efforts are counterproductive and will only 
serve to delay the day in which we see two states living side by side 
in peace and security.

   Where do you see the peace process heading, particularly in 
        light of President Abbas' decision to form a unity government 
        with Hamas, a designated terrorist group? If confirmed, how 
        will you work to discourage the Palestinians from working 
        outside the parameters of direct peace negotiations?

    Answer. We believe that President Abbas remains committed to peace. 
He supports PLO commitments renouncing violence and recognizing Israel. 
He has remained firm in his faith that an independent Palestine living 
side by side with Israel in peace and security is both possible and 
necessary.
    As we have said many times publicly and privately, we object to 
attempts to resolve permanent status issues in international bodies 
like the U.N. The Israelis and Palestinians must work out the 
differences between them in direct negotiations. We are working closely 
with the parties to bring about a negotiated outcome that will lead to 
the establishment of an independent, viable state of Palestine and a 
secure future for an Israel that is fully accepted in the region.
    We understand Fatah and Hamas have reached a reconciliation 
agreement. What is important now is that the Palestinians ensure 
implementation of that agreement advances the prospects of peace rather 
than undermines them.
    We will continue to seek information on the details of the 
agreement and to consult with Palestinians and Israelis about these 
issues.
    We understand the concerns of some Members of Congress. As a new 
Palestinian Government is formed, we will assess it based on its 
policies and will determine the implications for our assistance based 
on U.S. law.
    We are confident President Abbas remains committed to the 
principles of nonviolence, recognition of the state of Israel, and 
acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties.
    To play a constructive role in achieving peace, any interim 
Palestinian Government formed in the period before elections must 
ensure its actions fully implement these principles. The U.S. stance 
toward such a government will be fully consistent with U.S. law.
    Our position on Hamas has not changed; Hamas is a designated 
Foreign Terrorist Organization.

    Question. As Hezbollah gains an increasing amount of political 
influence in Lebanon in the wake of the government collapse in January, 
how do you assess the U.S. role in Lebanon and what actions can the 
United States take to ensure that military assistance to Lebanon does 
not fall into the hands of Hezbollah forces?

    Answer. I have been nominated to serve as the Ambassador to Israel. 
If confirmed, my responsibilities will not cover the U.S. relating with 
Lebanon. The Obama administration's policy is that we will do all we 
can to avoid a conflict between Hezbollah and Israel. As we saw in 
2006, such a war would be devastating for civilians in both Lebanon and 
Israel.
    The Government of Lebanon continues to state its support for the 
full implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701--our 
primary security-related goal in Lebanon--and to cooperating with 
UNIFIL to maintain the calm and a weapons-free zone in south Lebanon. 
Ending our assistance to the LAF would contradict this commitment and 
be seen as a victory for Hezbollah and Iranian interests in Lebanon.
    The Cabinet formation process is still underway in Lebanon. We 
continue to stress, both publicly and privately with the Government of 
Lebanon, that we expect that the next government will continue to meet 
Lebanon's international commitments, which include UNSCR 1559 and 1701, 
and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. When the new government is 
formed, we will review its composition, policies, and behavior, 
including Lebanon's commitment to its international commitments. Since 
the government has not yet been formed, it is premature to judge it and 
to make any determinations about the future of U.S. assistance to 
Lebanon. It is important that we continue to plan for ongoing 
assistance through FY 2012 in order to leave all options open.
                                 ______
                                 

           Response of Stuart Jones to Question Submitted by
                      Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.

    Question. Jordan is an important counterterrorism partner in the 
fight against Islamic groups in the Middle East, and its 1994 peace 
treaty with Israel has played an important role in the Middle East 
peace process. Given the growing unrest in the region and increasing 
influence of terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, what 
measures should the United States take to support King Abdullah II's 
reform efforts? How might increased U.S. assistance to Jordan serve our 
interests in the region, particularly in regard to Israel's security?

    Answer. The Secretary has stated that we have no better ally than 
Jordan in countering terrorism and in modernizing the Middle East. 
Foreign assistance supports the United States-Jordan bilateral 
relationship, a critical alliance that continues to further U.S. 
global, regional, and bilateral objectives. Jordan continues to be a 
top recipient of U.S. economic and military assistance. As a sign of 
the strong, continuing U.S. commitment to Jordan, and in an effort to 
further our strategic goals in Jordan and in the region, the U.S. 
Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Jordan in 
September 2008, expressing the U.S. Government's support for providing 
predictable levels of assistance to Jordan over 5 years beginning in FY 
2010. The MOU stipulates the USG will provide $360 million in ESF and 
$300 million in FMF annually, subject to congressional appropriation 
and the availability of funds. The FY 2012 request reflects this 
commitment.
    U.S. security assistance supports the Jordanian Armed Forces' (JAF) 
5-year plan for modernization, readiness, and enhanced interoperability 
between the JAF, U.S., and NATO forces to advance regional and global 
security. In addition, our security assistance will support procurement 
and installation of technologies to enhance the Jordanian Government's 
control of its borders. This assistance strengthens Jordan's 
capabilities to support and contribute to Middle East peace efforts, 
international peacekeeping operations, counterterrorism efforts, and 
humanitarian assistance within the region.
                                 ______
                                 

            Response of George Krol to Question Submitted by
                      Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.

    Question. A young Uzbek psychologist, Maxim Popov, has been 
imprisoned for 7 years for his work distributing a manual on HIV/AIDS 
and harm reduction. Funding for the creation and translation of 
versions of this manual has come from international donors, including 
USAID.

   As Ambassador, what will you do to encourage the Uzbek 
        Government to release Mr. Popov and the growing number of 
        prisoners of conscience being held in the country's prisons?

    Answer. We will continue to vigorously advocate at all levels of 
the Uzbekistani Government for the release of Mr. Popov. His case has 
been a priority issue discussed in our bilateral consultations, along 
with the cases of other prisoners of conscience. We have made clear 
that continued imprisonment of prisoners of conscience like Mr. Popov 
restricts U.S. cooperation with the Government of Uzbekistan in other 
areas of mutual interest. We also work multilaterally with other 
diplomatic missions, the European Union and through international 
organizations such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in 
Europe (OSCE) and the U.N. Human Rights Council to encourage Uzbekistan 
to release immediately such prisoners of conscience as Mr. Popov.
                                 ______
                                 

           Response of Henry Ensher to Question Submitted by
                      Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.

    Question. Algeria's Berber community has experienced significant 
government discrimination and neglect, particularly in regard to 
language and cultural rights. For example, Berber activists continue to 
seek official language status for Tamazight, a Berber language, but 
President Bouteflika and other Algerian officials have opposed this 
change.

   If confirmed, how will you work with the Algerian Government 
        to encourage enhanced respect for the rights of Berbers and 
        other minority groups in Algeria?

    Answer. The United States is committed to minority rights and 
freedom of religion in Algeria and around the world. The freedom of 
persons belonging to minority groups to practice their own customs and 
traditions, including learning and speaking a language, is a basic 
right that the United States supports. Algeria has allowed and 
supported the teaching of Tamazight in public schools and universities 
in Berber areas since 2001. Algeria must ensure that minorities are 
free to practice their religions and customs as they wish. We are in 
regular contact with a wide variety of religious and cultural leaders 
in Algeria, and maintain an active dialogue with the Algerian 
Government on religious and cultural freedom issues. With both we 
stress the need for the laws governing the operation of religious and 
cultural organizations in Algeria to be applied in an equal and 
transparent manner.
                                 ______
                                 

         Responses of Daniel Shapiro to Questions Submitted by
                       Senator Benjamin L. Cardin

    Question. A top priority for the government and people of Israel is 
ensuring Iran is not allowed to achieve a nuclear weapons capability. I 
believe that from a U.S. perspective as well, allowing Iran to achieve 
such a capability would pose an unacceptable risk to the safety and 
security of the United States, Israel, and our other allies. With 
events unfolding rapidly in the region, with Libya at war, and Syria 
brutally cracking down on its people, it is easy to lose focus on the 
Iranian threat. Do you agree a nuclear weapons capability in the hands 
of Iran would pose an unacceptable risk to the United States and 
Israel? As Ambassador, will you ensure Israel's perspective and 
thinking on the Iranian threat is communicated effectively back to 
Washington?

    Answer. A nuclear armed Iran poses an unacceptable risk to the 
United States, Israel, and globally. A strong international partnership 
including the United States and Israel stands united in opposition to 
Iran's illicit nuclear program. This coalition is determined to 
pressure Iran until it changes course. The clear message is that the 
Iranian leadership's continued defiance results in harsh political and 
economic penalties. If confirmed as Ambassador, I will ensure that 
Israel's perspective and thinking on Iran, and its nuclear program, is 
clearly conveyed to policymakers Washington.

    Question. Over the course of the last 2 years you have played a key 
role in the formulation and execution of U.S. policy toward Syria. You 
have travelled to Syria and met with President Assad. Now in the last 
month we have seen the Assad regime brutally crackdown on the Syrian 
people. Hundreds of innocent Syrians have been killed with many more 
arbitrarily arrested or beaten. Where should the United States go from 
here? Is it time to signal that it is time for Assad to go, as we did 
with Mubarak and Ghadaffi? How do you foresee events in Syria affecting 
Israel's outlook on the region?

    Answer. I have been nominated to serve as the Ambassador to Israel. 
If confirmed, my responsibilities will not cover Syria. That said, the 
Obama administration's policy is that the abhorrent and deplorable 
actions of the Syrian Government against the Syrian people must end 
immediately. The Syrian Government must also immediately stop arbitrary 
arrests, detention, and torture.
    Given the number of variables involved, it would not be prudent to 
speculate on future developments in Syria.

    Question. Israel is our strongest ally and the only democracy in 
the region. What is the administration doing to ensure respect for 
Israel and its security by the emerging new governments in Egypt and 
Tunisia?

    Answer. Egypt is undergoing a period of significant transition. Our 
relationship with Egypt remains strong, and we continue to work 
constructively and collaboratively with the Egyptian Government on a 
range of issues. We remain encouraged that the current Egyptian 
Government has repeatedly expressed its commitment to adhere to past 
agreements, including its Treaty of Peace with Israel.
    The Department of State fully appreciates the significance of 
Egyptian-Israeli peace to our regional interests and to regional 
stability. In our discussions with Egyptian leadership across the 
political spectrum, we have and will continue to underscore the 
importance of upholding this and Egypt's other international 
obligations.
    Tunisia, like most Arab States, does not currently have diplomatic 
relations with Israel. The administration continues to actively pursue 
the full normalization of relations between Israel and all countries in 
the region as part of a comprehensive peace.


                               NOMINATION

                              ----------                              


                         THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2011

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
                              ----------                              

Hon. Gary Locke, of Washington, to be Ambassador to the 
        People's Republic of China
                              ----------                              

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:25 a.m., in 
room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. John F. Kerry 
(chairman of the committee) presiding.
    Present: Senators Kerry, Menendez, Cardin, Webb, Lugar, and 
Risch.

            OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN F. KERRY,
                U.S. SENATOR FROM MASSACHUSETTS

    The Chairman. The hearing will come to order. We are really 
delighted today to welcome our Secretary of Commerce, the 
former Governor of the State of Washington, and a very good 
friend, Gary Locke, who has been nominated by the President to 
be our Ambassador to the People's Republic of China.
    Welcome, Mr. Secretary. We're happy to have you here, and 
I'm excited about this appointment.
    I'm delighted also to welcome the Secretary's family. I 
just met Emily, who is 14 years old, who is sitting behind him 
there; and Dylan, who is 12; and Madeline, who is 6, who told 
me where she is going to school and that she would be much 
happier if the hearing were over and her dad could just leave 
right now. [Laughter.]
    And Gary's terrific partner in life and in this effort, 
Mona. We're really happy to have you all here.
    This nomination is a very important nomination. All of our 
Ambassadors are important, and we have great respect for the 
service of everybody. But it is without a doubt that the 
relationship with the People's Republic of China stands as one 
of the most important relationships for our country today, and 
much of our cooperation with China will help to shape this 
century, in terms of conflicts as well as economic 
opportunities and relationships.
    If confirmed by the Senate, which I fully expect, Secretary 
Locke will join an elite group of distinguished statesmen, from 
former President George H.W. Bush to Winston Lord and Stapleton 
Roy and others who have served in this position.
    I think it is obvious to all but, nevertheless, worth 
pointing out yet again that Secretary Locke's story is 
quintessentially American. It's the American story. A 
descendent of hardworking immigrants, Secretary Locke's 
personal integrity, intelligence, and strong work ethic led him 
from Seattle to college in New Haven, Yale University, and then 
on to Boston University Law School.
    Later, as Governor of Washington, he reached out to China 
and helped to strengthen the trade ties between his State and 
China. It's clear that that relationship really is a microcosm 
of the larger relationships that we need to develop and work on 
today. He doubled the State's exports at that time to over $5 
billion per year.
    At the Department of Commerce, Secretary Locke led the 
administration's first Cabinet-level trade mission to China, a 
clean-energy mission. He has also served as the cochair of the 
U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade.
    The President's latest assignment for Secretary Locke may 
well be his most challenging. The relationship between the 
United States and China is absolutely vital to get right. We 
need to avoid falling into the trap of zero-sum competition, 
and we need to forge a mutually beneficial relationship based 
on common interests.
    I think it's safe to say that the recent visit of the 
Presidents of China and the United States here in Washington 
advanced that effort, but there's still a lot of work to be 
done.
    I'm not going to speak at length about the long list of 
issues that we have to work on, but let me mention, 
particularly, advancing human rights; ensuring peace and 
stability across the Taiwan Strait; managing trade disputes; 
protecting the environment; and, most importantly, cooperating 
jointly to help lead the world out of conflicts in other areas 
where our joint leadership can have a huge impact on the course 
of events.
    I want to make just two overarching points. First, with its 
newfound economic clout, China, in my judgment, needs to do 
more than simply abide by international norms, although that's 
important. We are hoping that China will contribute to 
strengthening the international system that has helped it to 
prosper.
    Beijing, we believe, can step up and can shoulder more of 
the responsibility that comes with its growing power. We 
welcome the opportunity to share the exercise of that 
responsibility, together with other nations that care to step 
up.
    In the area of nonproliferation, for example, we need China 
not only to enforce U.N. sanctions and abide by Nuclear 
Suppliers Group guidelines, but we want China to be a full 
partner in efforts to secure a diplomatic solution to the 
nuclear weapons threats that are posed by Iran and North Korea. 
It is our judgment that all of our interests are put at risk by 
their current illicit efforts, to some degree.
    Convincing China that its own interests will be served by 
taking on more responsibility for strengthening the 
international system will be one of Secretary Locke's most 
important tasks as our Ambassador, and, obviously, it won't be 
easy.
    Even though China may have some of the hallmarks of a great 
power, some of its leaders have remained focused more on 
meeting their own domestic challenges rather than taking on new 
international obligations.
    This brings me to my second point. Even though China has 
one of the longest and richest histories on the planet, and 
even though it has vast global trading networks today, and it 
is the world's second-largest economy, it still lags behind 
many states, many nations, in its respect for basic human 
rights.
    In recent months, China's Government has intensified 
efforts to control access to information, to restrict freedom 
of speech and assembly, and to interfere in the peaceful 
practice of religion. This crackdown, in our judgment, and we 
have been clear about this at all times in our history, 
represents a violation of universal rights, rights specifically 
guaranteed under Chinese law. Such violations are ultimately 
contrary to the best interests, in our judgment, of any 
government, as we are seeing in the Mideast and elsewhere 
today.
    As Premier Wen Jia-bao himself pointed out last October: 
``The people's wishes and need for democracy and freedom are 
irresistible.''
    Some say that China is not ready for more democracy and 
freedom, but Premier Wen had his own rejoinder to that. He 
said, ``Freedom of speech is indispensable for any country, a 
country in the course of development and a country that has 
become strong.'' Premier Wen, in our judgment, is absolutely 
correct about this, but it is clear that some in China see 
things differently.
    Greater tolerance for dissent would, in our judgment, help 
China produce better results across a range of government and 
private-sector activities.
    Effectively integrating our concern for human rights into 
every facet of our relationship will be one of the Ambassador's 
most important and most daunting challenges.
    If confirmed, Secretary Locke will be responsible, 
obviously, for helping to build the kind of candid and 
cooperative partnership that is essential for both countries.
    I've had the pleasure of engaging with Chinese leaders on a 
number of these issues. I think we have made progress in those 
discussions. I think there has been an increased level of 
candor and an increased level of cooperation on a number of 
different vital issues of concern. And I look forward to 
Secretary Locke's ability to continue to help develop that 
relationship. We want a partnership with China.
    There are some, even in our country, who often talk about 
choices that would actually push China into a different 
relationship. There are some who even want China labeled as 
something other than a partner or a possible friend. I believe, 
personally, and I think others here do, that that would not 
serve our interests and that is not necessary.
    But all of these relationships take work. Countries always 
organize around and react to their needs. That's been true all 
through history. It's not going to change overnight. The art is 
to try to meld those needs into a common effort and to try to 
find ways to cooperate wherever possible in the greater 
interests and good of the larger global community, even as we 
meet our own needs at home.
    Mr. Secretary, I believe that the President has made a good 
and wise choice in nominating you. We certainly look forward to 
your testimony today and to confirming you. And most 
importantly, we look forward to working with you in this 
important task.
    Senator Lugar.

          OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. RICHARD G. LUGAR,
                   U.S. SENATOR FROM INDIANA

    Senator Lugar. Mr. Chairman, I join you in welcoming 
Secretary Locke and his distinguished family. The post for 
which he is nominated is one of the most difficult and complex 
in the entire Federal Government. I appreciate this opportunity 
to express our views about the priorities of the United States-
Chinese relationship and learn about the nominee's vision.
    China's global leverage has increased as it has positioned 
itself as the leading creditor nation with more than 18 percent 
of the world's current account balance surplus. According to 
recent data, China is the United States Government's largest 
foreign creditor, holding approximately 25 percent of the 
almost $4.5 trillion we owe to other countries.
    Greater thought must be given to how we work with China to 
establish a more sensible global balance that depends less on 
Chinese credit.
    China remains an extremely important market for United 
States exports. For example, the American Soybean Association 
cites China as the largest export market for United States 
soybeans in 2010, with nearly $11 billion in sales to China.
    But the United States continues to have a severe trade 
deficit with China; the benefits of the Chinese market have not 
reached their full potential for American businesses and 
workers, in part because of impediments to fair competition in 
China. We continue to hear complaints about inconsistent 
application of rules, requirements for ``indigenous 
innovation,'' nontariff barriers to trade, inconsistent market 
access, and lack of enforcement of intellectual property 
rights.
    Civil society within China continues to face immense 
challenges in promoting the rule of law and human rights 
reform.
    In addition to economic issues, the next Ambassador to 
China will also have to focus on a wide array of security 
problems. These include obtaining greater Chinese cooperation 
on issues related to North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, Burma, and 
other nations, as well as maintaining the security of Taiwan.
    The Ambassador must confront the Chinese Government on 
stopping the cyber attacks on the United States Government, 
American companies, and individual Americans that originate in 
China.
    More broadly, our Government must work for a better 
understanding of the interaction between China's military and 
civilian leaders. Earlier this year, during the visit between 
the Senate leadership and President Hu, his role and 
relationship to Chinese military leaders were among the points 
raised by Senators. This topic underscores the need for closer 
communication between the United States and Chinese defense 
establishments, which has been frequently endorsed by Secretary 
Gates.
    The Ambassador must have a deep understanding of China's 
integration strategy for its Southeast Asian neighbors.
    China also is dedicating massive financial resources to 
securing and developing natural resources in many parts of the 
globe including Latin America and Africa.
    Another specific area of concern that has received too 
little attention is the incongruent reality of our public 
diplomacy in China. A Foreign Relations Committee minority 
staff report revealed that while China has more than 70 
``Confucius Centers'' operating in the United States, only five 
American Centers exist in China. The United States must press 
this point of equity for the establishment of American 
information outposts within China.
    Finally, the American Ambassador and our Government must 
give consistent attention to human rights deficiencies in 
China. Unfortunately, political and religious freedoms in China 
continue to deteriorate. This committee needs a firm commitment 
from the nominee that he will work to advance the rule of law 
and human rights in China. He must press Chinese leaders 
regarding the growing campaign of censorship, arbitrary 
detentions, repression, and disappearances.
    I look forward very much to today's hearing to learn more 
about Secretary Locke and his strategy for approaching the 
Chinese in ways that will effectively enhance the economic 
prosperity of Americans and the national security of our 
country.
    I thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    The Chairman. Thank you very much, Senator Lugar.
    Mr. Secretary, your full statement will be placed in the 
record as if read in full. We look forward to your testimony. 
Thank you.

 STATEMENT OF HON. GARY LOCKE, OF WASHINGTON, TO BE AMBASSADOR 
               TO THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

    Secretary Locke. Thank you very much, Senator Kerry and 
Senator Lugar and Senator Webb.
    It's a pleasure to be in front of this committee, and I'm 
very humbled to come before you as President Obama's nominee to 
be the next United States Ambassador to the People's Republic 
of China.
    It's a sign of the importance of the bilateral relationship 
between our two great nations that the President has nominated 
a current member of his Cabinet to serve in this new capacity. 
I want to thank President Obama for his support and his 
confidence in me.
    I'm proud to be joined today by my family, my beautiful 
wife, Mona, and our three lovely children, Emily, Dylan, and 
Madeline. No matter where public service taken us, whether from 
the other Washington to this Washington, and, if the Senate 
confirms me, on to Beijing, they, and especially Mona, have 
been the irreplaceable constants, providing much love and much 
support.
    I also know that if my father, Jimmy, were still alive--he 
passed away this past January--he would be proud, that if I am 
confirmed, to see his son become the first Chinese-American 
U.S. Ambassador to the country of his and my mother's birth.
    My father came to United States as a very, very young boy. 
He joined the United States Army before the outbreak of World 
War II and was part of the Normandy invasion and some of the 
fiercest battles in France on their journey to Berlin. And 
after the war, he returned to China, where he met and married 
my mom, and he brought her back to Seattle where they started a 
family.
    China is a nation they would hardly recognize from their 
childhoods. It's a country filled with ultramodern cities, 
where hundreds of millions have been lifted out of poverty.
    The administration welcomes a strong, prosperous, and 
successful China, but this new status comes with important 
responsibilities. This administration seeks to engage China on 
regional and global affairs to advance international peace and 
stability in ways consistent with prevailing international 
norms, rules, and institutions.
    As Vice President Biden said recently, how the United 
States and China cooperate will define, in significant part, 
how we deal with the challenges the world faces in the 21st 
century.
    If confirmed by the Senate, I pledge to help build the 
positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship that 
Presidents Obama and Hu have agreed that our two nations should 
aspire to.
    For more than a decade, opening markets in China has been a 
focus of mine, as Governor of the State of Washington, as an 
attorney in private practice, and now as Commerce Secretary. If 
confirmed, helping United States companies do more business in 
China will be a big part of what I will do every day. 
Increasing exports to China will help create jobs and economic 
growth here at home, but it will also improve the quality of 
life of the Chinese people by providing more access to 
American-made products and services, the best in the world, and 
help China's leaders reach their goals of modernization.
    At the same time, as Ambassador, I will also work to expand 
bilateral cooperation on a host of critical international 
issues, from stopping nuclear proliferation, to rebalancing the 
global economy, to combating climate change. We've made 
significant progress on a number of those concerns, even as 
challenges remain.
    And our work together on North Korea and Iran, though we 
continue to encourage China to do even more, is an important 
sign that we can cooperate to address sensitive issues in the 
United States-China relationship.
    While there are many areas of collaboration, there are also 
areas of vigorous disagreement. That includes human rights, 
where we have very significant concerns about China's actions 
in recent months, especially the crackdown on journalists, 
lawyers, bloggers, artists, and religious groups.
    The protection and the promotion of liberty and freedom are 
fundamental tenets of U.S. foreign policy. And if confirmed, I 
will clearly and firmly advocate for upholding universal rights 
in China.
    And as much as the job of Ambassador is to communicate our 
position to China's leaders, I also pledge to reach out to the 
people of China. And my goal will be to directly convey and 
express the values that America stands for and the desire for 
ever-closer bonds of friendship between our two peoples.
    Let me close by saying that, should I be confirmed, I 
pledge to work closely with this committee, and I hope to host 
each of you and your staffs in China. We have an outstanding 
team of career professionals at the Embassy and at the 
consulates in China. And if granted the privilege of serving, I 
will do my best to honor their work as they pursue and promote 
American interests and objectives in China. We have much to do.
    Chairman Kerry and Senator Lugar, Senator Webb, thank you 
for this opportunity to address you, and I welcome your 
questions and your comments.
    [The prepared statement of Secretary Locke follows:]

                    Prepared Statement of Gary Locke

    Chairman Kerry, Ranking Member Lugar, and members of the committee, 
it is humbling to come before this committee as President Obama's 
nominee to be the next U.S. Ambassador to the People's Republic of 
China. It is a sign of the importance of the bilateral relationship 
between our two great nations that the President has nominated a 
current member of his Cabinet to serve in this new capacity. I want to 
thank him and Secretary Clinton for their support and their confidence 
in me.
    I am proud to be joined today by my family. No matter where public 
service has taken us--from one Washington to the other, and now on to 
Beijing--my wife, Mona, and our three children, Emily, Dylan, and 
Madeline, have been the irreplaceable constants, providing love and 
support.
    I also know that if my father Jimmy were still alive, he would have 
been proud to have seen this day and to reflect on its significance--
the first Chinese-American nominated to be the U.S. Ambassador to 
China, the country of his and my mother's birth.
    If confirmed, my family will join me in taking up the charge of 
representing the promise of America as a land of freedom, equality and 
opportunity.
    Of course, one of the highlights of this endeavor, if confirmed, 
will be joining a brand new family: U.S. Mission China. I know that the 
outstanding team of career professionals at our Embassy and consulates 
will provide the knowledge and advice critical to making this 
transition a smooth one. If confirmed, I will do my best to honor their 
service, as they pursue and promote American interests and objectives 
in China. We have much to do.
    Should I be confirmed, I will work to build the positive, 
cooperative, and comprehensive relationship that President Obama and 
Chinese President Hu have agreed our two countries should aspire to. In 
doing so, I will support our ongoing efforts to expand bilateral 
cooperation on a host of critical international issues, from climate 
change to stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials. 
I will support enhanced exchanges among our two peoples, especially our 
youth, which is so important to long-term mutual understanding. At the 
same time, I will be realistic and honest about the many challenges and 
differences that exist between us, including our serious differences on 
human rights, and will work toward managing those differences, while 
remaining true to our values as Americans.
    Please allow me to expand on these general comments by examining a 
few issues in greater detail.
    Developing commercial cooperation with China has been a focus of 
mine for more than a decade. As Washington State's Governor, I presided 
over the doubling of exports to China. As an attorney in private 
practice, I helped American companies navigate the Chinese business 
environment. And as Commerce Secretary, I have traveled to China four 
times, made it the first stop of the administration's first Cabinet-
level trade mission and cochaired two Joint Commission on Commerce and 
Trade sessions in which we've won important commitments from the 
Chinese Government.
    If confirmed, helping U.S. companies do more business in China will 
be a big part of what I do every day as Ambassador. It's a win-win 
proposition. American workers benefit, because the more U.S. firms 
export, the more they have to produce, and the more they have to 
produce, the more people they have to hire. That means more jobs here 
at home. But the people of China also benefit, because the more access 
they have to American-made products and services--the best in the 
world--the better the quality of life will be for the Chinese people. 
China's 12th Five-Year Plan also anticipates the need for a more 
balanced economic relationship that will require continued increases in 
U.S. exports and ever-broader collaboration with U.S. companies working 
with their Chinese counterparts. This is good for the United States and 
will help China reach its modernization goals.
    I firmly believe improved United States-China cooperation is 
critical to the world community, and if the Senate grants me the 
privilege of representing the U.S. in China, I will take with me a 
profound understanding of the promise our relationship holds.
    There is so much we can accomplish when we work together. From the 
search for new, cleaner sources of energy--our companies are working 
together through the Energy Cooperation Program--to our successful 
Innovation Dialogue--there are many issues where cooperation is not 
aspirational but reality. I have been proud to be part of that 
expanding cooperative relationship during my tenure as Commerce 
Secretary.
    But I am aware of the challenges that exist as well. The Obama 
administration has made frank and honest conversation an important part 
of our dialogue with China, and if confirmed, I intend to seek to 
engage China's leaders in the same manner. As our relationship 
continues to expand, candor between the leaders of our two countries is 
necessary to strengthen the bonds of trust.
    Action, of course, will also deepen that trust. That's why I will, 
if confirmed, closely follow Vice Premier Wang Qishan's recent pledge 
to continue China's campaign to improve intellectual property 
protection and enforcement, as well as President Hu's January 2011 
commitment to de-link innovation policy from procurement preferences. 
Demonstrating measurable progress on these and other commitments is an 
important element of building trust in the economic and commercial 
sphere between our two countries.
    We also want to see renewed efforts by China to reform state-owned 
enterprises (SOEs). We seek to ensure that large SOEs and other 
national champions are functioning as commercial enterprises within the 
Chinese economy. I have previously made clear that China's lack of 
followthrough on transparency and intellectual property rights 
protection and enforcement commitments made during previous bilateral 
dialogues has meant that U.S. companies have not seen the benefits of 
those commitments. Rebalancing our economic relationship will require 
the type of market opening that the implementation of these commitments 
will bring. The commercial relationship between our nations stands at a 
crossroads, a relationship that can no longer be characterized by China 
making and the United States taking. If confirmed, I will make 
implementation of existing and future commitments a policy priority in 
my interactions with the Chinese Government
    Should I be confirmed, it will be one among many priorities, as we 
work to ensure our shared goals of regional stability and increased 
prosperity.
    To that end, I hope to be an able messenger of the Obama 
administration's policies for the Asia-Pacific region generally and to 
the Chinese Government specifically, if confirmed. Working through a 
whole of government approach, the administration seeks to engage China 
on regional and global affairs to advance international peace and 
stability--and in ways consistent with international rules, norms, and 
institutions. At the same time, the administration will continue to 
work with allies and partners in Asia to foster a regional environment 
in which China's rise is a source of prosperity and stability for all 
its neighbors.
    Along these lines, developing the military-to-military relationship 
will lead to greater strategic trust between the United States and 
China, and we are working to strengthen our existing military-to-
military dialogues, The first meeting of the civilian-military 
Strategic Security Dialogue that took place at the S&ED earlier this 
month and the visit of People's Liberation Army Chief of the General 
Staff Chen Bingde last week were also important steps toward sustained, 
substantive dialogue to reduce misunderstanding, misperception and 
miscalculation.
    Given the pace of China's military modernization, building mutual 
trust is necessary to defuse tensions that may arise, but also 
critically important to living with each other as fellow Asia-Pacific 
nations. The United States is an Asia-Pacific power, and we have a 
strong commitment to defending U.S. interests and values in the region.
    While the United States and China will inevitably have differences 
from time to time, it is far from preordained that those differences 
should lead to conflict. As President Obama has stated, ``We need to 
improve communication between our militaries, which promotes mutual 
understanding and confidence.''
    With regard to Taiwan, the United States has welcomed the progress 
in cross-strait relations achieved over the past 2 years. The United 
States remains committed to our one China policy based on the three 
joint communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act. We do not support 
Taiwan independence. We believe that cross-strait issues should be 
resolved peacefully in a manner acceptable to people on both sides of 
the strait. We oppose unilateral actions by either side to alter the 
status quo across the Taiwan Strait. We urge China to reduce military 
deployments aimed at Taiwan and to pursue a peaceful resolution to 
cross-strait issues. If confirmed as Ambassador, I will continue to 
make these views clear to China's leaders.
    China has also been an important diplomatic player on issues 
concerning North Korea. That has included playing a central role as 
chair of the six-party talks. China has repeatedly stated that it 
shares our goal of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. If confirmed, I 
will continue to work closely with China to press the DPRK to cease its 
provocative behavior, take meaningful steps to denuclearize, and to 
ensure full implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1718 
and 1874.
    China also has played an important role in the diplomatic efforts 
to address the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program. The United 
States has been pleased with the unity that China and other P5+1 
partners have maintained in our negotiations with Iran, and we continue 
to jointly insist that Iran comply with its international obligations. 
The administration worked closely with China to pass U.N. Security 
Council Resolution 1929 last June, and have called upon China to ensure 
that this resolution is fully implemented and to take additional steps 
to restrict any new economic activity with Iran that might provide 
support to its nuclear program, including in the energy sector. Iran's 
nuclear program was a key topic of President Obama's talks with 
President Hu, and we welcomed President Hu's assurance that China is 
committed to implementing U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929 and 
other resolutions on Iran fully and faithfully.
    The United States ability to work together on issues such as North 
Korea and Iran is an important sign that we can cooperate to address 
more sensitive issues in the relationship. That includes human rights 
issues. The protection and the promotion of liberty and freedom are 
fundamental tenets of American foreign policy. If confirmed as 
Ambassador, I will be a forceful advocate for promoting the respect of 
universal human rights in China. We do so not only because of who we 
are as Americans. Rather, we do so because greater respect for human 
rights is also in China's interest. As Secretary Clinton said at the 
S&ED earlier this month: ``[W]e know over the long arch of history that 
societies that work toward respecting human rights are going to be more 
prosperous, stable, and successful. That has certainly been proven time 
and time again, but most particularly in the last months.''
    So, the administration is troubled--and I am troubled--by the well-
documented deterioration of the human rights environment in China. To 
name just one prominent case, the detention of artist and activist Ai 
Weiwei raises many issues about China's commitment to building a 
society based on the rule of law. The United States is also very 
concerned about the increased repression of Tibetans and Uighurs, 
continuing restrictions on religious freedom, and increased efforts to 
control the Internet and constrain civil society. As my predecessors 
have, I will raise human rights issues and individual cases with 
Chinese Government officials at the highest levels.
    But as much as the job of Ambassador is to communicate the U.S. 
position to China's leaders, I will also make reaching out directly to 
the Chinese people a priority. Technology is providing new avenues of 
communication with ordinary Chinese citizens. My goal will be to 
express as directly as possible the values that America stands for and 
the desire for ever-closer bonds of friendship between our two peoples.
    I'll close by touching on the nuts and bolts of diplomatic work. I 
bring a personal history as a problem-solver and an effective manager. 
As such, if confirmed, I will focus our diplomacy on results. As 
Secretary of Commerce, I focused on delivering more effective and 
efficient services to American businesses and workers in a way that 
reduced costs and simplified the bureaucratic process. If confirmed, I 
will approach the U.S. mission in China in much the same way, looking 
for ways to engage in public diplomacy that work best to get our 
message across to the Chinese Government and out to the Chinese people.
    If confirmed, I also plan to aggressively confront a number of the 
challenges that Mission China faces. I understand that our facilities 
in Shanghai need to be upgraded to meet the demands that increased visa 
applications have put on the post there. Reduced ability to process 
visa applications has a concrete cost to our economy in lost travel and 
tourism exports. For this reason, I will continue the efforts made 
throughout our posts in China to improve visa appointment wait times 
without losing a focus on security. I have worked closely with the 
State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs on visa issues as 
Governor and Commerce Secretary and now look forward to continuing that 
partnership as Ambassador, should I be confirmed.
    I have enjoyed the process of conferring with many of you as the 
nominee to be the next U.S. Ambassador to China. I hope that I have 
conveyed to you that I am prepared to undertake this unique opportunity 
to continue my service to our Nation.
    As I seek your support for my nomination, I look forward to having 
the opportunity to continue to learn from your deep experience and 
knowledge about the Asia Pacific region, China, and foreign relations 
generally. If you and your colleagues do vote to confirm me as 
Ambassador, I pledge to work closely with you and your staffs through 
regular consultation, and I hope I will have the privilege of hosting 
each of you and your staffs in China.
    Chairman Kerry, Ranking Member Lugar, and members of the committee, 
thank you for this opportunity to address you. I welcome your questions 
and comments.

    The Chairman. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.
    I neglected, in my opening, to point out, but I think it's 
more appropriate that you do anyway, your status as the first 
American of Chinese descent. I think that is really an amazing 
part of the story, and I'm confident it gives you a very 
special level of credibility and capacity to validate a number 
of issues. I think we're well-served in that regard.
    I would like to ask you--obviously, there are a lot of 
issues. But I want to get your sense of how we manage the 
economic component at this point in time. There is a degree of 
anxiety within the Congress with respect to the currency issues 
and the trade practices, some of the procurement practices, et 
cetera. We've had these meetings with the Chinese. We've 
discussed these things.
    Some Americans would suggest that this discussion has been 
going on for quite a while without the kind of results that 
impact their perception of the unfairness of the playing field, 
whether it's intellectual property or other things. The 
progress seems slow to a lot of folks. I wonder if you would 
comment on whether that's just the way it is going to be? Does 
that represent a difference of opinion over it? Does it 
represent the imbalance of negotiating leverage? What's your 
take on why it is taking so long to open up a greater level of 
both transparency and accountability with respect to those 
issues and accomplishing progress?
    Secretary Locke. Well, thank you very much. I think we 
would all agree that progress has been slow, but, in fact, we 
are making progress. And I think progress has been accelerating 
in just the last few years.
    Obviously, both China and the United States, and the G20 
nations, have talked about a rebalancing the world economy, and 
part of that rebalancing includes American consumers being less 
in debt. It also means that we, as a country, have to get our 
fiscal house in order. And the President has very ambitious 
goals, as evidenced by the budget he has proposed over the next 
several years that will freeze domestic spending. And there's a 
lot of discussion now on reducing our debt and our deficit.
    But, also, China recognizes that it must export less and 
must focus more on domestic consumption. And we in the United 
States must also export more.
    So these are opportunities of win-win before us that can 
actually have United States companies exporting more to China 
and, certainly, meeting the needs of both the Chinese leaders 
and the people of China.
    There's a great hunger and a great demand for things that 
are made and produced in America, from services to products to 
agriculture. And just in the last year alone, United States 
exports to China, goods rose by 32 percent, whereas, across the 
United States, exports to other countries grew on average 17 
percent. Our exports to China are growing at a faster rate, by 
roughly 50 percent, than elsewhere to the rest of the world.
    And we are seeing movement on the currency. China has 
recognized it needs to allow its currency to float more freely. 
We, of course, think that it should float more and faster. But 
when you also combine the effect of inflation in China in the 
last year, we've seen the movement of the currency by roughly 
10 percent. Obviously, we still want more.
    We have a variety of different fora, whether it's the 
Strategic and Economic Dialogue, as well as the Joint 
Commission on Commerce and Trade, where we address these very 
specific as well as global issues. We have made progress, but 
we have to make sure that we monitor the progress of China, 
make sure that they adhere to their commitments, whether it's 
on intellectual property--the Chinese have a campaign right now 
that's supervised by the State Council Vice Premier Wang 
Qishan. That campaign has been extended to really ensure that 
the Government agencies and state-owned enterprises purchase 
legitimate software. But we've got to monitor that, and we're 
demanding and insisting on accountability and audits to make 
sure that the Chinese follow through.
    But, still, it's a very important relationship, and 
certainly one in which we need to convey to the Chinese that it 
is in their mutual self-interests to engage in free and fair 
trade, and to also, as you indicated earlier, not just abide by 
international norms and institutions, but be a world player and 
help lead and help solve some of the many issues facing the 
world.
    The Chairman. Well, let me come to that for a minute. 
Obviously, everybody understands that the Chinese leadership 
and people are smart, very analytical, very capable of defining 
what they see as their interests. I wonder, given the fact that 
you constantly hear from them the refrain about, 
notwithstanding their wealth that has been created on one side 
of the ledger, they still have 450, 500 million people--perhaps 
twice the size of the United States even, to try to bring into 
a more urban/industrial standard of living out of agrarian 
roots. That's the constant challenge.
    There's a unique focus, as you're well aware, among Chinese 
leadership on their internal challenges. We talk about their 
interests, we want to persuade them to see that their interests 
are also served by an outward focus. How do you do that, in 
your judgment? What is it that you think they're missing, 
conceivably, when they see their interests as being very 
specifically focused on this internal struggle?
    Secretary Locke. Well, their interests, and with respect to 
some of their internal challenges, focus, for instance, on 
food, feeding a growing population, shortages of food, 
insufficient energy--in recent days, you've seen reports of 
limitations or reductions in electricity available for 
factories and even households--to the health and welfare of 
their citizens.
    And there is a great desire, given the contact with the 
West, given the ability of the people of China to either visit 
and see what other developing countries are enjoying, to even 
seeing American life on television shows, there is a hunger for 
greater prosperity and a higher standard of living. And the 
Chinese Government is very concerned about making sure that 
there is stability within the country.
    And these are the areas in which the United States 
companies and the United States Government can help meet those 
needs of both the Chinese leaders and the aspirations of the 
Chinese people that can, for instance, help reduce our trade 
deficit; help American companies sell more of their American-
made goods and services, including agriculture, to China; and 
to meet those objectives of the Chinese people and leaders.
    Those are just--we need to convince and inform both the 
leaders of China and the people of China that America stands 
willing to help, and it can result in a mutually beneficial 
relationship.
    The Chairman. Well, let me just ask one last question with 
respect to that, sort of hone in on China's interests.
    When we met with President Hu here, I raised, and I think 
some other people raised, the question with him about their 
efforts with respect to North Korea. They tell us that they 
don't want a nuclear North Korea, that North Korea's current 
activities are contrary to China's interests, and they voted 
with us, obviously, in the U.N. to impose sanctions. But 
despite the, sort of, public affirmations of being with us in 
terms of our goals, the methods they adopt, and even the 
enforcement, often takes a very different track.
    A recent U.N. report faulted China for not adequately 
enforcing the sanctions against North Korea. We know that the 
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is in Beijing, I think right 
now, as we're here, focusing on the economic ties between the 
two countries.
    How do we get China to exert what we believe is greater 
leverage with respect to North Korea's behavior, particularly 
their aggressive behavior toward the South, and some of the 
dangerous moments that have been created in the last few years 
as a consequence of that? You would sort of think there was a 
greater ability. Are we misjudging their capacity, or are they 
judging their interests differently?
    Secretary Locke. No, I don't think that we're misjudging 
their capacity. In fact, China has been a vital partner in the 
six-party talks, and China has a very unique role, given its 
influence and its ties with North Korea.
    We, obviously, urge China to do more to influence North 
Korea's behavior. And I think that the recent provocations by 
North Korea and the reaction by the South is giving China pause 
and causing China to realize that it has to step up to diffuse 
the situation, to make sure that no further provocations occur, 
which could then result in retaliatory actions by South Korea, 
which would simply destabilize the entire region.
    So I think that there's a greater urgency and understanding 
of how delicate the situation is, and how North Korea must be 
brought back to the six-party talks, and how, simply, they must 
abandon their nuclear aims and objectives. I think that China 
understands that.
    The Chairman. Do you think China can do more?
    Secretary Locke. China can definitely and must do more.
    The Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
    Senator Lugar.
    Senator Lugar. Secretary Locke, as I mentioned in my 
opening statement, I remain concerned, as do many Americans, 
that while we have welcomed the building of 70 Confucius 
Centers in the United States, China has authorized only five 
American Centers to be built on Chinese soil. I want to focus 
for just a moment to get your views on public diplomacy as it 
pertains to our relationship with China.
    In addition to this problem, recent budget prioritization 
efforts have rendered it likely that we are to see the Voice of 
America ending its effort to jam shortwave radio broadcasts but 
with a refocus on the Internet instead. Additionally, I'm 
pleased the Broadcasting Board of Governors received an 
additional $10 million recently to help circumvent what's known 
as the Great Firewall.
    The administration's efforts to get more American students 
to China through the 100,000-strong program are certainly 
laudable but remains very badly underresourced. Meanwhile, 
China's largest state-run media, Xinhua, opened its new office 
in Times Square just last week.
    These are just fragments of the problem, but 
nevertheless,how do you perceive American diplomacy being 
pushed, so that we are able to get an audience with the Chinese 
people themselves, in addition to the conversations we've been 
having with the Chinese leadership?
    Secretary Locke. Well, I think it's very important that we 
engage with the Chinese people directly. It's not enough just 
to talk with the Chinese leaders, because the appetite for more 
freedom and democracy among the Chinese people rests with the 
people themselves. The more exposure we can give them to 
American values, freedoms, democracies, the more interaction 
they have with Americans, whether it's American tourists, 
American students in China, or even Chinese tourists and 
Chinese businesspeople coming to the United States, will I 
think promote those democratic reforms and the appetite for 
greater liberties and freedom.
    Obviously, the State Department would welcome more funding 
for many of these programs of diplomacy, but I think we also 
need to be aware of the new methods by which people communicate 
with each other over the Internet. And so we will continue what 
Ambassador Huntsman did in terms of blogging and messages over 
the Internet to the Chinese people.
    But I also believe that, as I have experienced as Governor, 
we want to continue reaching out to the Chinese people using 
radio and television shows, and their versions of almost like 
Oprah, which reach hundreds of millions of people, which are 
repeated over and over and over again.
    And so those are the types of mechanisms and media 
strategies that we would like to deploy.
    Clearly, we need to--I believe that there is a growing 
interest among America's young people to study in China. We 
need to encourage more exchange programs by American colleges, 
universities, and just encouraging more semesters and years 
abroad. And that's how we can also help fulfill the President's 
goal of having at least 100,000 American students studying in 
China.
    Senator Lugar. Well, when you become our Ambassador and you 
have boots on the ground over there, I hope you will stay in 
touch with our committee and with those of us who are deeply 
interested in this, because, as you say, there are going to be 
budget problems. These are problems that Congress must face, as 
well as our Embassy in Beijing. I'm just hopeful that this will 
be a major focus of yours, as you've outlined very cogently 
this morning.
    I would also hope that you will be a champion for 
intellectual property rights. This issue challenges many 
American companies in China, as well as American individuals. 
What new lessons do you believe you've learned in improving the 
property rights situation during your time as Secretary of 
Commerce as these issues have come before you in that forum. 
And how do you think we might make progress, if you are in 
China?
    Secretary Locke. I think we certainly need to interact with 
not just the leaders of China but also businesses of China and 
especially the young people of China, the students in the 
colleges and universities there. Because as they begin to 
innovate, as they begin to engage in cutting-edge research, 
they also need to understand that, without intellectual 
property rights protection, their discoveries, their hard-
earned work, could be for naught.
    I believe that we simply must convey the message that it is 
in the economic self-interests of the Chinese people and the 
Chinese Government to have strong intellectual property rights. 
And without strong IPR, innovation will either occur elsewhere 
or not at all within China.
    And with state-owned enterprises or with government support 
of R&D, if there's not a strong intellectual property rights 
regime, those investments could be stolen, could be 
appropriated by others. And that's not in the self-interests of 
either Chinese entrepreneurs, Chinese companies, or the Chinese 
Government.
    We're already beginning to see some increase in enforcement 
and strengthening of intellectual property rights. And we have 
many exchanges through Commerce Department, Justice Department 
and even American Bar Association groups traveling to China to 
help develop a rule of law.
    But we must continue to push these issues, as we have in 
the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, and even in our Joint 
Commission on Commerce and Trade, cochaired by the Commerce 
Secretary and our U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Kirk.
    I can tell you that in this most recent JCCT meeting, the 
Chinese agreed to extend their campaign on legitimate software 
among government agencies, national and at the subregional 
level. We need to hold their feet to the fire. We need to make 
sure that there are audits that we can all depend on. And, in 
fact, the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, reiterated that support 
in his visit to the United States this past January.
    It is a very important, high-priority topic for the U.S. 
Government as a whole. It has been for me as Commerce Secretary 
and will continue to be a top priority as the Ambassador to 
China.
    Senator Lugar. Let me just ask one further question, 
without speculation that is undue, but many believe that 
inflation in China is picking up steam--at least many Chinese 
leaders seem to indicate that, in fact, a so-called bubble 
might form in the Chinese economy. This has many greater 
dangers than bubbles forming elsewhere, because of the enormity 
and the credit position we talked about earlier today, in which 
the Chinese are financing through sovereign funds a good part 
of our budget, as well as other countries'.
    What role, in your view as potential Ambassador to China, 
do you believe we can play in being helpful in that situation? 
Because this could be of great consequence to us, to Europe, 
and to the world, if for some reason the Chinese do have an 
inflationary bubble and a recession that markedly changes the 
current trends in international matters.
    Secretary Locke. I think that, clearly, there--we need to 
help open up the Chinese market to some of our services, 
whether it's in insurance, whether it's in pensions and other 
areas of the financial services market. We also need to help 
lend our expertise to China as they deal with some of these 
economic issues.
    But I really believe that the key is the rebalancing of the 
world economy, in which they are not so dependent on exports 
but also focusing more on domestic consumption.
    Of course, if they have a recession, that could have an 
impact on that type of domestic consumption. But it's something 
that we're going to have to watch very, very carefully, and we 
are going to have to encourage even more exchanges and 
deliberations between our top financial services sector, as 
well as our financial institutions and our Government 
officials. Secretary Geithner has a whole host of 
collaborations and exchanges with his counterparts in China.
    Let me just also add that 70 percent of Treasuries are 
actually held by domestic companies; 70 percent of our 
Treasuries are held by domestic entities. And of the 30 percent 
remaining held by other entities, China has about a third of 
that. And so China's hold on, or ownership of, our securities 
really is only 8 percent of our total debt, and in no way does 
China's position in any way influence U.S. foreign policy.
    Senator Lugar. Thank you very much.
    Senator Webb.
    Senator Webb. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Secretary Locke, I would like to congratulate you on your 
nomination, and I know how great a moment this must be--not 
only for you--but for your family. We wish you the best in this 
assignment. I want you to know that I appreciate your having 
come by my office for the extensive discussions that we were 
able to have.
    I have three questions that I would like to get your 
thoughts on today. The first is: I held a hearing, in my 
capacity as the chair of East Asia Subcommittee on this 
committee regarding the consistency and, lack thereof, in our 
characterization of governmental systems rather than human 
rights, per se.
    We talk about human rights. ``Human rights'' is something 
of an amorphous term when you're looking at relations with 
different countries. It's important, but for instance you could 
characterize, even in a country like the United States with a 
free and open governmental system, someone could allege that a 
first amendment violation is a human rights violation, or an 
eighth amendment violation is a violation of someone's human 
rights. But when you get to countries such as China, what we 
really have is a fundamental difference in governmental systems 
that rarely gets discussed when we're in hearings like this. 
They do not have democratic systems and they don't have 
elections, as we understand them.
    The Freedom House evaluations of freedom of the press rate 
China at the bottom among the 40 countries in the Asia-Pacific, 
other than Burma and North Korea, in terms of basic freedoms of 
the press.
    So we are, on the one hand, in an environment where we do 
want to push our economic interests forward, and we do want to 
ensure that there aren't misunderstandings in terms of security 
issues. And we want to work toward a time when those can be 
resolved for the stability of the region. But we're still 
talking about two completely different systems of government.
    What are your thoughts about the challenges of that, and 
what the future holds?
    Secretary Locke. Well, obviously, there are major 
differences between our histories as countries; our cultures, 
our values; and, certainly, our governmental systems.
    As you note, there's been much criticism of human rights 
issues and freedom of the press issues in China. 
Notwithstanding that, I believe that there's a great appetite 
and a hunger by the Chinese people for information as to what's 
happening all around the world. And the Chinese people are able 
to obtain much of that information. And what we must do as a 
country is to engage with the Chinese people directly and to 
convey the values that America stands for and our views on 
various issues.
    And while much of the press is controlled by China, there 
is also a growing movement for greater freedom among the press. 
I think that it's incumbent upon the Ambassador and other 
American Government officials who operate in China, whether 
it's from our Embassy or even visiting Members of the Congress, 
to take advantage of those different mechanisms of talk shows, 
radio shows, meeting with students, using the Internet to 
communicate and to express the values for which we stand.
    Senator Webb. Thank you. My second question relates to the 
concern that I and many people have regarding the role that the 
Chinese Government should be playing in assisting in the 
resolution of challenges--a role that is more at a level of its 
emerging power around the world. You mentioned some cooperation 
in the areas of Iran, Burma, and North Korea in your opening 
remarks. There are other issues where I think we could 
encourage the Chinese to become more visible and proactive in 
the international environment as we reach towards solutions.
    I've held two hearings on sovereignty issues, different 
kinds of sovereignty issues, both of which, I believe, we 
really could benefit from a more overt participation from the 
Chinese.
    The first are the sovereignty issues in the South China 
Sea--the Spratly Islands, the Senkakus, the Paracels--where the 
position of China has been that they will only negotiate in a 
bilateral environment, which makes it impossible to solve those 
issues, quite frankly.
    The other hearing, as I discussed with you when you visited 
my office, was on the issues of downstream water rights--the 
Mekong River particularly, but also the Red River that goes 
into the north of Vietnam. China is one of the few countries in 
the world that does not recognize riparian water rights 
downstream. With these hydroelectric dams being built, there 
are serious potential environmental consequences in the Lower 
Mekong and also in the northern part of Vietnam.
    What can we and you do to encourage the Chinese to 
participate in finding solutions to these sovereignty issues in 
other than a bilateral environment?
    Secretary Locke. I think that we need to impress on China 
that stability of the Asian region is, obviously, in the 
interests of not just the other countries but also China; and 
that, therefore, engagement on these issues is in its self-
interest as well, dealing with water, dealing with disputed 
territorial claims; and that they should be addressed in a 
peaceful, collaborative way that adheres to international norms 
and rules.
    Senator Webb. Thank you. The final question I have is with 
respect to China's continued status as a developing country in 
terms of per capita income, which allows their Government to 
receive billions of dollars in multilateral assistance and 
concessional lending for a lot of their development projects at 
a time when they're sitting on trillions of dollars of surplus, 
because of their trade balances. What would your comment be on 
that?
    Secretary Locke. Well, I think that there needs to be a 
more frank recognition that while China is considered a 
developing country, it is more developed than most other 
countries, and that various international mechanisms must 
recognize that.
    For instance, that's the position of the United States in 
the current negotiations over the Doha Round. There are degrees 
of developing countries, many that are more developed than 
others, and that not all should be lumped in the same 
categories. And I think that applies with some of these same 
issues that you've just raised.
    Senator Webb. Thank you very much.
    Senator Lugar. Senator Webb, Chairman Kerry has asked that 
the gavel be handed to you, as chairman of the subcommittee, at 
this juncture, and I'm pleased to yield that gavel to you to 
continue the hearing.
    Senator Webb. All right, I will continue on. Thank you very 
much, Senator Lugar.
    Senator Menendez.
    Senator Menendez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Secretary, thank you for your service to our country. 
It's been exceptional, and I appreciate it very much.
    This is an incredibly important position that you have been 
nominated to, and I have three lines of questioning that I will 
pursue: one is on Taiwan; one is on Iran; and the other is 
intellectual property issues.
    I cochair the Senate Taiwan Caucus, and I am extremely 
concerned about the military imbalance in the Taiwan Strait. 
Successive reports issued by both Taiwanese and U.S. defense 
authorities clearly outline the direct threat faced by Taiwan 
as a result of China's unprecedented military buildup. And 
experts in both our country and in Taiwan have raised concerns 
that Taiwan is losing the qualitative advantage in defense arms 
that has served as its primary military deterrent against 
China. To counter this buildup, the Taiwanese have sought to 
modernize their fighter fleet, which I believe, in terms of 
Taiwan's defense and deterrent capacity, is in the U.S. 
national security interest, as well as is promoted and 
compelled by the Taiwan Relations Act.
    Later today, I'll be sending a letter to the President, 
along with 44 Members of the United States Senate, requesting 
that the administration accept Taiwan's letter of request and 
move quickly to notify Congress of the sale of F-16s.
    Could you share with me your view on the question of the 
military balance in the Taiwan Strait? And do you believe that 
the United States should proceed with the sale of 66 F-16s to 
Taiwan?
    Secretary Locke. Let me first say that the United States 
remains committed to our one-China policy based on the three 
joint communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act. We believe that 
the cross-strait issues must be resolved peacefully, in a 
manner that is acceptable to the people on both sides of the 
strait. And the administration will continue to follow the 
Taiwan Relations Act and make available to Taiwan defense 
articles and services necessary to enable them to have a 
sufficient self-defense capability. We also believe that China 
must reduce its military deployments aimed at Taiwan.
    Having said that, no decision has been made with respect to 
further sales of defensive items to Taiwan. That is under 
review, and that is being evaluated by both others within the 
Defense Department and the State Department.
    Senator Menendez. I expected that formal answer. Let me go 
further, since you are going to be the United States Ambassador 
to China. I understand the one government policy, but you can 
be devoured if you do not have the ability to defend yourself. 
Is it going to be very clear, from your position, should you be 
confirmed, that Taiwan has, within the one China structure, the 
continuing right to exist and to make its own self-
determinative efforts there?
    Secretary Locke. Well, that is a fundamental part of our 
one-China policy, that the United States stands with Taiwan to 
ensure that it can defend itself and that its self-defense 
capabilities are never eroded.
    Senator Menendez. The problem is that Taiwan has been 
seeking this help since 2006, which precedes this 
administration. We are going to close down the F-16 line, if we 
do not make this sale, leaving Taiwan in a position that is 
indefensible, at the end of the day. And to me, that will only 
exasperate matters for the one-China policy.
    So I do hope that, within the administration, you'll 
advocate for making sure that balance is retained, which 
ultimately is in our collective interest. I mean, it is very 
rare that we get 44 Members, in a bipartisan way, of the U.S. 
Senate to join together to send a message to the 
administration.
    Second, on Iran, there is a long history of Sino-Iranian 
relationship and nuclear cooperation. And both parties remain 
keen on enhancing their political and economic relationships. 
My concern is that the Chinese continue to share sensitive 
ballistic missile, chemical, and nuclear weapons technology 
with Iran.
    As a matter of fact, last month, Jane's Defense Weekly 
reported that the Chinese inaugurated a missile plant in Iran. 
Given this history, what steps will you take, as Ambassador, to 
address with the Chinese Government the serious concerns held 
by the United States, as well as the international community, 
about its support and engagement with Iran?
    Secretary Locke. Well, first of all, we note that China has 
actually played a very important role in diplomatic efforts to 
address the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program and was 
instrumental in helping craft the U.N. resolution. But we've 
also said that we're very concerned that China and Chinese 
companies not backfill, especially in the energy sector where 
other companies from around the world are leaving or departing 
Iran, because we know that, certainly, if other companies from 
China are engaged in helping develop Iran's energy sector, that 
will provide income, which can then be used to help develop and 
further develop Iran's nuclear capability, and that we very 
much oppose.
    So we very much believe that China can and must do more. 
And, of course, we have, in the United States, passed our own 
set of sanctions and legislation. And I want to inform you and 
reiterate that on Tuesday, the State Department announced 
various proliferation-related sanctions against several 
companies and individuals from around the world, including 
three Chinese companies and one Chinese individual.
    So we take what China is doing and what Chinese companies 
are doing very, very seriously. Any proliferation and 
additional work by Iran on nuclear arms is of paramount 
importance and of concern to the United States. And we believe 
that China can and must do more to not only abide by the U.N. 
resolution but help enforce it, and also to understand the 
position of the United States, even with respect to our 
sanctions policies.
    Senator Menendez. So you will do that robustly as the 
Ambassador?
    Secretary Locke. Very much so, sir.
    Senator Menendez. Finally, intellectual property 
infringement--you have been at the forefront of trying to 
promote America's opportunities to send its products and 
services abroad. But I know that you know that the U.S. 
International Trade Commission just released a 332-page report 
on IPR infringement and its effect on U.S. competitiveness. 
That report suggests that the losses to U.S. industry are 
valued at $48 billion, resulting in over 2 million lost jobs.
    When President Hu visited President Obama in early January, 
there were high hopes that the special intellectual property 
rights campaign would yield results, but we haven't seen any 
dramatic changes in China. One aspect of this issue that hits 
close to home in New Jersey, is the online journal piracy 
conditions that have not improved on the ground--we have a 
company in New Jersey with 50,000 workers in the United States 
and over 3,000 in my home State, that consistently finds itself 
with direct IPR violations where Chinese libraries consume the 
intellectual property rights of its medical and other journals.
    Will you vigorously, as our Ambassador, impress and pursue 
the Chinese to seek enforcement of these intellectual property 
issues, both in the online context and in the broader context?
    Secretary Locke. That was one of my top priorities as 
Commerce Secretary, and, perhaps, once a Commerce Secretary, 
always a Commerce Secretary. It's certainly a top priority for 
the United States Government, period. And that includes my work 
as Ambassador, if I'm confirmed.
    Senator Menendez. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    The Chairman. Senator Webb, you can continue to chair. I'm 
here just for a few minutes. I have another meeting to go to, 
so I apologize. I wanted to come back and tell Secretary Locke 
I wasn't racing away, but we have competing Finance Committee 
and a couple other things going on. I apologize.
    Senator Webb [presiding]. All right.
    Senator Risch.
    Senator Risch. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Secretary, you certainly have a challenging job in 
front of you. There are lots and lots of different issues, and 
a lot of them have been aired here, and I'm not going to go 
over all of them.
    But one of the things that is important to me, and I think 
important to all Senators, and this is particularly true for my 
service on the Intelligence Committee and on this committee, is 
that the United States has a policy of trying to contain both 
Iran and North Korea, and contain their nuclear ambitions.
    And, of course, the only way countries like this can pursue 
their nuclear ambitions is to have very sensitive and highly 
technical materials that they buy from somewhere. And we all 
know that the United States is very diligent in containing the 
products that are produced here from winding up in the hands of 
either the Iranians or the North Koreans.
    Unfortunately, we do find that there are Chinese products 
that wind up there. And China says the right things. It, 
publicly, takes the position that they don't support that. And 
yet, it is Chinese companies that are doing business through 
the back door, or the black market, or what have you, that do 
allow certain technological equipment to get in the hands of 
both North Korea and to Iran.
    And so, I want to encourage you, in the strongest terms, to 
reinforce with the Chinese our concern about that, and how you 
can't talk about it in one setting and yet turn a blind eye in 
the other setting, as your companies profit from helping arm 
these particular countries. So that's as much a statement as it 
is a question, and I know you've talked about it a little bit, 
but I'd appreciate, perhaps, if you could enhance your 
testimony in that regard.
    Secretary Locke. Well, again, in both North Korea and in 
Iran, China played a very constructive role in helping pass and 
formulate the U.N. resolutions----
    Senator Risch. And we appreciate that.
    Secretary Locke [continuing]. That imposed sanctions on 
both North Korea and Iran. But it's important, as you 
indicated, that those obligations be enforced throughout the 
world.
    And that's why, for instance, on Tuesday the State 
Department announced proliferation-related sanctions against 
several companies, including Chinese companies and Chinese 
individuals, in addition to entities from elsewhere around the 
world.
    Stopping proliferation is the utmost priority of the United 
States Government, and that includes the Ambassador to China. 
And we need to convey to the Chinese people and to the leaders 
of China that it's also in their national security interests to 
avoid proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the 
nuclear capability of both North Korea and Iran, and that 
whatever commercial benefits some of their companies may obtain 
by continuing to sell or transfer technology to North Korea or 
Iran, that the risks and the potential destabilizing order in 
the world are not outweighed, that peace and security for the 
entire world outweigh any potential commercial advantages 
gained by few companies or individuals.
    Senator Risch. And I think that's an important point to 
make, is that the profits are very modest compared to the harm 
that can be done internationally and overall, by putting these 
highly sensitive products that have been developed by a very 
sophisticated people into the hands of those who want to use it 
not for good. So I think that's a very important argument, and 
I appreciate that.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.
    Thank you.
    Senator Webb. Thank you, Senator Risch.
    Senator Cardin.
    Senator Cardin. Do you----
    Senator Webb. I have a follow-on question. I'm acting now 
in my capacity as chair of the East Asia Subcommittee. I know 
you outrank me. If you want the gavel, you got it, but I've 
still got one more question. [Laughter.]
    Senator Cardin. No, I----
    Senator Risch. Maybe we can have an election over there. 
You know, I can help. [Laughter.]
    Senator Cardin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate that 
very much, Chairman Webb.
    I want to follow up on a couple points that were raised by 
my colleagues.
    And, Secretary Locke, it's a pleasure to have you here, and 
I just personally want to thank you for your willingness to 
allow your name to come forward for this position. Your 
background and training is what we need representing our Nation 
in China. And your record in Commerce I think will be very 
valuable to your role as Ambassador. So I thank you, and I 
thank your family, for your willingness to continue in this 
role.
    I want to follow up on points raised by several of my 
colleagues on commerce issues, starting first with intellectual 
property. I know Senator Menendez just questioned on that.
    I just want to underscore the importance to American 
manufacturing and to American production that we impress upon 
the Chinese their international responsibilities on enforcement 
of intellectual property issues. It's in the manufactured 
products; it's in creative products; it's in so many different 
areas that China has been a major abuser of allowing products 
to be manufactured or stolen in their country, violating U.S. 
intellectual property issues.
    I just really wanted to underscore that point. And I heard 
your response to Senator Menendez, and I just want to encourage 
you to make this a very high priority.
    I want to talk a little bit about China as it relates to, 
also, the currency manipulation issue. You and I have had a 
chance to talk about that. But if there is one issue that 
probably is the most dominant, as far as a level playing field 
for U.S. manufacturers and producers and farmers, it's having a 
level playing field on currency. And I would hope that you 
would make that also a top priority on your portfolio.
    China has made some progress recently, only because they 
felt it was in their direct economic interest to do that. That 
seems to be the way that they move forward. They don't do it 
because of respect for a level playing field. And I would hope 
that our policy would be very clear that they must allow their 
currency to float, reaching its economic balance and not an 
arbitrary balance.
    Those two, I guess, are my principal economic issues that I 
would hope that you would take forward and move forward on, and 
I would be glad to get your response.
    Secretary Locke. Again, intellectual property rights in 
China remains very problematic. It's a top priority for the 
United States Government. It was a top priority for me in all 
of my discussions with Chinese officials as Commerce Secretary 
and even before joining the United States Government, even as a 
lawyer on behalf of U.S. companies helping open markets for 
U.S. companies in China. It will be a top priority for me as 
Ambassador to China, if confirmed by the Senate.
    And we know that the inability or the lack of China's 
currency floating and being set by market forces puts American 
companies at a disadvantage and at an unfair position.
    All of our work at the Department of Commerce, which will 
continue as Ambassador to China, if confirmed, is to ensure 
that American companies have fair and open access to China. And 
that includes nontariff barriers. It includes currency. It 
includes a level playing field. It also includes intellectual 
property rights, because as the recent report that Senator 
Menendez indicated, U.S. companies are losing tens of billions 
of dollars because of violations of intellectual property 
rights. That's of great concern to us in the United States 
Government and will continue as Ambassador to China.
    Senator Cardin. One final point and that is that China is 
becoming a more interesting country, as it relates to our 
policies in the Middle East. We've seen recent events between 
Pakistan and China indicating that they're becoming more 
interested in that region. China, of course, holds one of the 
permanent seats in the United Nations and, obviously, we have 
to work with China in that regard.
    I would just like to get your assessment as to where we 
think we can make advancements in China's help as it relates to 
our policies in Iran or Pakistan or Afghanistan, in the region, 
as to how China could be a more constructive partner for the 
United States.
    Secretary Locke. The United States and China actually have 
collaborated on a whole host of issues, including countering 
terrorism. And, of course, that's of great interest and of 
particular importance in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And so we 
share interests in stability in that region, and in countering 
terrorism.
    And we, therefore, are encouraging China, given its 
alliances with, for instance, Pakistan, to do more in the area 
of countering terrorism. And I believe that because Afghanistan 
and Pakistan are so close and part of the region bordering 
China that they have deep interests in ensuring stability in 
that region as well.
    So we need to really partner with them and urge China to do 
even more in helping promote and using the alliances that they 
have to promote that stability.
    Senator Cardin. Well, thank you. I know they since you have 
taken on the position in the Cabinet, you have been living in 
the State of Maryland. We welcome you in Maryland any time. We 
hope that you will come back soon, and we're very proud of your 
nomination.
    Secretary Locke. We've been very, very pleased to live in 
Maryland.
    Senator Cardin. Thank you.
    Senator Webb. As a Senator from Virginia----
    [Laughter.]
    Senator Webb [continuing]. Let me just say, we have pretty 
nice neighborhoods in Virginia as well.
    Senator Cardin. He made the right choice.
    Secretary Locke. Let me just say, it was a tough choice----
    [Laughter.]
    Secretary Locke [continuing]. No, honestly--between the 
great school systems in Virginia and in Maryland.
    Senator Webb. The thing I learned in politics is, quit 
while you are ahead. [Laughter.]
    Maryland has good places, too.
    Let me first just say, as a quick follow-on to something 
Senator Cardin said. I mentioned in a hearing about a week ago, 
when we had General Jones, that, in context of what we were 
discussing a little while ago, and then Senator Cardin raising 
it with the Afghanistan region, we tend to examine and debate 
the Afghanistan situation moving laterally out into Afghanistan 
to Pakistan, and Pakistan to India. But, I believe the movement 
toward resolution in that part of the world could give China a 
major opportunity to demonstrate that it can assume some 
leadership with a country that it has had a special 
relationship for a long time. And I would hope that you would 
find a way to encourage that.
    I want to ask you a question about the transshipment of 
arms. This is particularly troubling with respect to China's 
relationship with North Korea, and some allegations that have 
been made.
    Last week, China blocked the release of a United Nations 
report by a seven-member panel tasked with monitoring sanctions 
against North Korea. The report concludes that North Korea has 
been exporting missiles and technology in violation of U.N. 
sanctions, with diplomats saying that these shipments were 
transiting China to Iran.
    We have other allegations over the past year or so with 
respect to Burma, Congo, and Burundi. All of them go back to 
that fact that at some places in China there were 
transshipments, usually from North Korea, but not exclusively.
    One commentator a couple days ago said: ``Many analysts 
argue that China is committed to upholding its U.N. 
obligations, but it has a problem of lax export-control 
enforcement. But while China cannot marshal the resources to 
prevent the transshipment of North Korean weapons, it can 
commit 300,000 Internet police to monitor online traffic and 
stifle free speech.''
    What is the State Department's policy on this issue, and to 
what degree do you believe it is a priority issue in terms of 
our future relations?
    Secretary Locke. Well, we're very, very concerned about 
these allegations of transshipment, and we believe that the 
reports should be released so that there can be greater 
transparency and scrutiny on what is happening by North Korea.
    And getting back to the issue of the region itself, and the 
special relationships that China has developed with several of 
these countries, we believe that China should use its influence 
as a source for stability and security and prosperity for the 
entire region. And we will be encouraging China to use that 
special relationship to increase that security and stability of 
the region.
    That also applies to North Korea. We're very, very deeply 
concerned about transshipment of weapons systems material from 
North Korea to other parts of the world.
    Senator Webb. Thank you. Could you provide us with the 
State Department policy on this issue of the transshipment? 
We've had some difficulty getting a clear statement from the 
State Department on transshipment, per se.
    Secretary Locke. I will try to do that, sir.
    [The written information from Secretary Locke follows:]

    Stopping the transshipment of North Korean weapons is a high-
priority issue. The United States has strongly urged all member states, 
including China, to implement U.N. Security Council Resolutions 
(UNSCRs), 1718 and 1874 in a full and transparent manner. We have 
regularly communicated our concerns to the Chinese Government that 
North Korea may seek to use Chinese airports or seaports to transship 
items and technology that are banned for transfer to other states under 
UNSCRs 1718 and 1874 and reminded China that UNSCR 1874 calls upon 
States to inspect all cargo to and from North Korea in their territory, 
including seaports and airports, where there are reasonable grounds to 
believe that the cargo contains items that are banned for sale or 
transfer under the resolutions.
    We have ample ground for concern that these sorts of transactions 
have occurred. For example, the May 2010 report of Panel of Experts set 
up to advise the UNSCR 1718 (North Korea) Sanctions Committee stated 
that a shipment of T-54/T-55 tank parts and other military goods bound 
for the Republic of Congo and seized by South African authorities was 
transshipped via the port of Dalian in China.
    The United States has urged China to be more vigilant in its 
enforcement of both UNSCR 1718 and UNSCR 1874, as well as its own 
national export control laws, including through greater scrutiny of 
North Korean cargoes transshipping via Chinese ports. We continue to 
urge China to inspect North Korean cargoes and, if items prohibited 
under these UNSCRs are found, to seize and dispose of those items as 
required by UNSCR 1874. We routinely raise these concerns in our 
regular dialogues with China, and we have also offered to provide 
technical assistance to Chinese authorities to improve customs and 
other export control enforcement activities.
    Most recently, during the Dubai Transshipment Conference, Acting 
Assistant Secretary of State Vann Van Diepen announced a series of 10 
best practices that we would urge all states, including China, to adopt 
in order to better regulate the transshipment of sensitive items. As 
China is a key transshipment hub, we will continue to encourage China 
to adopt these measures and to increase its vigilance against North 
Korea proliferation activities.

    Senator Webb. Thank you. And with respect to your comment, 
and my follow-on to Senator Cardin on Pakistan, I again 
reiterate that I think this is a major opportunity for United 
States-China relations. If the Chinese were able to step in, 
given their history with Pakistan, to assist in a solution in 
that part of the world that they're going to benefit from it, 
quite frankly, with the increased stability in the region and 
their economic interests. It would be a great signal to be able 
to send in terms of cooperation between our two countries.
    Senator Risch, did you have a follow-on question?
    Senator Risch. Thank you very much.
    Senator Webb. I am instructed by Chairman Kerry to indicate 
that the hearing record will remain open for 48 hours for any 
Senator who wishes to make a further statement or ask questions 
for the record.
    Other than that, I, again, would congratulate you on your 
nomination, and I know what a special thing this must be for 
your family and also for those who went before you. It was very 
touching to hear about your father during your testimony this 
morning. And I wish you the best of luck.
    And the hearing is now closed.
    Secretary Locke. Thank you very much, Senator.
    [Whereupon, at 11:39 a.m., the hearing was adjourned.]
                              ----------                              


       Additional Questions and Answers Submitted for the Record


Responses of Gary Locke to Questions Submitted by Senator John F. Kerry

    Question. North Korea.--North Korea's development of nuclear 
weapons and long-range ballistic missiles represents a critical test of 
our ability to work together on matters critical to the security of 
both nations.

   Over the past 2 years, what specifically has China done to 
        help restrain North Korea and maintain stability on the Korean 
        Peninsula?

    Answer. China is an important partner in regional diplomacy and in 
maintaining regional stability. Given its unique history and 
relationship with North Korea, China is well positioned to use its 
influence with North Korea. The administration has discussed with China 
on a regular basis the steps it can and should take to reduce 
provocations by North Korea. In June 2009, China's vote was critical 
for the adoption of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874, which 
imposed additional sanctions on North Korea. The United States has 
called on all members of the U.N. Security Council and all U.N. Member 
States, including China, to fully and transparently implement U.N. 
sanctions and to urge North Korea to refrain from further provocations.
    We have been disappointed by China's insufficient reaction to 
provocative and irresponsible North Korea behavior in the past, but 
welcomed the progress made on North Korea during the January 2011 
summit between President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao. During 
the summit President Obama told President Hu that North Korea's nuclear 
and ballistic missile program is increasingly a direct threat to the 
security of the United States and our allies and expressed appreciation 
of China's role in reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula. 
Furthermore, in the Joint Statement issued by both countries during 
President Hu's visit to Washington in January 2011, the United States 
and China ``expressed concern regarding the DPRK's claimed uranium 
enrichment program,'' ``opposed all activities inconsistent with the 
2005 Joint Statement and relevant international obligations and 
commitments,'' and ``called for the necessary steps that would allow 
for the early resumption of the six-party talks process to address this 
and other relevant issues.'' We welcome these statements and continue 
to look to China to take similar and additional positive steps to help 
maintain stability and prevent provocative actions by North Korea.

    Question. If confirmed, how would you seek to convince China that 
its own desire for stability on its borders requires it to do more to 
rein in its unruly neighbor?

    Answer. The United States and China share common goals of peace and 
stability on the Korean Peninsula and its denuclearization. We have 
continually discussed with China how it can and should best use its 
influence with the North, including during President Hu's January 2011 
state visit and the recently concluded Strategic and Economic Dialogue. 
During President Hu's state visit, the United States and China 
emphasized the importance of achieving an improvement in North-South 
relations and agreed that sincere, constructive inter-Korean dialogue 
is an essential step. The United States and China also expressed 
concern regarding North Korea's claimed uranium enrichment program. 
Both sides oppose all activities that are inconsistent with the 2005 
Joint Statement and relevant international obligations and commitments. 
We will continue to make North Korea one of the top items on the United 
States-China agenda and to press China to work toward advancing our 
shared goal of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

    Question. Does China's growing economic support for North Korea 
undercut U.N. sanctions designed to put pressure on the government of 
Kim Jong-il? What is the rationale behind China's investment?

    Answer. U.S. officials have repeatedly discussed with Chinese 
counterparts the importance of full and transparent implementation of 
U.N. Security Council resolutions related to North Korea. Despite a 
common concern with North Korean nuclear activities, China continues to 
give North Korea a significant role in its regional strategic security 
calculus. As such, ensuring North Korea does not collapse and 
maintaining regional stability appear to remain top priorities for 
Beijing, and China's ongoing economic aid and investment support those 
goals. I cannot speak on behalf of China, but Chinese officials have 
stated that they believe North Korea's economic development is a key 
step toward stabilizing the region.

    Question. Role in Afghanistan.--China is playing an active role in 
Central Asia through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, expanding 
trade and security ties with nations that used to be under the shadow 
of the former Soviet Union. Next door in Afghanistan, China has focused 
on the narrow objective of extracting raw materials and minerals, 
despite the concerted efforts of Special Envoy Holbrooke and others to 
convince the Beijing Government to do more to promote peace and 
sustainable development.

   If confirmed, what steps would you take to encourage China 
        to invest not only in Afghanistan's resources, but also the 
        country's long-suffering people?

    Answer. The administration believes that there is a role for China 
to play in helping the international community deal with the challenge 
of peace and stability in Afghanistan and in addressing the economic 
challenges that country faces. We have already discussed with the 
Chinese the importance of generating local employment in Afghanistan 
that creates self-sustaining economic development to replace aid with 
trade. If confirmed, I will work closely with the Secretary's 
Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan to promote effective United 
States-Chinese cooperation in the region.

    Question. Human Rights.--I am troubled by China's recent crackdown 
against dissidents, lawyers, artists, bloggers, and democracy 
advocates--seemingly anyone who dares to criticize the government or 
question the Communist Party's supremacy. Some dissidents have simply 
disappeared after being taken into custody by plain-clothes security 
personnel. China's security services tightly control access to 
information and the use of the Internet, including new social media. 
China's leaders seem determined to preempt any move toward a 
``Jasmine'' democracy movement. At the Strategic and Economic Dialogue 
(S&ED) and the U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue last month, the United 
States made it clear that China is ``backsliding'' on human rights.

   If confirmed, will you make human rights a clear high-level 
        priority with China? What steps will you take to integrate this 
        issue into other aspects of this vast relationship such as 
        economics, the environment, and consumer product safety, to 
        name just a few areas?

    Answer. Promoting human rights--including freedom of religion, 
speech, and assembly--is a central objective of U.S. diplomatic 
engagement with China. If confirmed, I will make it a top priority to 
continue to urge China to uphold its internationally recognized 
obligations to respect universal human rights, including the freedoms 
of expression, association, assembly, and movement.
    The U.S. Government believes that by adhering more closely to 
international human rights standards, creating greater access to 
justice, and strengthening rule of law, the Chinese Government would 
help create the conditions necessary for greater long-term social 
stability. To emphasize that message, the administration has 
incorporated human rights into discussions with Chinese officials on a 
range of issues, including economic and environmental issues. If 
confirmed, I will ensure that U.S. human rights concerns are raised 
regularly, broadly, and at all levels.

    Question. What impact do you think the Arab Spring might be having 
in China? What is your assessment of the risk of major social unrest?

    Answer. The Arab Spring demonstrates to the world the universal 
desire for freedom and opportunity. The United States continues to 
stress to our Chinese counterparts that by adhering more closely to 
international human rights standards, creating greater access to 
justice, and strengthening rule of law, the Chinese Government would 
help create the conditions necessary for greater long-term social 
stability.
    Our message is simple: A nation must respect its citizens' 
fundamental rights, just as prosperous modern economies require rule of 
law, open information flows, and a vibrant civil society. Expansion of 
civil and political rights would ultimately be a source of stability in 
Chinese society.

    Question. What should the United States do to support greater 
Internet freedom in China? Do you support U.S. Government investments 
in circumvention technologies? What about broadcasting?

    Answer. The U.S. Government remains deeply concerned by China's 
efforts to censor the Internet. Last month's announcement that a new 
``State Internet Information Office'' has been established to direct, 
coordinate, and supervise online content management, as well as to 
investigate and punish illegal Websites, runs counter to our view that 
Internet freedom is an extension of the freedoms of speech, assembly, 
and expression.
    Governments that use security as a pretext for clamping down on 
free expression are making a mistake. In the long run, they are 
limiting their political and economic development. Censorship is 
ultimately unsustainable.
    The U.S. Government strongly supports increased freedom of 
expression in China, including on the Internet. As part of our ongoing 
dialogue with China, we have emphasized to the Chinese Government our 
view on the importance of an open Internet. The ability to operate with 
confidence in cyberspace is critical in a modern society and modern 
economy.
    The administration speaks out clearly and presses China to cease 
its censorship of its people. U.S. officials regularly urge China to 
respect internationally recognized fundamental freedoms, including 
freedom of expression, and the human rights of all Chinese citizens. 
The Internet should be available to all, and the administration will 
continue to push China to expand opportunities for its citizens to 
connect online domestically and globally.
    The State Department supports a number of organizations committed 
to Internet freedom. Enabling access for citizens in closed societies 
is a priority for the Department.

    Question. How will you approach individual cases of political 
dissidents such as Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo, respected human rights 
lawyer, Gao Zhisheng, and artist, Ai Weiwei? What are your views on the 
case of U.S. geologist, Xue Feng, who as you know, has been imprisoned 
under China's expansive ``state secrets'' law?

    Answer. The U.S. Government is deeply concerned by the trend of 
extralegal detentions, arrests, and convictions of lawyers, activists, 
and other individuals for exercising their internationally recognized 
human rights. The President and Secretary Clinton have specifically 
called for the release of Liu Xiaobo; U.S. officials have also urged 
the release of other political prisoners in China, including those 
under house arrest and those enduring enforced disappearances, such as 
Gao Zhisheng. Regarding Ai Weiwei, the United States continues to be 
deeply concerned by his detention, which is inconsistent with China's 
commitments to respect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all 
Chinese citizens.
    If confirmed, I will continue to press for the individual release 
of Liu Xiaobo, Gao Zhisheng, Ai Weiwei, and other individual prisoner 
cases of concern. I will also engage with the Chinese people directly 
to convey the human rights values for which America stands.
    The U.S. Government has been closely involved in Dr. Xue's case 
since he was detained more than 3 years ago. The Embassy has conducted 
40 consular visits to Dr. Xue to monitor his welfare and deliver 
messages from his family, with the most recent visit on May 19, 2011. 
If confirmed, the Embassy under my leadership will continue to visit 
Dr. Xue regularly and press China to release him on humanitarian 
grounds and immediately return him to the United States.

    Question. Tibet.--A visit to Tibet by staff of the Senate Committee 
on Foreign Relations last year found a mixed picture: Economic 
development has improved the lives of many Tibetans. But they are also 
often discriminated against in employment and economic opportunities. 
Moreover, economic development is occurring against a backdrop of 
political repression, with intrusive Chinese controls on freedom of 
speech, freedom of association, and freedom of religion. China resists 
any effort by the United States to take an interest in Tibetan affairs. 
But it seems to me that it must be possible for us to find a way to 
work together on this issue as we do on other sensitive matters.

   How can we work with China to ensure that the Tibetan people 
        can enjoy the benefits of economic development while protecting 
        their fragile environment and preserving their rich culture?

    Answer. The administration has not shied away from seeking 
opportunities to raise candidly with China's leaders our concerns about 
the poor human rights situation in Tibet, while at the same time 
recognizing there are benefits of economic development in Tibetan 
areas. If confirmed, I will continue to support further dialogue 
between China and the representatives of the Dalai Lama to resolve 
concerns and differences, including the preservation of the religious, 
linguistic, and cultural identity of the Tibetan people.
                                 ______
                                 

           Responses of Gary Locke to Questions Submitted by
                        Senator Richard G. Lugar

               addressing potential conflicts of interest
    Question. Prior to your service as Secretary of Commerce, you led 
the China practice of a major U.S. law firm. What steps do you intend 
to take to avoid any appearance of favoritism or conflict of interest 
with respect to former clients of yours if confirmed as Ambassador to 
China?

    Answer. If confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to China, I will strictly 
adhere to all ethics requirements and regulations. In all that I do, I 
will also behave in way that this committee, the White House, and the 
American people expect that I should.
    With regard to my former employer and clients before government 
service, I resigned from Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in March 2009 when I 
was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as Secretary of Commerce. I 
severed all connections with the firm, financial and otherwise, upon my 
appointment.
    As Secretary of Commerce, I complied not only with the 1-year 
regulatory recusal period but also with the 2-year recusal period of 
the President's ethics pledge during which I was prohibited from 
participating in certain particular matters related to my former 
employers or former clients. If confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to China, 
on an ongoing basis I will continue to recuse myself from any 
particular matters involving the firm or a former client if I believe 
that to act otherwise would give rise to an appearance of partiality or 
impropriety in the eyes of a reasonable person.
                           trade and commerce
    Question. As Secretary of Commerce, what is the process by which 
you have evaluated the effectiveness of the International Trade 
Administration related to the promotion of U.S. exports?

    Answer. The Department of Commerce, particularly the International 
Trade Administration (ITA), has been leading implementation of 
President Obama's National Export Initiative (NEI). Expanding U.S. 
exports is important to our Nation's economic recovery and long-term 
economic growth.
    Exports contributed greatly to growing our economy in 2010, and 
supported over 9 million U.S. jobs. U.S. exports of goods and services 
in 2010 increased nearly 17 percent over 2009--the largest year-to-year 
percentage change in over 20 years. This puts us on pace to achieve 
President Obama's goal of doubling exports by the end of 2014.
    ITA supports the NEI by directly working with U.S. companies to 
expand their exports overseas, address trade barriers, and ensure a 
level playing field for U.S. exporters through trade enforcement and 
compliance. As Chair of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee, I 
have also worked to strengthen interagency cooperation between the 
multiple federal agencies engaged in trade promotion. I am pleased to 
report that the National Export Strategy, which will be delivered to 
Congress shortly, will include for the first time cross-cutting NEI 
metrics to better evaluate the Federal Government's efforts as a whole 
to expand U.S. exports.
    The reality is that only 1 percent of U.S. companies are currently 
exporting and, of that 1 percent, 58 percent are exporting to one 
overseas market only. As Secretary of Commerce, I directed ITA to focus 
their efforts on helping this 58 percent--typically small- and medium-
sized companies--export to additional countries.
    ITA's effectiveness is measured by the Government Performance 
Results Act, which includes the priority goal of increasing the number 
of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that ITA assists in 
exporting to a second or additional country by 40 percent from 2009 to 
2011. In addition to these measures, I receive quarterly updates on the 
effectiveness of our core trade promotion programs-trade missions, the 
International Buyer Program, and advocacy.

    Followup Question. How did you evaluate how effectively ITA 
promoted U.S. exports?

    Followup Answer. Working with ITA, I set annual goals and received 
quarterly updates on the effectiveness of our core trade promotion 
programs-trade missions (including the number of participants and value 
of exports), the International Buyer Program (including the number of 
foreign buyers recruited to the United States and the number of U.S. 
companies participating in matchmaking activities with foreign buyers 
and value of U.S. exports facilitated), and advocacy (focused on the 
value of U.S. export content facilitated through government-led 
advocacy on behalf of U.S. companies competing for foreign 
procurements). Results from these evaluations are discussed in my 
original response to your third question for the record.
    In addition, to promote U.S. exports to China, it was the first 
country on my May 2010 clean energy trade mission, the first cabinet-
level trade mission of the Administration. On a trade mission, I act as 
a force multiplier for ITA's efficacy as an export promotion agency.

    Question. According to the evaluation process, what are the strong 
points of present U.S. trade promotion efforts through the Commerce 
Department and what are areas where additional attention should be 
focused?

    Answer. ITA continues to deliver high-value export promotion 
services and counseling to U.S. businesses, allowing them to take 
advantage of the 95 percent of consumers located outside the United 
States. Businesses often report that ITA's global footprint is 
important to ITA's effectiveness in ensuring access to overseas markets 
and proximity to local U.S. companies. ITA is located in 108 offices in 
the United States and over 125 offices in over 75 countries.
    During calendar year 2010, ITA helped over 5,500 U.S. companies 
export for the first time or expand their exports overseas, 85 percent 
of which were SMEs. ITA's Advocacy Center, which helps level the 
playing field for U.S. companies competing for foreign government 
procurement contracts, was particularly successful. In 2010, the 
Advocacy Center helped U.S. companies export $18.7 billion of U.S. 
content overseas, a 212-percent increase over 2009. ITA's International 
Buyer Program also performed well, recruiting nearly 13,000 foreign 
buyers to attend trade shows in the United States, a 43-percent 
increase over 2009 resulting in sales by U.S. companies of $818 
million. This program is particularly important for small- and medium-
sized companies who are export-capable, but do not have the resources 
to travel overseas to connect with foreign buyers.
    While our trade missions team had a strong year recruiting over 400 
companies to participate in 35 trade missions, the value of export 
successes achieved fell short of our goal. To address this issue, I 
have asked the team to increase the followup they do with participating 
U.S. companies to better understand and evaluate our services.
    To maximize limited resources to assist U.S. companies to expand 
their exports and create jobs here at home, the Department of Commerce 
is focusing on leveraging technology and expanding partnerships. 
Export.gov is the Federal Government's Website to provide U.S. 
companies access to all export information from market research and 
export financing to addressing issues of intellectual property rights 
protection and understanding foreign regulations. While I am proud of 
some initial steps we have taken to ensure that information is more 
accessible and user-friendly, additional focus on strengthening and 
customizing content will help the Department of Commerce deliver 
relevant information to U.S. companies seeking to export. Similarly, 
additional attention to expanding and strengthening our partnerships 
with state and local governments, trade associations, and the private 
sector will help ensure that more U.S. companies can compete and win in 
the global marketplace.

    Question. What specific steps will be included in your efforts to 
double U.S. exports to China as part of President Obama's initiative? 
What is the base line export figure (and date of its issuance), used by 
the Department of Commerce which must be doubled to meet the 
President's initiative as relates to China?

    Answer. We are actively engaged in helping U.S. exporters to China 
through advocacy, commercial diplomacy, policy discussions, and trade 
promotion. We participate with China in the Strategic & Economic 
Dialogue (S&ED) and Cochair the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade 
(JCCT). Our policy efforts aim to open China's market to U.S. exports 
and reduce the incidence of intellectual property rights infringement. 
In the United States, we work closely with State and local partners and 
support trade missions hosted by the Department of Commerce's 
commercial section in the U.S. Embassy in China. In China we also 
recruit delegations of buyers to attend major trade shows held in the 
United States. We also work with other Department of Commerce units, 
such as the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), which are colocated in 
the commercial section.
    Ensuring that U.S. companies and workers have the opportunity to 
compete on a level playing field is critical to advancing business 
competitiveness in the United States and abroad, and is a key component 
of the NEI. The goal of the NEI is to double the annual value of U.S. 
exports of goods and services from the baseline level of $1.57 trillion 
in calendar year 2009 to $3.14 trillion in calendar year 2014. The 
baseline number comes from the Bureau of Economic Analysis' estimate of 
Trade in Goods and Services available at: http://bea.gov/international/
index.htm#trade. In 2010, exports to China rose nearly 32 percent, 
almost double the rate of increase for the rest of the world. As a 
result of last year's strong performance by U.S. exporters, we are on 
track to meet the goal of doubling exports.
    Accordingly, a key focus of our efforts in the Department of 
Commerce is strong enforcement of our unfair trade laws. Foreign 
government subsidies can also have a debilitating effect on U.S. 
exporters' competitiveness abroad. ITA's subsidies enforcement 
activities help prevent or remedy the harm that foreign government 
subsidies cause to U.S. businesses and workers. The Department of 
Commerce also regularly advocates on behalf of U.S. exporters that are 
subject to foreign trade remedy (antidumping, countervailing duty, or 
safeguard) actions, in part by ensuring that the nations that pursue 
these actions do so in accordance with their WTO commitments.

    Question. As Commerce Secretary, you are most familiar with 
intellectual property right challenges for U.S. companies in China. 
What specific lessons have you learned which will assist in improving 
the IPR situation with China?

    Answer. During my tenure at the Department of Commerce, I believe 
that our progress on IPR issues has come from persistence and 
consistent pressure. On key issues, such as software legalization, we 
have made progress by consistently raising the issue at every 
opportunity, including this year's S&ED, President Hu's state visit, 
and at the JCCT. Apart from these high-level bilateral engagements, we 
maintain consistent pressure through the work of the International 
Trade Administration and U.S. Patent and Tradmark Office. ITA maintains 
a Website that provides live and archived webinars on important Chinese 
IPR issues affecting U.S. businesses and a China specific toolkit. PTO 
has two IPR attaches stationed in China, with a third on their way. 
Additionally, the JCCT IPR Working Group, cochaired by PTO, regularly 
discusses IPR challenges with the Chinese Government.

    Question. What progress in China, if any have you observed in the 
areas of data protection and counterfeiting?

    Answer. The Department of Commerce has been actively engaged in 
addressing counterfeit medicines and pharmaceutical data protection 
with the China State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) and other 
ministries under the U.S.-China JCCT.
    The United States continues to advocate for effective 
pharmaceutical data protection in bilateral discussions with China 
under the JCCT. Over the past few years, China has increased its 
engagement in these discussions. In September 2009, the Department of 
Commerce and SFDA organized a workshop on pharmaceutical data 
protection to exchange views and information on how China and several 
other trading partners, including the EU, Japan, and the United States, 
protect pharmaceutical data against unfair commercial use. SFDA 
recently commissioned a study and is expected to amend Chinese data 
protection regulations in the coming years. As part of its JCCT 
commitments, China agreed to hold further discussions on pharmaceutical 
data protection in 2011. The Department of Commerce is working with 
other agencies and industry to advance progress on improving the data 
protection system in China.
    Although much remains to be done, China has made some progress in 
addressing the production, distribution, and export of counterfeit 
medicines. In 2009, China set up the Interagency Coordination 
Conference for Fighting the Production and Sale of Counterfeit Drugs 
(ICC) comprised of 13 Chinese ministries. Surveillance of counterfeit 
pharmaceutical ingredients sold on the Internet and advertised at trade 
shows has been elevated. In 2009, SFDA and the Public Safety Bureau 
reported concluding over 20 major counterfeiting cases with seized 
goods valued at over 250,000 RMB (US$38,600) and 231 suspects 
apprehended. China has increased penalties and punishment for 
counterfeiting and begun exposing persons or organizations involved in 
counterfeit medicines activities in the media. SFDA has also set up a 
Counterfeit Medicines Complaint Center, which is expected to be fully 
operational this summer. In addition, China has increased its technical 
capacity for detecting counterfeits, such as investing in mobile drug 
detection laboratories.

    Question. How are China's restrictions on the Internet affecting 
the operation of U.S. business related to China?

    Answer. U.S. companies have reported to the Department of Commerce 
a number of restrictions on the Internet that affect their business 
operations in China, including Website blocking and mandatory 
installation of Internet filtering software.
    A number of U.S. companies have reported that their Websites are 
inaccessible to Web users from within China, and they are frustrated by 
the loss of potential online business. Google, for instance, reported 
experiencing technical blocking of access to an entire Website service 
(e.g., search engine, online store). In July 2010, Google announced 
that the Beijing Government had renewed its license to operate a 
Website in mainland China, allowing them to offer products that do not 
require any censorship. Under the new arrangement, Google users on the 
Chinese mainland must deliberately click on a link to the Hong Kong 
search engine in order to access the uncensored Hong Kong domain. The 
U.S. Government will continue its efforts to engage the Chinese 
Government to allow U.S. companies to compete effectively in China's 
growing online service market.
    In June 2009, the U.S. information technology industry raised 
concerns regarding the Ministry of Industry and Information 
Technology's Circular 226, mandating all computers sold in China be 
preinstalled with Green Dam Internet filtering software as of July 1. 
Industry reported on the software's numerous technical problems as well 
as the adverse competitive impact of the technology mandate. Mandating 
the software risked the loss of billions of dollars of immediate and 
future revenue to U.S. computer manufacturers, because the technically 
flawed Green Dam software would have led to computer crashes, including 
screen blackouts, and sullied the reputation of major U.S. brands. 
After a 3-week period of escalating high-level U.S. Government 
engagement with China, MIIT indefinitely postponed the implementation 
of Circular 226.

    Question. The Economic Espionage Act of 1996 was established to 
protect trade secrets including proprietary information of U.S. 
companies. Based upon your tenure as Commerce Secretary would you 
recommend changes to the original legislation to enhance its intended 
effectiveness?

    Answer. As Commerce Secretary I am committed to protecting the U.S. 
economic sector, including U.S. businesses working in China, and to 
ensuring that the United States has implemented the strongest possible 
safeguards to prevent economic espionage. If confirmed, I will work 
diligently with my staff at the Embassy to ensure that everything 
possible is being done in this important area. It is most important 
that we use all the tools at our disposal to prevent economic 
espionage, including those set forth in the Economic Espionage Act. I 
defer to the Department of Justice, which can conduct prosecutions 
under the act, as to whether or not the act could be changed to enhance 
its intended effectiveness.

    Question. What are the primary sector targets of economic espionage 
originating in China directed at U.S. business and industry?

    Answer. Foreign collectors continued to target a wide variety of 
unclassified and classified information and technologies in a range of 
sectors. With regard to China, the FBI has reported that in 2010 they 
prosecuted more Chinese espionage cases than at any time in our 
Nation's history.
    Today, foreign intelligence services, criminals, and private sector 
spies are focused on American industry and the private sector. Their 
efforts compromise intellectual property, trade secrets, and 
technological developments that are critical to national security. If 
confirmed, I will work diligently with my staff at the Embassy to 
ensure that we use all the tools at our disposal to prevent economic 
espionage.

    Question. It is essential that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) 
contain strong intellectual property provisions, including those in the 
pharmaceutical area. As you know, the TPP will be viewed as a model on 
IP by some countries. Have you had opportunity as Commerce Secretary to 
provide input on this topic to U.S. officials involved with the TPP 
discussions?

    Answer. The Department has provided and continues to provide input 
on the intellectual property provisions of the TPP, including providing 
expert technical advice to the U.S. Trade Representative, who is the 
lead negotiator.

    Question. On May 10, 2011, in closing remarks made after the 
conclusion of the 2011 U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue with 
Secretaries Clinton and Geithner, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan 
stated ``The United States commits to accord China fair treatment in a 
reform of its export control regime, [and] relax high-tech exports 
control towards China [.]''

   What specific commitments have been made by the 
        administration to the PRC and in connection with which 
        technologies under the accord announced by Vice Premier Wang?

    Answer. In the U.S.-China S&ED Economic Track Joint Outcomes 
Document, the United States and China agreed to the following 
statement: ``The United States commits to give full consideration to 
China's request that it be treated fairly as the United States reforms 
its export control system. The United States will continue discussions, 
including technical discussions, on the export control status of 
designated parts, components, and other items of interest. Both sides 
agree to work through the U.S.-China High Technology Working Group 
(HTWG) to actively implement the Action Plan for U.S.-China High 
Technology Trade in Key Sectors Cooperation, hold U.S.-China fora on 
high-tech trade on a regular basis, and discuss high-tech and strategic 
trade cooperation through the HTWG.''
    The United States has not committed to relax high-tech export 
controls toward China, nor has the United States made any other 
commitments beyond those in the Joint Outcomes Document.

   What specific commitments have been made by the 
        administration to the PRC and in connection with which 
        technologies under the accord announced by Vice Premier Wang? 
        How does the administration's export control reform initiative 
        take into account existing and future risks of diversion of 
        U.S. technology and data to Chinese military end uses, 
        particularly in space-related technologies, to include each of 
        the following:

        (a) Chinese development of counter-space systems, 
            including anti-satellite weapons (ASAT);
        (b) Chinese development of area-denial weapons;
        (c) Chinese development of offensive space capabilities;
        (d) Chinese development of improved capabilities to limit 
            or prevent the use of U.S. space-based assets during times 
            of crisis or conflict;
        (e) Enhanced Chinese C4ISR, including space-based sensors, 
            which could enable Beijing to identify, track, and target 
            military activities deep into the western Pacific Ocean.

    Answer. In the U.S.-China S&ED Economic Track Joint Outcomes 
Document, the United States and China agreed to the following 
statement: ``The United States commits to give full consideration to 
China's request that it be treated fairly as the United States reforms 
its export control system. The United States will continue discussions, 
including technical discussions, on the export control status of 
designated parts, components, and other items of interest. Both sides 
agree to work through the U.S.-China High Technology Working Group 
(HTWG) to actively implement the Action Plan for U.S.-China High 
Technology Trade in Key Sectors Cooperation, hold U.S.-China fora on 
high-tech trade on a regular basis, and discuss high-tech and strategic 
trade cooperation through the HTWG.
    The United States has not committed to relax high-tech export 
controls toward China, nor has the United States made any other 
commitments beyond those in the Joint Outcomes Document.
                              human rights
    Question. China continues to imprison Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu 
Xiaobo and harass his wife. Former colleagues have been arrested. Human 
rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng has also been detained. These are only two 
of so many individuals who disappeared or been detained. Likewise, 
China has the dubious distinction of being tied with Iran for the 
number of journalists imprisoned.

    Answer. I am deeply concerned by the trend of extralegal 
detentions, arrests, and convictions of lawyers, activists, and other 
individuals for exercising their internationally recognized human 
rights. President Obama and Secretary Clinton have specifically called 
for the release of Liu Xiaobo; the administration has also urged the 
release of other political prisoners in China, including those under 
house arrest and those enduring enforced disappearances, such as Gao 
Zhisheng. Chinese Government actions against family members and 
associates of activists are also very troubling. The State Department 
remains concerned that Liu Xiaobo's wife, Liu Xia, is being confined to 
her home in Beijing and her movements are being restricted. The 
Department has called on the Chinese Government to respect her rights, 
in accordance with Chinese law and international norms, and to allow 
her to move freely without harassment.
    The Department of State has urged China to respect internationally 
recognized conventions that guarantee freedom of the press and freedom 
of expression and has called for the rights of journalists to report in 
China to be respected and protected. If confirmed as Ambassador, I will 
continue to press the Chinese Government on these issues and to urge 
China to respect the universal right to freedom of expression and to 
freedom of association and assembly.

    Question. Religious leaders are routinely detained and services 
disrupted by security forces. Internet freedom activists and even 
ordinary citizens find themselves jailed for even the most innocuous 
statements regarding their government. With all of this, which cases 
will you be placing as a priority and how will you raise them with the 
Chinese Government? It has not been uncommon in the past for U.S. 
Ambassadors to publicly stand with dissidents living under repressive 
regimes. If confirmed, do you view yourself as having a similar role in 
China?

    Answer. Promoting human rights--including freedom of religion, 
expression, and assembly--is a central objective of our diplomatic 
engagement with China. The U.S. Government's priority is to ensure that 
China respects the rights of all of its citizens in accordance with its 
own constitution and international norms. Our message is simple: a 
nation must respect its citizens' fundamental rights, just as 
prosperous modern economies require rule of law, open information 
flows, and a vibrant civil society. Expansion of civil and political 
rights would ultimately be a source of stability in Chinese society. If 
confirmed as Ambassador, one of my key roles would be that of a 
spokesman for America and America's values, including the freedoms that 
are the foundation of our great Nation. I will raise human rights at 
every opportunity and continue to raise specific cases with Chinese 
officials. I will also support and promote our human rights agenda in 
the many dialogues we maintain with China, such as the Human Rights 
Dialogue and the Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

    Question. Xue Feng is an American businessman unjustly convicted of 
trafficking in state secrets. His case has been repeatedly raised by 
senior administration officials, including the President, and by many 
Members of Congress, to no avail. Your predecessor, Ambassador 
Huntsman, made it a practice for either he or his Deputy Chief of 
Mission to pay monthly visits to Xue.

   If confirmed will you continue this practice? What other 
        steps will you take to make sure Mr. Xue is released and 
        returned to his family in Houston at the earliest possible 
        date?

    Answer. The U.S. Government has been closely involved in Dr. Xue's 
case since he was detained more than 3 years ago. We have no higher 
priority than the protection of American citizens' rights. The Embassy 
has conducted 40 consular visits to Dr. Xue to monitor his welfare and 
deliver messages from his family, including the most recent visit of 
May 19, 2011. If confirmed, I will ensure that Embassy officials 
continue to visit Dr. Xue regularly and will press China to release him 
on humanitarian grounds and immediately return him to the United 
States.

    Question. The United States and China have been holding human 
rights dialogues since 1991. China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has 
shown itself to be increasingly unwilling to discuss cases of 
individuals jailed for the nonviolent expression of their political and 
religious beliefs. The Ministry has also refused to provide information 
on them, insisting that the cases like those of Liu Xiabao and detained 
artist Ai Weiwei ``have nothing to do with human rights.''

   If in fact China is unwilling to address our concerns over 
        what is happening to these people do you favor continuing the 
        policy of holding human rights dialogues with China? Are you 
        concerned that by continuing this policy we are providing cover 
        to the Chinese Government in its relentless crackdown on 
        activists, journalists, artists, lawyers, and worshipers in 
        house churches?

    Answer. Promoting human rights is a central objective of our 
diplomatic engagement with China. We used the most recent Human Rights 
Dialogue to express our deep concerns about the deteriorating human 
rights situation in China, press for systemic changes, and raise 
individual cases. Although I am concerned about China's crackdown and 
the recent escalation in human rights cases, I also favor continuing 
our human rights dialogues. These dialogues provide the U.S. Government 
with an opportunity to engage in an in-depth dialogue on key human 
rights issues with a large number of Chinese ministries. This provides 
an important opportunity to advocate that China adhere to international 
human rights standards, create greater access to justice, and 
strengthen rule of law in order to create the conditions necessary for 
greater long-term social stability. But this is just one forum in which 
we raise our concerns over human rights. The U.S. Government raises 
such concerns regularly and at high levels. For example, the Secretary 
and Vice-President Biden also raised our human rights concerns at the 
Strategic and Economic Dialogue in May 2011.

    Question. Since October 2010, a Protestant house church leader, Fan 
Yafeng and his family have been subjected to house arrest while being 
denied access to legal counsel. Have U.S. officials expressed concern 
to Chinese authorities about this case? What is their response?

    Answer. The Department of State and Embassy Beijing are well aware 
of the case of Dr. Fan, and many others who, like him, have been 
subjected to extrajudicial punishments for exercising their universal 
rights. U.S. officials regularly raise our concerns about these cases 
with our counterparts, both in Beijing and in Washington. 
Unfortunately, to date, the Department has not received satisfactory 
answers from our interlocutors regarding the reasons or legal basis for 
these actions.

    Question. In addition to Falun Gong and Christian practitioners in 
China, what are other groups, organizations or religions that are 
targeted by the Government of China for ongoing harassment and 
persecution?

    Answer. There are several known groups of religious practitioners 
that are subject to official harassment based on their beliefs. These 
include several groups that, like Falun Gong, are designated 
``illegal'' by the Chinese Government, including the Guan Yin (also 
known as Guanyin Famin or the Way of the Goddess of Mercy) and the 
Zhong Gong (a qigong exercise discipline). The government also 
considers several Protestant Christian groups to be ``evil cults,'' 
including the ``Shouters,'' Eastern Lightning, the Society of Disciples 
(Mentu Hui), Full Scope Church, Spirit Sect, New Testament Church, 
Three Grades of Servants (or San Ban Pu Ren), Association of Disciples, 
Lord God Sect, Established King Church, Unification Church, Family of 
Love, and the South China Church. If confirmed, I will continue to urge 
the Chinese Government to respect its citizens' right to religious 
freedom. In the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and Tibetan areas, 
government authorities conflate separatism and religious extremism with 
peaceful religious practice and place severe religious restrictions on 
Uighur Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists. We express our concerns that 
these restrictions are unacceptable, alienating, and have a 
destabilizing effect.

    Question. Chinese authorities continue to use the children and 
grandchildren of Rebiya Kadeer as pawns in an effort to silence her 
criticism for their continuing persecution of the Uyghur people. 
Chinese authorities cut off her family phone lines so she can no longer 
contact her children and grandchildren who are not in prison. Ms. 
Kadeer also believes she is under active surveillance of the Chinese 
Government in the United States.

   Will you press within the State Department for high-level 
        engagement with Rebiya Kadeer and would you make raising the 
        cases of her sons a priority in your engagement with the 
        Chinese Government?

    Answer. Department of State officials regularly hold meetings with 
individuals whose work supports enhanced freedom of expression, 
expansion of civil society, and democratic development, including Ms. 
Kadeer. The State Department continues to raise the cases of Ms. 
Kadeer's two incarcerated sons, most recently at the U.S.-China Human 
Rights Dialogue in April 2011. If confirmed, I will raise these cases 
and other cases of prisoners of conscience.
                         north korean refugees
    Question. In the past, North Korean refugees have approached U.S. 
Government facilities in China, seeking asylum, protection, or 
resettlement to the United States. If confirmed, what will be your 
instructions to all U.S. officials in China should they be approached 
by North Koreans seeking assistance? What is the guidance? Will you 
issue any other instructions?

    Answer. The Department of State annually issues formal guidance to 
all overseas posts regarding individuals presenting themselves at a 
U.S. Government facility seeking asylum. The Department has also issued 
specific guidance for North Korean asylum seekers; this guidance is 
regularly updated and reissued to all relevant posts. I have been 
briefed by the Department's experts on the situation of North Korean 
refugees in China, on the Department's guidance on handling North 
Korean asylum seekers, and on the role of Mission China as it pertains 
to these issues. If confirmed, I will ensure that all Mission China 
employees are aware of this guidance and follow it carefully. If 
confirmed, I will also review the guidance with my staff upon arrival 
in China. I would be happy to ask the Department to schedule a 
classified briefing for you or your staff on the details of the 
guidance.

    Question. What will be your recommendations to officials of U.S.-
related nongovernment interests in China; e.g., schools or corporations 
in the event they are approached by North Korean refugees seeking 
assistance? What is the guidance? What would you say to Americans (a 
U.S. company, for instance) in China if NK refugees seek assistance 
from them?

    Answer. The Department of State annually issues guidance to all 
overseas posts regarding individuals presenting themselves at a U.S. 
Government facility seeking asylum. The Department has also issued 
specific guidance for North Korean asylum seekers; this guidance 
includes provisions for U.S.-related nongovernment property. I have 
been briefed by the Department's experts on the situation of North 
Korean refugees in China, on the Department's guidance on handling 
North Korean asylum seekers, and on the role of Mission China as it 
pertains to these issues. If confirmed, I will ensure that all Mission 
China employees are aware of this guidance and follow it carefully. If 
confirmed, I will also review the guidance with my staff upon arrival, 
including how Mission China works with nonofficial Americans and 
American institutions on these sensitive issues. I would be happy to 
ask the Department to schedule a classified briefing for you or your 
staff on the details of the guidance.

    Question. Chinese officials have rejected a recommendation to allow 
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to establish 
an operation within China to receive North Korean refugees for 
resettlement to a third country. Will you encourage Chinese officials 
to allow UNHCR to establish a presence within their country for this 
purpose?

    Answer. China is one of the only Asian parties to the 1951 Refugee 
Convention and its 1967 Protocol. We encourage China to fulfill its 
obligations under the Convention and to cooperate with the U.N. High 
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and enable it to exercise its mandate 
without undue interference. We urge the Chinese Government to uphold 
the principles of international protection and to allow UNHCR to 
exercise its mandate fully, and free from government influence or 
pressure. We will continue to support efforts by the UNHCR to establish 
a presence in China, especially in the northeastern provinces.
                  united states-china public diplomacy
    Question. As mentioned earlier, I remain deeply concerned by the 
Chinese Government's refusal to allow us to open more American Centers 
in China while they have more than 70 ``Confucius Centers'' here. Why 
have U.S. officials not pressed the Chinese more on allowing equal 
consideration?

    Answer. The State Department also shares your concern about the 
obstacles we face in establishing American cultural centers in China. 
The barriers to the establishment of ``American Corners'' at public and 
university libraries--which the United States enjoys in almost every 
other country in the world--have effectively prevented us from similar 
operations in China. There are, however, alternative methods of 
creating places for Chinese audiences to learn about the United States 
and several options are being vigorously pursued. Recently, a number of 
U.S. universities such as Arizona State University, New York 
University, and University of Southern California, have entered into 
partnerships with Chinese universities to establish university-
sponsored American cultural centers on Chinese campuses. This is an 
encouraging trend. The Department hopes to see the establishment of 
additional American cultural centers in China.
    Discouraging Confucius Institutes in the United States would not 
lead to progress on our own cultural spaces in China. Confucius 
Institutes are the result of agreements between the Hanban, a quasi-
private entity with close ties to the Chinese Ministry of Education, 
and individual U.S. universities and answer a growing demand from 
Americans to learn Chinese.

    Question. Please provide a list, by all State-owned news outlets, 
of the number of journalists working for state media presently 
accredited to work in the United States. Please identify in which city 
or media market they are working. How many Voice of America and Radio 
Free Asia reporters have the Chinese Government granted visas to and 
where do they work?

    Answer. A total of 209 accredited Chinese journalists have 
voluntarily registered with the State Department's Foreign Press 
Centers in Washington, DC, New York, and Los Angeles. There are 101 
registered in New York, 89 in Washington, and 19 in Los Angeles. 
Because registration with the Foreign Press Center is voluntary, the 
list is not necessarily exhaustive for the entire United States.
    Voice of America currently has two fully accredited journalists 
working in Beijing: one from VOA Mandarin and one from VOA's news room. 
There are no RFA journalists accredited to work inside China. Most of 
the major privately owned U.S. and international media organizations 
have correspondents accredited to work in China; we estimate that there 
are 200 correspondents and producers in China. We have raised our 
concerns regarding the VOA's difficulty in obtaining visas with the 
Chinese, and intend to continue doing so in the future.
    The following is a list of accredited Chinese journalists by media 
outlet.

   Accredited Chinese Journalists by Media Outlet Registered with the
                          Foreign Press Centers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Organization                       Media type
------------------------------------------------------------------------
New York:
  1. 21st Century Business Herald.................  NEWSPAPER
  2. 21st Century Business Herald.................  NEWSPAPER
  3. Beijing Review...............................  MAGAZINE
  4. Beijing Review...............................  MAGAZINE
  5. Beijing Review Magazine......................  MAGAZINE
  6. Caijing Magazine.............................  MAGAZINE
  7. CCTV.........................................  TV
  8. China Business News..........................  NEWSPAPER
  9. China Central Television.....................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  10. China Central Television (CCTV).............  TV
  11. China Central Television (CCTV).............  TV
  12. China Central TV............................  TV
  13. China Daily.................................  NEWSPAPER
  14. China Daily USA.............................  NEWSPAPER
  15. China Economic Daily........................  NEWSPAPER
  16. China News Service..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  17. China News Service..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  18. China News Service..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  19. China News Service..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  20. China News Service..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  21. China News Service..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  22. China Radio International...................  RADIO
  23. Economic Daily..............................  NEWSPAPER
  24. Economic Daily..............................  NEWSPAPER
  25. Jiefang Daily...............................  NEWSPAPER
  26. Jiefang Daily...............................  NEWSPAPER
  27. New Tang Dynasty............................  TV
  28. People's Daily..............................  NEWSPAPER
  29. People's Daily..............................  NEWSPAPER
  30. People's Daily..............................  NEWSPAPER
  31. People's Daily..............................  NEWSPAPER
  32. Phoenix Satellite Television (US) Inc.......  TV
  33. Science & Technology Daily..................  NEWSPAPER
  34. Shanghai Oriental Morning Post..............  NEWSPAPER
  35. Sina........................................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  36. Sing Tao Chinese Radio/Daily................  NEWSPAPER
  37. South China Morning Post....................  NEWSPAPER
  38. Wen Hui Daily...............................  NEWSPAPER
  39. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  40. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  41. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  42. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  43. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  44. Xinhua News Agency..........................  NEWSPAPER
  45. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  46. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  47. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  48. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  49. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  50. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  51. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  52. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  53. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  54. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  55. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  56. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  57. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  58. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  59. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  60. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  61. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  62. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  63. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  64. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  65. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  66. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  67. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  68. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  69. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  70. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  71. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  72. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  73. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  74. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  75. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  76. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  77. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  78. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  79. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  80. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  81. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  82. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  83. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  84. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  85. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  86. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  87. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  88. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  89. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  90. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  91. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  92. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  93. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  94. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  95. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  96. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  97. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  98. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  99. Xinhua News Agency..........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  100. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  101. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
 
Los Angeles:
  102. Caijing Magazine...........................  MAGAZINE
  103. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  104. China News Service.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  105. China News Service.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  106. China Television Company (CTV).............  NEWSPAPER
  107. Economic Daily.............................  NEWSPAPER
  108. Geo TV.....................................  TV
  109. People's Daily.............................  NEWSPAPER
  110. People's Daily / Global Times..............  NEWSPAPER
  111. Sing Tao Daily.............................  NEWSPAPER
  112. The China Press............................  NEWSPAPER
  113. TTV - Taiwan Television....................  TV
  114. TVBS.......................................  NEWSPAPER
  115. TVBS; Radio Free Asia......................  TV
  116. Xin Min Evening News.......................  NOT DETERMINED
  117. Xin Min Evening News.......................  NOT DETERMINED
  118. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  119. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  120. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
 
District of Columbia:
  121. 21st Century Business Herald...............  NEWSPAPER
  122. 21st Century Business Herald...............  NEWSPAPER
  123. Beijing Daily..............................  NEWSPAPER
  124. Beijing Youth Daily........................  NEWSPAPER
  125. Caixin Media...............................  MAGAZINE
  126. Caixin Media...............................  NEWSPAPER
  127. China Business News........................  NEWSPAPER
  128. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  129. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  130. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  131. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  132. China Central Television (CCTV)............  RADIO
  133. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  134. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  135. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  136. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  137. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  138. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  139. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  140. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  141. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  142. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  143. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  144. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  145. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  146. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  147. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  148. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  149. China Central Television (CCTV)............  TV
  150. China Central TV America...................  TV
  151. China Central TV America...................  TV
  152. China Central TV America...................  TV
  153. China Daily................................  NEWSPAPER
  154. China Daily................................  NEWSPAPER
  155. China Daily................................  NEWSPAPER
  156. China News Service.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  157. China News Service.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  158. China Radio International..................  RADIO
  159. China Radio International..................  RADIO
  160. China Radio International..................  RADIO
  161. China Radio International (CRI)............  RADIO
  162. China Youth Daily..........................  NEWSPAPER
  163. China Youth Daily..........................  NEWSPAPER
  164. China Youth Daily..........................  NEWSPAPER
  165. Economic Daily.............................  NEWSPAPER
  166. Feature Story News (FSN)...................  TV
  167. Global Times...............................  NEWSPAPER
  168. Guang Ming Daily...........................  NEWSPAPER
  169. Guang Ming Daily...........................  NEWSPAPER
  170. Humphrey Fellow............................  MAGAZINE
  171. Legal Daily................................  NEWSPAPER
  172. Legal Daily................................  NEWSPAPER
  173. Liberation Daily...........................  NEWSPAPER
  174. People's Daily.............................  NEWSPAPER
  175. People's Daily.............................  NEWSPAPER
  176. People's Daily.............................  NEWSPAPER
  177. People's Daily.............................  NEWSPAPER
  178. People's Daily.............................  NEWSPAPER
  179. People's Daily.............................  NEWSPAPER
  180. People's Daily.............................  NEWSPAPER
  181. Science & Technology Daily.................  NEWSPAPER
  182. Science & Technology Daily.................  NEWSPAPER
  183. Shanghai Media Group.......................  TV
  184. Shanghai Wenhui Daily......................  NEWSPAPER
  185. Shanghai Wenhui Daily......................  NEWSPAPER
  186. The China Press............................  NEWSPAPER
  187. The Economic Observer......................  MAGAZINE
  188. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  189. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  190. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  191. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  192. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  193. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  194. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  195. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  196. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  197. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  198. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  199. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  200. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  201. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  202. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  203. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  204. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  205. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  206. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  207. Xinhua News Agency.........................  WIRELESS NEWS AGENCY
  208. Xinhua News Agency.........................  NEWSPAPER
  209. Xinhua News Agency.........................  TV
------------------------------------------------------------------------

                               adoptions
    Question. As you are aware, many Americans are interested in 
international adoptions. China has reduced the number of children 
available for adoption internationally, leading to wait times of 5 
years or more. Is this change due in part to the consequences of 
China's one-child policy? Also, there are reports that China may be 
making it more difficult to relinquish children resulting with more 
children being abandoned often leading to their death. Are you familiar 
with these issues and will you raise these points with Chinese 
officials if confirmed?

    Answer. China is party to the ``Hague Convention on Protection of 
Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.'' 
Therefore, all adoptions between China and the United States must meet 
the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the 
Convention. For example, the Convention requires that China attempt to 
find a permanent family in-country before determining that a child is 
eligible for intercountry adoption. China's rapid economic development 
and other socioeconomic factors, including the one-child policy, have 
led to greater availability of domestic options for adoption. This may 
contribute to longer wait times for parents seeking an intercountry 
adoption of children without special needs from China. The United 
States has an excellent working relationship with the Chinese Central 
Authority, the China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoptions and 
will continue to work to facilitate adoptions from China pursuant to 
the requirements of the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention.
    If confirmed, I will examine these issues in more depth with 
Embassy consular affairs officers to determine how we may best work 
with the Chinese to facilitate ethical and transparent adoptions by 
American parents. I will be sure to discuss American interest in 
adopting from China as opportunities arise.
    This is an area of personal interest for me, as well. When I was 
Governor of Washington State, I helped several families from the 
Pacific Northwest navigate the adoption process so they could adopt 
children from China.
                                 tibet
    Question. Have you read the bipartisan committee staff report on 
Tibet that was published earlier this year? Do you agree with all the 
recommendations for administration action and will you endeavor to 
carry them out? Will you commit to travel to Tibetan areas, including 
outside of Lhasa, to seek accurate information about these areas, which 
are among the few in China where foreigners do not have free access?

    Answer. The Department of State, including the Special Coordinator 
for Tibetan Issues, has reviewed and briefed me on the contents of the 
report. I welcome its analysis and recommendations for action. The 
Department continues to work steadily to help sustain Tibet's unique 
religious, linguistic, and cultural heritage. Among the report's 
recommendations, and consistent with the Tibet Policy Act, the 
Department continues to urge the Chinese Government to engage in a 
substantive dialogue with the representatives of the Dalai Lama that 
will achieve actual results. In addition, Department officials also 
have urged China to relax restrictions on movements of U.S. Government 
officials, journalists, and Tibetan pilgrims to and from Tibetan 
regions. Travel to Tibetan areas, including outside of Lhasa, is an 
important priority for our Embassy in Beijing, and if confirmed I look 
forward to continuing to press for the opportunity to travel to the 
Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan areas.

    Question. Currently there is great concern over the events at Kirti 
Monastery, in the Tibetan part of Sichuan province, where a young monk 
immolated himself earlier this year. This prompted an unprecedented 
crackdown in April, when the Monastery was forcibly taken over by 
security forces; 25 monks remain in detention; 300 other monks have 
reportedly been taken away for ``patriotic education''; and two 
laypeople were reportedly killed by security forces. How will you 
respond to this situation if you are confirmed?

    Answer. The Department of State is closely following developments 
at Kirti Monastery. Department officials have expressed deep concern 
about reports that Chinese authorities forcibly removed 300 monks from 
the Kirti Monastery, sentenced two other monks to 3 years of 
imprisonment without due process, and that the whereabouts of 25 
detained monks and laypeople are still unknown. Assistant Secretary 
Posner discussed our concerns about Kirti Monastery and China's 
counterproductive policies in Tibetan areas of China during the most 
recent Human Rights Dialogue. If confirmed, I will continue to raise 
our concerns with the Chinese Government and urge China to respect the 
human rights, including religious freedom, of the members of the Kirti 
community and all Chinese citizens.
                         china and development
    Question. What steps is the United States taking, or should 
additionally take, to encourage China to disclose its lending to 
developing countries? Following years of debt relief from the 
multilateral financial institutions and bilateral donors for poor 
countries, many are concerned that those same poor countries are 
becoming increasingly indebted to China.

    Answer. For developing countries, China's assistance is welcomed as 
additional resources to complement those from other donors. However, 
over the past decade, China's ``foreign assistance''--a mixture of 
trade, loans, investment and aid--has raised governance and 
sustainability concerns, from both the traditional donor community and 
aid recipients. In addition, China remains reluctant to engage 
energetically on global development issues with the United States and 
other key donors.
    In order to improve the transparency and effectiveness of China's 
development activities in third countries, USAID has been engaging 
China in dialogue on overseas development assistance and is seeking to 
create a number of cooperative development projects with China in 
several African countries.
    If confirmed, I will continue to support and encourage more 
collaborative efforts and call for China to join multilateral groups of 
donor nations in devising and adopting best practices that address 
development challenges aimed at benefiting the poorest of the poor in 
developing countries.
                               sanctions

    Question. Earlier this week, the Department of State announced 
sanctions on four Chinese firms and individuals over trade links with 
Iran, Syria, and North Korea in goods or technology that may be used 
for missiles or weapons of mass destruction. How does the 
administration view Chinese cooperation on sanctions implementation, 
particularly since the passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929 
last June?

    Answer. The prevention of the spread of nuclear weapons and related 
technologies is one of the Obama administration's highest priorities. 
Iran and North Korea were key topics of President Obama's talks with 
Chinese President Hu Jintao during his January 2011 visit. The 
administration will continue to uphold U.S. law and impose sanctions as 
necessary and warranted. Most recently, the United States imposed a 
number of sanctions under the Iran, North Korea, and Syria 
Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA) against Chinese firms and individuals 
that engaged in proliferation-related transfers with Iran.
    China has played an important role in the diplomatic efforts to 
address the threats from Iran and North Korea. China, as part of the 
P5+1 and U.N. Security Council, contributed to the crafting of U.N. 
Security Council Resolution 1929 and plays an important role in efforts 
to reach a resolution of the international community's serious concerns 
about Iran's nuclear program. In the January 19, 2011, United States-
China joint statement, both sides called for full implementation of all 
relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions. We have been pleased with 
the unity that China and other P5+1 partners have maintained in our 
negotiations with Iran, and we continue to jointly insist that Iran 
comply with its international obligations. China has stated that it is 
committed to implementing Resolution 1929 and the other resolutions on 
Iran fully and faithfully, but China has stated that it does not 
support sanctions beyond those contained in UNSCR 1929 and previous 
UNSCRs on Iran. China agrees with the United States that a nuclear-
armed Iran would pose a grave regional and international threat; 
however, we do not necessarily agree on the timeframe or method to 
solve the problem. We have worked closely with the Chinese on this 
issue, and will continue to raise this issue at all levels in meetings 
with Chinese officials.
    As Secretary Clinton has said, if we have information about 
technology transfers that we believe is inconsistent with Security 
Council resolutions and Chinese laws, we bring such information to the 
attention of the Chinese Government and request that it investigate and 
take appropriate action to prevent any prohibited transfers. 
Furthermore, we will not hesitate to enforce our sanctions laws, as the 
most recent imposition of sanctions against Chinese entities and 
individuals under INKSNA demonstrates. Chinese controls over such 
transfers remain inhibited by an as yet underdeveloped export control 
apparatus and an apparent continued lack of political will to develop a 
comprehensive control system.
    During their January 2011 meetings with President Hu, President 
Obama and Secretary Clinton both stressed the need for continued 
Chinese restraint in Iran's energy sector, by slowing existing 
activities and by not concluding any new deals. The administration has 
also pressed China not to ``backfill'' by assuming the business of 
other firms that have responsibly departed Iran's energy sector. We 
have seen some evidence in open sources that China has exercised some 
restraint in this area, but we continue to monitor closely China's 
activities in the energy sector. As Secretary Clinton has said, this 
administration will enforce the law with respect to Chinese firms. The 
United States and China share the same goal, and we need to work 
together to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state.
    The administration also discusses on a regular basis with China how 
it can and should best use its influence with North Korea, given its 
unique history and relationship with the DPRK. In June 2009, China 
voted in favor of adoption of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874, 
which imposed additional sanctions against the DPRK. The United States 
has called on all members of the U.N. Security Council and all U.N. 
Member States, including China, to fully and transparently implement 
these sanctions and to refrain from further provocations.
                                 ______
                                 

  Responses of Gary Locke to Questions Submitted by Senator James E. 
                                 Risch

    Question. Over the years, China's support of both conventional 
weapons transfers and Pakistan's nuclear and missile programs have 
caused concern. Recently, China has reached out to Pakistan to offer 
deeper relations as an alternative to the West. Given the instability 
in Pakistan, do you believe these overtures are helpful? What will you 
do to help the Chinese understand that instability in a nuclear-armed 
Pakistan does not promote stability?

    Answer. The administration believes that there is a role for China 
to play in helping the international community deal with the challenge 
of peace and stability in Afghanistan and in cooperating to allow 
Pakistan to strengthen its democracy and to deal with the economic 
challenges that country faces. If confirmed, I will work closely with 
the Secretary's Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan to promote 
effective United States-Chinese cooperation in the region.

    Question. Recently, in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee 
Lieutenant General Carlisle said: ``You need only look across the 
Pacific and see what [China] is doing, not just their air force 
capability, but their surface-to-air [missile] capability, their 
ballistic missile capability, their antiship ballistic missiles. All of 
those things are incredibly disturbing to us for the future.''

   Do you believe China's military buildup is benign or should 
        it be cause for U.S. concern? Do you agree with General 
        Carlisle's assessment?

    Answer. China has embarked on a comprehensive effort to transform 
its military into a modern force capable of conducting a growing range 
of military operations. The administration is mindful of China's 
military modernization plans and, in particular, the lack of 
transparency surrounding them. We monitor carefully China's military 
developments and, in concert with our allies and partners, will adjust 
our policies and approaches as necessary.
    Both President Hu and President Obama have stressed that a healthy, 
stable, and reliable military-to-military relationship is an important 
component of our overall bilateral relationship. President Obama told 
President Hu that we need to develop a military-to-military dialogue 
that is ongoing and sustainable even in the face of the inevitable ups 
and downs of the overall relationship. We have now made progress in 
resuming military-to-military dialogue, which we believe can help to 
build trust and reduce misunderstanding, misperception, and 
miscalculation.

    Question. China's neighbors are deeply concerned about China's 
assertion of sovereign control over the entire South China Sea. How 
should the United States deal with this issue? Do you think we could 
see another ``Mischief Reef'' scenario by the Chinese to assert its 
control over the sea? What should we do about similar Chinese 
assertions in the East China Sea?

    Answer. As Secretary Clinton stated in Hanoi at the Association of 
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF) last year, the 
United States shares a number of national interests with the 
international community in the South China Sea. These interests include 
regional peace and stability, freedom of navigation, respect for 
international law, and unimpeded commerce under lawful conditions. We 
urge that all claimants exercise restraint in dealing with these 
competing claims. We support a collaborative and peaceful diplomatic 
process by all claimants to resolve the various territorial and 
maritime disputes without coercion, and we call on all claimants to 
conform all of their claims--both land and maritime--to international 
law. To advance these goals, the United States supports the ASEAN-China 
declaration on the conduct of parties in the South China Sea and 
encourages the parties to reach a full code of conduct. With regard to 
a Mischief Reef scenario, I would not want speculate about hypothetical 
situations. We believe territorial claims in the East China Sea should 
also be resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law. 
We oppose the use or threat of force by any claimant. The United States 
does not take sides in territorial disputes in the South China Sea or 
East China Sea.

    Question. Given how much U.S. debt is owned by the Chinese, will 
you let these economic issues, become an obstacle to addressing issues 
like human rights, political reforms, Chinese military buildup, or 
other substantive issues?

    Answer. Approximately 70 percent of U.S. Treasury securities are 
held by domestic investors or the U.S. Government, with only 30 percent 
of U.S. debt held by foreign entities. Externally owned U.S. debt is 
held by a diversified group of countries, and we are not overly reliant 
on any one overseas holder of U.S. Treasury securities. China's 
holdings represent only about 8 percent of U.S. Treasury securities 
outstanding.
    While China has a strong interest in the stability of our debt, as 
a creditor China's holdings of Treasury securities have no effect on 
any U.S. foreign policy decisions.

    Question. Your predecessor Ambassador Huntsman set a good standard 
with human rights outreach in China. He spoke publicly and privately 
about these issues, met with dissidents and families, cultivated 
independent Chinese media outlets, and took other critical steps to 
create a climate of support for these issues within the Embassy and 
reiterated the importance to Chinese interlocutors.

   Do you see this as a floor or a ceiling in terms for 
        ambassadorial human rights advocacy?

    Answer. The protection and the promotion of liberty and freedom are 
fundamental tenets of American foreign policy. Promoting human rights--
including freedom of religion, speech, and assembly--is a central 
objective of our diplomatic engagement with China. U.S. officials will 
continue to make very clear both publicly and privately our concerns 
about the deteriorating human rights situation in China. If confirmed, 
I will be a forceful advocate with the Chinese Government and the 
Chinese people for promoting the respect of universal human rights in 
China.

    Question. Will you continue the practice of meeting with dissidents 
in and outside of China? What other kinds of initiatives do you 
envision taking to engage directly with Chinese people and promote 
universal values? Will you attend any part of dissident trials like 
other ambassadors?

    Answer. The Embassy maintains a wide variety of contacts within 
Chinese society, including with activists who work on a range of 
issues, and if confirmed I intend to continue such meetings but also to 
engage in broad outreach to both Chinese officials and the Chinese 
people to convey the human rights values for which America stands. 
Promoting human rights--including freedom of religion, speech, and 
assembly--is a central objective of our diplomatic engagement with 
China. Although the Embassy has submitted requests for permission to 
attend the trials of known activists, none has been granted to date. If 
confirmed, the Embassy under my leadership will continue to press for 
permission to attend such trials.

    Question. A number of U.S. NGOs work in China or provide financial 
support to Chinese NGOs working on areas considered sensitive by the 
Chinese Government, such as human rights NGOs and those working in 
Tibet. In recent years, many of these groups and their domestic 
partners have come under pressure from the Chinese Government, 
particularly those who have a U.S. Government funding source, such as 
organizations that work with the National Endowment for Democracy and 
its affiliates, and U.S. NGOs working in Tibetan areas.

   Will you be willing to meet and consult with the U.S. NGOs 
        doing sensitive work in China on how the Embassy can best 
        support their efforts?

    Answer. Yes. If confirmed, I will consult with a wide range of 
American citizens and organizations that deal with the many aspects of 
United States-China relations, including human rights. The State 
Department's Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor supports 
many active and important programs in the rule of law and civil society 
development, among others. I have already met with Assistant Secretary 
Michael Posner to discuss his views on human rights in China, and if 
confirmed, will continue to conduct further consultations, including 
with NGOs, to learn more about programs and how to promote our common 
objectives in China.
                                 ______
                                 

           Responses of Gary Locke to Questions Submitted by
                      Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.

    Question. Under the Obama administration, China's record of blatant 
disregard for World Trade Organization (WTO) rules has remained 
abysmal, if not worsened.

   Secretary Locke, can you explain how your leadership at 
        Commerce has helped address any of the major trade problems we 
        continue to have with China, including currency, rampant 
        intellectual property rights (IPR) theft, and massive 
        industrial subsidies?

    Answer. I fully appreciate your concerns regarding the currency 
practices of China. This is an important issue for me and the Obama 
administration. As you know, the authority to monitor and report on 
currency manipulation is delegated by law to the Department of 
Treasury. However, in all my meetings with Chinese officials I have 
repeated the administration's call for reform of Chinese currency 
practices. As the Secretary of Commerce, I have been steadfast in my 
commitment to vigorously enforce the U.S. trade remedy laws to ensure 
that U.S. workers and industries have the opportunity to compete on a 
level playing field. In every instance that a domestic industry filed 
an antidumping duty (AD) or countervailing duty (CVD) petition that met 
the statutory requirements for initiation, we initiated investigations. 
While the Department of Commerce has yet to receive a CVD allegation 
regarding China's currency that has met the statutory requirements for 
initiation, the Department has countervailed a variety of subsidy 
programs involving a wide range of imports from China and have placed 
duties to offset these unfair subsidies. Based on 2010 trade data, 
roughly $11.6 billion, or 3.2 percent, of imports from China were 
covered under orders in effect that year. At the end of 2010, there 
were 108 orders in place against Chinese products.
    On IPR, we have made significant progress with China during my 
tenure, but we must continue to push China to do more. At the 2009 
Joint Commission on Commerce & Trade (JCCT), China committed to 
clamping down on Internet piracy, strengthening the protection of IPR 
at state-run libraries, and addressing concerns over a Ministry of 
Culture circular relating to online music distribution.
    During the 2010 JCCT, China announced that it would take 
significant steps to ensure that software used on government computers 
is legitimate and promote legal software use in enterprises, while the 
judiciary would undertake a study that would lead to a judicial 
interpretation on Internet infringement liability. Also, cooperation 
between the United States and China would continue on strengthening IPR 
protection at libraries and discussions would continue on patents and 
standards issues. Furthermore, China would clarify the responsibilities 
of market managers and landlords, and China would not adopt or maintain 
measures that make the location of the development or ownership of 
intellectual property a direct or indirect condition for eligibility 
for government procurement preferences for products and services.
    At the 2010 JCCT and during President Hu's state visit to 
Washington, DC, in January 2011, we pushed China to commit to 
announcing more specific plans on software legalization and eliminating 
discriminatory innovation policies that take into account where IPR is 
developed when making government procurement decisions. China's 
commitments are only credible if they deliver results. We will be 
holding a JCCT midyear review to press for full implementation of 
China's 2010 JCCT commitments.
    Regarding industrial subsidies, the administration is committed to 
vigorously challenging any Chinese subsidies that are inconsistent with 
China's WTO obligations, whether through multilateral action at the WTO 
or the strong enforcement of U.S. trade laws to remedy unfairly 
subsidized and injurious Chinese imports. Addressing unfair and harmful 
Chinese Government subsidies has been a key priority during my tenure 
at the Department of Commerce. Indeed, trade compliance and enforcement 
are key components of the administration's National Export Initiative. 
One of the ways we have pursued these efforts is through the Department 
of Commerce's strong enforcement of the CVD law which provides U.S. 
industries and workers with a reliable process to obtain effective 
relief from the injurious effects of imports from China benefiting from 
Chinese Government subsidies. Moreover, the Department of Commerce has 
a strong subsidies enforcement program which devotes considerable 
resources to identifying and addressing potentially harmful Chinese 
Government subsidies that may impact our exports abroad. We are thus 
engaged in a wide range of activities that seek to confront harmful 
Chinese Government subsidies, and thereby promote a level playing field 
for American companies and its workers.

    Question. Senator Wyden and his staff estimate that only 1 percent 
of all countervailing and antidumping duties are collected, with the 
majority of evasion coming from China. What has the Commerce Department 
done under your leadership to deal with this problem?

    Answer. The Department of Commerce's role in detecting and 
deterring circumvention of antidumping and countervailing duties is 
addressed in section 781 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (the Act). If the 
Department of Commerce determines that an order is being circumvented, 
Commerce directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend 
liquidation of the entries and require a cash deposit of estimated 
duties on all unliquidated merchandise determined to be circumventing 
the order.
    The Department of Commerce is currently investigating six 
allegations of circumvention of Chinese antidumping and countervailing 
duty orders. These include orders on steel wire garment hangers, 
laminated woven sacks, small diameter graphite electrodes, glycine, 
tissue paper, and cut-to-length carbon steel plate.
    In the tissue paper inquiry, for example, the Department of 
Commerce recently made a preliminary determination that certain tissue 
paper processed and exported to the United States by a Vietnamese 
company was circumventing the AD order on tissue paper from China. 
Commerce directed CBP to suspend liquidation and collect cash deposits 
at a rate of 112.64 percent for all exports from the Vietnamese company 
retroactive to the date we initiated the circumvention inquiry. We will 
be considering comments from interested parties prior to making a final 
determination in this case in August.
    In addition to the authority to address circumvention that is 
specifically prescribed to the Department of Commerce by statute, 
Commerce works in close cooperation with CBP, Immigration and Customs 
Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Justice to assist them in 
responding to allegations of duty evasion, transshipment, and fraud 
that fall with within their jurisdiction.
    Over the past several years, Commerce and CBP have been working to 
improve communications between the two agencies in order to strengthen 
enforcement of the AD/CVD laws. Cooperation among IA, CBP, ICE, and the 
Department of Justice has resulted in indictments, convictions, and 
prison sentences for evaders of AD/CVD orders. To cite just one 
example, our interagency cooperation led to the indictment in 2010 of 
Alfred L. Wolff Gmbh, a German food conglomerate, and 10 executives for 
conspiracy to illegally import more than $40 million of honey from 
China between 2002 and 2009 and avoid paying nearly $80 million in AD 
duties.
    The Department of Commerce is committed to robustly enforcing the 
trade remedy laws in order to ensure that American businesses and 
workers have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field 
against their foreign competitors. The Department of Commerce will 
continue to work intensively to ensure the AD and CVD orders are not 
circumvented and will actively coordinate with its sister agencies to 
minimize evasion of AD and CVD duties.

    Question. Do you support Senator Wyden's bill, ``The Enforce Act,'' 
introduced last Congress, to enhance Custom's ability to enforce duty 
collection?

    Answer. The administration has taken no official position with 
respect to Senator Wyden's bill. Nevertheless, we stand ready to work 
with you and other Members of Congress--as well as with the Department 
of Homeland Security--to take appropriate measures that ensure all 
countervailing and antidumping duties imposed are properly collected 
and duty evasion schemes are rightfully prosecuted.

    Question. China's currency manipulation practices remain of serious 
concern. The Treasury Department's February 2011 report on 
international economic and exchange rate policies of U.S. major trading 
partners cited the need for greater flexible from China, noting that 
the Chinese currency remains ``substantially undervalued.'' However, 
diplomatic efforts to push China to allow the Chinese yuan to 
appreciate more quickly have achieved little progress to date.

   As Ambassador to China, what ``creative diplomatic'' steps 
        will you take to encourage the Chinese Government to end the 
        unfair manipulation of its currency?
   What impact do you foresee potential currency manipulation 
        legislation having on U.S. efforts to address this serious 
        concern?

    Answer. As President Obama and Treasury Secretary Geithner have 
clearly stated, China's decision to increase flexibility of its 
exchange rate will help safeguard global recovery in the wake of the 
financial crisis, and contribute to a balanced global economy. If 
confirmed, I will continue to press China to move forward in 
implementing an exchange rate policy that will be beneficial to both 
the global and domestic Chinese economy.

    Question. Most trade experts believe that China is in the process 
of backsliding from the commitments it has made since joining the WTO.

   Do you agree with this assessment? If so, how will you use 
        your new role as Ambassador to work to defend what is left of 
        the U.S. manufacturing base?

    Answer. China's efforts to implement its WTO commitments since its 
2001 accession have led to increased exports and opportunities for U.S. 
companies. However, in some areas, China has yet to fully implement 
some of its commitments. We have also been seeing a troubling trend in 
recent years toward increased government intervention in China's 
economy. While bilateral trade with China continues to grow, a number 
of American businesses continue to face significant market access 
barriers and preferential policies that favor Chinese firms, especially 
SOEs. China must address these concerns, and if confirmed, I will work 
in concert with USTR to press the Government of China to fully 
implement and adhere to its WTO commitments. If dialogue fails, I am 
fully supportive of the administration using the full range of 
enforcement options, as it has been doing. We have been by far the most 
active--and successful--WTO Member in bringing WTO dispute settlement 
cases against China.

    Question. The Strategic and Economic Dialogue has failed to create 
any meaningful progress on important trade and economic issues in our 
relationship with China. As Ambassador, how will you work to boost the 
effectiveness of this dialogue?

    Answer. As Secretary Clinton has stated, the Strategic and Economic 
Dialogue is the premier forum in a bilateral relationship that is as 
important and complex as any in the world.
    The three rounds of the S&ED demonstrate the importance of this 
forum for advancing our most important policy objectives with China. We 
use the S&ED to expand the areas where we cooperate and to narrow the 
areas where we diverge, while holding firm to our values and interests. 
We also employ the S&ED to form habits of cooperation that will help us 
work together more effectively to meet our shared regional and global 
challenges and also to weather disagreements when they arise.
    This year's S&ED produced 48 concrete outcomes on the Strategic 
track. We announced, among other outcomes, the creation of the new 
U.S.-China Strategic Security Dialogue, the U.S.-China consultation on 
the Asia/Pacific, and announced new areas of cooperation in areas 
ranging from energy and environmental cooperation to scientific 
cooperation and people-to-people exchange. In the Economic Track, the 
United States secured important commitments to level the playing field 
for U.S. companies and workers, shift the orientation of China's 
economy toward domestic demand-led growth, improve IP protection, and, 
in the process, promote greater U.S. exports to the large and rapidly 
growing Chinese market. We are already working to make sure China 
implements these important commitments in an effective and decisive 
manner. If confirmed, I will do my utmost, working with my colleagues 
at the Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce and other agencies, to 
continue to utilize the S&ED to make further progress on critical 
issues.

    Question. In a letter to President Obama in January, I outlined the 
very real difficulties many Pennsylvania companies and workers face due 
to China's lack of enforcement of intellectual property rights. For 
example, C.F. Martin & Co.--
a world-renowned Pennsylvania guitar manufacturer--has been fighting to 
register its mark with the Chinese Government since 2005. According to 
the company, a Chinese individual has been illegally registering the 
mark in order to produce and sell counterfeit guitars of low quality. 
The lack of protection on the part of the Chinese harms not only C.F. 
Martin & Co., but also countless other Pennsylvania companies and 
workers--and American exports more broadly. I have urged the 
administration to work with the Chinese to address concerns over 
intellectual property rights infringement.

   As Ambassador, how will you address the very real threat 
        that Chinese intellectual property infringement poses to 
        American businesses and workers?

    Answer. Improving the protection and enforcement of IPR remains a 
top priority for this administration. U.S. trade losses due to 
counterfeiting and piracy in China remain unacceptably high. In 
addition, a strong intellectual property regime is critical to ensuring 
safe products for both U.S. and Chinese citizens.
    At the December Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, we made 
progress in ensuring the use of legitimate software in Chinese 
Government agencies and delinking the source and origin of IP from 
Chinese Government procurement preferences. During the January visit by 
President Hu, China further agreed to strengthen its efforts to protect 
IPR, including by conducting audits to ensure that government agencies 
at all levels use legitimate software and by publishing the auditing 
results as required by China's law.
    The specific case you mention with C.F. Martin & Co. is an example 
of trademark ``squatting.'' Unlike laws in most other countries, 
including the United States, Chinese law has a ``first to file'' system 
that requires no evidence of prior use or ownership, leaving 
registration of popular foreign marks open to third parties. Under 
Chinese law, these third parties (squatters) may then bring an 
infringement action or seek payment from the true brand owner if the 
owner attempts to use its brand in China. If confirmed as Ambassador, I 
will work with Chinese officials to update their laws to conform to 
international norms and alleviate this problem.
    More broadly, I am committed to protecting U.S. business interests 
and will continue to work within established fora such as the Joint 
Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) and the Strategic and Economic 
Dialogue (S&ED) to engage the Chinese on protecting and enforcing 
intellectual property rights in accordance with internationally 
recognized standards and their World Trade Organization (WTO) 
commitments.

    Question. I believe a top priority in our relationship with China 
should be the Chinese Government's enforcement of international 
sanctions against Iran. It is no secret that while China eventually 
supported U.N. sanctions on Iran, it did so reluctantly and only after 
it succeeded in significantly watering down the sanctions. According to 
the State Department's Special Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms 
Control, Bob Einhorn, Iran continues to use Chinese companies to 
procure proliferation-sensitive equipment for its nuclear and missile 
programs.

   What diplomatic tools does the United States have to press 
        China to reduce its relationship with Iran? As Ambassador, how 
        will you encourage timely responses from the Chinese Government 
        to U.S. requests to stop specific shipments of proliferation 
        concern? As Ambassador, how will you work to convince China to 
        implement stricter export regulations to prevent the 
        proliferation of sensitive items to countries of concern? What 
        steps will you take to convince relevant Chinese companies to 
        sever business ties with Iran?

    Answer. The prevention of the spread of nuclear weapons and related 
technologies is one of the Obama administration's highest priorities. 
Iran and North Korea were key topics of President Obama's talks with 
Chinese President Hu Jintao during his January 2011 visit, and we 
continue to raise the issue at the highest levels. We will also 
continue to uphold U.S. law and impose sanctions as necessary and 
warranted. Most recently, the United States imposed a number of 
sanctions under the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act 
(INKSNA) against Chinese firms and individuals that engaged in 
proliferation-related transfers with Iran. In addition, we will 
continue to implement the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability 
and Divestment Act (CISADA), and in that regard, we have urged China to 
exercise restraint and refrain from making any investments in Iran's 
energy sector.
    China shares the international community's serious concerns about 
Iran's nuclear program, and has played an important role in the 
diplomatic efforts to address this threat. China, as part of the P5+1 
and U.N. Security Council, contributed to the crafting of U.N. Security 
Council Resolution 1929. In the January 19, 2011, U.S.-China joint 
statement, both sides called for full implementation of all relevant 
U.N. Security Council resolutions. We have been pleased with the unity 
that China and other P5+1 partners have maintained in our negotiations 
with Iran, and we continue to jointly insist that Iran comply with its 
international obligations. China has stated that it is committed to 
implementing resolution 1929 and the other resolutions on Iran fully 
and faithfully, but China has stated that it does not support sanctions 
beyond those contained in UNSCR 1929 and previous UNSCRs on Iran. China 
agrees with the United States that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a 
grave regional and international threat; however, we do not necessarily 
agree on the timeframe or method to solve the problem. We have worked 
closely with the Chinese on this issue, and we will continue to raise 
it at all levels in meetings with China. We continue to emphasize the 
need for greater urgency in responses to this threat.

    Question. The United States has sanctioned 21 Iranian banks for 
providing financing for Iran's nuclear and missile programs. However, 
as Acting Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen noted, ``Iran has a well-
established practice of migrating illicit financial activities from one 
bank to another to facilitate transactions for sanctioned banks.'' As 
international banks throughout Europe are severing their ties with 
Iranian financial institutions, Iran has turned to Turkish, Emeriti, 
and Chinese banks to evade international sanctions--and there are 
ongoing reports that Chinese banks knowingly continue to do business 
with Iran likely in violation of U.S. sanctions.

   What is your assessment of reports that Chinese banks 
        continue to facilitate Iranian financial transactions, in 
        violation of U.S. sanctions? As Ambassador, what will you do to 
        encourage the Chinese financial industry to sever its ties with 
        Iranian firms?

    Answer. As Secretary Clinton has said, if we have information about 
technology or financial transfers that we believe is inconsistent with 
Security Council resolutions and Chinese laws, we bring such 
information to the attention of the Chinese Government and request that 
it immediately investigate and take appropriate action to prevent any 
prohibited transfers. Furthermore, we do not hesitate to enforce our 
sanctions laws, as the most recent imposition of sanctions against 
Chinese entities and individuals under the Iran, North Korea, and Syria 
Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA) demonstrates. Chinese controls over such 
transfers remain inhibited by an as yet underdeveloped export control 
apparatus, weak financial industry controls, and an apparent continued 
lack of political will to develop a comprehensive control system. 
President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and other administration officials 
regularly stress to the Chinese the need for continued Chinese 
restraint in Iran's energy sector and urge that they slow down existing 
activities and not conclude any new deals. The administration has also 
pressed China not to ``backfill'' by assuming the business of other 
firms that have responsibly departed Iran's energy sector. We have seen 
some evidence in open sources that China has exercised some restraint 
in this area, but we continue to monitor China's activities in the 
energy sector. As Secretary Clinton has said before, this 
administration will enforce the law with respect to Chinese firms. If 
confirmed, I will continue to press these issues in my discussions with 
Chinese officials.

    Question. According to human rights activists in Washington, the 
Chinese Government's recent crackdown on dissidents is the biggest they 
have seen in more than 20 years. I welcomed Secretary of State 
Clinton's May 10 statement denouncing China's human rights abuses and 
brutal crackdown on antigovernment protesters, which is in large part a 
response to the wave of unrest that has spread across the Middle East 
and North Africa. Beijing's detainment of lawyers, artists, and 
activists serves to highlight the government's ongoing lack of 
commitment to upholding internationally recognized human rights.

   If confirmed, what steps will you take the encourage China 
        to uphold its human rights commitments and end its brutal 
        crackdown on prodemocracy activists? How does this fit in with 
        the broader United States-China relationship, given China's 
        important role as a trade partner and main holder of U.S. debt?

    Answer. The administration has made clear that we have a 
fundamental commitment to the universal rights of all people, including 
those in China. Human rights is a central part of our United States-
China bilateral relationship. The United States and China can cooperate 
on critical global challenges, such as producing balanced global 
growth, as well as on our bilateral economic and trade concerns, while 
having candid and direct discussions about the issues where we do not 
see eye to eye, such as human rights. If confirmed, I will forcefully 
advocate for the Chinese Government to respect the universal human 
rights of all its citizens, including those who advocate peacefully for 
reform.

    Question. What signals can the United States send to Chinese 
dissidents to assure them of our steadfast commitment to universal 
human rights?

    Answer. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing maintains a wide variety of 
contacts within Chinese society, and if confirmed I intend to engage in 
broad public outreach to both Chinese officials and the Chinese people 
and to convey the human rights values for which America stands. 
Promoting human rights--including freedom of religion, speech, and 
assembly--is a central objective of our diplomatic engagement with 
China. If confirmed, I will be a forceful advocate for promoting the 
respect of universal human rights in China.
                                 ______
                                 

           Responses of Gary Locke to Questions Submitted by
                        Senator James M. Inhofe

                 freedom of religion and house churches
    Question. The persecution of ``House Churches'' has recently come 
to our attention. Chinese house churches are a religious movement of 
unregistered assemblies of Christians in the People's Republic of 
China. They are also known as the ``Underground'' Church or the 
``Unofficial'' Church. They are called ``house churches'' because as 
they are not officially registered organizations, they cannot 
independently own property and hence they meet in private houses, often 
in secret for fear of arrest or imprisonment. Because house churches 
operate outside government regulations and restrictions, their members 
and leaders are frequently harassed by local government officials. This 
persecution may take the form of a prison sentence or, more commonly, 
reeducation through labor. Heavy fines are also not unusual.

   Do you believe that the opposition of house churches by 
        government officials arises from an ideological opposition to 
        religion and support of atheism or more out of fear of 
        potential disturbances to orderly society from mass 
        mobilization of believers, similar to the Tiananmen Square 
        protests of 1989, and mass protests of Falun Gong members in 
        Beijing in 1999? Do you believe the administration has taken a 
        strong enough approach in integrating religious rights at a 
        systematic and structural level or will our current approach 
        only lead to antipathy and further delays in cooperation on 
        other issues?

    Answer. With respect to religious freedom in China, the Secretary 
of State has designated it a ``country of particular concern'' every 
year that such designations have been made. We continue to engage China 
on its poor religious freedom record, including during the most recent 
U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue and the Strategic and Economic 
Dialogue. The State Department raises cases of concern, including about 
individual incidents like the Shouwang Church in Beijing, on a regular 
basis at senior levels in both Washington and Beijing. If confirmed, I 
will continue to press the Chinese Government to respect all of its 
citizens' right to religious freedom, including for House church 
practitioners.

    Question. If confirmed what will you do to ensure that freedom of 
religion is assured for Chinese citizens?

    Answer. If confirmed, one of my primary roles would continue to be 
that of a spokesman for America and America's values, including the 
freedoms that are the foundation of our great Nation. That includes 
religious freedom. I will continue to advance the administration's 
policy of pressing China to improve its record on religious freedom and 
to respect the right to religious freedom of all its citizens.
                       china and taiwan relations
    Question. Presently China has over 1,400 short-range missiles 
pointed at Taiwan. This explicit threat from the Communist Chinese 
mainland was foremost in my mind when I addressed a letter to the 
administration, prior to the visit of President Hu Jintao early this 
year. In this bipartisan letter, signed by myself and 25 other 
Senators, I reminded the President of the U.S. commitment to Taiwan's 
defense under the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979.

   What assurances can you give me that will ensure that the 
        Communist Chinese Government fully understands not only the 
        legal ramifications but the moral commitment the United States 
        has to guarantee the ability of Taiwan to defend itself?

    Answer. First let me note that this administration welcomes the 
impressive steps both sides of the Taiwan Strait have taken in 
improving relations. We hope these efforts will continue and expand. 
The U.S. Government is committed to our one China policy based on the 
Three Joint Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act. Our one China 
policy has been consistent for the past eight U.S. administrations and 
will not change. If confirmed, I will continue to advance that policy 
in my interactions with Chinese officials.
    The United States has consistently told our Chinese counterparts 
that, in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States 
makes available to Taiwan defense articles and services necessary to 
enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability. We have 
also consistently said that cross-strait issues should be resolved 
peacefully in a manner acceptable to people on both sides of the strait 
and that we oppose unilateral actions by either side to alter the 
status quo. We urge China to reduce military deployments aimed at 
Taiwan and to pursue a peaceful resolution to cross-strait issues.

    Question. There are rumors that the present Taiwan Government may 
not fully purchase all items previously agreed for sale by the United 
States. Should this sale go through to completion however, how will 
this affect the United States-China relationship, since the Chinese 
Government reacted so negatively when the arms sales list to Taiwan was 
announced last year?

    Answer. I would prefer not to speculate on the hypothetical. I 
would simply note that China and Taiwan have made considerable progress 
in improving cross-strait relations and that we support these efforts 
and encourage both sides to continue these discussions, and that in 
accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States makes 
available to Taiwan defense articles and services necessary to enable 
Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability. That policy 
has provided a basis for maintaining security and stability across the 
Taiwan Strait for decades. Decisions to make available to Taiwan 
defensive arms and services are considered through an interagency 
process based solely upon an evaluation of Taiwan's defensive needs.
                            china and africa
    Question. Africa is the world's second-largest and most-populous 
continent. Comprised of 53 nations and over 900 million people, it is 
both rich in minerals and oil. This has not gone unnoticed by the 
Chinese Government. China has stepped into somewhat of a vacuum, 
currying favor in both political and strategic alliances across the 
African Continent

   To what extent do you see China furthering its exploration 
        into the African Continent and to what ends?

    Answer. China's overall trade with Africa exceeded $100 billion 
last year, with about 89 percent of its imports from Africa consisting 
of oil, minerals, and other raw materials. With our Chinese 
counterparts, we have discussed how to diversify and sustain trade, 
which would not only help Africa but also serve China's own interests.

    Question. Is the Chinese interest in Africa purely for the survival 
and economic interest of the Chinese and not the economic emancipation 
of Africa?

    Answer. China's presence in Africa reflects the reality that it has 
important and growing interests in Africa including access to resources 
and markets and development of diplomatic ties. These objectives are 
not inherently incompatible with U.S. priorities. As the President and 
Secretary Clinton have both made clear, we do not see power and 
influence in zero sum terms, and that is true in Africa as well. The 
United States and other donors are concerned, however, that China's 
foreign assistance and investment practices in Africa have not always 
been consistent with generally accepted international norms of 
transparency and good governance. Despite differences of opinion on 
certain issues, we believe it is important that our two governments 
remain engaged and work together to meet the development objectives of 
African countries. Our approach has been to demonstrate that, through 
greater cooperation on a wide range of issues affecting Africa, China 
can meet its responsibilities as a Security Council member in the U.N. 
while also meeting its economic goals.
                            china and africa
    Question. Use of soft power diplomacy will continue to be a key 
driver of China's strengthened relations with Africa and likely to 
propel China to higher global economic and military influence than it 
currently commands. The outcome of the growing China-Africa relations 
is the construction and reconstruction of infrastructure especially 
roads, water works, and hospitals. China is hand cementing and 
expending its relations with Africa.

   How far do you think the use of soft power can propel China?

    Answer. China enjoys a degree of influence which one might expect 
from a major trading nation with significant economic ties to most of 
sub-Saharan Africa. The United States and China have sought to increase 
our dialogue about Africa in order to improve understanding and seek 
tangible ways to cooperate through our Africa subdialogue under the 
Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED). We have also instructed our 
missions in Africa to reach out to their Chinese colleagues to explore 
potential areas of cooperation and assess China's overall role in their 
respective countries.

    Question. Does China support African led efforts to develop sound 
governance and sustainable development throughout the continent?

    Answer. The United States and other donors have concerns that 
China's ``no strings attached'' practices in Africa have not always 
been consistent with its commitment to adhere to international norms of 
transparency and standards of good governance. China adheres to the 
Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and Accra Agenda for Action. We 
have made these concerns known to China, including through our Africa 
subdialogue under the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED).
                         human rights and china
    Question. I am concerned about the worsening human rights situation 
in China. In light of the ongoing crackdown on Chinese journalists, 
dissidents, and intellectuals, I remain disappointed that the 
administration has failed to integrate these issues into its policy at 
a systemic and structural level. It is often in the area of economics 
that human rights concerns are marginalized. Your background gives you 
a unique opportunity to help broaden the discourse with Chinese 
interlocutors on the need for political reform.

   What is your view of the language that the administration 
        has used to discuss human rights issues?

    Answer. I fully support the administration's candid discussion of 
the inadequacies that we see in China's human rights record. Both 
publicly and privately, the administration has been consistent in 
stating our concerns about the deteriorating human rights situation in 
China, pressing China to respect its citizens' fundamental rights, and 
stating that expansion of civil and political rights would ultimately 
be a source of stability in Chinese society.

    Question. How will you contribute to efforts to incorporate human 
rights concerns into the relationship across the board, including on 
economic issues?

    Answer. I am committed to pursuing a positive, cooperative, and 
comprehensive relationship with China that is grounded in reality, 
focused on results, and true to our principles and interests. To keep 
our relationship on a positive trajectory, however, we must be honest 
about our differences. We can cooperate on critical global challenges 
such as producing balanced global growth, while having candid and 
direct discussions about the issues where we do not see eye to eye, 
including human rights. If confirmed, I will address sensitive issues 
in the bilateral relationship and will raise human rights issues and 
individual cases with Chinese Government officials at the highest 
levels. If confirmed, I will also be a forceful advocate for promoting 
the respect of universal human rights in China.

    Question. How will you bring other agencies into this discussion?

    Answer. Human rights played an important role in both our public 
and private meetings during the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic 
Dialogue in May, which included nearly every element of the interagency 
community. If confirmed, I will continue to support the 
administration's efforts to make very clear across all the agencies our 
concerns about the deteriorating human rights situation in China.

    Question. Will you work with like-minded governments on these 
issues, particularly our European and Asian friends and allies?

    Answer. If confirmed, I will continue to work with allies and 
partners to address the inadequacies that we collectively see in 
China's protection of human rights.

    Question. Your predecessor Ambassador Huntsman set a good standard 
in terms of human rights outreach in China. He spoke publicly and 
privately about these issues, and met with dissidents and their 
families, cultivated independent Chinese media outlets, and took other 
critical steps to both create a supportive climate for these issues 
within the Embassy and reiterate the importance of these issues to 
Chinese interlocutors. It should be done even when it seems futile and 
seems to invite repercussions. Chinese Government intimidation should 
not cause you to substitute your judgment for that of Chinese 
dissidents regarding the dangers they are willing to expose themselves 
to.

   Will you commit to continuing the practice of meeting with 
        dissidents in China and outside of China?

    Answer. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing maintains a wide variety of 
contacts within Chinese society, including with activists who work on a 
range of issues, and if confirmed I intend to continue such meetings 
but also to engage in broad outreach to both Chinese officials and the 
Chinese people to convey the human rights values for which America 
stands. Promoting human rights--including freedom of religion, speech, 
and assembly--is a central objective of our diplomatic engagement with 
China. If confirmed, I will be a forceful advocate for promoting the 
respect of universal human rights in China.

    Question. What other initiatives do you envision taking to engage 
directly with Chinese people and promote universal values?

    Answer. If confirmed, one of my top priorities will be to engage in 
direct outreach to the Chinese people, including to underscore the 
importance of respect for universal rights and freedoms. The objective 
of our public diplomacy is to reach out directly to the Chinese public 
to promote universal values. If confirmed, I will work closely with the 
Department's Bureau for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and our 
Mission China officers to ensure that our message reaches the widest 
possible range of Chinese society.

    Question. I am concerned about the dozens of individuals who have 
disappeared or been detained and sentenced to political crimes because 
they advocated that the Chinese people should enjoy universally 
accepted freedoms. There are several cases that have come to my 
attention, because of the nature of the accused or the charges against 
them, should be given particular attention. In addition to Nobel Prize 
winner Liu Xiaobo and artist Ai Weiwei.

   Will you raise the following cases in your testimony before 
        the committee and when you meet with Chinese officials as 
        examples of individuals of concern?

        Hada: http://en.rsf.org/china-authorities-holding-hada-s-
            wife-10-05-2011,402
            53.html
        Shi Tao: http://en.rsf.org/china-information-supplied-by-
            yahoo-06-09-2005,
            14884.html
        Huang Qi: http://en.rsf.org/china-cyber-dissident-huang-
            qi-kidnapped-12-06-2008,27465.html
        Tan Zuoren: http://en.rsf.org/china-as-china-justifies-
            online-10-06-2010,377
            06.html

    Answer. State Department officials raise individual cases of 
concern frequently and at all levels, in both Washington and at our 
Embassy in Beijing and our Consulates General throughout China. The 
Department urges the Chinese Government to treat detainees and 
prisoners humanely and in accordance with international standards and 
to release those detained unjustly. We press upon China the importance 
of affording all prisoners the protections of due process and 
transparent and fair legal proceedings. If confirmed, I will continue 
to emphasize the administration's message calling for the release of 
prisoners of conscience. I will also speak directly to Chinese leaders 
and call for the individual release of prisoners such as Liu Xiaobo, 
Gao Zhisheng, Ai Weiwei, and others such as those mentioned above. I 
will also engage with the Chinese people directly to convey the 
universal values for which America stands.
                            china and tibet
    Question. Tibetans have been enduring an intensifying crackdown 
since March 2008, exemplified by the crisis at Kirti Monastery in 
Sichuan province. Last month, the monastery was forcibly taken over by 
security forces; 25 monks remain in detention; 300 other monks have 
been taken away for ``patriotic education''; and two laypeople were 
killed by security forces.

   Will you commit to travel to Tibetan areas, including beyond 
        Lhasa, to seek accurate information in these closed-off areas, 
        and to advocate for the religious, cultural, and human rights 
        of Tibetans?

    Answer. The Department of State has urged China to relax 
restrictions on movements of U.S. Government officials, journalists, 
and Tibetan pilgrims to and from Tibetan regions. Travel to Tibetan 
areas, including outside of Lhasa, is an important priority for our 
Embassy in Beijing, and, if confirmed, I will continue to press to have 
an opportunity to do so.

    Question. Will you continue efforts to establish a U.S. consulate 
in Lhasa, which was established by the State Department as a priority 
in 2008?

    Answer. The United States and China currently have six diplomatic 
posts in the other's country. Future post openings are subject to host 
government agreement, per the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 
and our bilateral agreement with China.
    The Department sent diplomatic notes in 2008, expressing reciprocal 
interest in expanding U.S. diplomatic presence in China, with Lhasa at 
the top of the U.S. list. To date, the Chinese have not responded. The 
Department remains committed to pursuing a post in Lhasa as a priority, 
and if confirmed I will continue to work on this objective.

    Question. Will you work with the Special Coordinator for Tibetan 
Issues and her office to ensure that U.S. policy and communications to 
the Chinese Government are consistent and respect the longstanding two-
track U.S. policy of (1) supporting dialogue between the Chinese 
Government and the Dalai Lama and his representatives; and (2) 
supporting efforts to preserve the unique cultural, religious and 
linguistic heritage of the Tibetan people?

    Answer. If confirmed, I will work closely with the Special 
Coordinator for Tibetan Issues and her office to ensure that Tibetan 
issues are raised frequently and candidly with China's leaders. The 
Department of State is deeply concerned by the human rights situation 
in Tibetan areas and by the lack of progress during nine rounds of 
talks between the Chinese Government and the Dalai Lama's 
representatives. If confirmed, in consultation with the Special 
Coordinator, I will support further dialogue between China and the 
representatives of the Dalai Lama to resolve concerns and differences, 
including the preservation of the religious, linguistic and cultural 
identity of the Tibetan people.
                            china and travel
    Question. I am troubled with the across-the-board restrictions and 
policy of selective access that China has applied to travel within 
China by U.S. diplomats and visiting U.S. Chinese officials have the 
ability to travel anywhere they want in the United States, and have the 
freedom to engage in a broad range of Chinese cultural promotion 
activities on American soil.

   Will you push for greater freedom of movement for U.S. 
        diplomats in China, including travel to ``sensitive'' areas 
        such as Tibetan areas and East Turkestan?

    Answer. I will continue to advocate for greater freedom of movement 
for U.S. diplomats everywhere in China. The United States can only 
generate accurate information on developments in China by traveling 
frequently to all parts of the country and engaging with the people 
there. With the notable and unfortunate exception of Tibet and some 
Tibetan areas at ``sensitive'' times, Embassy officers generally face 
few restrictions on travel within China. However, they are generally 
unable to meet with provincial and local Chinese officials or 
institutions (including universities) unless they obtain approval from 
the Foreign Ministry and its local offices. U.S. diplomats regularly 
visit the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and Tibetan areas outside 
of the Tibet Autonomous Region to advance the full range of U.S. 
interests in those areas--particularly the safety and welfare of U.S. 
citizens. Charge d'Affaires Robert Wang visited Xinjiang in May. None 
of these visits were officially approved, and hence U.S. diplomats 
could not engage with provincial and local officials or universities 
during their visits.
    Travel to the Tibet Autonomous Region is restricted by the Chinese 
Government, and our official visits are approved on a case-by-case 
basis and then only rarely. Although then-Ambassador Huntsman was 
allowed to travel there in September 2010, many other requests have 
been denied. Visits to Tibetan areas of Sichuan are often denied on the 
ground by local police although the area is open in principle. This is 
a serious problem that I will seek to address. The U.S. Government has 
long pressed for free and full access to the Tibet Autonomous Region 
for American diplomats and also for Members of Congress and foreign 
journalists. If confirmed, I will continue to raise this issue at high 
levels.

    Question. How do you plan to push back on Chinese restrictions on 
legitimate U.S. cultural and educational activities in China?

    Answer. Despite some opening up over the last few decades, China 
remains a challenging environment for the United States to conduct 
public diplomacy, due in large part to the Chinese Government's ongoing 
attempts to control the dissemination of information in China. In 
particular, in recent months, various Chinese authorities cancelled 
certain planned U.S. mission outreach activities. The Department of 
State has expressed our objections to these measures to senior Chinese 
officials on multiple occasions, and has emphasized how such actions 
impede our stated intention to improve people-to-people ties between 
our two countries. There has been a resumption of some of these 
activities in recent weeks.
    To address these challenges, the State Department has been pushing 
for greater access and programming, using the opportunities we find, 
and protesting obstacles we encounter.
    The Embassy has raised this issue repeatedly in meetings with 
Chinese leaders and other officials, including in both sessions of the 
U.S.-China High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (in May 
2010 and April 2011). I would also encourage congressional leaders to 
raise this issue in contacts with Chinese officials as well. If 
confirmed, I will ensure that we continue to raise the issue. But just 
as important, I will continue promoting the development of new and 
innovative programming tools and platforms for reaching out to the 
Chinese people.
                             china and ngos
    Question. There are a number of U.S. NGOs that work in China or 
provide financial support to Chinese NGOs working on areas considered 
sensitive by the Chinese Government, such as human rights NGOs and 
those working in Tibet. In recent years, many of these groups and their 
in-country partners have come under pressure from the Chinese 
Government, particularly those who have a U.S. Government funding 
source, such as organizations that work with the National Endowment for 
Democracy and its affiliates, and U.S. NGOs working in Tibetan areas.

   Will you be willing to meet and consult with the U.S. NGOs 
        doing sensitive work in China on how the embassy can best 
        support their efforts?

    Answer. Yes. If confirmed, I will consult with a wide range of 
American citizens and organizations that deal with the many aspects of 
United States-China relations, including human rights. The State 
Department's Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor supports 
many active and important programs in the rule of law and civil society 
development, among others. I have already met with Assistant Secretary 
Michael Posner to discuss his views on human rights in China, and if 
confirmed, will continue to conduct further consultations, including 
with NGOs, to learn more about programs and support our common 
objectives in China .

    Question. Should you be confirmed, will you meet with American 
organizations and individuals that work on human rights in China before 
you take up your post in Beijing?

    Answer. Yes. If confirmed, I will consult with a wide range of 
American citizens and organizations that deal with the many aspects of 
United States-China relations, including human rights.
  china, the macau special autonomous region and the expropriation of 
u.s.-owned viva macau airlines by the government of macau on march 28, 
                                  2010
    Question. The Chinese Communist Government has taken steps over the 
last decade to encourage the Macau Special Autonomous Region to open 
itself to foreign investment, to diversify its local economy, and serve 
as a platform for trade between China and the West. As a result of 
these initiatives, Macau has received billions of dollars in foreign 
investment and expertise from the United States, the largest source of 
foreign direct investment for Macau. This has all helped Macau expand 
its economy beyond the gaming industry.
    However, actions taken in recent months by the Macau Government 
appear to signal a troubling downward trend in the treatment of U.S. 
investors. This raises serious questions about the Macau Government's 
attitude toward foreign investors and the ability of foreign companies 
to protect their investments. Most glaring among these is the 
expropriation of U.S.-owned Viva Macau Airlines by the Government of 
Macau on March 28, 2010.
    This expropriation, apparently the first by the Macau Government 
against property owned by American investors, was recognized in the 
State Department's March 2011 Report on U.S. Citizen Expropriation 
Claims and Certain Other Commercial and Investment Disputes and 
represents not only a serious downward turn for the treatment of 
investors from the United States in Macau, but also a disregard for 
international aviation norms.
    Viva Macau was denied legal recourse for over 11 months, but 
Macau's Court of Last Instance has finally ordered a hearing on the 
merits of Viva Macau's case against the Macau Government; though a fair 
trial is far from guaranteed. During those 11 months, I along with 
other Members of Congress have pushed the Chinese Central Government in 
Beijing and the Government of Macau to respect the rule of law and 
ensure that such expropriations not occur with such impunity.
    Although the United States has limited leverage over the Government 
of Macau, the Chinese Communists Government obviously does. They 
oversee Macau's affairs through the State Council's Office of Hong Kong 
and Macau Affairs and the Foreign Ministry. In particular, I understand 
that Wang Guangya, the newly appointed Director of the State Council's 
Office of Hong Kong and Macau Affairs and China's former Ambassador to 
the United Nations, is the key policymaker with day-to-day 
responsibility for Macau.
    In my letter of February 10, 2011, to Secretary Clinton on this 
matter, I asked that Ambassador Huntsman raise the Viva Macau cause 
with Wang Guangya to ensure that American interests in Macau are 
protected. I believe several other Members of Congress interested in 
protecting the interest of U.S. businesses and seeking to promote a 
mutually beneficial United States-China trade relationship have sent 
similar letters.

   In your potential new role as U.S. Ambassador to China, will 
        you be vigilant in protecting the commercial interests of U.S. 
        businesses injured by Chinese and Macau Government action, 
        including ensuring those U.S. entities seeking remedies before 
        local courts are given a fair trial?

    Answer. Developing commercial cooperation with China has been a 
focus of mine for more than a decade. If confirmed, helping U.S. 
companies do more business in China and ensuring that Chinese 
Government policies and actions create a level playing field for U.S. 
businesses will be a major part of what I do every day as Ambassador.
    As the second largest foreign investors in Macau after Hong Kong, 
U.S. businesses have invested more than $8 billion in Macau over the 
past 6 years. As a result, protecting U.S. business interests in Macau 
is one of the U.S. State Department's top priorities. Regarding Viva 
Macau, State and Commerce Department officials have met with MKW 
Capital Management's (MKW) partners and their Washington-based legal 
advisors Patton Boggs (PB) on numerous occasions since April 2010. U.S. 
diplomats at our Consulate General in Hong Kong continue to raise the 
matter with Macau Government officials on a regular basis, including 
with Macau's Chief Executive. In all such meetings, we have stressed 
the importance of transparency and due process for U.S. investors in 
Macau.
    The State Department continues to monitor developments in this case 
closely and understands that Macau's Court of Final Appeal ruled in 
Viva Macau's favor on February 23 by returning the case to the Court of 
Second Instance. That Court will have to decide whether there was an 
administrative act from the government instructing Air Macau to revoke 
Viva Macau's air operator certificate and, if so, if such an act was 
legal. State Department officers have explained to MKW that Viva Macau 
should continue to pursue all local remedies available.
    Longstanding U.S. policy toward the Macau Special Administrative 
Region of the People's Republic of China is to support ``one country, 
two systems'' and Macau's autonomy under the Basic Law. Under the Basic 
Law, Macau has jurisdiction over commercial/economic, legal, and all 
other matters outside national security and foreign affairs.

    Question. Will you commit to raising the Viva Macau issue with the 
Chinese Government, including with Wang Guangya, and communicating the 
U.S. Government and Congress' interest in ensuring that Viva Macau is 
treated fairly by the government and courts of Macau?

    Answer. Protecting U.S. business interests in Macau is one of the 
U.S. State Department's top priorities. Nonetheless, involving the 
Government of the People's Republic of China in Beijing in the Viva 
Macau case would, in our view, run counter to longstanding U.S. policy 
toward Macau, which is to support ``one country, two systems'' and 
Macau's autonomy under the Basic Law. Under the Basic Law, Macau has 
jurisdiction over commercial/economic, legal, and all other matters 
outside national security and foreign affairs. Therefore, we continue 
to believe that the best channel for expressing U.S. concerns to the 
Government of Macau is through the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong, 
which has responsibilities for Macau. U.S. diplomats at our Consulate 
General in Hong Kong continue to raise the viva Macau case with Macau 
Government officials on a regular basis, including Macau's Chief 
Executive.

    Question. Will you ensure that a representative of the U.S. 
Government attends any future court hearings related to this case to 
help further stress our interest in this matter?

    Answer. State Department officials have met with MKW Capital 
Management's (MKW) partners and their Washington-based legal advisors 
Patton Boggs (PB) on numerous occasions since April 2010. U.S. 
diplomats at our Consulate General in Hong Kong continue to raise the 
matter with Macau Government officials on a regular basis, including 
with Macau's Chief Executive. In all such meetings, officers have 
stressed the importance of transparency and due process for U.S. 
investors in Macau.
    The State Department continues to monitor developments in this case 
closely and understands that Macau's Court of Final Appeal ruled in 
Viva Macau's favor on February 23 by returning the case to the Court of 
Second Instance. That Court will have to decide whether there was an 
administrative act from the government instructing Air Macau to revoke 
Viva Macau's air operator certificate and, if so, if such an act was 
legal. State Department officers have explained to MKW that Viva Macau 
should continue to pursue all local remedies available.

    Question. Should you be confirmed, would you be willing to meet 
with representatives of Viva Macau Airlines before you depart for 
Beijing in order to receive a better understanding of its case?

    Answer. Longstanding U.S. policy toward the Macau Special 
Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China is to support 
``one country, two systems'' and Macau's autonomy under the Basic Law. 
Under the Basic Law, Macau has jurisdiction over commercial/economic, 
legal, and all other matters outside national security and foreign 
affairs. The U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong, Ambassador Stephen 
Young, has chief of mission authority for Macau and is the appropriate 
person to address issues concerning Viva Macau.
                                 ______
                                 

 Response of Gary Locke to Question Submitted by Senator John Barrasso

    Question. As you know, many U.S. industries have expressed a wide 
variety of concerns surrounding China's trade practices. Wyoming's soda 
ash and beef producers are prime examples of industries that have been 
battered by unfair trade policies.
    China continues to provide a 9 percent rebate on its 17 percent 
value-added tax (VAT) for soda ash exports in an attempt to give their 
producers an advantage in the international marketplace at the expense 
of U.S. producers. As a result, I would like to see the Department of 
Commerce and the U.S. Trade Representative's Office raise this specific 
issue at the highest levels with Chinese officials at the JCCT meetings 
this year.
    In addition, China's continued ban on U.S. beef imports has allowed 
Australia to take our place as the leading foreign beef supplier to 
China by value. The market that was once the 10th-largest for U.S. beef 
exports has disappeared.

   If confirmed, will you work with the U.S. Trade 
        Representative, Secretary of State, and Chinese Government 
        officials to address these issues?

    Answer. I share your concern about the potential detrimental 
effects of China's export promotion practices.
    Soda ash is one of the United States more significant chemical 
exports, and the issues you have raised are important ones. I concur 
that these Chinese VAT rebate policies can adversely affect the ability 
of our producers to compete in third-country markets. Moreover, I 
appreciate that natural soda ash production processes, such as those 
that dominate in the United States, are more environmentally friendly 
and less energy-intensive than the processes used in some countries 
such as China.
    Regarding beef, China's restrictions on U.S. beef are inconsistent 
with the recommendations of the World Organization for Animal Health. 
The U.S. Government is in dialogue with the Chinese Government to agree 
on a beef protocol that is consistent with international standards and 
is commercially viable. Reopening beef trade with China is a top 
priority for U.S. ranchers, and we continue to work on resolving this 
issue.
    If confirmed, I will work closely with the U.S. Trade 
Representative, the Secretary of State and Chinese officials to resolve 
our concerns with China's export policies and to support the interests 
of U.S. exporters, including soda ash and beef producers.


                              NOMINATIONS

                              ----------                              


                         TUESDAY, JUNE 7, 2011

                                       U.S. Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                                    Washington, DC.
                              ----------                              

Jeanine E. Jackson, of Wyoming, to be Ambassador to the 
        Republic of Malawi
Geeta Pasi, of New York, to be Ambassador to the Republic of 
        Djibouti
Donald Koran, of California, to be Ambassador to the Republic 
        of Rwanda
Lewis Lukens, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Republic of 
        Senegal and to serve concurrently as Ambassador to the 
        Republic of Guinea-Bissau
Ariel Pablos-Mendez, of New York, to be Assistant Administrator 
        of the United States Agency for International 
        Development
                              ----------                              

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:08 a.m., in 
room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Christopher 
A. Coons, presiding.
    Present: Senators Coons and Isakson.
    Also present: Senators Michael B. Enzi and John Barrasso.

        OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CHRISTOPHER A. COONS,
                   U.S. SENATOR FROM DELAWARE

    Senator Coons. I'd like to call the subcommittee to order. 
I'm honored to chair this hearing for the nominees to serve as 
United States Ambassadors to Rwanda, Djibouti, Malawi, Senegal, 
and Guinea-Bissau, and the USAID Assistant Administrator for 
Global Health.
    Today's nominees bring to the table a vast array of 
experience, specifically in Africa and serving our Nation 
around the world, and I look forward to hearing their vision 
for advancing U.S. interests and policy priorities.
    Before we begin, I'd like to reflect briefly on my very 
recent trip to West Africa with Senator Isakson. Traveling in 
Nigeria, Ghana, and Benin over the past week, we witnessed 
first-hand the implementation of critical food security, global 
health, and development programs, in addition to United States 
policy aimed at making critical improvements in governance, 
transparency, and sustainable economic growth.
    At each step, we met with elected officials, the U.S. 
Ambassadors, Embassy teams, Peace Corps Volunteers, and 
representatives from USAID, and I am proud and grateful for 
their service and commitment to diplomacy and impressed more 
than ever with the central role that our ambassadors play 
around the world.
    As Senator Isakson noted during our trip, Africa's vast 
array of potential opportunities makes it the continent of the 
21st century for the United States. During this nomination 
hearing, I look forward to continuing that conversation. I was 
grateful to Senator Isakson and his staff and the staff of this 
committee for putting together a very, very meaningful trip for 
all of us to West Africa.
    Our first nominee today is Donald Koran to be Ambassador to 
Rwanda, which has emerged from the shadows of the genocide of 
1994 to make progress in economic reform and health. Today 
Rwanda has one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, and 
United States policy encouraging economic liberalization while 
focusing on needed improvements to democracy and governance is 
essential to its future.
    Mr. Koran is a career Foreign Service officer currently 
serving as the Director of Africa Analysis in the Bureau of 
Intelligence and Research at State, and his previous relevant 
assignments include Division Chief for West and Southern 
African Affairs in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research; 
Deputy Chief of Mission in Kigali, Rwanda; and desk officer for 
the DRC, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea.
    Geeta Pasi is the nominee to be Ambassador to Djibouti, a 
key strategic ally in the region and home to the U.S. Combined 
Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa at Camp, I believe, Lemonnier. 
Djibouti is a valuable partner when it comes to combating 
piracy and other sources of instability in Somalia and the 
Horn, and I look forward to hearing from Ms. Pasi on balancing 
U.S. strategic interests in Djibouti with a broader set of 
regional concerns, including promoting democracy, good 
governance, and human rights.
    Ms. Pasi is a career member of the Foreign Service and 
currently serves as Director of the Office of East African 
Affairs in the Bureau of African Affairs. Her other relevant 
experiences include posts as political-economic and 
international relations officers in Ghana, Cameroon, and West 
African Affairs.
    Ms. Jeanine Jackson is the Ambassador nominee for Malawi. 
Malawi has made recent progress combating corruption and 
developing its largely agriculturally based economy, though 
many challenges still remain. In April, our country signed a 
$350 million Millennium Challenge Corporation compact with 
Malawi. I look forward to hearing about what steps are being 
taken to ensure the government does not pursue deeply 
concerning new laws aimed at restricting human rights and media 
freedom.
    Ms. Jackson is a career member of the Foreign Service, 
currently serving as the Minister Counselor for Management at 
the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and in addition to several posts 
coordinating diplomatic activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ms. 
Jackson previously served as U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso.
    Lewis Lukens is the nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to 
Senegal and, concurrently, Guinea-Bissau. He's a career member 
of the Foreign Service, currently serving as Executive Director 
of the Secretariat of the State Department. He previously 
served as Consul General in Vancouver, Executive Secretary in 
Baghdad, and Senior Director for Administration at the National 
Security Council in addition to tours in Cote d'Ivoire, China, 
and Australia.
    Senegal is a moderate and largely secular democracy, which 
has experienced economic growth over the past decade but still 
faces challenges alleviating poverty and disease. And I look 
forward to hearing from Mr. Lukens about how the United States 
can promote growth in Senegal, including through the MCC, while 
combating drug trafficking in the region, in particular Guinea-
Bissau.
    Finally, we will hear from Dr. Ariel Pablos-Mendez, the 
nominee to be Assistant Administrator for Global Health at 
USAID. Dr. Pablos-Mendez currently serves as managing director 
of the Rockefeller Foundation, where he works to develop 
initiatives to address the global challenge of health systems, 
including the role of the private sector in health systems in 
the developing world.
    His work in global health spans two decades, including as a 
researcher and physician focusing on multi-drug-resistant 
tuberculosis, developing public-private partnerships to combat 
disease, and delivery mechanisms for HIV/AIDS treatments to 
mothers and families.
    And I look forward to hearing from him about his plans for 
integrating global health programs, and transitioning authority 
for GHI, the Global Health Initiative, from State to USAID, as 
envisioned in the QDDR, or the Quadrennial Diplomacy and 
Development Review.
    This is a critical moment for USAID to demonstrate 
leadership over U.S. health programs globally, and Dr. Pablos-
Mendez will sit at the helm of this historic and important 
change.
    I look forward to hearing about plans for meeting the 
benchmarks in the QDDR and to better integrating GHI, so we can 
effectively promote global health.
    I'm very pleased to, thus, welcome all of today's 
distinguished nominees. I look forward to your opening 
statements. But first, I will turn it over to Senator Isakson 
for his opening statement and then to Senators Barrasso and 
Enzi, who have joined us to introduce Jeanine Jackson.
    Senator Isakson.

               STATEMENT OF HON. JOHNNY ISAKSON,
                   U.S. SENATOR FROM GEORGIA

    Senator Isakson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and welcome to 
Senator Enzi and Senator Barrasso.
    Ms. Jackson, you've been bragged about extensively in some 
of the meetings I've had with both these gentlemen already, so 
you do not come unnoticed, and you're very welcome to have you 
today, as we are all of the nominees for ambassadorship and 
USAID.
    I've had the privilege of being in both Rwanda and 
Djibouti, both of which are significant countries for the 
United States of America.
    President Kagame in Rwanda has done a remarkable job in 
transforming a nation from genocide to democracy, and in 
improving the health and the future of those people. And 
Djibouti is one of the most significant unknown investments of 
the United States of America there probably is on any continent 
in the world. And having visited our troops there, and the many 
things they do there on the Persian Gulf and on the East 
African coast are very much appreciated.
    I have not been to Guinea-Bissau, but, as the chairman 
said, we just returned from Benin and Ghana and from Nigeria, 
and many of the things that are going on in those three 
countries are pretty much germane to Guinea-Bissau, in 
particular with USAID.
    We had the privilege of participating in a signing of a 
memorandum of understanding where a United States NGO, through 
USAID, is developing a critical maternity ward in the largest 
maternity hospital in Accra, Ghana, and really going to develop 
a better chance for babies born at risk to actually survive. 
And it's a great investment of private United States money 
coordinated by USAID and the people of Ghana.
    We also had the privilege to work with USAID on a project 
in northern Ghana, or the north of capital, in their biggest 
agricultural asset, which is pineapple. Because of what's 
happened with Millennium Challenge investment and the 
assistance of USAID, we've turned some difficult situations for 
the farmers to actually make a living to where they now have a 
cooperative, like many in the United States. And through the 
investment of Millennium Challenge, we are working ourselves 
out of foreign assistance, because they are now profitable and 
productive in that product. And we're grateful for what USAID 
does in on a day-in-day-out basis, in terms of coordinating 
those events in Africa.
    But I do welcome all of you, and thank you very much for 
your willingness to serve in some very difficult parts of the 
world.
    And again, as the chairman has said, welcome Senator Enzi 
and Senator Barrasso to our hearing.
    Senator Coons. Thank you very much, Senator Isakson.
    And we'd now like to invite both of the Senators from 
Wyoming to make some introductory comments about Jeanine 
Jackson, the nominee to serve as Ambassador to Malawi.
    Following their comments, I'll invite Ms. Jackson to give 
her opening statement, if I might.
    Senator Barrasso. I'm sorry, Senator Enzi.

               STATEMENT OF HON. MICHAEL B. ENZI,
                   U.S. SENATOR FROM WYOMING

    Senator Enzi. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It's my privilege 
and honor to be able to recommend to you the nomination of 
Jeanine Jackson to be the United States Ambassador to Malawi. I 
strongly support her nomination. She's an excellent candidate 
for this important diplomatic position, and she has the 
distinction of being from Sheridan, WY, where Diana, my wife 
who is also here today in support, and I graduated from high 
school along with Jeanine, although I graduated quite a while 
before Jeanine did.
    But my wife and Jeanine were classmates. They were best 
friends. They were fellow church members and fellow American 
Legion Girls State delegates.
    I'm proud that an outstanding Wyoming native, who I've 
known for decades, has been nominated to contribute to this 
important foreign-policy goal of the United States in Africa.
    I introduced Jeanine to this committee 5 years ago when she 
was nominated to be the Ambassador to Burkina Faso. That was 
also a country that, with her help, got a Millennium Challenge 
grant. And at this post she'll be able to work with a country 
that has one as they complete the tasks on that.
    She excelled in her role in Burkina Faso, and she had the 
distinction at that time of being Wyoming's first career 
Foreign Service officer to be an ambassador. Today I introduce 
her as the first Wyomingite ever to have a second 
ambassadorship.
    Ambassador Jackson's experience is extensive. She's a 
career senior Foreign Service officer and also served 30 years 
in the military and retired as a full colonel. She and her 
husband, Mark, have served together in the Army and the Foreign 
Service. Mark is now retired and will serve in an unpaid role 
of ambassador spouse, which also benefits our country and 
Malawi, so you could say we're going to get two for the price 
of one.
    Ambassador Jackson has served our country with the military 
in Vietnam, Germany, and Korea, and in the Foreign Service, 
she's been in Switzerland, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, 
Kenya, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Burkina Faso.
    Currently, she's completing 26 months as the Senior 
Management Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, by far the 
largest, most complex embassy in the world. She's leading all 
support-related planning and implementation to continue the 
efficient functioning of our Embassy in Iraq after the U.S. 
military completes its drawdown later this year.
    You can tell that Ambassador Jackson doesn't shirk hard 
assignments. We watched through her eyes and through her 
explanation, as she's lived around the world. She's helped us 
to understand the world and around the world. In 2001, she 
became the first senior U.S. diplomat to serve in Afghanistan 
after the fall of the Taliban. In Kenya, in the years after al-
Qaeda bombings, she played a major role in rebuilding the 
staff, operations, and infrastructure. In Hong Kong, she 
protected the interests of the U.S. Government agencies and 
employees at the time of the reversion to Chinese sovereignty. 
And here's one of the most fascinating ones to me, when the 
Soviet Union dissolved, she managed the establishment of U.S. 
embassies in 14 new countries.
    The United States faces diverse and dynamic challenges and 
opportunities in Malawi. Promoting development includes an 
emphasis on the elimination of poverty, transparent governance, 
economic reform, anticorruption practices, and greater 
political and economic participation.
    She was able to do those things in Burkina Faso, where she 
had to speak French. Here she gets to speak English.
    Individuals like Jeanine Jackson understand these 
complexities, and they'll help the United States to achieve its 
goal. Because of her diverse experience, she can evaluate and 
persuade. She understands cultural differences and can adapt 
her approach.
    Ambassador Jackson and Mark have taken on some very 
challenging assignments around the world and often enjoy 
driving to their new posts, once even driving from their post 
in Switzerland to the new post in Nigeria across the Sahara 
Desert. Nearly every weekend when I'm in Wyoming, I drive 
hundreds of miles across the State to visit my constituents. 
Ambassador Jackson probably has driven close to 20,000 miles 
across Africa. The deserts and mountains of Wyoming are a long 
way from Malawi, but I know that Ambassador Jackson's childhood 
in Wyoming has prepared her for the adventures and challenges 
of serving in Africa.
    It's a proud day for Diana and I. It's a proud day for 
Sheridan. It's a proud day for the State of Wyoming. And I want 
to enthusiastically endorse Jeanine Jackson on her nomination 
for Malawi.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Coons. Thank you very much, Senator Enzi.
    Senator Barrasso.

                STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN BARRASSO,
                   U.S. SENATOR FROM WYOMING

    Senator Barrasso. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and 
Senator Isakson. And I, too, want to add my congratulations as 
well as my support, along with that of Senator Enzi.
    And I want to take just a moment to speak in recognition 
and support of the nomination of Ambassador Jeanine Jackson to 
be the United States Ambassador to Malawi. She is an excellent 
nominee. She will bring a tremendous amount of knowledge, 
experience, and energy to this position.
    As you know, she's a native of Sheridan, WY, and I'm really 
pleased to have such a highly qualified, skilled individual 
from Wyoming to be nominated to serve the United States in this 
important diplomatic position.
    She's currently serving as Minister Counselor for 
Management at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. And I've had 
the pleasure of meeting with her, as well as her husband, at 
the Embassy in Baghdad during visits there. She's demonstrated 
to me her knowledge, her focus, and her determination. So I'm 
very grateful for her willingness, as well as that of her 
husband, to serve our country and provide strong leadership in 
implementing the foreign-policy goals of the United States.
    Based on our discussions together and her extensive 
background in Africa, I'm confident that she grasps the 
opportunities and the challenges facing both Africa as well as 
Malawi. It is clear that she will make her family, as well as 
the people of Wyoming and our Nation, very proud. So I add with 
Senator Enzi my wholehearted endorsement and recommendation of 
her nomination to the committee and the full Senate.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Coons. Thank you very much, Senator Barrasso.
    I think Senator Isakson would also like to add a comment.
    Senator Isakson. Senator Enzi, is Diana in the room?
    Senator Enzi. Yes.
    Senator Isakson. Where is Diana?
    Diana, stand up, would you? Don't sit down yet.
    You know, an awful lot of times, the spouses of U.S. 
Senators get no attention at all. I have traveled with Diana to 
India and to Sri Lanka to see a demonstration of the mine-
sniffing dogs that she has provided to countries around the 
world to save children from losing limbs or losing their lives.
    So a lot of times, we get all the pictures and the 
publicity and the attention, but this lady is exemplary of the 
other wives and spouses of Members of the Senate who also do 
their part to make this country a better country and the world 
a better world, and I commend you, Diane, for what you do.
    Senator Coons. Thank you, Senator.
    And thank you, Diane, for being with us.
    And Senator Enzi and Senator Barrasso, thank you very much 
for joining us today. Understanding your schedules may require 
you to be at other events, I'd welcome you to excuse yourselves 
at this point, if that's more convenient for you.
    Ms. Jackson, if I might encourage you to begin with your 
opening statement, and then we'll go through the rest of the 
nominees.
    And I would encourage all of the nominees to introduce your 
families, who should be recognized along with you for the great 
sacrifices they have made to support your commitments to public 
service, whether the military, the State Department, AID, or 
elsewhere.
    Ms. Jackson.
    Ambassador Jackson. Mr. Chairman----
    Senator Coons. I'm sorry, and I'll invite the other 
nominees to come forward to the table as well at this time.
    Forgive the interruption, Ms. Jackson.
    Thank you. Ms. Jackson.

    STATEMENT OF HON. JEANINE E. JACKSON, OF WYOMING, TO BE 
              AMBASSADOR TO THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI

    Ambassador Jackson. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Isakson, it is a 
great honor and privilege to appear before you today as 
President Obama's nominee to be the United States Ambassador to 
the Republic of Malawi.
    I appreciate the confidence the President and Secretary 
Clinton have placed in me by putting my name forward for your 
consideration. I'm also deeply grateful for the support of 
Senator Enzi; his wife, Diane; Senator Barrasso; and my 
husband, Mark; as well as the terrific support of the State 
Department's Africa Bureau.
    Having served as Ambassador to Burkina Faso, I'm aware of 
the importance, if confirmed, of working with this committee 
and the Congress in order to advance United States interests in 
Malawi, including strengthening its democratic institutions, 
encouraging economic diversification, and building its health 
and education capacity.
    Since joining the Foreign Service in 1985, I have held 
numerous positions overseas and in Washington. This experience, 
in addition to my military service, impressed upon me a clear 
understanding of the critical role that interagency cooperation 
plays, both in U.S. missions and here in Washington, in 
developing and implementing U.S. foreign policy.
    My expertise with U.S. Government agencies is invaluable in 
my current assignment as Management Counselor of the United 
States Embassy in Baghdad. I lead large teams of U.S. 
Government civilians and military personnel to provide, in a 
hostile environment, the support platform for the world's 
largest embassy and the 35 U.S. Government agencies represented 
in our country team in Iraq.
    Malawi, from its independence in 1964 until 1994, was a 
one-party state under authoritarian rule. Since 1994, when the 
people of Malawi voted in their first democratic, free, and 
fair elections, Malawi has strengthened its democratic 
institutions and has undergone peaceful transfers of power 
among political parties. The people of Malawi are proud that 
women comprise 22 percent of Parliament.
    The economy of this small, landlocked country is heavily 
dependent on agriculture. This creates challenges, but the 
Malawian Government has taken steps to greatly increase 
productivity. Mineral deposits were recently discovered, which 
may present opportunities for Malawi to diversify its economy.
    If confirmed, I look forward to assisting Malawi in 
addressing some of its most pressing needs with a focus on 
strengthening its health systems, providing quality education, 
and further developing democratic processes. The United States 
has active U.S. Agency for International Development, Centers 
for Disease Control, and Peace Corps programs, many of which 
are supported through PEPFAR. Malawi was the first country to 
sign a PEPFAR partnership framework and was selected to be one 
of eight Global Health Initiative Plus countries.
    This year, the Millennium Challenge Corporation signed a 
$350 million compact with Malawi to improve access to 
electrical power and which should enable further economic 
gains.
    Malawi maintains good relations with the United States. It 
was the first southern African nation to receive United States-
sponsored peacekeeping training and recently contributed troops 
to the U.N. operation in Cote d'Ivoire.
    Malawi's cooperation on many issues is welcome, but we 
still have concerns. We are sensitive to the need for 
individual freedoms, including individual preferences. And we 
support a political space that is open to all.
    If confirmed, I would work to support such a space for all 
Malawians.
    Although Malawi is a small country, it remains one of the 
most underdeveloped. It is, nonetheless, a strategic partner of 
the United States. Despite ongoing challenges, Malawi holds 
great promise. If confirmed, I would look forward to working 
with the Government of Malawi and its people on mutual goals of 
a healthier, better educated, more prosperous citizenry that 
embraces democratic values.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you again for the opportunity to appear 
before you today. I will be happy to answer questions.
    [The prepared statement of Ambassador Jackson follows:]

                Prepared Statement of Jeanine E. Jackson

    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, it is a great honor and 
privilege to appear before you today as President Obama's nominee to be 
the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Malawi. I appreciate 
the confidence the President and Secretary Clinton have placed in me by 
putting my name forward for your consideration. I am also deeply 
grateful for the support of my husband Mark, a retired Foreign Service 
officer.
    Having previously served as Ambassador to Burkina Faso, I am aware 
of the importance, if confirmed, of working with this committee and the 
Congress in order to advance U.S. interests in Malawi, including 
strengthening its democratic institutions, encouraging economic 
diversification, and building its health and education capacity.
    Since joining the Foreign Service in 1985, I have held numerous 
positions overseas and in Washington. This experience, in addition to 
my military service, impressed upon me a clear understanding of the 
critical role that interagency cooperation plays both in U.S. missions 
and here in Washington in developing and implementing U.S. foreign 
policy. My expertise with U.S. Government agencies is invaluable in my 
current assignment as Management Counselor of the U.S. Embassy in 
Baghdad. I lead large teams of U.S. Government civilians and military 
personnel to provide, in a hostile environment, the support platform 
for the world's largest Embassy and the 35 U.S. Government agencies 
represented on its country team.
    From its independence in 1964, Malawi was a one-party state under 
authoritarian control. Since 1994, when the people of Malawi voted in 
their first democratic, free, and fair elections, Malawi has 
strengthened its democratic institutions and has undergone peaceful 
transfers of power among political parties. The people of Malawi are 
proud that women comprise 22 percent of the Parliament.
    The economy of this small, landlocked country is heavily dependent 
on agriculture. This creates challenges but the Malawian Government has 
taken steps to greatly increase productivity. Mineral deposits were 
recently discovered which may present opportunities for Malawi to 
diversify its economy. If confirmed, I look forward to assisting Malawi 
in addressing some of its most pressing needs with a focus on 
strengthening its health systems; providing quality education; and 
further developing democratic processes. The United States has active 
U.S. Agency for International Development, Centers for Disease Control 
and Peace Corps programs, many of which are supported through PEPFAR. 
Malawi was the first country to sign a PEPFAR Partnership Framework, 
and was selected to be one of eight Global Health Initiative Plus 
countries. This year, the Millennium Challenge Corporation signed a 
$350 million compact with Malawi to improve access to electrical power, 
which should enable further economic gains.
    Malawi maintains good relations with the United States. It was the 
first southern African nation to receive U.S.-sponsored peacekeeping 
training and recently contributed troops to the U.N. Operation in Cote 
d'Ivoire.
    Malawi's cooperation on many issues is welcome, but we still have 
concerns: we are sensitive to the need for individual freedoms, 
including individual preferences, and we support a political space that 
is open to all. If confirmed, I would work to support such a space for 
all Malawians.
    Although Malawi is a small country and remains one of the most 
underdeveloped, it is nonetheless, a strategic partner of the United 
States. Despite ongoing challenges, Malawi holds great promise. If 
confirmed, I would look forward to working with the Government of 
Malawi and its people on mutual goals of a healthier, better educated, 
more prosperous citizenry that embraces democratic values.
    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you again for the 
opportunity to appear before you today. I will be happy to answer any 
questions.

    Senator Coons. Thank you very much, Ms. Jackson.
    Now if we might go to the other end of the panel and work 
our way down.
    Ms. Pasi.

 STATEMENT OF GEETA PASI, OF NEW YORK, TO BE AMBASSADOR TO THE 
                      REPUBLIC OF DJIBOUTI

    Ms. Pasi. Thank you, Chairman Coons, Ranking Member 
Isakson, members of the committee. It's an honor to appear 
before you today as the nominee to be the next United States 
Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti.
    I'm grateful for the confidence the President and Secretary 
of State have shown by nominating me to this position and for 
the support of Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie 
Carson.
    First, Mr. Chairman, please allow me to acknowledge my 
family members who are here today. My sisters, Usha Pasi and 
Rita Pasi; my brother, Peter Pasi; and his wife, Halley Lewis, 
have all joined me this morning.
    Mr. Chairman, please allow me to tell you a little bit 
about myself. My career has included challenging assignments 
that required me to adapt to rapidly changing environments. 
I've served in several countries in transition and was in Ghana 
during its first democratic elections and Romania shortly after 
the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu. During a state of emergency, I 
helped steer Bangladesh toward democratic elections.
    In Washington, I served in several positions, including as 
the Afghanistan desk officer, where I was working on September 
11, 2001.
    I currently serve as office director for East African 
Affairs and have policy and program responsibility for 11 
countries in East Africa.
    Mr. Chairman, if confirmed, I look forward to leading 
Embassy Djibouti in advancing U.S. interests. Our main 
interests in Djibouti are peace and security, good governance, 
and economic development.
    Mr. Chairman, as you know, we share important interests and 
goals with Djibouti, an area of relative calm in a turbulent 
region, and an important partner in the fight against 
terrorism. Djibouti is surrounded by Eritrea, Ethiopia, and 
Somalia, and is less than 18 miles from Yemen. It has a 
strategic position at the Bab el Mandeb Strait, which joins the 
Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, and through which some 40 percent 
of the world's shipping passes.
    If confirmed, Mr. Chairman, I will continue to reinforce 
our bilateral relationship, as well as contribute to efforts to 
promote a stable, functioning, and peaceful Somalia, in 
coordination with our mission in Nairobi.
    Djibouti hosts the only United States military forward-
operating site in sub-Saharan Africa, Camp Lemonnier, the 
headquarters for the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, 
or CJTF-HOA, and approximately 3,000 troops. I understand that 
you, Senator Isakson, and Senator Inhofe have visited Camp 
Lemonnier. If confirmed, I will continue to expand cooperation 
and coordination between Embassy personnel and Camp Lemonnier 
and its tenant commands.
    If confirmed, I will also ensure that CJTF-HOA programming 
in Djibouti fits within the framework of U.S. Government 
priorities to advance our key interests.
    Mr. Chairman, Djibouti's Presidential election in April 
underscored the importance of democracy and governance reforms, 
including enlarging space for media and civil society. If 
confirmed, I commit to work with our Djiboutian partners on 
these issues.
    On the economic front, Djibouti's leadership has privatized 
its excellent deepwater port and airport, reducing corruption 
and increasing revenue flows. Construction of a new port 
facility is underway and will dramatically increase capacity.
    Djibouti remains very poor, however, ranked 149 out of 177 
countries on the UNDP Human Development Index. In addition, 
less than 5 percent of the land is arable. Our small USAID 
mission in Djibouti focuses on governance and democracy; health 
and education, particularly to combat low life expectancy; 
maternal and child mortality; and infectious disease. The 
United States also responds to food insecurity needs. If 
confirmed, I will make these programs a priority.
    Finally, Mr. Chairman, if confirmed, my highest priority 
will be the protection of Americans and American business 
interests, including mission personnel living and traveling in 
Djibouti. In the fall, the mission will move to a new Embassy 
compound, meaning that all mission personnel will work in the 
safest and most secure facilities available. I am committed to 
good stewardship of this significant U.S. Government 
investment.
    Mr. Chairman, I believe my prior experience in the Foreign 
Service has prepared me to serve as Ambassador to Djibouti. If 
confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to working closely with 
you and other members of the committee, and would hope to 
welcome you during my tenure.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you again for the honor to appear 
before the committee today. I would be happy to take any 
questions you may have.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Pasi follows:]

                    Prepared Statement of Geeta Pasi

    Chairman Coons, Ranking Member Isakson, Members of the Committee, 
it is an honor to appear before you today as the nominee to be the next 
United States Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti. I am grateful for 
the confidence the President and Secretary of State have shown by 
nominating me to this position, and for the support of Assistant 
Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson.
    First, Mr. Chairman, let me acknowledge several family members and 
colleagues here today. My sister, Rita Pasi, brother, Peter Pasi, and 
his wife, Hallie Lewis, have all joined me. I am pleased to appear 
before you on this panel with my three colleagues, Don Koran, Lewis 
Lukens, and Jeanine Jackson.
    Mr. Chairman, please allow me to tell you about myself. My career 
has included challenging assignments that required me to adapt to 
rapidly changing environments. I have served in several countries in 
transition and was in Ghana during its first democratic elections and 
Romania shortly after the fall of Nicolae Ceaucescu. During a state of 
emergency, I helped steer Bangladesh toward democratic elections. In 
Washington, I served in several positions, including as the Afghanistan 
Desk Officer where I was working on September 11, 2001. I currently 
serve as Office Director for East African Affairs and have policy and 
program responsibility for 11 countries in East Africa.
    Mr. Chairman, if confirmed, I look forward to leading Embassy 
Djibouti in advancing U.S. interests with our team of Foreign and Civil 
Service personnel, military staff , and local employees. Our main 
interests in Djibouti are peace and security, good governance, and 
economic development.
    Mr. Chairman, as you know, we share important interests and goals 
with Djibouti. An area of relative calm in a turbulent region and an 
important partner in the fight against terrorism, Djibouti is 
surrounded by Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, and is less than 18 miles 
from Yemen. It has a strategic position at the Bab el Mandeb Strait, 
which joins the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, and through which some 40 
percent of the world's shipping passes. If confirmed, Mr. Chairman, I 
will continue to reinforce our bilateral relationship as well as 
contribute to efforts promoting a stable, functioning, and peaceful 
Somalia in coordination with our mission in Nairobi.
    Djibouti hosts the only U.S. military forward operating site in 
sub-Saharan Africa, Camp Lemonnier, the headquarters for the Combined 
Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) and approximately 3,000 
troops. I understand that you, Senator Isakson, and Senator Inhofe have 
visited Camp Lemonnier. If confirmed, I will continue and expand 
coordination and cooperation between Embassy personnel and Camp 
Lemonnier and its tenant commands, including the CJTF-HOA contingent. 
If confirmed, I will also ensure that CJTF-HOA programming in Djibouti 
fits within the framework of U.S. Government priorities to advance our 
key interests.
    Mr. Chairman, Djibouti's Presidential election in April underscored 
the importance of democracy and governance reforms--including enlarging 
space for media and civil society groups that face constraints. If 
confirmed, I commit to work with our Djiboutian partners on these 
issues.
    On the economic front, Mr. Chairman, Djibouti's leadership has 
privatized its excellent deep-water port and airport, reducing 
corruption and increasing revenue flows. Construction of a new port 
facility is underway and will dramatically increase capacity. Making 
Djibouti an attractive place for investment and center for regional and 
international trade is essential for its economic development. Djibouti 
remains very poor, ranked 149 out of 177 countries on the UNDP Human 
Development Index. Less than 5 percent of its land is arable. The small 
USAID mission in Djibouti focuses on governance and democracy, health 
and education, particularly to combat low life-expectancy, maternal and 
child mortality, and infectious disease. The United States responds to 
food insecurity through support for the Famine Early Warning Network 
office in Djibouti, as well as through USG-funded Food for Peace and 
Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance programs. The United States has 
also been the leading donor in the area of democratic reform and good 
governance. If confirmed, I will continue to make these programs a 
priority.
    Djibouti's sole troubled relationship in the region is with 
Eritrea. Although Qatar's mediation efforts alleviated the conflict, 
the countries have not yet addressed the substantive issues of border 
demarcation. If confirmed, I will support international efforts to 
resolve this conflict peacefully and restore the border to the status 
quo ante.
    Finally, Mr. Chairman, if confirmed, my highest priority will be 
the protection of Americans and American business interests, including 
mission personnel, living and traveling in Djibouti. With only a few 
private Americans in-country, I would, if confirmed, remain in frequent 
contact with them, on consular and security issues but also to benefit 
from their wisdom. In the fall, the mission will move to a new Embassy 
compound, meaning that all mission personnel will work in the safest 
and most secure facilities available. Maintaining this technologically 
advanced building in Djibouti will be a challenge, but I am committed 
to good stewardship of this significant USG investment.
    Mr. Chairman, I believe my prior experience in the Foreign Service 
has prepared me to serve as Ambassador to Djibouti. If confirmed by the 
Senate, I look forward to working closely with you and other members of 
the committee, and would hope to welcome you during my tenure.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you again for the honor to appear before the 
committee today. I would be happy to take any questions you may have.

    Senator Coons. Thank you, Ms. Pasi.
    Mr. Koran.

 STATEMENT OF DONALD KORAN, OF CALIFORNIA, TO BE AMBASSADOR TO 
                     THE REPUBLIC OF RWANDA

    Mr. Koran. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, it is 
an honor to have been nominated by President Obama to be the 
next United States Ambassador to Rwanda and to appear before 
you today.
    Here with me today are my wife, Cindy, and my daughter, 
Laura.
    Rwanda is known by most Americans for the 1994 genocide, 
which left the country and its people ravaged. I saw this 
legacy firsthand when I served there from 1999 to 2001. Since 
then, Rwanda has made great strides in rebuilding the country, 
as well as playing a positive role in the region and beyond. 
The United States works closely with Rwanda to advance these 
positive endeavors.
    With the assistance of the United States and other donors, 
the Rwandan Government has made remarkable progress in 
improving the living standards of its people, primarily through 
education and infrastructure development. It has improved the 
business climate, as evidenced by Rwanda's dramatic improvement 
in the World Bank's ease of business doing business index.
    If confirmed, I plan to promote economic development in 
Rwanda, as well as opportunities for American trade and 
investment. The United States and Rwanda signed a bilateral 
investment treaty in 2008, now pending advice and consent of 
the Senate, which would further improve the investment climate 
and provide additional protection to United States investors.
    We also support Rwanda's leadership in the East Africa 
community and its efforts to promote development and economic 
integration. Development assistance can have a great impact in 
Rwanda, due to the government's strong track record in 
implementing programs. That strong track record, along with 
remarkable results, contributed to its selection as a Global 
Health Initiative Plus country.
    The United States has been at the forefront of combating 
HIV/AIDS and malaria, and helping improve food security in 
Rwanda through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, 
the President's Malaria Initiative, and the Feed the Future 
Initiative. Peace Corps returned to Rwanda in 2009 and 
currently has some 130 volunteers working in health and 
education programs.
    The advancement of democracy and human rights are important 
components of our policy toward Rwanda, and one which the 
United States and Rwanda are committed to working closely 
together to achieve. We believe it is important for Rwanda to 
continue to develop and strengthen its democratic institutions 
to ensure political space for the opposition and to promote a 
strong, independent media.
    In this context, I look forward, if confirmed, to build on 
and expand our mutual efforts with Rwanda on these important 
issues. Through our USAID mission, we have funded democracy and 
governance programs to strengthen the justice sector, media, 
and civil society.
    My past experience in Rwanda, and as desk officer for the 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, has given me a deep 
appreciation for the importance and complexity of the 
relationship between those two countries. Their rapprochement 
in 2009, which put an end to years of conflict by proxy, has 
been the cornerstone of recent improvements in regional 
stability. Peace and security in the eastern Congo remain 
elusive, however, and we believe that Rwanda continues to have 
a critical and proactive role to play in stabilizing the 
region.
    We strongly support the International Conference on the 
Great Lakes Region's recent declaration committing the DRC, 
Rwanda, and the Congo's other neighbors to addressing the 
illegal trade in minerals, and we commend the steps Rwanda is 
undertaking to ensure the trade continues only through legal 
and certified channels. The Democratic Forces for the 
Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, remains a violent threat to 
civilians in eastern Congo, though Rwanda continues to provide 
for the reintegration of FDLR members who demobilize.
    Rwanda is an increasingly important partner 
internationally. It has over 3,000 peacekeepers in Darfur and 
some 250 troops elsewhere in Sudan who have benefited from U.S. 
military's Africa Contingency Operations and Training 
Assistance program. It also has almost 200 police assigned to 
the peacekeeping mission in Haiti.
    President Kagame was among the strongest voices in the 
international community supporting action to prevent a massacre 
in Libya earlier this year.
    If confirmed as Ambassador to Rwanda, I will continue 
United States efforts to support economic and political 
progress. Rwanda's development and stability are essential for 
its citizens and critical to the stability of central Africa.
    I look forward to working closely with you, Mr. Chairman, 
and with the committee in this important endeavor, should I be 
confirmed. Thank you again, Chairman Coons and members of the 
committee, for the opportunity to appear before you today. I 
welcome any questions you might have.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Koran follows:]

                 Prepared Statement of Donald W. Koran

    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, it is an honor to have 
been nominated by President Obama to be the next United States 
Ambassador to Rwanda and to appear before you today.
    Rwanda is known by most Americans for the 1994 genocide, which left 
the country and its people ravaged. I saw this legacy first-hand when I 
served there from 1999 to 2001. Since then, Rwanda has made great 
strides in rebuilding the country, as well as playing a positive role 
in the region and beyond. The United States works closely with Rwanda 
to advance these positive endeavors.
    With the assistance of the United States and other donors, the 
Rwandan Government has made remarkable progress in improving the living 
standards of its people, primarily through education and infrastructure 
development. It has improved the business climate, as evidenced by 
Rwanda's dramatic improvement in the World Bank's ease of doing 
business index. If confirmed, I plan to promote economic development in 
Rwanda, as well as opportunities for American trade and investment. The 
United States and Rwanda signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty in 2008, 
now pending advice and consent of the Senate, which would further 
improve the investment climate and provide additional protections to 
U.S. investors. We also support Rwanda's leadership in the East African 
Community and its efforts to promote development and economic 
integration.
    Development assistance can have great impact in Rwanda due to the 
government's strong track record in implementing programs. That strong 
track record, along with remarkable results, contributed to its 
selection as a Global Health Initiative Plus country. The United States 
has been at the forefront of combating HIV/AIDS and malaria, and 
helping to improve food security in Rwanda through the President's 
Emergency Plan For Aids Relief, the President's Malaria Initiative, and 
the Feed the Future Initiative. Peace Corps returned to Rwanda in 2009 
and currently has some 130 volunteers working in health and education 
programs.
    The advancement of democracy and human rights are important 
components of our policy toward Rwanda, and one which the U.S. and 
Rwanda are committed to working closely together to achieve. We believe 
it is important for Rwanda to continue to develop and strengthen its 
democratic institutions, to ensure political space for the opposition 
and to promote a strong independent media. In this context, I look 
forward, if confirmed, to build on and expand our mutual efforts with 
Rwanda on these important issues. Through our USAID mission we have 
funded democracy and governance programs to strengthen the justice 
sector, media, and civil society.
    My past experience in Rwanda and as desk officer for the Democratic 
Republic of the Congo has given me a deep appreciation for the 
importance and complexity of the relationship between those two 
countries. Their rapprochement in 2009, which put an end to years of 
conflict by proxy, has been the cornerstone of recent improvements in 
regional stability. Peace and security in the eastern Congo remain 
elusive, however, and we believe that Rwanda continues to have a 
critical and proactive role to play in stabilizing the region. We 
strongly support the International Conference on the Great Lakes 
Region's recent declaration committing the DRC, Rwanda, and the Congo's 
other neighbors to addressing the illegal trade in minerals, and we 
commend the steps Rwanda is undertaking to ensure the trade continues 
only through legal and certified channels. The Democratic Forces for 
the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, remains a violent threat to 
civilians in eastern Congo, though Rwanda continues to provide for the 
reintegration of FDLR members who demobilize.
    Rwanda is an increasingly important partner internationally. It has 
over 3,000 peacekeepers in Darfur and some 250 troops elsewhere in 
Sudan who have benefited from U.S. military's Africa Contingency 
Operations and Training Assistance (ACOTA) program. It also has almost 
200 police assigned to the peacekeeping mission in Haiti. President 
Kagame was among the strongest voices in the international community 
supporting action to prevent a massacre in Libya earlier this year.
    If confirmed as Ambassador to Rwanda, I will continue U.S. efforts 
to support economic and political progress. Rwanda's development and 
stability are essential for its citizens and critical to the stability 
of Central Africa. I look forward to working closely with you, Mr. 
Chairman, and with the committee in this important endeavor, should I 
be confirmed.
    Thank you again Chairman Coons and members of the committee for the 
opportunity to appear before you today. I welcome any questions that 
you might have.

    Senator Coons. Thank you.
    Mr. Lukens.

STATEMENT OF LEWIS LUKENS, OF VIRGINIA, TO BE AMBASSADOR TO THE 
               REPUBLIC OF SENEGAL AND TO SERVE 
         CONCURRENTLY AS AMBASSADOR TO THE REPUBLIC OF 
                         GUINEA-BISSAU

    Mr. Lukens. Mr. Chairman, Senator Isakson, I'm honored to 
appear before you today. I wish to thank President Obama and 
Secretary Clinton for the trust and confidence they have placed 
in me as their nominee for Ambassador to the Republic of 
Senegal and the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
    Mr. Chairman, I would like to introduce my family. My wife, 
Lucy, and our daughters, Lallie and Leeza, have lived on five 
continents with me and have been exceptional representatives of 
the United States overseas. My Aunt Emily and my mother-in-law, 
Anne Buxton, are here today, and my parents, Alan and Susan 
Lukens, are here.
    My father served this country for 36 years as a diplomat, 
mostly in Africa, including in Dakar. In fact, he appeared 
before this subcommittee 27 years ago as nominee for U.S. 
Ambassador to Congo Brazzaville.
    For the past 22 years, I've dedicated my career to serving 
the United States through various positions at the White House, 
the State Department, and overseas. If confirmed, it would be a 
great honor and privilege to serve our country in this 
important post.
    The United States and Senegal share a long, bilateral 
relationship. As a critical partner in Francophone Africa, 
Senegal is a key ally in the fight against terrorism and 
narcotics, and has been an important player on regional and 
international issues.
    Senegal is one of the few African countries to have never 
experienced a coup d'etat and prides itself as a religiously 
tolerant nation. However, Senegal does face economic, 
governance, and press freedom challenges that threaten its 
democratic and development future. Senegal suffers from a 
crippling energy crisis that causes frequent power outages and 
has weakened economic growth. Senegal would like to emerge as a 
regional economic hub. And, if confirmed, I will work with the 
government to encourage enactment of economic reforms necessary 
to attract investment and expand market access.
    Senegal will host Presidential and legislative elections 
next February. These elections are important to the country's 
democratic future. Concerns about democratic backsliding and 
corruption have tarnished Senegal's longstanding democratic 
reputation.
    If confirmed, I will work with President Wade and the 
Government of Senegal in their efforts to prepare for 
transparent, fair, and credible elections.
    Senegal is a recipient of U.S. foreign assistance programs, 
most notably a $540 million Millennium Challenge Corporation 
Compact. The United States Government must be accountable to 
American taxpayers, and, especially in this difficult economic 
client, we'll ensure that every dollar is effectively used.
    If confirmed, I will work closely with our strong partners 
in Senegalese civil and religious society and with the 
government to ensure that Senegal continues to improve on all 
of its indicators.
    The small, former Portuguese colony of Guinea-Bissau is one 
the world's poorest countries with an economy based on almost 
entirely on cashew production. Its poverty, its geography, and 
its historic instability have contributed to a flourishing 
narcotics trade that has compromised many elements of its 
military and civilian leadership.
    U.S. law enforcement agencies have identified, and are 
currently working closely with, credible government 
counterparts. Through a memorandum of understanding signed with 
Portugal, we will have a United States diplomat placed in the 
Portuguese Embassy in Guinea-Bissau. This will help us increase 
our knowledge of the narcotics-trafficking situation and 
encourage the host government to raise its profile on this 
important issue.
    U.S. goals there are to promote sustainable democratic 
political development, combat narcotics trafficking, and lay 
the foundations for economic growth. We are currently running 
successful, cost-effective programs that feed 50 percent of 
this country's school-aged children and that destroy unexploded 
ordnance and landmines laid since Bissau's war for 
independence.
    To its credit, Guinea-Bissau recently held free and fair 
elections, is working to stabilize its economy, and recently 
qualified for debt relief by implementing fiscally sound 
policies.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your continued interest in the 
United States relations with Africa. If confirmed, I look 
forward to working with you, your committee, and other Members 
of Congress in representing the interests of the American 
people in Senegal and Guinea-Bissau. I would be happy to answer 
your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Lukens follows:]

                 Prepared Statement of Donald W. Koran

    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, it is an honor to have 
been nominated by President Obama to be the next United States 
Ambassador to Rwanda and to appear before you today.
    Rwanda is known by most Americans for the 1994 genocide, which left 
the country and its people ravaged. I saw this legacy first-hand when I 
served there from 1999 to 2001. Since then, Rwanda has made great 
strides in rebuilding the country, as well as playing a positive role 
in the region and beyond. The United States works closely with Rwanda 
to advance these positive endeavors.
    With the assistance of the United States and other donors, the 
Rwandan Government has made remarkable progress in improving the living 
standards of its people, primarily through education and infrastructure 
development. It has improved the business climate, as evidenced by 
Rwanda's dramatic improvement in the World Bank's ease of doing 
business index. If confirmed, I plan to promote economic development in 
Rwanda, as well as opportunities for American trade and investment. The 
United States and Rwanda signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty in 2008, 
now pending advice and consent of the Senate, which would further 
improve the investment climate and provide additional protections to 
U.S. investors. We also support Rwanda's leadership in the East African 
Community and its efforts to promote development and economic 
integration.
    Development assistance can have great impact in Rwanda due to the 
government's strong track record in implementing programs. That strong 
track record, along with remarkable results, contributed to its 
selection as a Global Health Initiative Plus country. The United States 
has been at the forefront of combating HIV/AIDS and malaria, and 
helping to improve food security in Rwanda through the President's 
Emergency Plan For Aids Relief, the President's Malaria Initiative, and 
the Feed the Future Initiative. Peace Corps returned to Rwanda in 2009 
and currently has some 130 volunteers working in health and education 
programs.
    The advancement of democracy and human rights are important 
components of our policy toward Rwanda, and one which the U.S. and 
Rwanda are committed to working closely together to achieve. We believe 
it is important for Rwanda to continue to develop and strengthen its 
democratic institutions, to ensure political space for the opposition 
and to promote a strong independent media. In this context, I look 
forward, if confirmed, to build on and expand our mutual efforts with 
Rwanda on these important issues. Through our USAID mission we have 
funded democracy and governance programs to strengthen the justice 
sector, media, and civil society.
    My past experience in Rwanda and as desk officer for the Democratic 
Republic of the Congo has given me a deep appreciation for the 
importance and complexity of the relationship between those two 
countries. Their rapprochement in 2009, which put an end to years of 
conflict by proxy, has been the cornerstone of recent improvements in 
regional stability. Peace and security in the eastern Congo remain 
elusive, however, and we believe that Rwanda continues to have a 
critical and proactive role to play in stabilizing the region. We 
strongly support the International Conference on the Great Lakes 
Region's recent declaration committing the DRC, Rwanda, and the Congo's 
other neighbors to addressing the illegal trade in minerals, and we 
commend the steps Rwanda is undertaking to ensure the trade continues 
only through legal and certified channels. The Democratic Forces for 
the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, remains a violent threat to 
civilians in eastern Congo, though Rwanda continues to provide for the 
reintegration of FDLR members who demobilize.
    Rwanda is an increasingly important partner internationally. It has 
over 3,000 peacekeepers in Darfur and some 250 troops elsewhere in 
Sudan who have benefited from U.S. military's Africa Contingency 
Operations and Training Assistance (ACOTA) program. It also has almost 
200 police assigned to the peacekeeping mission in Haiti. President 
Kagame was among the strongest voices in the international community 
supporting action to prevent a massacre in Libya earlier this year.
    If confirmed as Ambassador to Rwanda, I will continue U.S. efforts 
to support economic and political progress. Rwanda's development and 
stability are essential for its citizens and critical to the stability 
of Central Africa. I look forward to working closely with you, Mr. 
Chairman, and with the committee in this important endeavor, should I 
be confirmed.
    Thank you again Chairman Coons and members of the committee for the 
opportunity to appear before you today. I welcome any questions that 
you might have.

    Senator Coons. Thank you, Mr. Lukens.
    Dr. Pablos-Mendez.

       STATEMENT OF ARIEL PABLOS-MENDEZ, OF NEW YORK, TO 
  BE ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR OF THE UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR 
                   INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

    Dr. Pablos-Mendez. Chairman Coons, Senator Isakson, good 
morning, and thank you for the opportunity to testify before 
you today and for your longstanding, bipartisan support for 
global health. It is an honor to appear before you as President 
Obama's nominee for the position of Assistant Administrator for 
Global Health at the United States Agency for International 
Development.
    If confirmed, I will have the even greater privilege of 
serving the American people in fostering a healthier, safer, 
and more prosperous world.
    USAID makes a profound statement about what America stands 
for. I am humbled by the trust and confidence that President 
Obama and Administrator Shah have placed in me, and I'm 
grateful to have the support of Secretary Clinton.
    If confirmed, it will be a privilege to work under their 
leadership and with USAID's talented and dedicated staff to 
reaffirm the agency's status as the premier development 
institution in the world.
    I would like to recognize USAID's Susan Brems, the Senior 
Deputy Assistant Administrator, and Amie Batson, the Deputy 
Assistant Administrator, for their leadership to date in the 
Bureau for Global Health and the Global Health Initiative.
    I also wish to acknowledge the support and love of my 
family and friends, including my wife, Mercedes, and three of 
my children, Ariel, Fernando, and Alejandra, who are with me 
here today.
    I am a physician. Over the last 25 years, my career in 
academic medicine has been inspired by the lives of my 
patients, and the potential of the medical students and 
residents that I had the opportunity to teach. I am also a 
public health professional who, through research on 
tuberculosis, entered into the exciting arena of global health. 
I have dedicated my professional career to science and 
humanity, working with Columbia University, the New York City 
Department of Health, the United Nations, and the Rockefeller 
Foundation. My engagement with the Federal Government has until 
now been in an advisory capacity. If confirmed, I very much 
look forward to the opportunity to serve actively.
    I grew up in Mexico in the 1960s, in an area where green 
revolution research, supported by USAID and the Rockefeller 
Foundation, transformed agricultural production and directly 
improved the lives of millions, my family included.
    I trained in internal medicine in New York in the late 
1980s. During those years, I watched young lives ravaged by 
HIV/AIDS before the advent of life-saving treatment and saw the 
threat of tuberculosis reemerge and intensify through multidrug 
resistance. These experiences made a strong impression on me 
and have shaped my career.
    Recognizing that infectious diseases do not respect borders 
and that effective responses here at home largely depend on 
what happens in other countries, I ventured into global health. 
In this sphere, I have been fortunate to work in a range of 
initiatives, including the development of innovative public-
private partnerships for new drugs and vaccines for the poor, 
like the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development; mobilizing a 
research coalition together with the NIH and other partners to 
scale up full treatment of HIV-positive mothers and their 
families--a prelude to PEPFAR; working with the World Health 
Organization to bridge the ``know-do'' gap with information 
technology or e-Health; and since returning to the Rockefeller 
Foundation, leading the initiative on the transformation of 
health systems in Africa and Asia.
    If confirmed, I will draw upon these diverse experiences to 
provide leadership for evidence-based innovations, public-
private partnerships, and interagency collaboration to promote 
access to proper health services at an affordable cost, 
especially for the world's poorest and most vulnerable people.
    As we enter the second decade of the new millennium, global 
health has never been more central to the development agenda, 
and the United States is a leader in both. Thanks to the 
foresight and leadership of members from both sides of the 
aisle, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the 
President's Malaria Initiative, and the Global Alliance on 
Vaccines and Immunization, as well as working in women's 
health, we have saved millions of lives and reestablished hope 
for the future, especially in Africa.
    I have been a witness and a partner to this work, which is 
having an impact similar to the agricultural green revolution 
three generations ago. The American people can be very proud of 
these accomplishments.
    President Obama's Global Health Initiative, GHI, signals 
the next phase of American leadership in world health and 
charges USAID to work with other agencies and partners to 
crystallize that vision. GHI will consolidate the fight against 
diseases of poverty while strengthening country-led health 
systems, with a focus on women and children. We expect by the 
year 2016 to contribute to save the lives of 3 million 
children, prevent more than 12 million HIV infections, and 
avert 700,000 malaria deaths. This is an ambitious agenda, 
commensurate with the extraordinary challenges faced by poor 
and vulnerable people in the world, and requiring both our 
commitment and new ways to solve problems.
    Mr. Chairman, there cannot be a better time to join USAID 
and serve the American people. I am humbled to be considered 
for this position. If confirmed, I will be honored and excited 
to contribute, under the guidance of Congress, to realizing 
these mandates and those in the future fitting a changing 
world. Thank you very much for your consideration, and I look 
forward to your questions and recommendations.
    [The prepared statement of Dr. Pablos-Mendez follows:]

               Prepared Statement of Ariel Pablos-Mendez

    Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member, and distinguished members of the 
committee, good morning and thank you for the opportunity to testify 
before you today and for your longstanding, bipartisan support for 
global health. It is an honor to appear before you as President Obama's 
nominee for the position of Assistant Administrator for Global Health 
at the United States Agency for International Development. If 
confirmed, I will have the even greater privilege of serving the 
American people in fostering a healthier, safer, and more prosperous 
world.
    USAID makes a profound statement about what America stands for. I 
am humbled by the trust and confidence that President Obama and 
Administrator Shah have placed in me and am grateful to have the 
support of Secretary Clinton. If confirmed, it will be a privilege to 
work under their leadership and with USAID's talented and dedicated 
staff to reaffirm the Agency's status as the premier development agency 
in the world.
    I would like to recognize USAID's Susan Brems, the Senior Deputy 
Assistant Administrator, and Amie Batson, the Deputy Assistant 
Administrator, for their leadership to date in the Bureau for Global 
Health and the Global Health Initiative. I also wish to acknowledge the 
support and love of my family and friends, including my wife and 
children, who are with me here today.
    I am a physician. Over the last 25 years, my career in academic 
medicine has been inspired by the lives of my patients and the 
potential of the medical students and residents I have had the 
opportunity to teach. I am also a public health professional who, 
through research on tuberculosis, entered into the exciting arena of 
global health. I have dedicated my professional career to science and 
humanity, working with Columbia University, the New York City 
Department of Health, the United Nations and the Rockefeller 
Foundation. My engagement with the Federal Government has until now 
been in an advisory capacity. If confirmed, I very much look forward to 
the opportunity to serve actively.
    I grew up in Mexico in the 1960s, in an area where green revolution 
research--supported by USAID and the Rockefeller Foundation--
transformed agricultural production and directly improved the lives of 
millions, my family included. I trained in Internal Medicine in New 
York in the late 1980s. During those years, I watched young lives 
ravaged by HIV/AIDS before the advent of life-saving treatment and saw 
the threat of tuberculosis reemerge and intensify through multidrug 
resistance. These experiences made a strong impression on me and have 
shaped my career.
    Recognizing that infectious diseases don't respect borders and that 
effective responses here at home largely depend on what happens in 
other countries, I ventured into global health. In this sphere, I have 
been fortunate to work in a range of exciting initiatives, including: 
(1) developing innovative public-private partnerships for new drugs and 
vaccines for the poor, like the Global Alliance for TB Drug 
Development; (2) mobilizing a research coalition together with the NIH 
and other partners to scale up full treatment of HIV-positive mothers 
and their families--a prelude to PEPFAR; (3) working with the World 
Health Organization to bridge the ``know-do'' gap with information 
technology or e-Health; and (4) since returning to the Rockefeller 
Foundation, leading the initiative on the transformation of health 
systems in Africa and Asia.
    If confirmed, I will draw upon these diverse experiences to provide 
leadership for evidence-based innovations, public-private partnerships, 
and interagency collaboration to promote access to appropriate health 
services at an affordable cost, especially for the world's poorest and 
most vulnerable people.
    As we enter the second decade of the new millennium, global health 
has never been more central to the development agenda--and the United 
States is a leader in both.
    Thanks to the foresight and leadership of Members from both sides 
of the aisle, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the 
President's Malaria Initiative, the Global Alliance on Vaccines and 
Immunization and work in women's health have saved millions of lives 
and reestablished hope for the future, especially in Africa. Public-
private partnerships are no longer seen as optional, but rather as 
essential to achieving long-term strategic goals.
    I have been a witness and a partner to this work, which is having 
an impact similar to the agricultural green revolution two generations 
ago. The American people can be very proud of these accomplishments.
    President Obama's Global Health Initiative, GHI, signals the next 
phase of American leadership in world health and charges USAID to work 
with other U.S. Government agencies and partners to crystallize that 
vision.
    GHI will consolidate the fight against diseases of poverty while 
strengthening country-led health systems, with a focus on women and 
children. At a time of financial constraint, GHI calls for better 
evidence, game-changing innovation, integrated services and novel 
partnerships to take on grand challenges.
    As stated by Administrator Shah, by building country-led health 
systems, harnessing new technologies and improving the efficiency of 
our efforts, we can save the lives of 3 million children, prevent more 
than 12 million HIV infections, and avert 700,000 malaria deaths by 
2016. We can also ensure 200,000 pregnant women give birth safely, 
prevent 54 million unintended pregnancies and cure nearly 2.5 million 
people infected with tuberculosis.
    This is an ambitious agenda, commensurate with the extraordinary 
challenges faced by poor and vulnerable people in the world, and 
requiring both our commitment and new ways to solve problems.
    Mr. Chairman, there could not be a better time to join USAID and 
serve the American people. I am humbled to be considered for this 
position. If confirmed, I will be honored and excited to contribute, 
under the guidance of Congress, to realizing these mandates and those 
in the future fitting a changing world.
    Thank you very much for your consideration. I look forward to your 
questions and recommendations.

    Senator Coons. Thank you, Doctor.
    And I'd like to thank all five of our nominees for your 
concise, yet broad opening statements that give both of us a 
strong sense of your background and skills, and the challenges 
that you will face in your countries or areas of appointment.
    I'd like to begin our first round of questions, if I might. 
I'm going to ask a very broad question and then invite each of 
the five of you, in turn, to answer, to the extent it's 
directly relevant to your service.
    As you know, we in Washington and in our country face 
unprecedented budgetary challenges. We have record deficits and 
a record national debt, and are making some very tough choices 
going forward about spending. What, in your view, are the 
principal goals of U.S. assistance in your country of 
appointment or in your area of intended work? And how can we 
report back to the people we represent that these investments 
make good sense for the United States, from a strategic 
perspective, a humanitarian perspective, a development 
perspective?
    And then if I could, just a subquestion: We just visited 
the West Africa Trade Hub in Ghana--2 days ago? I've lost track 
of time. And economic development and the potential of trade 
was an issue in all three countries. To what extent has your 
country of potential appointment taken advantage of AGOA? 
There's about to be another AGOA conference. And what more 
could we be doing to encourage trade and trade as a means 
towards development?
    So what impact do you believe our investment in U.S. 
assistance in your country of appointment may make? What role 
do you see development playing in that?
    If I might invite Ms. Pasi to begin and then the members of 
the committee, for the rest of my time.
    Ms. Pasi. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    As far as the budget is concerned, the money that we're 
spending in Djibouti on assistance is really very targeted on 
quality of life, life expectancy, and is being put to excellent 
use. The U.S. Government is leading the way in providing food 
assistance to rural areas in Djibouti. We feed about 40,000 or 
50,000 Djiboutians every day. The population is about 850,000 
people, so that's quite significant.
    Second, the life expectancy in Djibouti is very low, only 
about 56 years for women, 53 for men. And many of the projects 
that we're involved in through USAID focus on maternal health, 
child health.
    Also, interestingly, as I mentioned in my opening 
statement, Djibouti has an excellent port, and that port serves 
Ethiopia, primarily for food aid and other products that are 
headed to Ethiopia. Truck drivers who come from Ethiopia drive 
up a corridor toward the port, and that area has now become an 
area where HIV has become increasingly prevalent.
    So the money we receive, which is fairly limited, goes both 
to provide education to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, as well 
as to treat those who are affected. And Djibouti has the 
highest HIV-infection rate in the Horn, including the Arabian 
Peninsula.
    As far as AGOA and trade, Djibouti has very little in terms 
of agriculture, because of the lack of arable land. Where their 
economic strength actually lies, I think, is extending services 
through the port. The port is doing an excellent job, and the 
Government of Djibouti hopes to expand it.
    So our focus, in addition to democracy and governance, is 
on basic support for people to ensure they have a reasonable 
life, to try to assist them to get an education, and then to 
help them find employment in a country which has limited 
natural resources but has an extremely strategic location.
    Senator Coons. Thank you, Ms. Pasi.
    Mr. Koran.
    Mr. Koran. Thank you. Rwanda has an aid program of roughly 
$210 million for fiscal 2010. The bulk of that, by far, is in 
health, about $164 million. And there's been remarkable success 
in a number of areas. I think Dr. Pablos-Mendez could probably 
address it better than I could, but let me just give you one 
statistic, that from 2005 to 2008, the infant mortality rate 
was reduced from 86 to 62 per thousand live births, so that's a 
pretty dramatic and concrete effect of our assistance.
    The next big chunk of our assistance is in education. 
Rwanda has aspirations to move to middle-income status within a 
generation, and, to do that, they need an educated population. 
And both USAID but also Peace Corps are working in that area.
    Your question about the development of trade is 
particularly pertinent because Rwanda just recently has 
received substantial U.S. investment related to the export of 
coffee and tea by U.S. companies. And as I mentioned in my 
statement, there's a bilateral investment treaty pending before 
this committee--I believe there's actually going to be a 
hearing on it this afternoon--which would provide legal 
protections to United States companies and help foster greater 
United States investment in Rwanda. Thank you.
    Senator Coons. Thank you.
    Mr. Lukens.
    Mr. Lukens. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Most of the aid that 
goes from the United States to Senegal is focused on two areas: 
health and agricultural development.
    The $540 MCC compact is being spent to develop road 
networks and also irrigation in both the north and south of the 
country to enable Senegal to boost its agricultural production. 
Senegal currently imports 70 percent of its food needs, which 
is a higher level than any other country in sub-Saharan Africa, 
so a lot of our development assistance is aimed at helping them 
to become more self-sufficient in the area of food.
    The other part of our assistance falls under the health 
category. We have a very strong program there helping them 
combat malaria, and we have also developed health clinics to 
assist with prenatal and then mother and infant health care.
    On trade, there's not a lot of Senegalese trade coming to 
the United States. Where we have worked with the Senegalese 
Government--and if confirmed, I'll continue to work with them--
is to ensure that they develop trade policies that allow for 
transparency of trade and for businesses doing business there. 
That allows them to have a good sense of what the situation is 
there.
    Thank you.
    Dr. Pablos-Mendez. Thank you very much.
    The goal of the Global Health Bureau at USAID is to save 
lives, particularly the poor and most vulnerable people in the 
world, and to strengthening country-led health systems, both to 
contribute to a safer and more prosperous world.
    The Global Health Initiative, as a whole-of-government 
initiative, is indeed trying to find efficiencies across the 
many health programs in the U.S. Government through interagency 
collaboration, through procurement reforms and harmonization, 
through smart service integration, game-changing innovation 
such as eHealth-Rwanda's going to be a fantastic laboratory for 
eHealth in coming years--as well as a relentless pursuit of 
results through proper learning and evaluation.
    Senator Coons. Thank you, Doctor.
    Ms. Jackson.
    Ambassador Jackson. Thank you, Senator. The assistance 
programs in Malawi really need to stay the course in that very 
poor country.
    If our goal is a stable and democratic world, we need to 
stay the course in education and health, as a country that has 
better educated, healthy people is more likely to be democratic 
and treat its citizens with great respect.
    As with the other countries, our programs there are focused 
on health and education. I'm very excited about the Global 
Health Initiative, because it integrates all the different 
health programs and better uses resources.
    Our PEPFAR program has made an impact, and it has decreased 
the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, particularly in the group of ages 
15 through 26, which is a significant group. And the education 
has focused on girls.
    Malawi has exported a lot of goods through AGOA. It's 
anxious to do more. I intend, if confirmed, to work with them 
on their strategic plan to develop other ideas for exports, but 
also to encourage policies and actions that will encourage 
private investment, that will allow for that. The Millennium 
Challenge Corporation energy sector reform project will help a 
long way toward economic growth in Malawi.
    Senator Coons. Thank you, Ms. Jackson.
    Senator Isakson.
    Senator Isakson. Well, I'm going to follow the same line 
that the chairman started with, because the biggest challenge 
we're going to have as a committee is to be able to sustain 
United States investment in foreign assistance at a level where 
it makes sense and it makes a difference.
    Ms. Jackson made a statement in her opening statement about 
the importance of coordinating interagency roles in foreign 
countries, and I think coordination of that and the funding 
that funds those rules is a part of that program.
    And, Dr. Pablos-Mendez, you've been published a couple of 
times talking about the importance of integration of global 
health initiatives. You talk about coordination and you talk 
about integration; to me, that says you're looking at things in 
a global perspective and trying to prioritize the money that's 
spent, and make sure we don't have duplication or redundancy in 
terms of programs.
    So let me start by asking Ms. Jackson first, and then Dr. 
Pablos-Mendez, what have you done, such as your role in the 
Baghdad Embassy, or what you have done in terms of health, to 
maximize the return of invested dollars and find savings, or 
coordination of those dollars to increase the benefit to the 
people it's intended?
    Ambassador Jackson. Senator, thank you. There are two parts 
to that question: one is operations; one is programs. My 
expertise at this time is on administrative operations. And 
both in Malawi and in Embassy Iraq, and throughout the world, 
the State Department has integrated administrative services at 
embassies, and that has provided significant savings. 
Additionally, we have done a lot of off-shoring of 
administrative services that allows for fewer people to be at 
an embassy at any given location, and particularly in Baghdad.
    In terms of health, the Embassy in Malawi has already begun 
the process of integrating its programs, and I look forward to 
working with USAID, CDC, and Peace Corps in doing that. I think 
it has a lot of potential for making a bigger impact at the 
local level, and it's really at the local level that it is 
accountable.
    Thank you.
    Dr. Pablos-Mendez. Thank you. There are many specific 
opportunities that are taking place as we speak. Duplication 
and waste, certainly we don't want any of that. The portfolio 
review process that the Global Health Initiative is conducting 
is allowing us to see exactly who is doing what where, to make 
sure that we are maximizing the value of our dollars.
    When it comes to the integration, the smart integration of 
services, a couple of examples may be illustrative. In Mali, 
the distribution of vitamin A, as well as the fight against 
neglected tropical diseases, deworming parasites, intestinal 
worms, have been put together now. And this has allowed the 
Government of Mali to scale up nationally with the same 
resources that they were doing before in just a couple of 
districts.
    In Kenya, the integration of HIV/AIDS services with 
maternal-child services has also allowed the Government of 
Kenya, with the same resources invested by USAID, to scale up 
from three to eight provinces.
    So there are many opportunities in working with our mission 
staff to look exactly at how we can bring that about. It's not 
automatic. It has to be really put together, but I'm very, very 
confident of the resourcefulness we have seen already. And we 
would like to make this systematic throughout all of our 
investments.
    Senator Isakson. Well, I think the stewardship of the 
United States taxpayers' money, in terms of foreign assistance 
and foreign service, is going to be--not that we haven't been 
good stewards, but it's even more important now, given the 
difficult pressure on the budget, that we demonstrate how we 
are finding savings or efficiencies, and improving the return 
on our investments, such as Millennium Challenge.
    The second thing I'll talk about real quickly, for Mr. 
Lukens, Mr. Koran, and Ms. Pasi, after you get past that 
importance, the second biggest challenge for all of us is to 
get our arms around corruption in Africa and the importance of 
those governments to reduce corruption.
    Chairman Coons and I saw a demonstration. I'm not going to 
get into which country; all the countries we visited had ports, 
so that won't identify them. But we saw one country where you 
had to pass through 17 checkpoints to get from the port to the 
next country, and at each checkpoint, you had to pay somebody 
off to get to the next checkpoint.
    That type of situation is a great depressant, in terms of 
U.S. investment and, for that matter, European investment or 
any other investment in a foreign country. So I'd like to know 
from the three of you, to the extent that you're familiar with 
it or would want to work on it, what will you do to help raise 
the importance of reducing corruption in the countries you'll 
go to in Africa?
    Mr. Lukens.
    Mr. Lukens. Senator Isakson, thanks for that question.
    This is an issue that we follow very closely in Senegal, 
and I will just say that I think the MCC has been a very 
effective tool in raising the awareness of the local population 
on corruption issues.
    As you know, countries have to meet certain standards to 
qualify for MCC. And in the case of Senegal, those standards, 
their rankings on international lists has been slipping, and 
it's created a great deal of attention in Senegal because we 
hold them to these standards.
    The way that we run the MCC there, we run it through 
programs that require strict accountability and transparency 
and serve as a role model for government dealings in the rest 
of country. So it's certainly an issue that we're aware of and 
that we will continue to follow, and use MCC as an example to 
promote transparency and anticorruption efforts.
    Mr. Koran. Rwanda rates as generally one of the least 
corrupt countries in Africa. It ranks, as I mentioned, very 
high or very favorably on the transparency international index. 
As I mentioned, it's made dramatic improvement in the World 
Bank ease of doing business index.
    That said, obviously, it could do better, as any country 
could. And I think, if confirmed, some of the areas I would 
look at in particular are building strong institutions, 
fostering rule of law, and good governance.
    One area that I think is particularly interesting in Rwanda 
is USAID would like to do more programs through the government, 
provide the government money in order to build a road as 
opposed to directly contracting with it. And as part of this, 
USAID would work with the Rwandan Government to improve its 
government procurement system, so it meets international 
standards. Obviously, you can't run our tax dollars through the 
government if you're not confident that it'll be done correctly 
and with minimal or no corruption. And so this will be an 
interesting test case, I think one of the first in the world, 
that will be piloted in Rwanda.
    Senator Isakson. Thank you.
    Ms. Pasi.
    Ms. Pasi. Thank you, Senator Isakson.
    In a way, I feel that Djibouti has made a very positive 
step in the area of dealing with corruption by modernizing and 
improving the port and putting the port under management that 
is considered world-class. It's an excellent port.
    Of course, much remains to be done, and corruption 
continues to be an issue there. If confirmed, it would 
certainly be something I would follow closely.
    And another angle of looking at it, I think, would be 
coordinating with other donors. This gets back to the earlier 
question about how we're going to manage our limited funds to 
make sure that all the funds that are being given to Djibouti, 
whether by us or other partners, are being used efficiently and 
effectively. Thank you.
    Senator Isakson. Thank you.
    Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Coons. Thank you, Senator Isakson.
    I have a whole series of questions here now that are 
individual to your specific countries and roles, so please, if 
we could keep--I'll try to keep the questions short. If you can 
keep the answer short, that would be constructive as well.
    Ms. Pasi, if I could, if confirmed as Ambassador, what 
steps would you take to ensure better coordination with the 
commander at Camp Lemonnier, and what degree of oversight will 
your post, in particular, require, given you've got 3,000 DOD 
personnel on the ground.
    Ms. Pasi. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    There is already an excellent working relationship between 
the current Ambassador and the head of Camp Lemonnier, 
something I would plan to continue.
    The Horn of Africa contingent of CJTF-HOA has 
representatives all over East Africa in each of our embassies. 
So I would see my role, if confirmed as Ambassador, to 
coordinate on regional projects, since there bilateral 
coordination going at each embassy, and to make sure that we 
are working closely and collaboratively. That is going on now, 
and I would plan to continue it.
    Thank you.
    Senator Coons. In the most recent elections, I think they 
were in April, President Guelleh was elected for another term. 
But there were some real questions about whether those 
elections were really fair and open, given the arrest of 
opposition figures and the expulsion of some U.S.-funded 
monitors in the lead-up. What could you do, what could the post 
do, what can the Nation go, to more effectively advocate for 
democratic reform within the Guelleh administration or in 
partnership with them?
    Ms. Pasi. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    You're right that President Guelleh was elected with 80 
percent of the vote in April. The opposition figure received 20 
percent of the vote. That said, we're working toward and 
continue to use our limited funding for democracy and 
governance to create space for the opposition, to ensure a 
level playing field so that in the future, the opposition 
members will feel comfortable running, will have access to 
media. It's something that we continue to work on.
    The issue of democracy and governance is a top priority for 
us in Djibouti and we work closely with the Djiboutians.
    The government did invite Democracy International, a U.S. 
Government NGO, to leave over what they----
    Senator Coons. They invited them to leave or they told him 
to leave?
    Ms. Pasi. They told them to leave, yes.
    Senator Coons. Very diplomatic.
    Ms. Pasi. They told them to leave, because they explained 
that they were dissatisfied with the actions of a fairly junior 
member of Democracy International.
    We were, naturally, disappointed, but we were very pleased 
that Djibouti agreed to welcome any other U.S. NGO to work in 
Djibouti, and we're currently looking to find another NGO that 
would be able to continue the work.
    We view our involvement--it's going to take time in 
Djibouti. I think democracy is not made in a day, but it's 
certainly a top priority. Thank you, sir.
    Senator Coons. Thank you, Ms. Pasi.
    Mr. Koran, what's your assessment of the state of democracy 
in Rwanda? And do you consider the Rwandan Government tolerant 
of dissent? And what's your assessment of their elections? I 
think they were in August 2010.
    Mr. Koran. The elections were peaceful and orderly. But as 
the White House statement on the elections highlighted, there 
were a number of issues with the registration of political 
parties, arrests of journalists, arrests of political party 
leaders. So I think, if confirmed, one of my top priorities 
would be working with the Rwandan Government to ensure that 
both local and international NGOs and the media are allowed to 
operate freely.
    Senator Coons. There are also two last things, if I might. 
There was some leadership taken by Rwanda in the U.N. on some 
difficult issues around tolerance and orientation. How do you 
plan to encourage that? It's rare on that continent. And then 
last, the relationship with the DRC is very complex, as you 
referenced in your opening statement. And what do you see as 
the path forward in terms of strengthening Rwanda's role in 
stabilizing the DRC.
    Mr. Koran. Your first question, I think, refers to the 
Human Rights Council in Geneva discussions on LGBT rights.
    Senator Coons. That's right. That's correct.
    Mr. Koran. Rwanda has stood out on the continent to some as 
advocating a very tolerant position on that. And as far as I 
can tell in my research, there's no issue in Rwanda with LGBT 
rights. They're quite in contrast to some of their neighbors on 
that. I'm not sure what motivates it, but it's certainly a 
positive development.
    On the Congo, I think relations are probably better now 
than they have been any time in the last probably 17, 18 years. 
When I served in Rwanda before, it was occupying about a third 
of the Congo. As I mentioned in my statement, Rwanda and Congo 
have now reached a rapprochement, and they're working very well 
together to deal with common security threats in the eastern 
Congo.
    Senator Coons. Thank you.
    Mr. Lukens, thank you to you and your extended family, your 
wife and your father, for apparently two generations of service 
to our Nation.
    There have been some real concerns, as you mentioned, about 
the gradual erosion of good governance and transparency in 
Senegal. What are your assessments of these trends? And what 
would you do, if confirmed as Ambassador, in terms of advancing 
tolerance and the strength of democratic institutions in 
Senegal?
    Mr. Lukens. Thank you, sir.
    If confirmed, I'll continue to work with our agencies at 
post and with the Government of Senegal to encourage them to 
stay on the path that they really have been on for over 4 years 
of a moderate, democratic nation.
    There are elections, as you know, in February, coming up in 
February. While no candidates have officially declared yet, 
there are many testing the waters, and there's great 
expectation that President Wade will run again. There are 
currently 166 opposition parties in Senegal, so it's a very 
thriving democracy, but that poses its own challenges.
    So we will continue to work with the Government of Senegal, 
with civil society to ensure voter registration, and really 
work altogether to encourage free and transparent elections.
    Thank you.
    Senator Coons. I'll simply mention, as I wrap up and hand 
the microphone over to Senator Isakson, that in Nigeria, in 
particular, I was quite impressed with the chairman of their 
national electoral commission, and with the constructive role 
that SMS technology played in allowing a rapid vote tabulation 
that was then deemed an independent and fair way of evaluating 
the effectiveness of the voting process.
    We also saw a demonstration, I think it was Ghana, if I'm 
not mistaken, of SMS technology assisting smallholder farmers 
in getting access to information about market conditions and 
pricing. It's really striking what technology is doing for both 
economic development as well as democracy.
    I will continue with a few more questions, but I'll defer 
to Senator Isakson at this point.
    Senator Isakson. Mr. Koran, when I was in Rwanda a few 
years ago, I guess it was 2008, I was struck by the things that 
President Kagame did to take that nation from genocide to 
democracy and stability. One of the things that impressed me 
was, I believe I'm right, it's pronounced Umuganda Sunday. Are 
you familiar with what that is?
    Mr. Koran. It's a voluntary workday.
    Senator Isakson. Right, where you had one Sunday a month, 
they shut down the roads. They close everything and everybody 
works on community projects that they jointly decide are 
necessary.
    In fact, Senator Corker and I helped dig up a stump in a 
village somewhere in Rwanda. I still don't remember the name of 
the village today.
    But he did a lot of things to bring people together and get 
a sense of community. With that said, I read recently of some 
arrests of journalists, and difficulties in terms of opposition 
leaders and things of that nature, that are little inconsistent 
with the Rwanda that I saw when I was there. Is there any 
deterioration in terms of that, or were those just isolated 
instances?
    Mr. Koran. Well, certainly areas of concern, but, 
obviously, Rwanda, as you said, has come a long way since 1994. 
It's remarkable what they've done.
    I think President Kagame, in particular, has focused quite 
correctly on the economy, with the idea that if you can have a 
growing economy, opportunities for everybody, you're going to 
reduce these ethnic and political tensions. And Rwanda has been 
quite successful at that, enjoying real gross domestic product 
growth rates of 5 to 6 percent over the last 15 years.
    But there have been incidents in the past. I wouldn't say 
it's necessarily a trend getting worse, because you're seeing 
incidents happening on occasion, going back for 10 or 15 years. 
And it's obviously something we're concerned about.
    I think one of the issues which, if confirmed, I would hope 
to work with Rwanda on, or continue working, because I think 
the Embassy is doing quite a job on it already, are the laws 
against divisionism or genocide denial, which are somewhat 
ambiguous. And while I appreciate the logic behind the laws, 
their interpretation is sometimes vague and ambiguous and can 
at times be used to stifle legitimate political discourse.
    So I think it's a question of clarifying those laws, so 
that they address the very real issues of concern but without 
going beyond those issues.
    Senator Isakson. Mr. Chairman, I really don't have another 
question. If I have anything specific, I'll submit it for the 
record.
    But I do have a comment to make to each of you. Each of you 
has accepted a responsibility to go to a place few Americans 
will ever see, and many Americans have never even heard of, but 
are very important in terms of our country and the future of 
our country. So when you're on duty in a place that few people 
are paying attention to back home, remember that the chairman 
and I on this committee are a line of communication. If there's 
some way that we can help and support your effort, or get 
information to the attention of people higher than ourselves, 
we consider that part of our responsibility and hope you will 
keep in contact with our offices throughout your terms of 
service in each of the countries and, in your case, in terms of 
USAID.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Coons. Thank you, Senator.
    I just have one more question each for the remaining three, 
if I could, and then I think we'll conclude.
    I just want to associate myself with Senator Isakson's 
comments, in terms of our being available to you as a resource. 
I think it is very challenging service on which you embark. We 
noted, in our most recent trip, as I have in another trip I've 
taken as a Senator, just the critical role that Ambassadors 
play, and how difficult, at times, it can be to have clarity of 
direction, to have unity of effort, across many different 
agencies. And what a difference it makes when there is a well-
functioning and well-led Embassy.
    So I'm grateful for your service and appreciate your 
willingness to stay in touch with us, to the extent there are 
things that we need to be informed about.
    If I might, Mr. Lukens, I just wanted to also ask about 
Guinea-Bissau. I'm very concerned about what I read in the 
backgrounder about narco-trafficking and emerging criminality, 
and the real challenges at the very highest level of 
government, in terms of our engagement with them. And I'd be 
interested in how you see the challenge of the limitations of 
our engagement with Guinea-Bissau; how having an officer in the 
Portuguese Embassy is going to work; and then what sort of 
additional resources, training, skills you're going to need to 
reach out to from other agencies in order to be effective in 
this sort of malleable structure, where you're an Ambassador in 
Senegal, in charge of Senegal and so forth, but also 
responsible for our relations with a country that poses some 
real threats to our interests in the region and the world.
    Mr. Lukens. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I intend to fully 
engage on the issues to do with Guinea-Bissau and travel there 
frequently. As you mentioned, and as I mentioned in my 
statement, having a full-time State Department officer actually 
living and working in Guinea-Bissau will help us tremendously, 
as we try to learn more about the situation there and how we 
might better help the government there, and help us to identify 
factions within the government that we can trust, and work with 
them to solidify rule of law and antinarcotics trafficking 
efforts.
    The agreement we have is that the diplomat, our Foreign 
Service officer, will live and work out of the Portuguese 
Embassy. We also have leased office space there that is used 
for temporary visitors, and there's a continual flow of 
visitors from different government agencies that have a stake 
in the economic development and anticorruption efforts in 
Guinea-Bissau. So our officer there will be able to assist 
other agency temporary duty personnel as they come through. I 
think that'll give us much greater insight than we have had up 
until now into the key players in the government and the 
situation on the ground, and also help us to--quarterly visits 
by the U.S. Ambassador can help. But I think having someone 
there full time, really getting to know people in the 
government, will really help us to send a strong message of 
what our values and priorities are.
    Senator Coons. Thank you. Good luck on that very difficult 
mission. I look forward to hearing back from you about some of 
the challenges.
    Dr. Pablos-Mendez, as I referred to in the opening, the 
QDDR suggests that GHI should be transferred largely from State 
to AID. And this is, I think, in some ways may be a challenging 
undertaking. How do you assess USAID's ability to meet the 
benchmarks that are outlined in the QDDR and what do you think 
are the challenges in continuing this sort of dual role, where 
there is still oversight from State's Office of Global AIDS 
Coordinator and yet actual execution through USAID on the 
overwhelmingly majority of the actual funds and activity under 
PEPFAR, for one example?
    Dr. Pablos-Mendez. Thank you. As you point out, the QDDR 
already specifies a transition of the leadership of the Global 
Health Initiative to USAID. This is specified over a period of 
18 months to conclude in September 2012, after meeting a set of 
benchmarks, a set of 10 or so of them, including program 
reviews by areas, country plans, evaluation plans, and so on, 
that already crystallize the vision of GHI as a whole-of-
government integrated approach to global health.
    These exercises are being conducted already, and, indeed, 
half of them are already quite along the way. I feel very 
confident of the teams involved across the U.S. Government to 
crystallize these in the remainder of the time. During this 
transitional period, Secretary Clinton has appointed Lois Quam 
as executive director to facilitate the coordination in this 
transition period.
    If confirmed, this is one of my priorities. I know that 
this has created some confusion or lack of clarity, but 
there's, I think, an understanding among all the parties 
involved, all the agencies, to get there, and the sooner, the 
better. As a priority for USAID, if we can accelerate this 
process of benchmarks in the next 12 to 15 months, we will do 
so.
    The final determination, of course, is that of Secretary 
Clinton, and we will be working closely with the Secretary of 
State, in this regard. PEPFAR, itself, which is another whole-
of-government initiative that has been quite successful in the 
last 10 years or so, and a large percent of that already is 
implemented through USAID. To some extent, many of the major 
initiatives are already implemented through USAID across the 
U.S.