President Obama and his staffers are trying to fill empty ambassador slots in more than 30 countries through-out the world as Costa Rica awaits the appointment of Stafford Fitzgerald Haney. Haney was nominated for the position in July, but it doesn’t appear that he will take that spot for some time.
As a result of the ongoing bipartisan feuding of Washington, Costa Rica and other countries including Afghanistan, Turkey and Sierra Leone are lacking the candidates nominated for their position by Obama earlier in the year. Haney was selected for the position of ambassador to Costa Rica where he would be welcomed in July of 2014. Since his presidential appointment he has remained in a state of political purgatory as the slow moving Senate Foreign Relations Committee defers its confirmation to later and later dates.
As an average, nominees for the position of US ambassador have been waiting around 258 days since their appointments. As Costa Rica looks forward to the arrival of Mr. Haney, the US government is hopeful that the Foreign Relations Committee will fill these positions before the year is out. Costa Rica is also hopeful that its US embassy will have a new ambassador in that time as it has been without an ambassador for nearly 6 months.
The Costa Rica appointee Haney is a career diplomat, and would look forward to the opportunity to work in a growing economy. He has served in offices in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Brazil and Israel. He is a Judaic convert and speaks Spanish, Portuguese and Hebrew along with his first language of English. Haney graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a master’s degree in business and diplomacy. Currently, he administrates Pzena Investment Management where the company is based in New York.
Although Haney’s credentials and experience in Latin American commerce make him an outstanding candidate for the US embassy in Costa Rica, he might find himself at the bottom of the docket as other nominations seemingly take precedence in the Senate’s debate. More than a dozen countries have political appointees that are nominated for ambassadorships but not confirmed along with Costa Rica. Countries including Argentina, Finland, Hungary, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden are currently facing a similar situation as in Costa Rica.
The apparent reticence of the Senate makes it seem that the United States doesn’t care to fill positions where the US ambassadorships remain vacant such as the one in Costa Rica. This inactivity may stem from the Republican Parties desire to act as a filibuster to the actions of President Obama who has appointed more career diplomats and ambassadors than former presidents aside from Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. The Republican Party has been accused of acting in direct conflict to the edicts of President Obama on multiple occasions including the Obama initiated Affordable Care Act.
Costa Rica will have to remain patient as the political in-fighting ensues. The appointment of more liberal diplomats and ambassadors works against the Republican agenda, and won’t come without some difficulties in a majority Republican controlled congress.