Philip T. Reeker

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Philip Reeker
Philip T. Reeker.jpg
Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
Assumed office
March 18, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byA. Wess Mitchell
5th United States Ambassador to Macedonia
In office
September 29, 2008 – July 15, 2011
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded byGillian Milovanovic
Succeeded byPaul D. Wohlers
Personal details
Born (1965-01-19) January 19, 1965 (age 54)
Pennsylvania, U.S.
EducationYale University (BA)
Thunderbird School of Global Management (MBA)

Philip Thomas Reeker (born January 19, 1965) is an American diplomat and career foreign service officer with the Department of State who currently serves as Acting Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, where he oversees a portfolio of 50 countries.[1] He previously served at U.S. European Command (EUCOM) in Stuttgart, Germany, and Foreign Policy Advisor Program (POLAD) from 2017 to May 31, 2019. [2] Reeker was also U.S. Consul General in Milan, Italy from September 5, 2014[3], Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs from 2011 through 2013[4], and as the ambassador to Macedonia from 2008 to 2011.

On Saturday, October 26, 2019 Reeker testified behind closed doors before several House Committees of US Congress in the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump and the Trump-Ukraine scandal. Investigators questioned the "high-ranking State Department official" regarding his knowledge of an apparent "shadow" foreign policy undertaking designed to pressure Ukraine for President Trump’s personal political benefit.[5][6] Reeker testified that he did not know about a quid pro quo, or the Trump administration's alleged efforts to pressure Ukraine to initiate or launch an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden until the public announcement of the whistleblower complaint.[7] However, Reeker said he was involved with the effort to put out an internal statement in support of Marie Yovanovitch, Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was ousted based on allegedly false allegations.[8][9]

Early life, education, and family[edit]

Born in Pennsylvania, Reeker grew up in multiple parts of the United States as well as in Australia. He received a BA from Yale University in 1986, and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management (now part of Arizona State University in Phoenix) in 1991. He is married to Solveig Johnson Reeker, who also is a member of the Foreign Service.

Career[edit]

A career foreign service officer, Reeker served as Assistant Information Officer in Budapest, Hungary from 1993 to 1996 and as the Public Affairs Officer in Skopje, Macedonia from 1997 to 1999. He was Director of Press Relations at the State Department from 1999 to 2000. Reeker was Deputy Spokesman and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Public Affairs from 2000-2003. He was recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy in 2003, and traveled domestically and internationally as the Spokesman at Large for the State Department, giving talks and interviews on U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy from 2003 to 2004. He was spokesman for Ambassador Christopher R. Hill and for the Rambouillet Process (Kosovo peace talks).From June 2007 until June 2008, Reeker served at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq as the Counselor to the Ambassador for Public Affairs. He was the Deputy Chief of Mission in Budapest, Hungary from 2004 to 2007 and arrived in Baghdad June 7, 2007 to serve as the Counselor to the Ambassador for Public Affairs.[10]

Reeker was nominated by President George W. Bush to become U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia. He was confirmed by the Senate at served in this role from 2008 to 2011. Thereafter Reeker served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs focused on the Balkans, Central Europe, and Holocaust Issues from 2011 until 2013. In September 2014 he became the U.S. Consul General in Milan, Italy. In November 2017 Reeker assumed responsibilities as the USEUCOM Civilian Deputy and POLAD before becoming Acting Assistant Secretary of European and Eurasian Affairs. [11] In that role he quickly became concerned about the Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, who appeared to be the subject of an unfounded smear campaign. In an email to Ulrich Brechbuhl, the State Department counselor and confidant of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Reeker described the smear as a "fake narrative" that was "really ... without merit or validation" and on other occasions forwarded to Brechbuhl information State Department officials gathered to counter the allegations. President Donald Trump nevertheless removed her prematurely from her post and referred to her as "bad news" in a conversation with the Ukrainian president.[12]

Honors and awards[edit]

In 2013 Reeker was awarded both the Robert C. Frasure Memorial Award for “his commitment to peace and the alleviation of human suffering caused by war or civil injustice” in the Balkans and the National Albanian American Council's “Hands of Hope Award.” He received the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy in 2003, and several State Department Superior Honor Awards.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "U.S. Diplomat: State Department Nixed Plan To Support Former Ambassador To Ukraine". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  2. ^ "Philip T. Reeker". United States Department of State. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-20. Retrieved 2015-09-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ United States Department of State
  5. ^ The New York Times, "Official Who Defended Ukraine Envoy Is Testifying in Impeachment Inquiry" October 26, 2019 [1]
  6. ^ Andrews, Andrew Duehren and Natalie. "More Ukraine Witnesses Set to Testify in Impeachment Probe This Week". WSJ. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  7. ^ CNN, Kylie Atwood and Jeremy Herb. "State Department official testifies he didn't know about push for Ukraine investigations". CNN. Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  8. ^ Salama, Vivian. "State Department's Philip Reeker Testifies Top Officials Blocked Show of Support for Ousted Ambassador". WSJ. Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  9. ^ "U.S. Diplomat: State Department Nixed Plan To Support Former Ambassador To Ukraine". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  10. ^ The White House, George W Bush archives, "Phillip T Reeker," accessed Oct 26, 2019 [2]
  11. ^ U.S. Department of State, "Philip T. Reeker" bio accessed Oct 26, 2019 [3]
  12. ^ CBS News, "State Department official appears under subpoena as part of impeachment probe" Oct 26, 2019 [4]
  13. ^ U.S. Department of State, "Philip T. Reeker" bio accessed Oct 26, 2019 [5]

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Gillian Milovanovic
United States Ambassador to Macedonia
2008–2011
Succeeded by
Paul D. Wohlers