REPORT FOR THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
UNITED STATES SENATE
SUBJECT: Ambassadorial Nomination: Certificate of Demonstrated Competence — Foreign Service Act, Section 304(a)(4)
POST: Republic of Botswana
CANDIDATE: Howard A. Van Vranken
Howard A. Van Vranken, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as Executive Director and Deputy Executive Secretary, Executive Secretariat, Department of State Washington, D.C. Previously, he was Executive Director and Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs and Deputy Executive Director, Executive Office, Bureaus of Near Eastern Affairs and South and Central Asian Affairs, of the State Department. Earlier, Mr. Van Vranken was Management Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Rabat, Morocco, and, prior to that, was a Deputy Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy, Baghdad, Iraq. His demonstrated leadership skills, his extensive management experience, and the policy and operational acumen developed over 30 years of service and in three different geographic bureaus make him well-qualified to serve as American Ambassador to Botswana.
Among his other assignments, Mr. Van Vranken was an Una Cox Chapman Fellow, served in Israel as Acting Political Counselor and as Management Officer in Jerusalem and as the Human Resource Officer at the Embassy in Tel Aviv. He was also the leader of a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Babil Province, Iraq. Earlier postings include assignments in Norway, Yemen, Lebanon, Tunisia, Ireland and the United Kingdom. In Washington he worked as an Administrative Officer in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and as a Watch Officer in the State Department Operations Center.
Mr. Van Vranken earned his B.A. degree from the University of California, Davis and his M.A. from Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, He speaks Arabic, Farsi, and Norwegian. He is the recipient of multiple State Department performance awards as well as the Presidential Distinguished Service Award.