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: Russian Federation
CANDIDATE: John J. Sullivan
John J. Sullivan currently serves as the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, a position he has held since May 2017. He also served in April 2018 as the Acting Secretary of State. The Deputy Secretary served previously as the Deputy Secretary of Commerce and, earlier in his career, as the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Defense. In addition, Deputy Secretary Sullivan has two decades of experience in private law practice, including as a partner in Mayer Brown LLP, where he was co-chair of the firm’s national security practice. He was the Chairman of the U.S.–Iraq Business Dialogue, a government advisory committee on U.S. economic relations with Iraq. In his current position, Deputy Secretary Sullivan has been deeply engaged not only on global foreign policy issues, but also specifically on our policies with respect to the Russian Federation, including our bilateral relationship, as well as regional and global issues. Deputy Secretary Sullivan’s distinguished record as a leader and policy-maker speaks for itself and makes him an excellent candidate to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation.
Among other positions earlier in his career, Deputy Secretary Sullivan was a Partner in ConsulCapital LLP, a private equity firm. He served as the Deputy General Counsel for President George H.W. Bush’s presidential reelection campaign and, prior to that, as Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice. He was a law clerk for Associate Justice David H. Souter of the Supreme Court of the United States and for Judge John Minor Wisdom of the U.S Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Deputy Secretary Sullivan received his B.A. from Brown University and his J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and Book Reviews Editor of the Columbia Law Review. He is a recipient of the Secretary of Defense’s Medal for Exceptional Public Service and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award.