President Biden Announces Key Nominees

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve as key leaders in his administration:

  • Ronald Keohane, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense
  • B. Bix Aliu, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Montenegro
  • Martina Anna Tkadlec Strong, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United Arab Emirates
  • Jeffrey Gedmin, Nominee for Member of the International Broadcasting Advisory Board, United States Agency for Global Media
  • Kathleen Matthews, Nominee for Member of the International Broadcasting Advisory Board, United States Agency for Global Media

Ronald Keohane, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense

Ronald T. Keohane, a native of Buffalo, NY, has been working with military personnel and families for over two decades. Keohane has previously served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy under the Obama Administration, as well as a lengthy career in the private sector working with wounded warrior and sexual harassment and assault prevention programs. Keohane also worked extensively with the National Guard on Drug Demand Reduction programs under the Clinton Administration. Keohane is a graduate of Canisius College and resides in the Northern Virginia area where he works as a Managing Partner of Blue Rose Consulting Group, Inc.

B. Bix Aliu, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Montenegro

B. Bix Aliu is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minster-Counselor. Aliu most recently served as Chargé d’affaires, ad interim of the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, Hungary. Before that, he was the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Poland and was Chargé d’affaires, ad interim throughout 2021. Previously, Aliu was the Consul General of the U.S. Consulate General in Krakow and was decorated with the Honoris Gratia Medal, the city’s highest honor, for his significant advancement of economic and cultural ties between the United States and Krakow. Aliu’s others other assignments include service as Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy, in Podgorica, Montenegro, Public Diplomacy Officer in Tirana, Albania, Deputy Orientation Coordinator at the Department of State’s National Foreign Affairs Training Center, and serving in Congress as a Pearson Congressional Fellow. Aliu holds a Medical Degree from the University of Pristina, Kosovo, and a Master of Strategic Studies Degree from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Aliu is the recipient of multiple performance awards from the Department of State and speaks Montenegrin, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian, and Albanian.

Martina Anna Tkadlec Strong, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United Arab Emirates

Martina Anna Tkadlec Strong is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor. She currently serves as Chargé d’affaires, ad interim of the U.S. Embassy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Previously she was the Deputy Chief of Mission and also Chargé d’affaires, ad interim at the U.S. Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, and before that, the Minister Counselor for Political and Political-Military Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. Strong also served as Counselor for Political-Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, and as Political Advisor to 34th ID and 1 ID, Multinational Division – South, Basrah, Iraq. Among her other assignments, she was the Deputy Counselor for Political-Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassies in Prague, Czech Republic, and in Bridgetown, Barbados. Earlier she served as Director for the G-8 on the National Security Council, Washington, D.C. Strong earned her B.A. degree from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, and her M.A. degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She speaks Arabic, Czech, Polish, French, German, Russian, and Bosnian.

Jeffrey Gedmin, Nominee for Member of the International Broadcasting Advisory Board, United States Agency for Global Media

Jeffrey Gedmin is co-founder of American Purpose, an online magazine, network, and policy forum dedicated to the defense of liberal democracy at home and abroad. Gedmin serves as CEO and Editor-in-Chief. He has served as President and CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (headquartered in Prague), the Aspen Institute Berlin, and the London-based Legatum Institute. Before posts in Europe, Gedmin spent a decade at American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, D.C. At AEI, he was a Resident Scholar and Executive Director of the New Atlantic Initiative.

Gedmin is the author of “The Hidden Hand: Gorbachev and the Collapse of East Germany” (1992). He served as Co-Executive Producer for two major PBS documentaries: “The Germans, Portrait of a New Nation” (1995), and “Spain’s 9/11 and the Challenge of Radical Islam in Europe” (2007). He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on several boards, including The Institute for State Effectiveness, the Justice for Journalists Foundation, the Paris-based Tocqueville Conversations, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Together with former U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Norm Eisen, Gedmin is Co-Chair of the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group hosted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Gedmin holds a B.A. in Music, a Masters in German Literature, and a Ph.D. from Georgetown University in German Area Studies. He is recipient of the Czech government’s Golden Linden Medal and has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Georgian State University in Tbilisi.

Kathleen Matthews, Nominee for Member of the International Broadcasting Advisory Board, United States Agency for Global Media

Kathleen Matthews is an award-winning broadcast news journalist, global communications executive, non-profit board member and Democratic Party activist, who has worked in the nation’s capital and the state of Maryland for nearly 50 years. Growing up in Los Altos, California, Matthews graduated with honors in Communications from Stanford University in 1975, and moved to Washington, D.C. to pursue a career in journalism.

For 30 years, she worked as a producer, reporter and news anchor for WJLA-TV, winning multiple Emmy Awards, the Edward R. Murrow and George Foster Peabody awards, and Washingtonian of the Year for her journalism and contributions to the local community. In 2006, she joined the senior executive team of Marriott International, based in Bethesda, Maryland, as Executive Vice President for Global Communications and Public Affairs. In that global role, she oversaw the company’s internal and corporate communications, brand public relations, and government affairs and social impact programs, including sustainability and diversity relations. In 2015, she left Marriott to run for Congress as a Democrat in an open seat for Maryland’s 8th congressional district, where she and her husband have lived for 30 years. Matthews was elected as Maryland Democratic Party Chair and served in that role for two years. She is active in her state and national party, serves on the boards of five non-profits, including the Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital, and Emerge, which recruits and trains Democratic women to run for public office. She and her husband, author and political commentator Chris Matthews, have 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren.