The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing “to examine the nominations of David Bruce Shear, of New York, to be Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (my italics), and Kurt Walter Tong, of Maryland, for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as United States Senior Official for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum, both of the Department of State,” will take place at 14.15 on Thursday, 7 April 2011 at the 419 Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. with Senator James Webb presiding.
This is one reason why Ambassador Shear’s name does not appear on the agenda of the 4th Education Conference on 9 April in Hanoi. He is expected to arrive in Vietnam in May or June.
In addition to the perennial issues raised with nominees for Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (i.e., trade, human rights, political reform, economic governance, war legacies, etc.), education is sure to be high on the list. In fact, former Ambassador Michael Michalak, the self-described “Education Ambassador” who left Vietnam in mid-February, noted at his farewell press conference a month earlier that he had spoken with David Shear and “I know that education is his priority.”