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Biden appoints ‘amateur diplomats’ to important roles, former Obama official warns

"It’s really shocking that Biden has put forward so many with so little diplomatic experience," the former Obama official said.

Published: January 20, 2022 6:46pm

Updated: January 20, 2022 7:07pm

President Joe Biden is appointing "‘amateur diplomats" for important positions across the world at a time when America cannot afford to make mistakes, warned Brett Bruen, a former U.S. diplomat and White House Global Engagement Director under President Barack Obama.

Bruen's comments come shortly after Biden nominated wealthy Democratic donor Jane Hartley for U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Nearly 29 percent of Biden's nominees for ambassadorial positions raised at least $100,000 for the president's campaign, The Washington Post reports. Bruen said that the past year has been "dispiriting" for American diplomats. "There is a real danger that many may soon quit, leaving huge gaps across our national security structure," he said.

"It’s really shocking that Biden has put forward so many with so little diplomatic experience," Bruen told The Guardian. "In the past, when Hartley served, the stakes were not so high for an ambassador. But, now with the very credibility of our country on the line, with the confidence in our leadership at historic lows, we cannot be sending amateur diplomats abroad."

Hartley served as ambassador to France and Monoco under President Obama. 

Bruen described the U.K.-U.S. relationship as "essential… for restoring America’s credibility and influence across the globe. We need someone with exceptional skills and decades of experience," he told The Telegraph after Hartley was appointed to the position of U.K. ambassador.

"If we make one mistake in London, it will reverberate around the world," Bruen warned.

Biden picked Hartley for the esteemed diplomatic role after at least two other candidates declined, including former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (D), CNN reports.

"Our position in the world has weakened significantly and we no longer have the luxury of sending amateur diplomats abroad," he told The Telegraph.

The United States has been under intense scrutiny on the global stage, especially over the past year following Biden's disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Biden administration is facing a new challenge as Russia appears to be preparing to invade Ukraine.

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