Announcing the Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs

On June 24, 2015, President Obama approved Presidential Policy Directive 30, U.S. Nationals Taken Hostage Abroad and Personnel Recovery Efforts, and signed an Executive Order on the recovery of U.S. hostages taken abroad. These steps directed key organizational changes to ensure that the U.S. Government is doing all it can to safely recover Americans taken hostage overseas and is responsive to the needs of their families. Among the changes the President announced was the need to enhance our focus on diplomatic efforts to ensure the safe return of American hostages to their families.

In signing the Executive Order, the President outlined our whole of government approach to hostage recovery and announced that a new Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs would engage at the highest levels of foreign governments to secure the safe return of U.S. hostages. Today, the President has appointed Jim O’Brien to serve as the first Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs. In this role, Mr. O’Brien will report to the Secretary of State and will work closely with the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell also established under the Executive Order and the rest of the U.S. Government to synchronize diplomatic efforts in support of comprehensive strategies to bring home American hostages. He will also work directly with the families of hostages as part of the U.S. Government team dedicated to securing the safe return of their loved ones.

Mr. O’Brien is uniquely qualified to serve in this position given his extensive background in diplomacy and international negotiations.  He brings years of diplomatic experience having served as the Special Presidential Envoy for the Balkans, Senior Advisor to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and Principal Deputy Director of Policy Planning at the Department of State. As Secretary of State John Kerry has said, “Jim is exactly the right person for a job that demands a high level of diplomatic experience and the ability to analyze and find effective remedies to complex problems.”

The appointment of Jim O’Brien is an important milestone in the President’s enhancements of the United States’ response to hostage events and to implement the findings and recommendations of the review ordered by the President.

Lisa Monaco is the President’s Advisor on Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.


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Fiorina: Hillary’s Defense of Planned Parenthood Is the Real ‘Extreme’ Position

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Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina slammed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for comparing Republicans to terrorists on Friday’s “America’s Newsroom” on the Fox News Channel. Fiorina began by stating that by criticizing CNN’s debate criteria, accusing the network of “putting their thumb on the scale.” She also argued the network “could do more polls” and “take more polling data.” Fiorina then reacted to Clinton’s comparison between Republicans and terrorists, “it’s outrageous. I mean, it’s an outrageous statement, and she will be called on it. But it’s also typical. It’s typical of Hillary Clinton. Frankly, it’s typical of Democrats. I mean, remember President Obama’s compared anyone who opposed his Iranian deal, a terrible deal, to the hardliners in Iran chanting ‘Death to America.’ This is typical. And what it tells us is that Hillary Clinton has no a qualms about continuing to try and wage this supposed war on women card as she
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Hillary To FNC Reporter: I Think You’re Only ‘Entitled To’ One Question

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told Fox News Channel Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry she thought he was “entitled to” ask only one question at a press conference at Friday. Henry asked, “Secretary Clinton, I wonder if you could answer a couple of questions. One would be, were you aware that — thank you. Were you aware that your husband wanted to give paid speeches to oppressive regimes like North Korea? Do you have any comment on these new emails that have raised questions about conflicts of interest involving your aide Huma Abedin. And finally, I wonder, if — you said there’s nothing unique about this situation. You’ve said that before. Can you name one other cabinet secretary who had their own server?” Hillary answered, “Well, let me answer one of your questions because I think that’s what you are entitled to.” She continued, “And the first question that you
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Why the Media Supports Hillary’s Constitutional Rewrite and Hates Trump’s

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In a highly partisan and divisive speech before the Democrat National Committee Friday, Democrat presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton promised to do something that should sound familiar to anyone who has been watching the presidential race lately: she promised to amend the Constitution. This isn’t the first time she has made this pledge. It has been a theme throughout her campaign. Unless you have been living under a rock for the last month, you know that when Republican frontrunner Donald Trump suggested that the 14th Amendment might need to be changed or challenged to stop the abuse of birthright citizenship (that costs taxpayers a fortune) the result was apoplexy from our unbiased, objective mainstream media. Legions of editorials, front page opinion pieces-disguised-as-analysis, and cable news segments were devoted to shrill attacks against Trump and those in the GOP who agree with him. For two weeks the media labeled them fools, liars,
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