05.10.22

VIDEO: Peters Introduces Michigander Bridget Brink at Confirmation Hearing to be Next U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

At Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Peters Highlights Ambassador Brink’s Upbringing in Michigan, Extensive and Accomplished Career in U.S. Foreign Service

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today introduced Ambassador Bridget Brink before the Senator Foreign Relations Committee, as part of her confirmation hearing to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. Brink – a Michigan native who has spent her career in the U.S. Foreign Service and is currently U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia – was nominated by President Biden to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine in April.

“Ambassador Brink will be charged not just with supporting our Ukrainian partners in the immediate fight against the Russian invasion, but also in the recovery and rebuilding phases after,” said Peters, a former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “As someone who was working in U.S. Embassies during conflict in the Balkans, and in Tblisi after the Rose Revolution, Ambassador Brink knows what it takes. Her leadership is more vital than ever.”

“I am proud to recognize Ambassador Brink for her extraordinary professional achievements and to congratulate her on this opportunity to serve her country,” Peters continued. “Her success will be our country’s success and I can’t think of anybody more equipped for this position, and it’s why I encourage her swift confirmation.”

  

To watch video of Peters’ introductory remarks, click here.

Ambassador Bridget Brink – a Michigan native from East Grand Rapids – is a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service and currently serves as the U.S. Ambassador to the Slovakia. Prior to that, Brink served as Senior Advisor and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, responsible for issues related to Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. She also served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassies in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and Tbilisi, Georgia.

Brink began her twenty-five-year career in the Foreign Service in Belgrade, Serbia, and has since been focused on advancing U.S. policy in Europe and Eurasia. She was the Director for the Aegean and the South Caucasus at the National Security Council and served in the State Department as the Deputy Director for Southern European Affairs, Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, and Cyprus Desk Officer.

Brink is the recipient of numerous performance awards. She holds Master’s degrees in International Relations and Political Theory from the London School of Economics and Political Science, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Kenyon College.

Below is the text of Senator Peters’ remarks, as prepared for delivery:

“Thank you Chairman Menendez and Ranking Member Risch. It is my honor to introduce Ambassador Bridget Brink to the Committee.

“I also want to recognize Ambassador Brink’s family with her today – her husband Nick, who is also serving our country as a diplomat, and her two sons Jack and Cole. Like our servicemembers and their families, our diplomats do not serve alone. As every member of this Committee knows, their families often go unrecognized as our diplomats perform their crucial work in foreign lands thousands of miles from their country, so we thank them all for their service.

“Ambassador Brink was born and raised in East Grand Rapids and graduated from East Grand Rapids High School in Michigan. Growing up she remembers driving by a sign that proudly recognized her hometown as the home of President Gerald Ford. President Ford’s decency, integrity, and humility served as a marker for the Midwest values that Ambassador Brink lives by. And Ambassador Brink still keeps Michigan very close to her heart, visiting family in West Michigan every year. Although she’s lived all across the globe through her career, she will tell you that her favorite place in the entire world to visit is the shoreline of Lake Michigan.

“And that makes sense. As I have always said, the Great Lakes are more than a national treasure to Michiganders, they are ingrained in our DNA. Clearly the Great Lakes are in Ambassador Brink’s DNA as well.

“Now, Ambassador Brink will have an opportunity to uphold those Michigan values at a time of incredible upheaval in Ukraine. And I know Ambassador Brink is ready for the challenge.

“She is a seasoned diplomat who first joined the State Department in 1996 and has spent her career in places like Georgia, Serbia, Slovakia and Uzbekistan. Places where she learned the intricate dynamics that underpin much of the Post-Soviet order in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and where she learned early on how Russia chooses to treat its neighbors.

“Ambassador Brink will be charged not just with supporting our Ukrainian partners in the immediate fight against the Russian invasion, but also in the recovery and rebuilding phases after. As someone who was working in U.S. Embassies during the conflict in the Balkans, and in Tblisi after the Rose Revolution, Ambassador Brink knows what it takes. Her leadership is more vital than ever. And her service across five administrations is fitting tribute to the apolitical service to country that we expect from our civil servants.

“I am proud to recognize Ambassador Brink for her extraordinary professional achievements and to congratulate her on this opportunity to serve her country. Her success will be our country’s success and I can’t think of anybody more equipped for this position, and it’s why I encourage her swift confirmation. Thank you for this opportunity to introduce an absolutely extraordinary woman.”

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