New U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar arrives in Baku

On August 28th a newly appointed ambassador of the United States to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar arrived in Baku, press service of the US embassy told AzerTAc Tuesday.
The oath ceremony of appointed U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar was held on July 20, the U.S. State Department reported.
After oath Richard Morningstar had a meeting with Head of State Department Hillary Clinton.
The USA Senate confirmed his nomination for the post of ambassador to Azerbaijan on July 30.
The Senate Committee on international relations approved the decision of President Barack Obama to nominate Richard L. Morningstar to be the next ambassador to Baku in April.
The United States has not had an ambassador in Baku since the departure of Matthew J. Bryza in December 2011.
U.S. President Barack Obama appointed a career diplomat, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew Bryza as ambassador to Azerbaijan bypassing the Senate on Dec.29, 2010, which a few months blocked his nomination under pressure of pro-Armenian senators Barbara Boxer and Robert Menendez.
At a hearing of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the U.S. Senate in June, Morningstar stressed that in the case of the appointment he will work closely with the OSCE Minsk Group, and Azerbaijani government for the peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Born in Newton, Massachusetts, in 1945, Morningstar earned a BA at Harvard in 1967 and a JD from Stanford Law School in 1970. He began his career in 1970 as an attorney with Nixon and Peabody in Boston, where he became a partner in 1977. He left the firm in 1981 to become President and CEO of Costar Corporation, adding the title of chairman of the Board from 1990 to 1993. Morningstar also served as a commissioner of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws from 1989 to 1993.
Leaving the private sector after the election of President Bill Clinton, Morningstar served as senior vice president of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation from 1993 to 1995. From 1995 to 1998, he served as special advisor to the president and secretary of state on Assistance to the New Independent States of the Former Soviet Union. From 1998 to 1999, he was special advisor to the President and the secretary of state for Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy.
From 1999 to September 2001, Morningstar served as U.S. ambassador to the European Union. During his service from 1995 to 2001, his major achievement was to push through the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, which became operational in July 2006. The stated commercial purpose of this 1,100-mile-long pipeline is to carry Caspian Sea (Azerbaijani) oil to world markets via a sea terminal on Turkey's Mediterranean Coast.
Back in the private sector after the election of George W. Bush in 2000, Morningstar was a senior director for Stonebridge International LLC starting in October 2001, and taught courses at Stanford Law School from 2004 to 2009 and at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government from 2003 to 2009. In April 2009, he returned to government as the secretary of state's special envoy for Eurasian Energy. He is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
A longtime Democrat, Morningstar is married to Faith Pierce Morningstar; they have two sons and two daughters.



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