4

Tauscher named to help lead new international policy think-tank

Former East Bay Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher has been named to the Atlantic Council, an international affairs think-tank, as the vice president of its new Scowcroft Center on International Security.

Tauscher recently announced her resignation as under secretary of arms control and international security under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying she wanted time to pursue other projects including advocacy for cancer patients. The former Alamo resident was named to the high-ranking post in mid-2009 after serving 13 years in Congress. She successfully battled esophageal cancer in 2011.

Tauscher will continue to consult the State Department on Russian-U.S. negotiations.

At the Scowcroft Center, Tauscher will join friend and colleague, retired Gen. James Jones, also a former national security advisor to President Barack Obama.

Here’s what she told Politico.com for its playbook: TAUSCHER, who won a tough battle with esophageal cancer last year , told us she’ll remain in Washington and continue her cancer advocacy work: “The worst thing anybody can do when you get the tough news that you’ve got cancer is to actually go to the Internet, because it will blow your mind and it will scare you to death … So, for you and your family, it’s important to have a source of good information, serious and sober information … I want to … also advocate for earlier endoscopes … [L]ike Katie Couric talks about colon cancer, this is something not to scare people but to raise awareness … [T]he scary thing isn’t want somebody tells you; it’s what you don’t know. Early treatment is still the best cure for any kind of cancer.”

Click through to read the Atlantic Council’s press release and Tauscher’s email to family, friends and colleagues.
Continue Reading

9

Santa visits Tauscher early

Tauscher

Tauscher

Christmas has come a little early for former East Bay Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, now Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security in the U.S. State Department.

The U.S. Senate today in a vote of 71 to 26 ratified a new arms control treaty with Russia that will cap nuclear warheads and restart on-site weapons inspections. As the undersecretary over arms control who reports directly to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Tauscher played a key role in the treaty negotiations.

And earlier today, President Barack Obama signed legislation that ends a ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the U.S. military. Tauscher was the original cosponsor of the bill; she turned it over to Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa., before she left Congress in 2009 for her new job.

Tauscher cannot, in her new position, comment on the military legislation she wrote, but sources say Murphy called her Saturday, and in a touching conversation, told the former legislator that the bill “wouldn’t have happened without her.”

Tauscher is under no such prohibition on the subject of the START treaty, although she made her statement as she recovers from esophageal cancer surgery performed earlier this month.

“I want to congratulate the United States Senate for providing its advice and consent to ratification of the new START Treaty,” she said in a statement issued by her office. “I want to commend the senators from both parties who worked to achieve this positive outcome for our country.”

She added, “The new START Treaty is another step that will help move the United States and Russia toward a world of mutual assured stability. This treaty will enhance cooperation with Russia and reinforce the global nuclear nonproliferation regime.”

Tauscher went on to praise a variety of leaders, saying  “The leadership of President (Barack) Obama, Vice President (Joe) Biden, Secretary (of State Hillary) Clinton, Secretary (Robert) Gates, Admiral (Mike) Mullen, and the Director of National Intelligence were indispensable. Once again, I want to thank the Senate for putting U.S. security first and voting for the new START Treaty.”

14

Tauscher to sit on cyber security board

Tauscher

Tauscher

Former East Bay Rep. Ellen Tauscher, now the Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security in the State Department, will serve on a board charged with addressing cyber security such as the disclosure of thousands of U.S. secret documents on Wikileaks, according to a national security blog.

State Department Creates Cyber Coordinator Post

Plan for New Position in Works Year Before WikiLeaks Breach

December 16, 2010 – Eric Chabrow, Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity.com

A newly created State Department Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues, unveiled in a 242-page report issued Wednesday, is charged with uniting different parts of the department working on cyber matters to more effectively advance America’s cybersecurity interests …

The coordinator will be in the Office of the Secretary, will report to Clinton, and will be guided by a cyber advisory council, chaired by Deputy Secretary James Steinberg and including Robert D. Hormats, undersecretary for economic growth, energy and the environment; Ellen Tauscher, undersecretary for arms control and international security; and Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary for management. Other senior department officials will be consulted as appropriate.

Tauscher’s name has come up in a few stories overseas and in the U.S. about the contents of secret diplomatic documents posted by Wikileaks, including these entries at the The Guardian, Salon.com, the Jerusalem Post and the Los Angeles Times.

3

Tauscher diagnosed with esophageal cancer

Ellen Tausher

Ellen Tausher

UPDATE: Those who wish to send a card or note may use this address: Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington DC 20520

Former Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, a top arms control official in President Obama administration who represented the East Bay for 14  years, has been diagnosed with early stage cancer of the esophagus, according to ForeignPolicy.com.

ForeignPolicy.com published this morning a memo that Tauscher sent to her staff last week:

“I had not been feeling well for several weeks. Fortunately, instead of sending me home with some medicine, my doctors did test after test to figure out what was wrong,” she wrote in a July 21 memo to all the members of her “T” bureau. “Nothing is certain, but the prognosis is good.”

Tauscher, the former California congresswoman who has been leading the State Department’s nonproliferation and arms-control efforts, has been working non-stop since her appointment last year, including several trips to Russia and Eastern Europe. She’s been at the center of the administration’s efforts to revamp plans for missile-defense deployment abroad and negotiate Obama’s new strategic arms treaty with Russia.

A close friend of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she’s been given credit for restaffing, reorganizing, and revamping the arms-control bureau at State, which Obama administration officials say was neglected during the George W. Bush administration.

Tauscher started an aggressive treatment regiment, which will include surgery. She’ll continue on in her duties, albeit with a scaled-back travel schedule, with the goal being a full recovery by early next year.

The Web site contains a copy of her full memo to her staff.

My prayers go out to Tauscher for a full and speedy recovery.

UPDATE 7/28/10: Tauscher friend David Bowlby sent this comment over this morning:

“Ellen has been a very special, dear friend for many, many years. She truly is a strong, resilient and remarkable person. I know her loving husband, daughter, parents, siblings and her huge, deep circle of friends and colleagues will provide her with love, encouragement and support.”


1

In a twofer, Tauscher takes oath of marriage and office

Former Rep. Ellen Tauscher

Former Rep. Ellen Tauscher

Former Rep. Ellen Tauscher and retired airline pilot Jim Cieslak, the man she introduces as the “love of my life,” married Saturday evening in the backyard of the bride’s Washington, D.C., home, in the company of 120 friends and family.

Moments after the bride and groom said their “I do’s” and kissed, Federal District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle announced a surprise second act.

Tauscher’s 18-year-old daughter, Katherine, held a bible while her mother was sworn in as the new undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security in the U.S. State Department.

The ceremony was held under a large, air-conditioned tent in the backyard of Tauscher’s Kalorama neighborhood home near the city’s famed Embassy Row. Guests then strolled across the street for a steak dinner in the garden of the Woodrow Wilson House before returning to the big tent for drinks and DJ music.

Tauscher, 57, is well-known in Washington as a skillful and gracious hostess and her wedding was no exception. The food was good and plentiful and the atmosphere festive, they said.

Among the best moments, they said, were the “emotional” and “pitch-perfect” toasts from Katherine and Kelly, Jim’s daughter, to their parents.

Among the guests were Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who spoke during the ceremony, as well as General Jim Jones, President Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor and Tauscher’s close friend. Others in attendance were Reps. Joe Crowley, Jane Harman, Diana DeGette, Steny Hoyer and Carolyn McCarthy.

A number of folks from Tauscher’s East Bay district also made the trip out to witness the nuptuals, including her former staffer David Bowlby of Alamo and longtime campaign consultants Lisa Tucker and Katie Merrill.

The couple is honeymooning this week in Burmuda.

As a side note, one can only imagine the behind-the-scenes logistics in the days leading up to the wedding and swearing-in ceremony.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Tauscher’s nomination late last Thursday after a Utah GOP senator was persuaded to lift his hold on her name. Then Tauscher stayed on in the House Friday where Speaker Nancy Pelosi tapped Tauscher to lead the lengthy and contentious debate over the climate bill.

Tauscher cast an “aye” vote on the climate bill late Friday and was finally free to resign from Congress and focus on her wedding day.

Let no one say that Ellen Tauscher Cieslak lacks multi-tasking skills.