On July 11, 2019 members of the Friends of Slovakia (FOS) Executive Committee met with Ambassador Brink at the State Department in Washington DC to get acquainted and discuss her plans for the new post. The White House announced in March 2019 that President Trump had nominated Bridget Brink, a career foreign service diplomat, to serve as the next ambassador to Slovakia. Confirmed by the Senate on May 23 by voice vote, she will replace Adam Sterling, another career diplomat, who has served in Bratislava since 2016.
Brink is a highly distinguished diplomat who has represented the U.S. in a number of countries, including Georgia, Uzbekistan, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. She also had an important policymaking role in Washington DC serving as a deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. Ambassador Brink is originally from Michigan and holds two masters’ degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
At her nomination hearing on May 16 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee she outlined her priorities as the future ambassador to Slovakia. First, she would reinforce the U.S. defense partnership with Slovakia. As a member of NATO, Slovakia contributes to NATO missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Latvia, has been upgrading its NATO-interoperable equipment, including its recent purchase of 14 U.S.-made F-16s, and is on track to meet it 2-percent of GDP defense spending commitment. She would also encourage increased energy security for Slovakia and its region. Second, Brink would promote increased trade and investment opportunities, including opportunities for U.S. firms to export to and invest in Slovakia, and also for Slovak firms to invest in the U.S. Third, she would prioritize our shared values, including strengthening democratic institutions and rule of law as well as greater accountability and transparency in government.
The hearing was chaired by Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and other senators who participated in the hearing were Ranking Member Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tom Udall (D-NM). Brink’s full statement and a video of the hearing are available on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee website: https://www.foreign.senate.gov/hearings/nominations-051619