UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 WELLINGTON 000055
FSINFATC FOR SPAS/POL - BILL INGRAM AND HAITHAM AL-MUSSAWI
DEPT FOR EAP/ANP - DAN RICCI
E.O. 12985: N/A
TAGS: AFSI AFSN PGOV PREL NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND NOMINATION FOR FSN POLITICAL
TRAINING COURSE, APRIL 3 - 14, 2006
REF: (A) STATE 02153; (B) 05 WELLINGTON 549
Â¶1. Embassy Wellington submits the following nomination
for the FSN Staff Political Training Course to be held in
Washington from April 3 - 14, 2006.
Â¶2. Name: Craig Brian Greaves
Grade: 9 Step 2.
Length of Service: Start date - May 16, 2005.
English language ability: level 4 (native speaker).
Time spent in the U.S.:
November 1998: Washington DC. Purpose: Brief period
before travelling to Bosnia to work for a DC-based
research and polling firm (Greenberg Research Inc).
December 1998 - March 1999: Washington DC. Purpose:
Internship with lobbying firm.
February 2000: San Francisco. Purpose: One week
Previous training in the U.S.: None.
Previous nomination for political training course: July
Craig Greaves has demonstrated exceptional talent and
skills as a Locally Employed Staff member (LES) who covers
political issues for Embassy Wellington's Political-
Economic Section. Craig reported on New Zealand's
political parties and leaders in advance of national
elections on September 17, 2005, as well as on the four
weeks of complex negotiations that followed, leading to
the formation of a coalition government. Having worked
previously in the New Zealand Parliament, he has provided
us with invaluable insights into the government and access
to leading decision makers. He has helped advise and
support our new Ambassador. He has served as the control
officer for a visit by a Congressional staff delegation.
Craig has exceeded expectations for an incoming LES and is
expected to deliver bigger dividends to the Embassy's
mission in the years to come.
Political training would build upon Craig's considerable
skills by refining his drafting and interviewing
techniques -- essential to doing his job. In particular,
training would help Craig understand the needs of U.S.
government policymakers and would allow him to make
informed choices on what political developments in New
Zealand should be reported to Washington. While U.S.-New
Zealand relations are good overall, the two governments
differ on many issues of concern to the United States.
Meeting with the desk officer and other U.S. government
representatives would give Craig a broader understanding
of the U.S. perspective on such issues.
We also expect Craig will widen his contact with key New
Zealand decision makers, and training would help him
better represent U.S. policy here.
Training would help Craig fill a gap in Embassy
Wellington's reporting capabilities. Our reporting load
has increased significantly with the elimination of SEP.
We increasingly are relying on Craig to produce our
political reports. In fact, Craig's position was created
in recognition of the increased burden on the three-
officer Political-Economic Section. While an FTE has been
approved for a new mid-level officer for the section, we
plan to drop this request, given our good fortune of
hiring Craig. Craig is the first Embassy LES to perform
this extensive reporting role, and no Wellington LES has
ever taken this training course. Craig is hard working, a
fast study and unfailingly considerate. We think he would
be a great asset to the class. He works closely with
other LES who support the Ambassador and our Public
Affairs Section: For example, he collaborated with our
Public Affairs LES in fashioning our response to negative
reports in the New Zealand media and in writing a speech
for the Ambassador. We know that he would share with them
the knowledge and skills gained from this training.
In quick fashion, Craig has become an indispensable part
of Embassy Wellington's Political-Economic Section. The
Ambassador and the DCM strongly support his nomination and
firmly believe Craig's immediate participation in this
course will significantly advance the Mission's