State Journal-Register

Senate confirms former Springfield resident as ambassador to Yemen 


WASHINGTON - Edmund J. Hull won confirmation as ambassador to Yemen Friday as the Senate wrapped up business to begin its August recess.

Hull, 52, who grew up in Springfield, began a two-week vacation Wednesday and was unavailable to react to Senate approval of his nomination.

He was one of 58 nominees approved by voice vote.

His new job will put him in one of the more dangerous nations in the world. Seventeen American soldiers were killed last October when a terrorist bomb blew a hole in the USS Cole while it was docked in a Yemeni port.

Since then, the State Department has closed the U.S. Embassy in Yemen to the public and warned Americans not to travel to the nation, one of the poorest in the Middle East.

Hull is "very capable, very experienced, dedicated and knows the Arab world in depth," said David Mack, vice president of the Middle East Institute, a Washington-based think tank, prior to Hull being confirmed.

A career foreign service officer, Hull previously served as principal deputy coordinator for counter-terrorism in the State Department and also has worked in Egypt, Israel and Tunisia.

He graduated from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and speaks Arabic and French. Hull lives in Virginia.

Also Friday, the Senate approved Nancy Goodman Brinker, a Peoria native and Bush campaign contributor, to be ambassador to Hungary.

Brinker is the founder of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, named after her sister who died of the disease.