Mira Radielovic Ricardel (formerly Baratta; born July 5, 1960), is an American government official who served as Deputy National Security Advisor from May 2018 to November 2018, until being fired at the request of First Lady Melania Trump. She has since joined the Chertoff Group.
|30th United States Deputy National Security Advisor|
May 15, 2018 – November 14, 2018
|Preceded by||Ricky L. Waddell|
|Succeeded by||Charles Kupperman|
|Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security|
September 11, 2017 – May 14, 2018
|Preceded by||Eric Hirschhorn|
|Succeeded by||Daniel Hill (acting)|
Mira P. Radielovic
July 5, 1960
|Spouse(s)||Robert Baratta (divorced)|
|Education||Georgetown University (BS)|
Earlier in the Trump administration, Ricardel served as a Special Assistant to the President and Associate Director in the Office of Presidential Personnel, and Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration. In years prior to that, she served as a foreign policy advisor to U.S. Senator Bob Dole and held positions in the U.S. Department of Defense during the Presidency of George W. Bush.
Early life and educationEdit
Born Mira P. Radielovic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ricardel is of Croatian descent. Her father, Peter Radielovich, came from Breza, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was 16 years old when he survived the Bleiburg repatriations. After briefly attending Zagreb University, he left Yugoslavia in 1954. After two years in Heidelberg, where he met and married his wife, he arrived in the United States in 1956.
Ricardel received her Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, graduating in 1982. While at Georgetown, she was a member of the Delta Phi Epsilon professional foreign service sorority.
Politically, Ricardel has characterized herself as a "Reagan Republican". Her public service began in 1986, working at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency as a congressional affairs specialist and later as a deputy director for congressional affairs. She served at the agency until 1989.
Aide to DoleEdit
From 1989 to 1996, Ricardel worked as a legislative assistant to Senate Republican leader Bob Dole, drafting legislation and specializing in foreign affairs and defense policy. She made appearances in public, and her work with Dole earned her a portrayal in the nationally-circulated Weekly Standard in 1995. During the Bosnian War between 1992 and 1995, her personal knowledge of the languages and cultures involved was credited with improving Dole's understanding of the conflict. One official said, "She knows the issues, so he knows the issues."
Ricardel's Croatian heritage brought forth accusations that she was influencing Dole to take an anti-Serbian policy stance. But in fact Dole had a long record of warning about the actions and character of Serbia leader Slobodan Milosevic. Ricardel said of Dole in 1999, "He's been out there for a decade saying we need to get involved. And no one's been paying attention. Or they pay attention for a while and manage the problem, but they don't solve it."
Ricardel served as a vice president for programming with the nonprofit organization Freedom House from 1997 to 1998 and as an independent consultant from 1998 to 2000. During some of this time she lived in New York City and was a close neighbor of Monica Lewinsky.
George W. Bush administrationEdit
From 2001 to 2003, Ricardel was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs for Eurasia and was responsible for coalition building between the U.S. and governments in the Caucasus, Central Asian, and Balkans regions.
From 2003 to 2005, Ricardel was the acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. She was the primary adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Defense regarding Europe, Eurasia, NATO, nuclear forces, missile defense, and arms control.
The Washington Post reported that "She developed a reputation as a Russia hawk and was seen as a tough bureaucratic player with a strong personality". One former colleague later said, "She’s a very tough woman, very smart, does not suffer fools well. And if you happen to be the fool, she will let you know".
From 2006 to 2015, Ricardel was employed by the Boeing Company as Vice President, Strategic Missile & Defense Systems, as well as Vice President of International Business Development, Network and Space Systems. During her time with Boeing she was a resident of Alexandria, Virginia.
Donald Trump administrationEdit
Ricardel was looked at for positions in the new administration in the Defense and State Departments, but was twice blocked based upon past bureaucratic run-ins, in the first instance by Secretary of Defense James Mattis and in the second by Department of State Chief of Staff Margaret Peterlin. Ricardel had blocked some nominees wanted by Mattis because of potential Democratic ties or having supported Hillary Clinton in the past, instead preferring "Republican loyalists."
Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and SecurityEdit
On March 30, 2017, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Ricardel for Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security in the U.S. Department of Commerce. On April 28, 2017, Ricardel's nomination was received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. The committee approved her nomination and she was confirmed by the entire U.S Senate on August 3, 2017, by voice vote.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross made a statement congratulating Ricardel on her new position: "Since coming on board [at the Commerce Department], she has helped keep sensitive technologies out of the hands of those who would do us harm, while also working to ensure that imports do not threaten to impair our national security."
Deputy National Security AdvisorEdit
On April 23, 2018, Ricardel was named as the next Deputy National Security Advisor by the new National Security Advisor, John R. Bolton. The position did not require Senate confirmation and she took office in May.
One of Ricardel's first actions was to push for the elimination of the position of White House cybersecurity chief, which was done on May 15, 2018. White House officials quoted Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 70 in defending the move, which was criticized by many within the cybersecurity community.
In July 2018, reported difficulties between Ricardel and NSC staffer Jennifer Arangio was one of the factors that led to Arangio's dismissal. Despite past conflicts, the White House said that Ricardel was working effectively with the Mattis-led Defense Department. However, subsequent reports in September 2018 indicated that the Mattis-Ricardel embattlement was still in place, while other reports said that the conflict between the two had been overblown. Ricardel continued to be portrayed in the media as a tough bureaucratic opponent.
On November 13, 2018, First Lady Melania Trump publicly called for Ricardel's firing, an unusual move. The unpleasantries between them reportedly originated with a dispute over personnel presence on the plane for the First Lady's visit to Africa, and subsequent alleged negative leaking on the part of Ricardel against the First Lady. Bolton still supported Ricardel, but it was not enough, as by this point, few other officials supported her. Bloomberg News reported that Ricardel "had caused friction" and was "widely disliked among other White House staff," while Politico, quoting anonymous administration officials, gave a similar assessment. The following day, the White House announced Ricardel would leave her position and "transition to a new role" within the administration. In a public statement Ricardel said it had been "an honor" to serve in the White House.
By mid-November, Ricardel had reportedly been offered nearly a dozen other positions within the Trump administration, including the post of United States Ambassador to Estonia, which she refused. In January 2019, Fox News reported that she was "under active consideration for a top job at the Pentagon"; that did not happen. Since November 2019, Ricardel has served as Principal of Chertoff Group, a security consulting firm founded by Michael Chertoff.
Memberships, awards, and honorsEdit
In July 2005, Ricardel was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.
After her marriage to Baratta ended, she married Vincent Ricardel, a photographer. She became known as Mira Ricardel. Her husband is Senior Advisor to the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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- Jennifer Jacobs and Justin Sink (November 13, 2018). "Melania Trump Says Bolton Deputy Ricardel Should Be Ousted". Bloomberg News. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
[Ricardel] clashed with the first lady’s staff after threatening to withhold National Security Council resources during Melania Trump’s trip to Africa last month unless Ricardel or another NSC official was included in her entourage, one person familiar with the matter said. Ricardel was officially fired on November 14, 2018. She will have another role in the Administration,(role not specified). Reported by CNN.
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