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Thomas Ulrich Brechbuhl is the Counselor of the United States Department of State, holding the position since May 1, 2018.[1] He replaced Maliz E. Beams. He was appointed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and reports to him.[2][3] He serves under President Donald Trump.

Ulrich Brechbuhl
T Ulrich Brechbuhl Official Photo.jpg
Counselor of the United States Department of State
Assumed office
May 1, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byMaliz E. Beams
Personal details
EducationHarvard Business School

Early life and educationEdit

Brechbuhl was born in Switzerland and grew up in Garden City, New York.[4] He attended the Waldorf School of Garden City through 12th grade, [5] serving as president of the student council his senior year.[6] He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1986.[7] His college yearbook describes him as a "hardworking and disciplined" student, a member of the Chapel Choir, Scoutmaster's Council, French Club and Lacrosse team, a "staunch Republican" who could one day be President of the United States if it were not for his "anathema toward politicians and the fact that he was born in Switzerland."[8] He was a classmate of Pompeo's at West Point and later helped Pompeo found Thayer Aerospace.[9]

After leaving military service he completed his Master of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School in 1994.[10]


Following his graduation from West Point, Brechbuhl was stationed in Europe an officer with the Second Armored Cavalry Regiment and during the Persian Gulf War he served with the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry in the U.S. Army’s First Cavalry Division. After graduating from the Harvard Business School, he worked for Bain and Company, Inc., from 1993 until 1998.[11] Brechbuhl joined Pompeo and two other college friends in founding Thayer Aerospace, which was partly funded by Wichita's Koch Venture Capital, Cardinal Investment Co. and Bain & Co. He served as CFO. [12] Following his role as President and CEO of Migratec, Brechbuhl served as Chief Executive Officer of Chamberlin Edmonds and Associates Inc., a subsidiary of Emdeon, from 2004 until 2014. [13]

Before becoming Counselor, Brechbuhl was president of Appenzeller Point, LLC. Prior to that he was executive chairman of Avadyne Health.

In his role as Counselor, Brechbuhl is chartered with offering strategic guidance on foreign policy, enhancing U.S. diplomacy and conducting "special diplomatic assignments as directed by the Secretary".[14] Brechbuhl's initial focus was to accelerate hiring to fill the many unfilled positions in the department. He was delegated "sweeping control over the nomination process, drawing up lists of candidates for jobs and purging those" likely to face too much opposition from the White House or Senate. [15] One of Brechbuhl's initiatives was to shepherd the creation of an "ethos" statement [16] that would help unify an understaffed department with morale issues. Brechbuhl explained the value of the ethos statement: "The ultimate value, we believe, is the team will be far more cohesive. The left hand will understand the right hand.”[17]

Secretary Pompeo Swears in Brian Bulatao as the new Under Secretary of State for Management with Ulrich Brechbuhl looking on
Brechbuhl and Ukraine controversyEdit

Brechbuhl is identified in a 2019 whistleblower complaint as someone who listened in on Trump's July 25, 2019, phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.[18][19] While Brechbuhl joined White House adviser Jared Kushner in attending a European diplomatic dinner where Zelensky was also in attendance 7 weeks before the phone call between Trump and Zelensky,[20] a "former White House official said it was extremely unusual for a State Department official to be on what was supposed to be a standard congratulatory call from the president to another world leader".[21] Subsequently a representative of the State Department denied that Brechbuhl was on the call.[22]

On October 2, 2019, Steve Linick, the State Department's inspector general, delivered a 40 page packet of apparent disinformation regarding former Vice President Joe Biden and former Ambassador to the Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, to Capitol Hill. Linick told congressional aides his office questioned Brechbuhl about the origins of the packet. Brechbuhl noted the packet came to him from Pompeo, who said it "came over," and Brechbuhl reportedly presumed it was from the White House. Later that day, President Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said he passed the packet regarding the Ukraine and attacks on Yovanovich to Pompeo. "They (the State Department) told me they would investigate it," Guiliani added.[23] Also, according to the inspector general, George P. Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for Ukraine, became alarmed about a campaign of disinformation being waged about Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, and alerted three state department officials, including Brechbuhl, described as a "a close confidant of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo."[24]

Brechbuhl is one of several State Department employees connected to American policy work in the Ukraine region who have been scheduled to appear before congressional investigators.[25]][26][27]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "T. Ulrich Brechbuhl: Counselor of the Department". Washington DC: US Department of State. Retrieved September 27, 2019. In this capacity, he provides strategic guidance to the Secretary on foreign policy, undertakes efforts to enhance U.S. diplomacy and public outreach, and conducts special diplomatic assignments as directed by the Secretary.
  2. ^ Pompeo Appoints West Point Pal, Ulrich Brechbuhl as @StateDept Counselor
  3. ^ Washington Post, "Whistleblower claimed that Trump abused his office and that White House officials tried to cover it up," September 26, 2019 [1]
  4. ^ U.S. Department of State,biography of Ulrich Brechbuhl, accessed September 28, 2019, [2]
  5. ^ The Waldorf School, "Ulrich Brechbuhl" [3] accessed September 29, 2019
  6. ^ Waldorf School of Garden City, 1982 Yearbook, profile of Thomas Ulrich Brechbuhl, p. 61
  7. ^ Biography
  8. ^ USMA Howitzer Yearbook 1986, "Thomas Ulrich Brechbuhl" p. 432
  9. ^ Toosi, Nahal (August 20, 2018). "Pompeo's inner circle heavy on business, military experience". Politico. Arlington VA. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  10. ^ U.S. Department of State,biography of Ulrich Brechbuhl, accessed September 28, 2019, [4]
  11. ^ U.S. Department of State,biography of Ulrich Brechbuhl, accessed September 28, 2019, [5]
  12. ^ Wichita Business Journal, "Army buddies team to fight on Air Capital business front" December 13, 1998[6]
  13. ^ SEC, Alcentra Capital Corporation, April 2016 [7]
  14. ^ U.S. Department of State,biography of Ulrich Brechbuhl, accessed September 28, 2019, [8]
  15. ^ the Register Citizen, "Pompeo caught between Trump's short fuse, Kim's Intransigence" July 9, 2018 [9]
  16. ^ The New Yorker, "Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of Trump" August 26, 2019 [10]
  17. ^ AP News, "Mike Pompeo crafts new ‘ethos’ for U.S. diplomacy, outlines vision in internal letter to State Dept." April 4, 2019 [11]
  18. ^ Declassified Whistleblower Complaint (PDF) (Report). Washington DC: US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. September 26, 2019. p. 3. Retrieved September 26, 2019. In addition to White House personnel, I was told that a State Department official, Mr. T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, also listened in on the call.
  19. ^ "Full Document: The Whistle-Blower Complaint (annotated version, including cover letter of Inspector General)". The New York Times. September 26, 2019. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  21. ^ Shear, Michael D. (September 26, 2019). "White House Tried to 'Lock Down' Ukraine Call Records, Whistle-Blower Says". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  22. ^ CNN "Pompeo subpoenaed by House committees for failure to produce Ukraine documents" September 27, 2019 [13]
  23. ^ USA Today "'Mysterious' packet of Ukraine disinformation arrives on Capitol Hill amid Trump impeachment inquiry" 2 Oct 2019 [14]
  24. ^ Washington Post, "State Dept.’s George Kent faces questions about Ukraine, Giuliani in impeachment probe," Oct 15, 2019 [15]
  25. ^ New York Times, "The Evidence Collected So Far in the Trump Impeachment Inquiry," 4 Oct 2019 [
  26. ^ The New York Times, "Factbox: Portraits of Volker, Four U.S. Diplomats Asked to Testify in Trump Impeachment Inquiry" 3 Oct 2019 [16]
  27. ^ The New York Times, "House Democrats Issue First Subpoena in Impeachment Inquiry" 27 Sept 2019 [17]