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Trump nominates Utahn to be an assistant secretary of state

By Lisa Riley Roche, KSL | Posted - May 24th, 2018 @ 7:33pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Utahn Ronald Mortensen was nominated by President Donald Trump Thursday to serve as assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration.

If his nomination is approved by the U.S. Senate, Mortensen, a retired Foreign Service officer with the U.S. State Department, would head the U.S. State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

The bureau's mission "is to provide protection, ease suffering, and resolve the plight of persecuted and uprooted people around the world on behalf of the American people," according to its website.

Mortensen has lobbied the Utah Legislature on identity theft and other issues and supported Trump in 2016. He is a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, a nonpartisan organization that bills itself as "low immigration, pro-immigrant."

He has been described as continuing to respond to humanitarian crises around the world, including in Mali and Iraq after being recognized by the State Department for his courage during a civil war in Chad.

Mortensen, a veteran who holds a doctorate degree, was on the White House advance team for the 1986 summit between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Iceland that helped lead to an end to the Cold War.

Lisa Riley Roche

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