Texas Tech University

Leading the Way

Senate Conducts Confirmation Hearings
on Nagy Appointment to State Dept. 

TTU alumnus Tibor Nagy

Story by Amanda Castro-Crist

Texas Tech College of Arts & Sciences alumnus, Ambassador Tibor Nagy (BA Political Science, TTU 1972), who has been nominated to serve as the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, participated in a confirmation hearing June 13 before the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Nagy, who retired from Texas Tech University in December 2017, after more than 14 years as vice provost for International Affairs, is currently a member of the Honors College faculty and the Ambassador-in-Residence for the Institute for Peace and Conflict (IPAC).

Ambassador Nagy is no stranger to the U.S. diplomatic service. From 1996 to 1999, he was the U.S. Ambassador to Guinea, and from 1999 to 2002, the U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Nagy will serve at the pleasure of the president within the U.S. Department of State and lead the Bureau of African Affairs, which focuses on the development and management of U.S. policy relating to Africa.

"I am very grateful and honored by the president's nomination," Nagy said. "I very much look forward to working with the Senate as they consider my confirmation."

A TRAVELED PAST

Nagy arrived in Washington, D.C., with his father in 1957 as a Hungarian refugee. He graduated from Texas Tech in 1972, then headed back to Washington, D.C., with his wife, Jane. Nagy worked for the federal government while completing his master's degree at George Washington University. He earned that degree in 1978 and joined the State Department, then received his first assignment overseas in 1979 as a general services officer in Lusaka, Zambia.

For 20 years, Nagy and his family, which included triplets Stephen, Peter and Tisza, lived in Africa as Nagy served as an administrative officer in Victoria, Seychelles, and as deputy chief of mission in Lagos, Nigeria; Lome, Togo; and Yaoundé, Cameroon. From 1996 to 1999, he was the U.S. Ambassador to Guinea, and from 1999 to 2002, the U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia.

RETURN TO RAIDERLAND

The following year, Nagy served as the State Department's Diplomat-in-Residence at the University of Oklahoma and then returned to Texas Tech in 2003, where he served as vice provost for International Affairs until his retirement last year.

During his time at Texas Tech, Nagy also served on a voluntary basis as an adviser for several presidential candidates during the 2008, 2012 and 2016 elections, including serving as co-chair of the African foreign policy group for Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign. In August 2016, Nagy was selected by the State Department to temporarily head the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria as interim ambassador.

RED RAIDERS ON NATIONAL STAGE

Nagy is one of several Red Raiders recently nominated for, or serving in, top positions within the federal government.

Mindy Brashears, a professor of Food Safety & Microbiology in the Animal & Food Sciences Department of the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, was nominated for Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety.

Don Wright, who earned his bachelor's degree in zoology and animal biology from the College of Arts & Sciences, served as Acting Secretary of Health & Human Services from Sept. 29, 2017, to Jan. 28, 2018. Wright currently serves as the director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

A. Wess Mitchell, who earned a bachelor's degree in history in 2001 from the College of Arts & Sciences and was named a 2018 Distinguished Alumnus by the college, currently serves in the U.S. State Department as the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs.

Brandon Lipps, who earned his bachelor's degree in agricultural economics and his law degree from the Texas Tech School of Law, leads the Food and Nutrition Service in the U.S. Department of Agriculture and currently serves as the Acting Deputy Under Secretary for the department's Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. Lipps served as Chief of Staff for Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert Duncan from 2015-2017.

"I think it is a true mark for Texas Tech that there are two nominees for high-level federal government positions, and there now also is a confirmed and serving Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs who is a Texas Tech alumnus," Nagy said. "I think that is a very positive reflection on the type of institution Texas Tech University is."

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