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Mr. Grayson introducing his family to the SFRC.
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On May 13th, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) held a nomination hearing for five proposed ambassador postings, including the nomination of Mr. William Ellison Grayson of California to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Estonia.


The full committee heard testimony from each nominee and asked them questions to assess their vision and goals, and their plans to achieve them, should they be confirmed to their prospective positions. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) presided over the hearing.

Mr. Grayson introduced his family to the Committee and then began his testimony.


He demonstrated solid knowledge of Estonia and the country’s main interests and concerns.


He praised the friendship that the U.S. and Estonia have shared for over 100 years and the “unwavering support [Estonia has shown] for our shared defense and security around the globe.”


He noted this year’s 80th anniversary of the Welles Declaration that defined the U.S. policy of nonrecognition of Soviet annexation of the Baltic nations.

Mr. Grayson identified the Three Seas Initiative and its 2020 Summit, which Tallinn will host in October, as important efforts for “accelerat[ing] cross-border commerce through north-south energy, transportation, cyber and digital infrastructure projects” in central Europe, and to protect against malign foreign investments that don’t serve the interests of the region or the U.S.


On the technology front, he called Estonia “a shining example of innovation to the world” and looks forward to continuing and expanding U.S.-Estonia cyber cooperation.


Video of the full hearing is available at for May 13th; Mr. Grayson’s testimony begins at approximately the 42-minute point. A link to his testimony in written form is also provided on the same webpage.

Mr. Grayson’s background includes senior positions in financial services and management, as a lawyer, and as a public servant.


He has held appointments under Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, in the Obama administration, and under the current administration.


Details of his qualifications and relevant experience are posted in his State Department Certificate of Demonstrated Competence at

EANC looks forward to following and keeping our readers informed on the rest of his confirmation process and to meeting him and working with him once he is confirmed.

Karin Shuey
Washington, DC Director
Estonian American National Council


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