Who is David J. Kostelancik, the candidate who can replace Yuri Kim as ambassador in Tirana
David J. Kostelancik, appointed by President Biden to serve as United States Ambassador to Albania, presented today before the United States Senate, during the confirmation session, his priorities as ambassador:
"If I am confirmed in this position, I will cooperate with Albania to strengthen democratic institutions and justice institutions. President Joe Biden has defined the fight against corruption and organized crime as part of our national strategy. This is a major challenge for the countries of the Western Balkans", said Mr. Kostelancik. The progress of the justice reform will help Albania's progress towards European integration, he emphasized.
One of the sectors of close cooperation between the two countries, said the appointed ambassador, will be the further strengthening of the defense partnership. Iran's cyber attack on Albania in 2022, he said, showed the need for it to invest in infrastructure and training to build a resilient cyber system. The United States, he said, has sent experts to Albania to repair the damage done and has offered 50 million dollars for this purpose.
A third priority, he emphasized, will be strengthening the business climate. The interests of the United States, said the expected ambassador, are served through a transparent market in Albania.
Kostelancik has served in Albania even before in the period 1992-1994, as the first representative for political and economic issues in the newly opened American embassy in Tirana. Prior to his appointment as ambassador, he served as Foreign Policy Advisor to the US Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley.
Kostelancik is a diplomat with a 30-year career. He has served twice in the US Embassy in Moscow, in the US missions in OSCE and NATO, as well as in Ankara, Turkey.
Diplomat Kostelancik, originally from the state of Illinois, graduated from the Northwestern University of this state. He speaks Russian, Hungarian, Albanian and Turkish.
If his candidacy is approved by the Senate, diplomat Kostelancik will replace the current American ambassador to Albania, Yuri Kim.