This month, a familiar face will be back at the lectern at Pepperdine University: Douglas Kmiec, who resigned as ambassador to Malta in May, returns to the West Coast law school this autumn.
In May, a critical internal State Department review asserted Kmiec was spending too much time on matters other than bilateral relations, giving speeches and writing articles about interreligious dialogue, for example. Instead of contesting the review, or following the age-old diplomatic practice of ignoring such reports, Kmiec tendered his resignation. If he hoped the resignation would be rejected, he misjudged the situation. State Department officials are disinclined to take on a report they generated, and the White House, although indebted to Kmiec for his support in 2008, had bigger fish to fry these past few months.