Mari Stull was recently appointed by Pres. Donald Trump as a senior advisor to the State Department. Her specific charge in that role may not have been clear, but she has been performing tasks.
According to Foreign Policy, her job has been to scour the social media accounts of employees, diplomatic staffers, and, employees of international organizations connected to the US, to determine if they’re devoted and dutiful to Trump and his agenda.
A loyalty list.
Search for Stull and you won’t find much. But Stull did contact Heavy after publication of this post.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Reports Say Stull Has Been Investigating Americans That Work in International Organizations, State Department Employees & UN Staff
In a description of her experience with a conservative PAC, Stull is said to have ‘UN and international organizations experience,” which would line up with reports that say she has been asking about and compiling information on US citizens who are employed by international organizations and agencies specifically the U.N. Foreign Policy also reports that Stull was asking about World Health Organization staffers.
The report says Stull, who is multilingual, has been checking out Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media pages of State staff “for signs of ideological deviation” and looking at who signed off on what Obama Administration policies.
MuckRock has made a formal Freedom of Information Act request for any records including lists and notes “related to Mari Stull’s efforts described in various news reports” to include “any e-mail messages from Mari Stull’s State Department e-mail account containing the words ‘loyal,’ ‘loyalty,’ ‘Facebook,’ ‘Twitter,” or ‘Linkedin.’”
Per the law, the State Department must respond within 20 business days of the request made June 13.
2. Stull Was a Wine Blogger Known as ‘Vino Vixen’
Stull trademarked, or at least used the ™ symbol when identifying herself. The “Vino Vixen™ is Mari Stull, syndicated wine columnist, correspondent for Wine Taste TV, and member of the Society of Wine Educators. See her picks in this month’s Travel Girl Magazine. Have a wine question or comment for Mari? She can be reached at VinoVixen@vinovixen.org”
Her site not only no longer exists, there are not many captured or archival posts from her blog which appears to have run for several years in the mid-to late 2000s. Other found blog posts say she also wrote for BlueSky magazine. The photo is from 2008.
While working for the government, Stull wrote to a court seeking to be removed from a class action suit against online wine sellers.
“Wine educator Mari Stull, “The Vino Vixen,” asked Judge Renee M. Bumb to exclude her from ‘this frivolous and baseless’ class action,” Law360 reported.
3. Stull Was a Grocery Association Lobbyist & Worked to Solve Global Hunger Through Private, Not Public Sector
In January of 2000, a press release from the Grocery Manufacturers of America announced Stull was hired as its Director of International Regulatory Policy citing her expertise in “international regulatory arena, especially in understanding potential barriers to global trade. We especially welcome her expertise in understanding the World Trade Organization’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement, which helps ensure that food, animal, and plant safety standards remain science-based.”
Then GMA vice chair, Dr. Stacey Zawel said Stull would “bolsters GMA’s efforts to seek harmonization of international regulatory standards for our member food, beverage, and consumer product companies.”
Stull, who speaks Spanish and French, earned a Bachelor of Science in agribusiness from Arizona State University in 1989 and later studied for her master’s at ASU but her resume says that her thesis has been pending since 1996.
Her actual job was to work on global food standards with “international coalitions that GMA helps lead, including the North American Alliance and the International Alliance of Food Product Associations.”
Stull spent eight months working to help restructure the FAO charitable US committee to be one that supports “goals related to resource mobilization as it can be harnessed to receive financial contributions from the Government, Private Sector and Foundations.”
4. She is a ‘Senior Fellow’ at the PAC American Opportunity
In November, in her role as a Senior Fellow, Stull issued a press release from American Opportunity, “US Taxpayers Spend Over $10 Billion Yearly Supporting Global Agencies.”
She wrote that “US taxpayers contributed at least $10 billion to over 150 global organizations in President Obama’s last year in office.” She said, “American taxpayer funds have been funneled into international organizations, many of those very organizations have advanced harmful international standards and policies that undermine our own US businesses and global democracy. Further, as evidenced by recent reviews by the United Kingdom, global organizations have become increasingly ineffective, lacking transparency and accountability, mismanaged, and bloated.”
Previously the Free Congress Foundation, Stull was named as a ‘senior fellow’ at the re-branded PAC now called the American Opportunity Foundation. In her biography on the site, Stull is described as having “extensive UN and international organizations experience, having served in international posts as a specialist in private sector development.” As she did with the grocers association. On the website is says its mission is to secure “conservative solutions that promise real prosperity, national security, and American values.
The PAC, which has supported conservative candidates and has as its president and CEO, former Virginia Gov. James S. “Jim” Gilmore III, says “for many years the American left has exercised policies that have prevented economic growth. The objective of American policy for too long has been on overcoming ‘income inequality’ ignoring the need for wealth creation. The use of governmental force, primarily through tax law and regulations to influence and dictate American economic behavior, is making society poorer.”
5. Stull, With a Hard-To-Find Social Internet Presence & Who Worked on AgriBusiness in the Caribbean, Shared a Photo & Comments
Stull’s online presence is often hidden or camouflaged by the use of initials only, and/or accounts are private and protected. On her protected Twitter her profile reads: “Advocate for max return on US investment in UN & IOs. Advocate for Trump/Pence Administration policies. Snr Advisor, Dept of State ?? Views are my own.” This is the only social account Heavy could located where she lists her role as Trump senior advisor to the State Department where she says, her “views are my own.
Stull’s online footprint has all but vanished. Unless you search around without using her last name. Her LinkedIn for example, which does not include her job in the Trump administration, has her named as Mari S.
Stull worked for five years at the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture as coordinator for Caribbean Agribusiness Development, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies. She would also run a “free agricultural and livestock database” for AgroInfo Americas for the IICA.
Stull, the GMA said, also founded and ran the Caribbean Agribusiness Association: Trinidad and Tobago, and served as acting director of Regulatory and Procedural Development at the Federal Crop Insurance Corp., U.S. Department of Agriculture, from 1992-1994.
Stull contacted Heavy after the publication of this post to say that in addition to her paid jobs, she’s proud of her volunteer work for the USO, said she was grateful for her “amazing” sons, and she shared a photo of she and “Marines who serve at our US Mission in Geneva. I had meetings out there several weeks ago and asked that I could meet and thank them, and give them goodie bags of American products from home that I packed for them.”
But Stull also said the report from Foreign Policy was “factually inaccurate and the author even admits to no evidence. But, that doesn’t matter – it wasn’t supposed to be real news or factual. It’s a hit piece written in consort with leakers who want to malign this President and anyone associated with the Administration. And if they can destroy a woman’s reputation, so much the better.”
Stull shared that she is a Catholic, albeit “flawed,” and offered a wine tip: “Trader Joe’s this month is Nero Grande Appassimento $7.”