Biden State Dept. Has Obama Veterans 01/16 10:23
President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday filled out his State Department team
with a group of former career diplomats and veterans of the Obama
administration, signaling his desire to return to a more traditional foreign
policy after four years of uncertainty and unpredictability under President
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday filled out his
State Department team with a group of former career diplomats and veterans of
the Obama administration, signaling his desire to return to a more traditional
foreign policy after four years of uncertainty and unpredictability under
President Donald Trump.
Biden will nominate Wendy Sherman as deputy secretary of state and Victoria
Nuland as undersecretary of state for political affairs --- the second- and
third-highest ranking posts, respectively. They were among the 11 officials
announced to serve under the incoming secretary of state, Antony Blinken.
The team "embodies my core belief that America is strongest when it works
with our allies," Biden said in a statement. He said he was confident "they
will use their diplomatic experience and skill to restore America's global and
moral leadership. America is back."
Among the others are:
---longtime Biden Senate aide Brian McKeon, to be deputy secretary of state
for management. That deputy position has been vacant for some time and McKeon
and Sherman are expected to share duties as the department's No. 3 official.
---former senior diplomats Bonnie Jenkins and Uzra Zeya, to be under
secretary of state for arms control and undersecretary of state of democracy
and human rights, respectively.
---Derek Chollet, a familiar Democratic foreign policy hand, to be State
---former U.N. official Salman Ahmed, who also served as head of strategic
planning in the Obama National Security Council, as director of policy planning.
---Suzy George, who was a senior aide to former Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright, will be Blinken's chief of staff.
---Ned Price, a former Obama NSC staffer and career CIA official who
resigned in protest in the early days of the Trump administration, will serve
as the public face of the department, taking on the role of spokesman.
---Jalina Porter, communications director for Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La.,
who is leaving Congress to work in the White House, will be Price's deputy.
Price and Porter intend to return to the practice of holding daily State
Department press briefings, officials said. Those briefings had been eliminated
under the Trump administration.
Jeffrey Prescott, a former national security aide when Biden was vice
president, is Biden's pick to be deputy ambassador to the United Nations, He
would serve under U.N. envoy-designate Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
Five of the 11 are either people of color or LGBTQ. Although most are not
household names, all are advocates of multilateralism and many are familiar in
Washington and overseas foreign policy circles. Their selections are a
reflection of Biden's intent to turn away from Trump's transactional and often
unilateral "America First" approach to international relations.
Sherman led the Obama administration's negotiations leading to the 2015
nuclear deal with Iran, from which Trump withdrew, and had engaged in talks
over ballistic missiles with North Korea during President Bill Clinton's second
term. Nuland served as assistant secretary of state for European Affairs during
the Ukraine crisis..
Sherman, McKeon, Nuland, Jenkins and Zeya will require Senate confirmation
to their posts while the others will not.