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Biden poised to nominate Antony Blinken as secretary of state

November 23, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, before the Senate Banking Committee hearing on Iran sanctions. A group of Senate Democrats told the White House on Tuesday that they won't support passage of an Iran sanctions bill until at least the end of March. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President-elect Joe Biden is poised to nominate Antony Blinken to serve as secretary of state, people familiar with the matter told CNN, elevating a longtime foreign policy adviser as Biden makes his first round of Cabinet announcements Tuesday.

(CNN)President-elect Joe Biden is poised to nominate Antony Blinken to serve as secretary of state, people familiar with the matter told CNN, elevating a longtime foreign policy adviser as Biden makes his first round of Cabinet announcements Tuesday.

Incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain said earlier Sunday that Biden intended to begin revealing members of his Cabinet Tuesday.

Blinken is expected to be among the first nominations, people familiar with the matter said, with Biden intent on sending a signal that rebuilding America's alliances is one of his top priorities.

Bloomberg was first to report that Biden intends to name Blinken.

Blinken served in the Obama administration as deputy secretary of state and principal deputy national security adviser.

He also served as national security adviser to then-Vice President Biden.

If confirmed by the Senate, Blinken will be tasked with repairing relationships with close allies across the globe, many of whom have bristled at President Donald Trump's confrontational style and attempts to remake the United States' international responsibilities at part of his "America First" campaign pledge.

The longtime foreign policy adviser will also be asked to address a State Department dramatically altered under Trump, including staffing up an organization that was subject to a hiring freeze and combating a baseless view pushed by Trump that the agency was part of a "deep state" working against the Republican leader.

Prior to the Obama administration, Blinken worked as the Democratic staff director to the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which Biden chaired.

During the Clinton administration, he served as a member of the National Security Council staff at the White House and held roles as the special assistant to the president, senior director for European affairs, and senior director for speechwriting and then strategic planning.

A current State Department official told CNN that Biden "couldn't have picked a stronger choice to demonstrate his commitment to diplomacy and the diplomatic corps, much less the partnerships and alliances that make us strong. "

Former Obama administration official Jake Sullivan is the leading contender to be national security adviser.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield is the leading contender for the position of ambassador to the United Nations, sources familiar with the matter told CNN, which is also expected to be announced Tuesday.

Thomas-Greenfield, an African-American woman with a lengthy career in foreign service, previously served as assistant secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs.

The selection of Thomas-Greenfield would help Biden honor his pledge to build a diverse administration.

by summa-bot

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