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Joe Biden nominates veteran diplomat William Burns as CIA director

US President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced William J Burns as his nominee for Director of the CIA.

CIA officer | Joe Biden

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

US President-elect on Monday announced William J Burns as his nominee for Director of the CIA.

A career diplomat, who served in the US Foreign Service for 33 years and also served in a number of national security positions across five Democratic and Republican presidential administrations, is currently president of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, the oldest affairs think tank in the United States.

Bill Burns is an exemplary diplomat with decades of experience on the world stage keeping our people and our country safe and secure, Biden said in a statement.

Burns is a consummate professional full of integrity who will bring the facts and independence that our national security demands, the transition said.

Whether its cyber attacks emanating from Moscow, the challenge China poses, or the threat we face from terrorists and other non-state actors, he has the experience and skill to marshal efforts across government and around the world to ensure the CIA is positioned to protect the American people, the transition said.

Burns, Biden said, shares his profound belief that intelligence must be apolitical and that the dedicated intelligence professionals serving the nation deserve their gratitude and respect.

Ambassador Burns will bring the knowledge, judgment, and perspective we need to prevent and confront threats before they can reach our shores. The American people will sleep soundly with him as our next CIA Director, Biden said.

Burns retired from the US Foreign Service in 2014 after a 33-year diplomatic career. He holds the highest rank in the Foreign Service, career ambassador, and is only the second serving career diplomat in history to become Deputy Secretary of State.

Keeping our nation safe and secure requires intelligence that is apolitical and puts the American people first. A national security expert with decades of experience serving under Democratic and Republican presidents, Ambassador Bill Burns has a deep understanding of the global threats and challenges facing our country, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said.

He will lead the CIA with independence and integrity, always honouring our nation's intelligence professionals. And President-elect and I will work closely with Ambassador Burns and our entire national security team to prevent and prevail over any threat against the United States of America, she said.

Burns is a crisis-tested public servant who has spent his career working to keep Americans safe and secure. Prior to his tenure as Deputy Secretary of State, he served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2008 to 2011, US Ambassador to Russia from 2005 to 2008, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2001 to 2005, and US Ambassador to Jordan from 1998 to 2001.

He was also executive secretary of the State Department and special assistant to former Secretaries of State Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright; minister-counselor for political affairs at the US embassy in Moscow; acting director and principal deputy director of the State Department's policy planning staff; and special assistant to the president and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs at the National Security Council.

Burns has received three Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and the highest civilian honours from the Pentagon and the US intelligence community.

He earned a bachelor's degree in history from LaSalle University and master's and doctoral degrees in relations from Oxford University, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Tue, January 12 2021. 02:10 IST