NATIONAL NEWS

Number 2 US diplomat to retire after decades in government service

May 12, 2023, 8:11 AM | Updated: 8:18 am

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, left, departs after a closed door briefing about the leake...

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, left, departs after a closed door briefing about the leaked highly classified military documents, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, April 19, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration’s number two diplomat is retiring after decades of U.S. government service.

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will step down from the post this summer, having been involved in some of the most consequential, and controversial, foreign policy decisions during Democratic administrations since Bill Clinton was president.

Sherman, 73, said in an internal note to State Department staff that her retirement would be effective at the end of June.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken lauded Sherman’s career, saying that President Joe Biden chose her for the number two post at the State Department because he believed she could revitalize America’s relationships around the world.

“President Biden asked Wendy to serve in this role because he knew he could count on her to help revitalize America’s alliances and partnerships and manage our complex relationships with competitors,” Blinken said in a statement.

Sherman has been a key part of the Biden administration’s efforts to compete particularly active in engagement with Pacific island states while also meeting with senior Chinese officials on numerous occasions.

She also had a significant role in marshaling international diplomatic support for Ukraine after Russia’s invasion.

As counselor to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Sherman was a lead negotiator in the Clinton administration’s ultimately unsuccessful talks to end North Korea’s ballistic missile program in the late 1990s.

Then, as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs during the Obama administration, she was the lead negotiator with Iran on the 2015 nuclear deal.

“Her remarkable career – which spans more than three decades, three presidents, and five secretaries of state – addressed some of the toughest foreign policy challenges of our time,” Blinken said. “Our nation is safer and more secure, and our partnerships more robust, due to her leadership.”

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