Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Obama picks top diplomat for East Asian affairs

WASHINGTON, May 15 - U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday nominated Danny Russel, a veteran diplomat in charge of Asian affairs at the White House, to be the next assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs.

In nominating Russel and others for key administration posts, Obama said they will bring both a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their new roles.

Russel, a 28-year State Department foreign service veteran, has served as special assistant to the president and senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council (NSC) since 2011.

He was NSC's director for Japan, South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea from 2009 to 2011. His other assignments included director of the office of Japanese affairs at the Department of State, U.S. consul-general in Osaka-Kobe, Japan; deputy chief of mission separately at the U.S. embassies in The Hague and in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Russel accompanied Secretary of State John Kerry in his first trip to China last month.

Once confirmed by the Senate, he will succeed Kurt Campbell, who left his post in early February.

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