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Joe Biden to nominate veteran diplomat William Burns as CIA director

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Joe Biden to nominate veteran diplomat William Burns as CIA director 1

President-elect Joe Biden announced Monday that he will nominate veteran diplomat William Burns as his CIA director.

Burns, 64, a former ambassador to Russia and Jordan, had a 33-year career at the State Department under both Republican and Democratic presidents.

He became deputy secretary of state before retiring in 2014 to run the Carnegie Endowment of International Peace.

“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.

“He shares my profound belief that intelligence must be apolitical and that the dedicated intelligence professionals serving our nation deserve our gratitude and respect,” the incoming president continued.

“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,” he added.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said in a statement: “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,” she said.

“He will lead the CIA with independence and integrity, always honoring our nation’s intelligence professionals. And President-elect Joe Biden 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,” Harris added.

Burns was the 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; and acting director and principal deputy director of the State Department’s policy planning staff.

He received three Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and the highest civilian honors from the Pentagon and the US intelligence community.

Burns earned a bachelor’s degree in history from LaSalle University and master’s and doctoral degrees in international relations from Oxford University. 

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