Johns Hopkins Gazette | March 16, 2009
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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University March 16, 2009 | Vol. 38 No. 26
Obama to Nominate Esther Brimmer of SAIS to State Department Post


By Felisa Neuringer Klubes

President Barack Obama has announced his intent to nominate Esther Brimmer, a scholar at SAIS, to serve as assistant secretary of state for international organizations. Brimmer is currently the deputy director and director of research at SAIS' Center for Transatlantic Relations and a professorial lecturer.

At the State Department, Brimmer will oversee policy relating to U.S. relations with the United Nations, and other multilateral issues. Her responsibilities will include leading a bureau with posts at U.N. organizations in seven cities: New York, Geneva, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Montreal and Nairobi.

Obama also announced the appointments of Philip H. Gordon as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs and Melanne Verveer as ambassador at large for global women's issues. Gordon is a SAIS graduate, earning his doctorate in 1991, and a former professorial lecturer in the school's European Studies Program.

According to the White House statement issued March 6, Obama said of the three nominees, "Each of these individuals brings a deep knowledge and expertise in their field, along with a commitment to strengthen American diplomacy to meet 21st-century challenges. They will be joining a leadership team at the State Department which will be at the forefront of our effort to renew America's security and standing in an uncertain world."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "In my testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I spoke about the use of smart power. At the heart of smart power are smart people, and these talented individuals are among the smartest I know. Along with the entire State Department team, I will count on and turn to these individuals for their expertise, experience and creative vision to make good on the promises of this new administration."

Brimmer, who specializes in trans-Atlantic political and security affairs, joined SAIS in November 2001. From 1999 to 2001, she was a member of the State Department's Office of Policy Planning, working on the European Union, Western Europe, the United Nations and multilateral security issues. She also served on the U.S. delegation to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in spring 2000. From 1995 to 1999, Brimmer managed projects as a senior associate at the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict. From 1993 to 1995, she was a special assistant to the undersecretary of state for political affairs. She earned her doctorate in international relations at the University of Oxford.


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