Biden Picks Iran-Deal, Ukraine Veterans for Key Diplomatic Posts

President-elect Joe Biden picked veterans of the Iran nuclear talks and diplomacy during Ukraine’s democratic uprising for two senior State Department posts.

Wendy Sherman, a former undersecretary of state for political affairs under President Barack Obama, was nominated to be deputy secretary of state, the Biden transition said in a statement on Saturday.

A regular critic of President Donald Trump on Twitter, Sherman was the lead U.S. negotiator in talks that led to the 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers on the Islamic republic’s nuclear program.

She tweeted Saturday that she was “honored to be nominated” for the “extraordinary team” being put together by Biden for the State Department.

Trump withdraw the U.S. from the nuclear deal in 2018, calling it a “disaster.” Sherman, 71, has worked recently at Albright Stonebridge Group LLC, a consulting group founded by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Victoria Nuland, a career diplomat whose previous posts include U.S. ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels, was nominated as under secretary for political affairs. As assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs during the Obama administration, she was the lead diplomat on the ground in Kyiv and Moscow during the pro-democracy uprising in Ukraine and Russia’s subsequent annexation of Crimea.

She’s also been posted to Russia, China and Mongolia.

Other Biden nominations announced Saturday were Brian McKeon as deputy secretary for management and resources; Bonnie Jenkins as under secretary for arms control and international security affairs; and Uzra Zeya as under secretary for civilian security, democracy and human rights.

All are due to work under Antony Blinken, the longtime aide that Biden tapped in November to serve as secretary of state.

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