Noam Galay / Getty Images for the National Committee
Updated at 8:05 p.m. ET
President-elect Joe Biden plans to appoint veteran diplomat William Burns as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Burns, 64, is a former US ambassador to Russia and Jordan. He was deputy secretary of state during the Obama years, but left the State Department in 2014 to run the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank.
Biden said Burns “shares my deep belief that intelligence must be apolitical and that the dedicated intelligence professionals who serve our nation deserve our gratitude and respect.”
Burns’ notable achievements include using reverse channels to begin international talks with Iran on its nuclear ambitions. He left the government while the United States and other countries worked to reach an agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program. The Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (JCPOA) was finalized less than a year after his retirement.
In 2019, Burns wrote a scathing critique of what he called the Trump administration’s “diplomatic abuse,” saying she had mistreated Marie Jovanovic, the U.S. diplomat in Ukraine whose removal from office became a central theme in the impeachment process. the President and the Senate.
“I have never seen an attack on diplomacy as harmful both to the State Department as an institution and to our international influence, such as what is going on,” he wrote.
Burns told NPR in late 2019. “In my experience, what animates American foreign policy at best is a sense of enlightened self-interest – in other words, the view that our self-interest as a country is always we strive in the first place, it is best served by making a common cause. “