Biden chooses veteran diplomat Burns as CIA director

Election

FILE – In this Dec. 12, 2012 file photo, then Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, who is in charge of policy, testifies during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing in Washington. President-elect Joe Biden has chosen veteran diplomat William Burns to be his CIA director. Biden made the announcement on Monday. A former ambassador to Russia and Jordan, Burns rose through the ranks of the State Department to become deputy secretary before retiring to run the Carnegie Endowment of International Peace in 2014. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden announced Monday he has chosen veteran diplomat William Burns to be his CIA director.

A former ambassador to Russia and Jordan, Burns, 64, had a 33-year career at the State Department under both Republican and Democratic presidents. He rose through the ranks of the diplomatic corps to become deputy secretary of state before retiring in 2014 to run the Carnegie Endowment of International Peace.

Amid tumult in the State Department after Donald Trump took office in 2017, Burns held his tongue until last year when he began writing highly critical pieces of the Trump administration’s policies in Foreign Affairs and other publications.

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

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