The Cable

The Cable goes inside the foreign policy machine, from Foggy Bottom to Turtle Bay, the White House to Embassy Row.

Transition Rumint: more names

State Department Sources tell The Cable that the Center for a New American Security’s Derek Chollet, a Washington foreign policy hand who has helped former Secretaries of State James Baker and Warren Christopher write their memoirs, and been an aide to former Clinton Russia hand Strobe Talbott, is likely to be named deputy director of ...

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589632_090112_chollet2.jpg

State Department

Sources tell The Cable that the Center for a New American Security's Derek Chollet, a Washington foreign policy hand who has helped former Secretaries of State James Baker and Warren Christopher write their memoirs, and been an aide to former Clinton Russia hand Strobe Talbott, is likely to be named deputy director of the State Department Office of Policy Planning (working under Anne-Marie Slaughter, the dean of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs).

Chollet, who also served as an advisor to John Edwards, "understands the building," commented one Washington Democratic foreign policy hand, saying that attribute would be a big help to Slaughter, who comes to Foggy Bottom from academia. "Chollet is a consummate Washington foreign policy specialist ... and has consistently been named one of the best young minds." Chollet declined to comment.

State Department

Sources tell The Cable that the Center for a New American Security’s Derek Chollet, a Washington foreign policy hand who has helped former Secretaries of State James Baker and Warren Christopher write their memoirs, and been an aide to former Clinton Russia hand Strobe Talbott, is likely to be named deputy director of the State Department Office of Policy Planning (working under Anne-Marie Slaughter, the dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs).

Chollet, who also served as an advisor to John Edwards, “understands the building,” commented one Washington Democratic foreign policy hand, saying that attribute would be a big help to Slaughter, who comes to Foggy Bottom from academia. “Chollet is a consummate Washington foreign policy specialist … and has consistently been named one of the best young minds.” Chollet declined to comment.

Sources also say that former Energy Department deputy undersecretary for defense nuclear nonproliferation Rose Gottemoeller, currently with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is expected to be tapped to serve as either assistant secretary of state for verification and arms control, special envoy to head up U.S.-Russian talks on strategic force reductions and other bilateral nuclear matters, or possibly both. “The issues overlap and by combining them, you give the assistant secretary more clout to get stuff done,” explained one Washington nonproliferation expert. “It made sense to a lot of people.”

Defense Department

Sources tell The Cable that former Clinton-era deputy undersecretary of defense James N. Miller, now senior vice president and director of studies with the Center for a New American Security, is going to be named principal deputy under secretary of defense for policy, reporting to undersecretary of defense for policy Michele Flournoy, his current boss at CNAS.

Sandy Vershbow, a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, Russia, and NATO, is expected to be named assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs.

NSC

Sources tell The Cable that Puneet Talwar, the chief advisor on Iraq, Iran, and the Middle East to Senator Biden on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is likely to be named NSC senior director on the Middle East.

Former Clinton-era deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall is likely to be named NSC senior director for Europe, sources say.

Laura Rozen writes The Cable daily at ForeignPolicy.com.

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