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On the Retirement of Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland

Victoria Nuland has let me know that she intends to step down in the coming weeks as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs – a role in which she has personified President Biden’s commitment to put diplomacy back at the center of our foreign policy and revitalize America’s global leadership at a crucial time for our nation and the world.

Toria’s tenure caps three and a half decades of remarkable public service under six Presidents and ten Secretaries of State. Starting with her very first posting as a consular officer in Guangzhou, China, Toria’s had most of the jobs in this Department. Political officer and economic officer. Spokesperson and chief of staff. Deputy Assistant Secretary and Assistant Secretary. Special Envoy and Ambassador.

These experiences have armed Toria with an encyclopedic knowledge of a wide range of issues and regions, and an unmatched capacity to wield the full toolkit of American diplomacy to advance our interests and values.

What makes Toria truly exceptional is the fierce passion she brings to fighting for what she believes in most: freedom, democracy, human rights, and America’s enduring capacity to inspire and promote those values around the world. These were the principles that drove Toria when we first met more than 30 years ago. They are the same principles she has brought to her work as Under Secretary, and as Acting Deputy Secretary of State – a role she filled seamlessly for seven months.

Over the past three years, Toria has led this Department on everything from addressing complex crises in the Sahel, Haiti, and the Middle East, to broadening and strengthening America’s alliances and partnerships across Europe and the Indo-Pacific.

But it’s Toria’s leadership on Ukraine that diplomats and students of foreign policy will study for years to come. Her efforts have been indispensable to confronting Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, marshaling a global coalition to ensure his strategic failure, and helping Ukraine work toward the day when it will be able to stand strongly on its own feet – democratically, economically, and militarily.

There is so much to admire about Toria beyond her diplomatic skill. She always speaks her mind – to my benefit and to the benefit of our foreign policy. She always stands up for and invests in America’s diplomats – mentoring them, lifting them up, and ensuring they and their families have what they deserve, and what our mission demands. She finds light in the darkest moments, makes you laugh when you need it most, and always has your back.

President Biden and I have asked our Under Secretary for Management John Bass to serve as Acting Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs until Toria’s replacement is confirmed.

We are so grateful for Toria’s service, and for the lasting mark she’s made on this institution and the world.

Official news published at https://www.state.gov/on-the-retirement-of-under-secretary-of-state-for-political-affairs-victoria-nuland/

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