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Biden nominates State Dept. veteran William Burns as CIA director

William J. Burns has served as U.S. ambassador to both Russia and Jordan and is a longtime veteran of the State Department. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
William J. Burns has served as U.S. ambassador to both Russia and Jordan and is a longtime veteran of the State Department. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 11 (UPI) -- President-elect Joe Biden announced Monday he is nominating William Burns, who has served in the State Department under five different administrations, as his director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Burns served as U.S. ambassador to Jordan under former President Bill Clinton and ambassador to Russia under former President George W. Bush.

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"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 in a statement Monday.

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

Biden said Burns will offer the ability to confront threats before they reach U.S. shores. He is currently president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2014 after a 33-year diplomatic career.

Burns had publicly criticized the foreign policy of the Trump administration and President Donald Trump for not conceding the 2020 presidential election, saying Trump's ongoing defiance could damage U.S. interests overseas.

"A national security expert with decades of experience serving under Democratic and Republican presidents, Ambassador Bill Burns has a deep understanding of the global threats and challenges facing our country," Vice President-elect Kamala Harris added.

"He will lead the CIA with independence and integrity, always honoring our nation's intelligence professionals."

If confirmed by the Senate, Burns would be the first CIA leader whose experience is largely from the State Department.

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