Dr. Susan Rice

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The blogosphere is abuzz with speculations on who will attain which cabinet posts. Rather than engage in any uniformed speculation myself, let me point readers to Spencer Ackerman’s excellent profile of Susan Rice. Rice was a member of President Clinton’s National Security Council and served in the State Department. She’s known in foreign policy circles as a forward thinking pragmatist. She was a close adviser to President-elect Obama during the campaign and will likely assume an important foreign policy making role in the new administration.

Former Sen. Tim Wirth, the Clinton administration’s undersecretary of state for global affairs from 1993 to 1997, said Rice saw connectivity in the world’s problems, instead of viewing them through the traditional prism of individual state power.

“She was one of the few people to live in the foreign-policy world who understood global issues, transnational issues like human rights, climate change and terrorism,” said Wirth, who worked with Rice when she was at the NSC and who now heads the United Nations Foundation. “The foreign-policy community is largely about political relationships. That’s what drives the [typical] foreign-policy world. But the new one is transnational problems, problems that don’t have passports.”

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