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U.S. Senator Bob Menendez. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Biden picks senior Menendez aide for State Department post

Jessica Lewis to be Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for the Bureau of Political and Military Affairs

By David Wildstein, April 23 2021 6:13 pm

President Joe Biden will nominate a top aide to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez to serve as Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for the Bureau of Political and Military Affairs.

The White House on Friday announced that Jessica Lewis, a longtime Menendez advisor and the current staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was Biden’s pick for the State Department post.

“First as my foreign policy advisor in the House of Representatives and now as Staff Director of the Foreign Relations Committee, Jessica is someone who is recognized across party lines as one of the most effective and respected leaders on Capitol Hill,” Menendez said.  “She is a trailblazer for women in national security, and her steady and reliable diplomatic hand has served our nation greatly in times of chaos and calm.”

Lewis spent seven years as a foreign policy and national security advisor to Harry Reid during his tenures as the Senate Majority and Minority Leader.

She was the Democratic staff director for the House International Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere when Menendez was the ranking minority member.

“While I’m sad to see her go, Jessica has my deep appreciation and sincere gratitude for her contributions to the Committee, the United States Congress, and the people of New Jersey. I have no doubt her passion, commitment and dedication to service will be an invaluable asset to the State Department and to the Biden administration,” Menendez said. “I look forward to receiving and swiftly taking up Jessica’s nomination so that she can continue shaping our nation’s foreign policy at the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.”

Sarah Margon, who followed Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) as Washington director of the Human Rights Watch, is Biden’s pick as Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.  That’s the job Malinowski held during the Obama administration.

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