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Biden to announce key State Department and national security posts: report

President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Memo: Georgia voters deliver blow to Trump Warnock win puts Democrats within reach of Senate majority Eric Trump warns of primary challenges for Republicans who don’t object to election results MORE is filling out senior roles at the State Department and National Security Council, bringing former senior Obama administration officials back to government, according to reports.

Supporters are welcoming the move as bringing experienced professionals into key leadership positions.

But some of the appointments are likely to raise pushback among Republicans, in particular for positions that need Senate confirmation, over nominees’ past actions in the Obama administration and outspoken criticisms of the Trump administration. 

The nominations and appointments are expected to be announced as early as this week. They were reported by Politico and The Washington Post.

This includes Wendy Sherman, who Biden is expected to name for deputy secretary of State, the number two position behind Biden’s designee for secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenTwo brave women illustrate Biden’s China challenge Zaid Jilani: Yellen’s speaking fees are both ‘routine’ and a return to ‘influence peddling’ Saudi Arabia braces for Joe Biden MORE

Sherman was the lead negotiator on the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and served as undersecretary of State for political affairs in the Obama administration. 

She was a vocal critic of Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoPro-democracy figures reportedly arrested in Hong Kong under sweeping national security law Hillicon Valley: US intel agencies blame Russia for massive SolarWinds hack | Website crashes mar early coronavirus vaccine rollouts | Google workers make waves with new union OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Intel agencies point finger to Moscow on hack | Trump orders carrier to stay in Mideast | Defense letter took two days MORE, taking aim at speeches that drew Democratic condemnation as being politically partisan; criticizing him for not more forcefully defending diplomats and the State Department from attacks by President TrumpDonald TrumpWarnock defeats Loeffler in Georgia Senate runoff The Memo: Georgia voters deliver blow to Trump Eric Trump warns of primary challenges for Republicans who don’t object to election results MORE; pointing out his attacks on the press and critical of his foreign policy priorities. 

Sherman was most recently a senior counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group, the same global consulting firm that also employed Linda Thomas-GreenfieldLinda Thomas-GreenfieldThe ‘Biden Team’ is risk-averse, but capable and ready The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Congress moves to avert shutdown as virus talks stall again House Democrats introduce bill to address diversity at State Department MORE, Biden’s pick for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and who served as a senior State Department official in the Obama administration.

Sherman also worked in academia, as a professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and is director of the Center for Public Leadership. 

Biden is also expected to nominate Victoria Nuland for under secretary of state for political affairs, a senior State Department position that has oversight of all regional bureaus.

Nuland served as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs in the Obama administration. Yet she was part of a diplomatic scandal in 2014 on a leaked phone recording where she was heard using profanity to disparage the European Union over efforts to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the time that Nuland’s remarks were “absolutely unacceptable.” Merkel, the longest-serving incumbent head of government, is expected to step down this month. 

Biden has signaled his resolve to rebuild relationships with key European and NATO allies that suffered under the…

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