Blinken names ex-NSC official to be new State Dept spokesman

WASHINGTON (AP) – Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday chose an ex-National Security Council communications official to be the next spokesman for the State Department.

In a statement, Blinken announced that Matthew Miller will assume the role as the daily face of American foreign policy from the State Department podium at the end of April.

Miller is a longtime fixture in Democratic political circles and served as the chief spokesman for former Attorney General Eric Holder during the Obama administration. He has also worked closely with Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., the current chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

After President Joe Biden was elected, Miller worked on the incoming administration’s transition team, including helping to shepherd Blinken’s nomination to be America’s top diplomat in the Senate. He then took a temporary post at the NSC last year to coordinate U.S. messaging after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I benefitted greatly from Matt’s wisdom, his experience in government, and his deep understanding of foreign policy when he was tapped to head up my nomination,” Blinken said.

“Matt is no stranger to navigating and communicating on complex, global challenges like those we face today,” Blinken said. “I am grateful to Matt for once again agreeing to serve his country, and look forward to once again benefitting from his counsel and expertise.”

“It’s an honor to re-join the administration and especially to have the opportunity to work with the first-class team at the State Department,” Miller told The Associated Press. “I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running.”

Miller replaces Ned Price, another former Obama administration NSC official and an ex-CIA analyst, who served as Blinken’s top spokesman until last month. Price will move into a more policy-oriented State Department position reporting directly to Blinken early next month.

Vedant Patel, Price’s deputy who had been serving as acting State Department spokesman, will remain as Miller’s No. 2

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