U.S. Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder is leaving his post in Brussels to become president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs starting in July.
Daalder, who was director for European affairs on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council, was tapped by Obama for the NATO posting in 2009.
We’re hearing that the Dutch-born academic, who was also a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution, beat out some heavy competition for the job, including some of his fellow ambassadors and some State Department officials.
No word yet from the White House on a successor, but don’t get out your resumes. This job usually goes to a foreign policy type, not the typical big bundler.
Speaking of the NATO job, Daalder’s predecessor there was Victoria Nuland, the well-liked and highly regarded State Department spokesperson who may soon be replaced, chatter has it, by former Obama White House deputy communications director and more recently the 2012 traveling campaign press secretary Jen Psaki. (She also, Loop fans may recall, worked for John Kerry in the 2004 presidential campaign, starting in Iowa.)
Psaki was also very much in the running two years ago to replace former White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, but was edged out by current spokesman Jay Carney.
Nuland has had a most bipartisan career. She was chief of staff to Clinton administration deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott and later worked as a foreign policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney before her appointment by President George W. Bush to the NATO job.
Buzz at State is that “she’ll be well taken care of” in her quest to get back to policy — and not because she doesn’t like us — either with a fine ambassadorship or more possibly as assistant secretary of state for Europe, which may be open when the current assistant secretary, Phil Gordon, moves over to the National Security Council.