The Washington Post

Avril Haines hire at State

What’s that sound coming from Foggy Bottom? Could be another glass ceiling cracking.

The White House this week nominated Avril Haines to be the State Department’s top-ranking lawyer, a job that previously had been held exclusively by men.

The State Department, of course, has been run by women for most of the last 15 years, but the job of legal adviser has been an all-boys club since the post was established under FDR in 1931.

Haines comes from the White House counsel’s office, where she was deputy assistant to the President and deputy counsel to the President for national security affairs. Before that, she was a State Department attorney.

With this, his first assistant secretary-level nominee pick, it sounds like Secretary of State John Kerry is living up to a pledge he made at his first personnel meeting early in his Foggy Bottom tenure. Kerry announced he planned to hire and promote more women and folks from the State Department’s career ranks — foreign service and career types.

Looks like a solid start.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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