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Posted at 02:30 PM ET, 01/03/2013

Obama Mideast and terrorism policy team changes

Workers preparing a review stand for the presidential inauguration. (Mandel Ngan - AFP/Getty Images)
Daniel Benjamin, counterterrorism coordinator at the State Department since 2009 and formerly National Security Council staffer and foreign policy speechwriter during the Clinton administration, is moving in this week as the new director of Darthmouth’s Dickey Center for International Understanding.

Meanwhile, we’re hearing that Steven Simon, formerly at the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and more recently President Obama’s senior director at the National Security Council for the Middle East and North Africa — and a co-author with Benjamin of two highly regarded books on terrorism — is moving back to IISS to be executive director of United States and Middle East offices.

One name we’re hearing as a possible replacement for Simon is Jon Alterman, on the State Department’s policy planning staff during the Clinton administration and, since 2002, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he’s director of the Middle East Program.

Another name we’re hearing is Colin Kahl, former Obama deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East and international security affairs and a member of the Obama presidential transition team, and now a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

By  |  02:30 PM ET, 01/03/2013

Tags:  transition, washingtonintransition

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