There's still an opening--but not for much longer--for a new undersecretary of state for economics, business and agricultural affairs. The incumbent, Stuart E. Eizenstat, is moving over to the No. 2 spot at the Treasury Department.

The job was offered to former New York investment banker Felix Rohatyn, but he decided to stay on in the embassy in Paris. Tough duty. Former Treasury official Robert D. Hormats, now a New York investment banker, was also approached about the job and he too demurred.

One problem for both of them may have been there's so little time left in the administration that it's hard for people coming in--especially from the outside--to see how they'd be able to do anything useful.

Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Richard Fisher is said to have been much interested in the job and David L. Aaron, undersecretary for international trade at the Commerce Department, had been mentioned. But Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, still not happy at losing Eizenstat, has the pick on this one and her choice is said to be Alan Larson, the highly regarded assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs.

Helms and Hooker

Speaking of Eizenstat, the old Tar Heel was testifying at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday about the role of economic sanctions in foreign policy. Chairman Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), whose wife also attended the University of North Carolina, noted the death Tuesday of UNC Chancellor Michael Hooker, 53, former president of the University of Maryland at the Baltimore campus.

"He liked to joke about his name," Helms recalled. "Particularly when--and bear in mind, his name is 'Hooker,' and he's the chancellor. And the new president of the University of North Carolina is Molly Broad. So he said: 'This is the only university that's got a Broad for the presidency and a Hooker for the chancellor.' "

On a Higher Plane

And speaking of Albright, she's away on vacation, but spokesman James Foley, subbing for the also vacationing James P. Rubin, said yesterday he had no "information on her whereabouts."

Apparently folks at Foggy Bottom want to keep her vacation location semisecret for security reasons. So only the hundreds of other passengers with Albright last night on a commercial airline flight to Austria are cleared to know where she went. She's spending a few days there with her family.

Wald Joins ITTPPRSVIHLCTFYS

U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Patricia M. Wald, a central figure in the legal life of Washington for more than 20 years, is retiring in a few months to become a judge on the international court at The Hague that is trying war criminals in the former Yugoslavia.

Wald had been a public interest lawyer and an assistant attorney general before joining the appellate court, often called the second most important in the country after the Supreme Court, in 1979. She was chief judge from 1986 to 1991.

Her new judgeship, on what is formally called the "International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia Since 1991," is a U.N. appointment and will require her to live at The Hague.

His Wife Made Him Do It

Thanks to all who identified the owner of that red Jeep Cherokee Laredo mentioned in Wednesday's column with the license plate SEN8AA. Turns out the owner, William Andresen, administrative assistant to Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.), also sent us an e-mail on why he advertised his station in life.

"I am, in fact, proud of what I do," Andresen said. "I am particularly proud to be administrative assistant to the member I work for." As for our speculation that maybe the plate was about a Senate Alcoholics Anonymous chapter, Andresen said: "In order to clear up any confusion, it does refer to my job title, it does not refer to any vices I may or may not have." He doesn't take credit for the plate, however. "The idea was my wife's."

We've been hearing of other odd license plates on the Hill (and would love to hear about others). For example, former Senate administrative assistant Lane Bailey used to have a plate that said, "AA4JAY," refering to his job for Sen. John D. "Jay" Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.).

Apuzzo Gets the Chair

Virginia Apuzzo, a longtime gay and lesbian rights activist, former Labor Department official and most recently head of the White House office of management and administration, is leaving to take a job at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute's first endowed chair, which was named for her. Apuzzo headed the task force in the 1980s.

Intel Eyes Foreign Legion Link

Jon Ullyot, deputy chief of staff and press secretary to Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), has left to coordinate communications in Washington for Intel Corp. A former Marine captain, Ullyot had one of the more unusual tasks in the corps: liaison officer for the Marines to the French Foreign Legion.