John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting Wednesday in Sweden. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

We’re hearing that Danny Russel, a 20-plus year State Department veteran who is senior director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Counsel, is heading over to Foggy Bottom to be assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

His foreign service career included stints in Tokyo and Seoul. Russel, a protege of foreign policy guru and former U.N. ambassador Tom Pickering, has been working the Asia portfolio at the NSC since 2009. Russel was on board during John Kerry’s recent first trip to China as secretary of state.

Kerry’s been moving to fill other posts, as well, as his former Senate Foreign Relations Committee and personal staff start drifting to State.

Alec Gerlach, Kerry’s former press secretary on the Hill, an Obama 2008 campaign operative and also a Glover Park Group veteran, is settling in as Kerry’s personal spokesman in the public affairs operation.

We’re hearing that Shannon Smith, a longtime Senate Foreign Relations Committee Africa hand is to be deputy assistant secretary in State’s Africa bureau, working with another committee colleague, Tamara Klajn.

The committee’s chief counsel, Andrew Keller, joins the legal team at the department, and Greg Kausner, who handled arms control and arms sales at the committee has joined the political military team as a deputy assistant secretary.

Anthony Wier, who handled non-proliferation matters for the committee, joins the policy planning shop, along with Perry Cammack (for the Middle East) and Melanie Nakagawa (for energy and environment), working for their old committee boss, David McKean.