This is the week that many in the State Department hoped would never come — the week when Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns actually hung up his pinstripes.

Not that it is a surprise. In April, when Burns, a 32-year Foreign Service veteran and only the second career diplomat to rise to the deputy secretary slot, announced his intent to go, Secretary of State John Kerry called him a “diplomatic legend,” comparing him to the likes of George Kennan and Chip Bohlen.

Burns also has served as under secretary of state for political affairs and as assistant secretary for the Middle East. In addition, he has been an ambassador to Russia and to Jordan and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs at the National Security Council.  He speaks Russian, Arabic and French — languages that don’t appear to have a lot in common.

Foggy Bottom chatter has it that undersecretary for political affairs Wendy Sherman may move up to deputy or the White House favorite, deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken, might move over to State. (That would help the environment: he could car pool with his wife, Evan Ryan, who is assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs.)