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Biden to nominate veteran diplomat William Burns as CIA director

President-elect Joe Biden has revealed his pick for CIA director.

Biden will nominate veteran diplomat William Burns to serve as the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, CNN reports.

“Bill Burns is an exemplary diplomat with decades of experience on the world stage keeping our people and our country safe and secure,” Biden said. “He shares my profound belief that intelligence must be apolitical and that the dedicated intelligence professionals serving our nation deserve our gratitude and respect.”

Burns “served in the U.S. Foreign Service for 33 years” and held a “number of national security positions across five Democratic and Republican presidential administrations,” the transition said in a statement. Under former President Barack Obama, he served as deputy secretary of state, and he was previously ambassador to Jordan and Russia, as well. He was involved in talks that led to the Iran nuclear deal while in the Obama administration and “has experience dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin,” Axios reports.

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Burns would be “the first career diplomat to serve as CIA Director” if confirmed, NBC News reports, and his “selection would bypass other contenders with more formal experience in the intelligence field,” CNN writes. This, NBC also noted, was the last major nomination to be announced by Biden prior to his inauguration on Jan. 20.