WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley—the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s subcommittee overseeing multilateral institutions, and a member of the bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CCEC)—released the following statement today after meeting virtually with President-elect Biden’s nominees to be the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and Secretary of State, Antony Blinken:
“I appreciate having had the chance to speak with Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Antony Blinken this week about a number of pressing diplomatic issues around the world ahead of their confirmation hearings in the new year.
“Particularly after the challenges of this year and the Trump administration’s abdication of American leadership on the international stage, America’s incoming foreign policy leaders will have their work cut out for them. From restoring American climate cooperation and taking a forceful stance against human rights violations—including in China and Burma—to reducing nuclear dangers and combating wildlife trafficking, we need public servants with extensive foreign policy experience and proven talent for diplomacy to build international partnerships capable of tackling urgent issues for America and the world.
“Based on our meetings and their distinguished diplomatic careers, I have every confidence that Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Antony Blinken exemplify each of these attributes. Throughout her 35 year career in public service, Linda Thomas-Greenfield has shown an unwavering commitment to strengthening America’s alliances, supporting our values, investing in people, and advancing pathbreaking work in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. And during Antony Blinken’s career—which has included service on President Clinton’s National Security Council staff, with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and in President Obama’s State Department—he has demonstrated the same ability to navigate complicated dynamics, protect the values Americans hold dear, and advance our nation’s foreign policy objectives.
“The confirmation of these qualified nominees would match the high standard of professionalism that America’s dedicated Foreign Service Officers and State Department professionals strive for. I look forward to continuing to work with them throughout their respective confirmation processes and beyond.”
High-resolution photos of Sen. Merkley’s meetings with Thomas-Greenfield and Blinken can be downloaded here.