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Tauscher to Leave Top State Department Arms Control Position

Ellen Tauscher is scheduled next month to relinquish her position as the U.S. State Department's lead official on arms control issues but will continue to serve as a "special envoy for strategic stability and missile defense," Foreign Policy magazine reported (see GSN, Oct. 4, 2010).

Tauscher, undersecretary of State for arms control and international security, is expected to be replaced by her top deputy, Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Rose Gottemoeller, who was the department's top negotiator in the New START nuclear arms control accord talks with Russia, unidentified Foggy Bottom officials said. 

Gottemoeller is anticipated to manage the State Department's arms control office at a minimum until the end of 2012 as the Obama administration does not believe it could secure Senate confirmation for a new undersecretary during the contentious election year, several department sources told Foreign Policy.

Tauscher, who recently overcame esophageal cancer, is to work on a part-time basis for the State Department while simultaneously advocating for improved care for cancer victims. 

As a State Department special envoy, the former Democratic lawmaker from California would continue to oversee multiple particular initiatives that she has overseen. Tauscher appears set to stay on as the chief U.S. envoy for talks on antimissile collaboration with Russia and would continue to support the administration's plan to deploy missile defense systems in Europe. She would also continue as the chief U.S. representative for atomic collaboration with partner states (see GSN, Jan. 23; Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy, Jan. 25).

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