Former Ambassador to Russia and Jordan, Burns, 64, became Deputy Secretary of State before retiring in 2014.
President-elect Joe Biden has chosen veteran diplomat William Burns to head the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Former ambassador to Russia and Jordan, Burns, 64, had a 33-year career in the State Department under the Republican and Democratic presidents.
He rose through the diplomatic corps to become Deputy Secretary of State before retiring in 2014 to lead the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Amid the uproar at the State Department after Donald Trump took office in 2017, Burns held his tongue until last year, when he began writing highly critical articles on US politics. Trump administration in Foreign Affairs and other publications.
“Bill Burns is an exemplary diplomat with decades of experience on the world stage in ensuring the security of our people and our country,” Biden said.
“He shares my deep belief that intelligence must be non-political and that the dedicated intelligence professionals serving our nation deserve our gratitude and respect. Ambassador Burns will bring the knowledge, judgment and perspective we need to prevent and deal with threats before they can reach our shores. The American people will sleep soundly with him as the next director of the CIA.
National security team
Biden’s choice to lead the CIA comes as he rushes to put together a national security team after the transition was delayed by Republican President Donald Trump challenging the Democrat’s election victory in November.
Burns must be confirmed by the US Senate, in which Biden’s fellow Democrats narrowly hold a majority.
Biden has asked Congress to confirm his national security team as close to his inauguration on January 20 as possible, but he still faces the prospect of having few permanent members in place when he takes office.
Biden, who served as Obama’s vice president, said he would reinstate the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which Trump abandoned.