Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is retiring after decades of work in the foreign policy sphere, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Friday.
Sherman has taken the lead on multiple high-profile foreign policy issues, having served as the lead negotiator of the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) during the Obama administration and leading the Biden administration’s China policy.
CNN first reported Thursday that Sherman would be stepping down, although it was allegedly not going to take place until the summer.
Prior to serving as America’s second-ranking diplomat, Sherman was the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2011 to 2015, where she led the charge on the JCPOA. She also served as a North Korea policy adviser to former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and was Counselor of the State Department from 1997 to 2001.
Reuters reported Thursday that Sherman had taken the primary role in directing the State Department’s China policy under Blinken, and that there was dissent within the department about how Sherman handled China following the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) flying a spy balloon over the continental United States in February.
Blinken had been scheduled to make a high-profile visit to Beijing around the same time the balloon was discovered, but the administration canceled the trip due to “conditions” not being right. The State Department has maintained the trip was only postponed, not canceled, and that it will eventually be rescheduled in due course.
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