Foreign Policy for America Statement on the Confirmation Hearings of Ambassador Wendy Sherman and Dr. Colin Kahl

March 4, 2021

Foreign Policy for America Statement on the Confirmation Hearings of Ambassador Wendy Sherman and Dr. Colin Kahl

Washington, DC – Foreign Policy for America is proud to support its recent advisory board members Ambassador Wendy Sherman and Dr. Colin Kahl, as they proceed through the confirmation process.

Amb. Sherman went before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday as President Biden’s nominee to be Deputy Secretary of State. A seasoned diplomat with extensive experience on the Hill, Sherman is the right person for the job. Ambassador Sherman served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs under President Obama and led the U.S. negotiating team in reaching the Iran nuclear agreement. Amb. Sherman has also served as Counselor for the State Department, Special Advisor to the President and Policy Coordinator on North Korea, Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, and Chief of Staff to Rep. Barbara Mikulski. The hearing made clear that Ambassador Sherman’s intimate knowledge of Congress, and her deep respect for the Congress’ role in the development and oversight of U.S. foreign policy, will be a major asset to her as Deputy Secretary.

Dr. Kahl went before the Senate Armed Services Committee today as President Biden’s nominee to be Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Dr. Kahl recognizes that many of the most significant challenges facing the Pentagon, and American national security, are not traditional defense issues, but rather fast emerging priorities, such as climate change and global health security. He offered powerful insights into his commitment to service post-9/11 and his commitment to putting his duties to the country above politics. Dr. Kahl previously served as National Security Advisor to the Vice President and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East. He is exceptionally qualified for the role.

Both nominees echoed President Biden’s own commitment to diplomacy-first foreign policy, and offered strong support for the stances and priorities outlined by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, including a commitment to return to the JCPOA on a compliance for compliance basis and to use that as a foundation for further diplomacy with Iran. Politically driven attacks from Republican Senators in both hearings focused on Amb. Sherman and Dr. Kahl’s involvement in the successful diplomatic effort to block Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon, and conveniently left out the remarkable success of that effort, the utter failure of the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” policy, and the implicit conclusion that those Senators would rather send American military service members to war than simply negotiate with an adversary.

“Wendy and Colin – in their expertise, professionalism, and decency – represent the very best of our country. Both are exceptionally qualified,” said FP4A Executive Director Andrew Albertson. “President Biden, having been resoundingly elected by the American public, deserves to pick his team – and he really couldn’t do better than these two. We have been privileged to work closely with both of them, and there is no question they are committed to President Biden’s vision of leading with diplomacy and reimagining our national security to meet today’s challenges.”