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Biden taps veteran diplomat Bill Burns as CIA director

Burns served at the State Department for more than three decades before retiring in 2014

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William Burns
William Burns
(Drew Angerer / Getty Images)
Updated: January 11, 2021 - 9:32am

Incoming President Joe Biden announced Monday that he has selected veteran diplomat Williams Burns to run the CIA. 

Burns had a 33-year career at the State Department – serving in Republican and Democratic administrations – prior to retiring in 2014.

The 64-year-old Burns also formerly served as an ambassador to  Russia and Jordan. He became the deputy secretary of state before his retirement.

"Bill Burns is an exemplary diplomat with decades of experience on the world stage keeping our people and our country safe and secure," Biden said Monday in a statement. "He shares my profound belief that intelligence must be apolitical and that the dedicated intelligence professionals serving our nation deserve our gratitude and respect."

Burns is said to have also been a contender for Biden's secretary of state, for which Anthony Blinken has been nominated. 

Burns has served as a close adviser to former Secretaries of State including William Christopher, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. 

Should he be confirmed, Burns will replace Trump administration CIA Director Gina Haspel. 

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