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Auburn native Brian McKeon tapped to State Department post in Biden administration
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Auburn native Brian McKeon tapped to State Department post in Biden administration

Brian McKeon

Auburn Brian McKeon has close ties with Joe Biden.

Brian McKeon, an Auburn native and longtime adviser to President-elect Joe Biden, has been tapped to a top State Department post in the Biden administration. 

The Biden transition team announced Saturday that McKeon will be nominated to serve as deputy secretary of state for management and resources, one of the top posts in the State Department. 

According to the State Department's website, the deputy secretary of state for management and resources is the chief operating officer of the department and a principal adviser to the secretary of state. 

The appointment must be confirmed by the Senate. 

McKeon, an Auburn High School alumnus, began working for then-Senator Biden after graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1985. After earning his law degree at Georgetown University Law Center, he became Biden's legislative assistant for foreign policy and defense — a position he held from 1988 to 1995. 

Over a two-year period in the mid-1990s, McKeon took positions outside of Biden's office. He was a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Robert Doumar and joined President Bill Clinton's reelection campaign as a foreign policy adviser. 

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McKeon returned to Biden's Senate office in 1997. He was the Democrats' chief counsel on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which Biden chaired from 2001 to 2003 and again from 2007 to 2009. 

When Biden was elected vice president, McKeon was his deputy national security adviser for three years. He also served as chief of staff of the National Security Council and, from 2014 to 2017, was the principal deputy undersecretary for policy at the Department of Defense. 

After Biden's two terms as vice president, McKeon became the senior director of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, D.C. When Biden launched his presidential campaign, McKeon was a foreign policy adviser and continued to advise the Biden transition team. 

He was inducted into the Auburn Alumni Hall of Distinction in 2019. 

The Biden transition team announced other State Department appointments on Saturday. The nominations include Wendy Sherman for deputy secretary of state, Bonnie Jenkins for under secretary for arms control and international security affairs, Victoria Nuland to serve as under secretary for political affairs and Uzra Zeya for under secretary for civilian security, democracy and human rights. 

Biden, who will be sworn in as the 46th president on Wednesday, previously announced that Antony Blinken will be nominated to serve as secretary of state. 

"This diverse and accomplished team, led by Secretary of State-designate Blinken, embodies my core belief that America is strongest when it works with our allies," Biden said in a statement. "Collectively, they have secured some of the most defining national security and diplomatic achievements in recent memory — and I am confident that they will use their diplomatic experience and skill to restore America's global and moral leadership. America is back."

Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.


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Online producer and politics reporter

I have been The Citizen's online producer and politics reporter since December 2009. I'm the author of the Eye on NY blog and write the weekly Eye on NY column that appears every Sunday in the print edition of The Citizen and online at

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