John Kerry Sworn In as the 68th Secretary of State

On February 1, 2013, at 4:04 p.m. EST, John Forbes Kerry was sworn in as the 68th Secretary of State of the United States.  Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan administered the oath in the Foreign Relations Committee Room in the Capitol. They were joined by his wife Teresa, daughter Vanessa, brother Cameron, and his Senate staff.

Kerry_swearing in

Photo via State Department/Flickr

As has been reported elsewhere, Secretary Kerry is also the son of Richard Kerry (1915–2000), a Foreign Service Officer and an attorney for the Bureau of United Nations Affairs, and Rosemary Isabel (Forbes) Kerry (1913–2002).

He is not the first diplobrat to become a Secretary of State, of course. That honor belongs to John Quincy Adams, our 8th Secretary of State.  No. 8 spent his youth accompanying his father John Adams overseas when the later served as an American envoy to France from 1778 until 1779 and to the Netherlands from 1780 until 1782.

Might Secretary Kerry be the first one with a foreign born spouse (Teresa Heinz was born in Maputo, Mozambique)?  No. That’s also John Quincy Adams who married, Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams born in London in 1775.  He went on to  become the 6th President of the United States and his wife was the only First Lady born outside of the United States.

The Voice of America, by the way, helpfully points out prior to his confirmation that “John Kerry will be the first white male U.S. Secretary of State in about 16 years.” The last white male who had the job in 1997 was Warren Christopher.

May we add that he also has the distinction of serving as the 10th Secretary of State from the state of Massachusetts?

Secretary Kerry will address employees upon his arrival at the State Department on Monday, February 4 at 9:00.  Look sharp and don’t be late!
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Filed under 68, Diplomatic History, Secretary of State, Spouses/Partners, State Department

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