Officially In: Tara D. Sonenshine to be Under Secretary for State/R

President Obama announced his intent to nominate Tara D. Sonenshine to be Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (“R”).

The WH released the following brief bio:

Tara D. Sonenshine is the Executive Vice President of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).  Prior to joining USIP, she was a strategic communications adviser to many international organizations including USIP, the International Crisis Group, Internews, CARE, The American Academy of Diplomacy, and the International Women’s Media Foundation. Ms. Sonenshine served in various capacities at the White House during the Clinton Administration, including Transition Director, Director of Foreign Policy Planning for the National Security Council, and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Communications.   Prior to serving in the Clinton Administration, Ms. Sonenshine was an Editorial Producer of ABC News’ Nightline, where she worked for more than a decade.  She was also an off-air reporter at the Pentagon for ABC’s World News Tonight and is the recipient of 10 News Emmy Awards for coverage of international affairs. 

She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Tufts University.

Her USIP bio has additional details:

Sonenshine recently completed a project with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen for the Genocide Prevention Task Force, which was jointly convened by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, The American Academy of Diplomacy and the U.S. Institute of Peace. Tara served in the Clinton Administration as both Deputy Director for Communications on the National Security Council and later as Transition Director for foreign policy planning. She is the winner of 10 News Emmy Awards for her international productions for ABC News’ “Nightline.” She was a Contributing Editor at Newsweek magazine and President of She speaks Russian and Spanish and is an expert on creating and sustaining public visibility around issues, and developing external relations. She is published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Huffington Post, Russkoye Novoe Slovo, and other outlets.

If confirmed, Ms.  Sonenshine would succeed Judith McHale who departed in June this year after a 2-year tenure.

Related item:
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts| Nov 4, 2011