Selection of Avril Haines as Deputy National Security Advisor

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
December 18, 2014

Avril will do a terrific job. Everything you’d hope for in a Deputy National Security Advisor is exactly what she brings to the table, just like Tony before her. She’s fair, driven, thoughtful, unflappable, organized, and brilliant. This is a big job. it’s a policy job, a process job, and a people skills job. It is rare for one person to bring all the right talents to that equation. It requires diverse experience, high intellect, the ability to build consensus, to filter the best ideas from the national security team, and consider the views and equities from a range of parties. Avril has all of those qualities, end of story. She’s a terrific recruit.

Frankly, Avril’s journey of the last several years tells you how superb she is and how valued she is by all of us who make up the President’s national security team. Joe Biden valued her expertise on the Foreign Relations Committee. During the first term, she was respected at the State Department before she went on to earn plaudits on the NSC. It’s no secret that I tried to steal her back and she was actually nominated to be the State Department’s Legal Advisor before John Brennan called me to say he needed her as Deputy Director of the CIA. That chronology tells the story of someone who is respected throughout the inter-agency, and I’m really looking forward to working closely with her again.