In a statement the White House said, Daniel Smith, director of the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), has been appointed as acting secretary of state following Joe Biden’s swearing in as President.
Smith will fill the role temporarily until Biden’s nominee, Antony Blinken, is confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
The announcement comes a day after the confirmation hearing of Blinken, 58, a veteran foreign policy hand and close Biden confidant. So far, there has been no indication that Blinken would face difficulty being confirmed.
Smith was appointed director of the FSI, which trains American diplomats, in 2018 and holds the State Department’s highest diplomatic rank of Career Ambassador.
Blinken previously served as No. 2 at the State Department and as deputy national security adviser in President Barack Obama’s administration.