For Antony Blinken, America’s new top diplomat, returning to the U.S. Department of State brings the opportunity to continue both professional and family traditions.
Blinken, whom the U.S. Senate confirmed as secretary of state January 26, will lead the State Department, where he served during the Clinton and Obama administrations. His career in public service follows in the steps of his father and uncle, who served as U.S. ambassadors.
Blinken told a January 19 Senate hearing on his nomination to be the 71st U.S. secretary of state that he will work with international partners to tackle global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic. He also hailed the United States’ ability to mobilize others for the greater good.
“For all that has changed, some things remain constant. American leadership still matters,” Blinken testified. But he added, “Not one of the big challenges we face can be met by one country acting alone — even one as powerful as the U.S.”
Blinken also called carrying on his family’s tradition of public service “a sacred duty.”
Blinken has said the experiences of his family members who fled persecution for the United States have informed his view of America’s role in the world.