Reporting for Duty

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) last week became the 68th secretary of state during a swearing-in ceremony on Capitol Hill. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan administered the oath of office to Kerry on Feb. 1 in the Capitol Building, according to the State Department’s website. Kerry moves to the State Department after 28 years in the Senate, including the last four as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is the first sitting SFRC chair to become secretary of state in more than 100 years, according to his newly posted State Department biography. Kerry replaces Hillary Clinton, who led the State Department during the Obama Administration’s first term. Clinton, in her Feb. 1 farewell message to State Department employees, thanked the members of the US foreign and civil service for helping “to elevate diplomacy and development as core pillars of American power.” Kerry is scheduled to deliver remarks to State Department employees for the first time on Monday upon his arrival at the State Department building.