Biden chooses veteran diplomat Burns as CIA director

US President-elect Joe Biden announces he has chosen veteran diplomat William Burns to be his CIA director.

A former ambassador to Russia and Jordan, Burns, 64, had a 33-year career at the State Department under both Republican and Democratic presidents. He rose through the ranks of the diplomatic corps to become deputy secretary of state before retiring in 2014 to run the Carnegie Endowment of International Peace.

Under former secretary of state John Kerry, Burns led secret talks with Iran that helped kick-start negotiations that led to the 2015 nuclear deal between six world powers and Iran, from which US President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018.

“Bill Burns is an exemplary diplomat with decades of experience on the world stage keeping our people and our country safe and secure,” Biden says. “Ambassador Burns will bring the knowledge, judgment, and perspective we need to prevent and confront threats before they can reach our shores. The American people will sleep soundly with him as our next CIA Director.”