Antony "Tony" John Blinken
Born on April 16, 1962, is an American-Jewish politician currently serving as the Secretary of State of the United States. He previously held the position of Deputy Secretary of State (2015–2017) and Deputy National Security Advisor (2013–2015) under President Barack Obama. Blinken has a long history of public service, with significant roles in shaping U.S. foreign policy.
Antony Blinken was born to Jewish parents, Judith and Donald Blinken. His paternal grandfather, Meir Blinken, was a Yiddish writer born in Priazalye, a village in Belarus, who later immigrated to the United States.
Meir Blinken's most famous work is "Veyber," a Yiddish book addressing the topic of women in Jewish society. His father, Donald Blinken, was a banker and served as the U.S. Ambassador to Hungary during the Clinton administration.
Blinken attended the Dalton School in New York City until 1971 when he moved to Paris, France, with his mother and stepfather, Samuel Pisar, a Holocaust survivor who endured Auschwitz. He continued his education at École Jeannine Manuel.
He later attended Harvard University, where he was a contributor to the student newspaper "The Harvard Crimson" and edited his weekly arts supplement. After completing his undergraduate studies, Blinken worked for the "New Republic" magazine.
He then studied law at Columbia University and earned his JD degree in 1988. Following his legal studies, he practiced law in New York and Paris. During the 1988 presidential campaign, Blinken worked alongside his father in fundraising efforts for Michael Dukakis.
Blinken has held high-level positions in U.S. foreign policy for two decades. He served on the National Security Council staff at the White House from 1994 to 2001. From 1994 to 1998, he was Senior Director for Strategic Planning, Senior Director for Strategic Initiatives, and Senior Director for Speechwriting and had a hand in crafting President Bill Clinton's speeches, including the famous "Shalom, Haver" speech given on the night of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination. From 1999 to 2001, Blinken served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European and Canadian Affairs.
In 2002, Blinken was appointed the Staff Director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a role he held until 2008. He was also a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In 2008, Blinken worked on Senator Joe Biden's presidential campaign and was part of the Obama-Biden presidential transition team.
From 2009 to 2013, Blinken served as Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden. In this role, he played a key role in shaping U.S. policy on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Iranian nuclear program.
With Joe Biden's election as President in 2020, Blinken's name emerged as a candidate for Secretary of State. Several months before Biden's election victory, Blinken commented on the Trump administration's decision to move the U.S. embassy back to Tel Aviv, stating it was an "illogical, impractical, and lacking in any diplomatic or political wisdom."
On January 8, 2021, the outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Secretary of State-designate Antony Blinken for the first time. On January 26, his nomination was approved by the Senate with a majority vote of 78 to 22.
Antony Blinken is married to Evan Ryan, an American public servant who served as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) from 2013 to 2017.
As the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken is an integral part of President Biden's administration, playing a key role in shaping American foreign policy.
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