WASHINGTON: President Bush has nominated Sean McCormack to replace Richard Boucher as assistant secretary of state for public affairs - the department's lead spokesman role.
McCormack, a former National Security Council spokesman, worked under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice when she was the president's National Security Advisor.
McCormack has also served as a special assistant to the president and deputy White House press secretary for foreign policy.
Robert Tappan, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for public affairs, said that Boucher is one of the longest serving State Department spokesmen having served under six department secretaries. He was sworn in December 2000.
Boucher "will go down in the hall of fame as one of our [department's] greatest briefers," he said.
Tappan said that with Rice becoming secretary of state, it was time to bring in a new assistant secretary. He added that although Rice and McCormack previously worked together, the nomination was made by the President in consultation with State.
The change "is a continuation and natural evolution of the communications apparatus of the Bush administration," Tappan said.
Prior to joining the administration, McCormack served in US embassies in Algeria and Turkey.