A California congresswoman with experience in military matters is the Obama administration's choice to be under secretary of state for arms control and international security.
Congressional and administration sources told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher is the administration's pick. The sources requested anonymity because the announcement is not official.
The U.S. Department of State Web site explains the job duties as:
The under secretary provides policy direction in the following areas: nonproliferation, including the missile and nuclear areas, as well as chemical, biological, and conventional weapons proliferation; arms control, including negotiation, ratification, verification and compliance, and implementation of agreements on strategic, non-conventional, and conventional forces; regional security and defense relations, involving policy regarding U.S. security commitments worldwide as well as on the use of U.S. military forces in unilateral or international peacekeeping roles; and arms transfers and security assistance programs and arms transfer policies.
Tauscher was a supporter of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton when she ran for the Democratic presidential nomination last year. The State Department post requires Senate confirmation.
Tauscher chairs the House Armed Services Committee's subcommittee on strategic forces. She also is head of the New Democrats, a centrist group of House Democrats.