U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has begun his first trip abroad since taking over the country's top diplomatic position from Hillary Clinton early this month.
Kerry left Washington Sunday and headed to London - the first stop on his nine-country, 11-day tour.
Born December 11, 1943, in Colorado
Earned bachelor's degree at Yale, law degree at Boston College
Massachusetts lieutenant governor from 1983-1985
Has been a U.S. senator since 1985
Democratic candidate for president in 2004
Married to Teresa Heinz
The State Department says Syria will be a key topic of discussion when he meets with various international officials. Kerry also plans to meet with the leadership of the Syrian Opposition Coalition during the trip.
From London, he heads to Berlin, then on to Paris where he will discuss Washington's ongoing cooperation with France and other countries in supporting troubled Mali.
Kerry's next stops will be Rome, Ankara and Cairo, where the State Department says he will push for greater political consensus, and meet with top Arab League officials to consult on shared challenges in the region.
Kerry then goes to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi before ending his trip with a stop in Doha, Qatar.