News / USA

Senator Kerry Has Extensive Foreign Policy Credentials

Michael Bowman
President Barack Obama’s expected choice to lead the State Department after Hillary Clinton‘s departure, Democratic Senator John Kerry, has vast experience on the world stage gained through a lifetime of public service.

Globetrotting and world affairs are nothing new to John Kerry, a five-term senator who is chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations.  His duties have taken him to conflict zones and kept him in close contact with leaders around the world.

Born in 1943, Kerry came of age during the presidency of John F. Kennedy, a source of continuing inspiration.

“When I was in high school, a junior, John Kennedy called my generation to service.  It was the beginning of a great journey, a time to march for civil rights, for voting rights, for the environment, for women, for peace.  We believed we could change the world.  And you know what?  We did,” Kerry said.

After graduating from Yale University, Kerry fought in the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, earning five combat medals.  Returning home, he condemned the conflict and what he had witnessed.

His anti-war record and left-of-center politics did not hinder his political ambitions.  A decade after getting a law degree, Kerry ran for the U.S. Senate in his state of Massachusetts in 1984, and won.

Although often overshadowed by another Massachusetts senator, the late Edward Kennedy, Kerry distinguished himself by probing the Iran-Contra affair during the Reagan administration in the late 1980s.  He has championed the cause of American soldiers missing in Vietnam, nuclear non-proliferation, and the need to confront climate change.

In 2004, Kerry ran for president, and won the Democratic Party’s nomination. “I know the reach of our power, and I know the power of our ideals.  We need to make America once again a beacon in the world.  We need to be looked up to, not just feared,” Kerry said.

His lost, but remained in the Senate.  In 2009, Kerry presided over the confirmation of President Obama's first secretary of state.

“Hillary Clinton has shown the intelligence to navigate the complex issues we face,” Kerry said.

Political scientist Thomas Mann says Kerry is well-suited to be America’s top diplomat.

“Senator Kerry is bright and experienced.  I think he would be an effective diplomat and partner in foreign policy-making for the administration,” Mann said.

No serious opposition to Kerry’s nomination would be expected from his Senate colleagues.  Republican Senator John McCain recently implied Kerry's confirmation would be a sure bet, referring to the Massachusetts Democrat as “Mr. Secretary.”

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More