U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has named Ford Vice President Stephen Biegun as Special Representative to North Korea.

The executive and former National Security staffer is joining the administration at a time of intense focus on U.S. efforts to force North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

"It is a very timely moment for Steve to join the team and come on board," Pompeo said."He and I will be traveling to North Korea next week to make further diplomatic progress towards our objective."

At Ford, Biegun oversees the carmaker’s international government relations. He also bring extensive government experience, with an appointment to the National Security Council during the administration of George W. Bush. Before joining the White House, he served for 14 years as a foreign policy advisor to members of both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

In remarks at the State Department Thursday morning, Stephen Biegun said "The issues are tough, and they will be tough to resolve. But the president has created an opening and it one that we must take by seizing every possible opportunity to realize the vision for a peaceful future for the people of North Korea."