Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
May 11, 2009

Secretary Clinton’s remarks from the top of the May 11, 2009 Daily Press Briefing:

Good morning. Still, it’s morning nearly. I just spoke to the Swiss Ambassador to the United States, who confirms, as the protecting power, that Roxana Saberi has been released from prison. She is currently with her family and will be leaving Tehran to return to the United States in the coming days. Obviously, we continue to take issue with the charges against her and the verdicts rendered, but we are very heartened that she has been released, and wish her and her family all of the very best we can send their way.

I wanted to come down to the briefing room today to formally introduce the new State Department Spokesman and Acting Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs Ian Kelly, and to say thank you publicly to Robert Wood. Ian is a career Foreign Service officer who most recently served on the Russia desk. So it was fitting that the very first bilateral meeting that he sat in on was my meeting and lunch with Foreign Minister Lavrov last week.

Ian has spent significant time overseas serving in various public affairs positions that have prepared him well for his new role. He will be a full-fledged member of my senior team, and as such, he will speak authoritatively on my behalf and on behalf of the Department.

As you have heard me say many times since becoming Secretary, our ability to connect with people around the world, communicate the foreign policy of the United States, give our own people here in the United States vital information that is relevant to their daily lives has never been more important. And not only is Ian the new face of the State Department, but as an added qualification, he is a long-suffering Cubs fan.

And I want to thank for a wonderful job and provide my deepest appreciation to Robert Wood. He took over in the middle of a transition and has been drinking from a fire hose ever since. But I have really enjoyed getting to know Robert and I look forward to continuing to work with him as an important contributor within the Department to the Obama Administration’s foreign policy. Both Robert and Ian represent public diplomacy and public affairs at their very best.

PRN: 2009/444

[This is a mobile copy of Welcome to Spokesman Ian Kelly]

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