ABC News reports that an announcement on Rice will come this week.
The network appears to have an inside track on the story – Rice’s husband, a former Canadian journalist – Ian Cameron, is the executive producer of ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”
Rice, 44, was a member of President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council and the former assistant secretary of state for African affairs under Madeleine Albright.
She was, in fact, an Albright protégé and in 1997, advanced ahead of several more senior officials to become one of the youngest assistant secretaries of state ever.
Rice served as a senior foreign policy adviser to Obama during his presidential campaign. She’s been a vocal critic of the current administration’s stance on Darfur, describing it as a policy of “bluster and retreat.”
Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April 2007, Rice said the U.S. should take military against Sudan if the genocide in Darfur continued.
“Some might argue that it’s unthinkable in the current context,” she testified. “Yet to allow another state to deter the U.S. by threatening terrorism would set a terrible precedent. It would also be cowardly and, in the face of genocide, immoral.”
Rice’s acumen on African affairs would be an obvious asset for the UN position. Roughly two-thirds of all discussions at the UN Security Council regard situations in Africa.
“She was one of the few people to live in the foreign-policy world who understood global issues, transnational issues like human rights, climate change and terrorism,” Tim Wirth, head of the United Nations Foundation, said recently of Rice.
Wirth worked with Rice when she was at the National Security Council.
Rice and her husband married in Washington in 1992 after meeting at Stanford University. They have two children.
Rice worked in Toronto in the early 1990s as an international management consultant at McKinsey and Company while Cameron was employed by the CBC in the same city as a producer.
A Rhodes Scholar, Rice received the National Security Council’s Samuel Nelson Drew Memorial Award for distinguished contributions to the formation of peaceful, co-operative relationships between countries, and to U.S. security policy for global peace.
The Washington, D.C. born Rice has said that as a young girl, she “dreamed of becoming the first U.S. senator from the District of Columbia.”
Like all U.S. ambassadors, Rice must be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
The current UN ambassador is Zalmay Khalilzad, who succeeded acting ambassador Alejandro Daniel Wolff.
Wolff temporarily replaced John Bolton, who resigned in the face of poor confirmation prospects after the 2006 mid-term elections returned a Democratic majority.