Washington, D.C.—The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden today released the following statement after President Obama announced that he plans to nominate Cathy Russell, Chief of Staff to Dr. Biden, for the position of Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues at the Department of State.
“We are so grateful for all of Cathy’s hard work and can’t imagine a better choice to be our next Ambassador to work on the most pressing issues faced by women and girls around the globe. Through the more than 25 years we have known Cathy, she has made a tremendous difference in the fight to promote gender equality and advance the status of women and girls, helped raise awareness about the issues critical to military families through Joining Forces, and strengthened the role community colleges play in creating the workforce of the future.We will miss Cathy, but know that she will make a real difference in the lives of women and girls throughout the world in her new role.”
Russell, who served as Dr. Biden’s Chief of Staff for the Administration’s first term, was also Staff Director of the Senate Judiciary Committee for Senator Biden in 1994 when the landmark Violence Against Women Act passed. She served as a Senior Advisor to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where she drafted S.2279, The International Violence Against Women Act of 2007, and last year, supervised the interagency process for developing the first United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally. She also served in a volunteer capacity on the Communications Advisory Council of Women for Women International, an organization that helps women survivors of war move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency.