Washington: US President Barack Obama has nominated Cathy Russell, the wife of National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, to lead American efforts on global women`s issues at the Department of State.
Russell, the chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden`s wife Jill Biden, will replace Melanne Verveer who has been the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women`s Issues since the post was created in 2009.
Obama praised Russell for her work on behalf of women and for helping Jill and first lady Michelle address the needs of military families.
"Cathy is a longtime advocate for women, for justice, for fairness. She`s worked on preventing violence against women here and around the world," Obama said during the Women`s History Month reception at the White House.
In his remarks, Obama said he used to being surrounded every day by talented, accomplished women from all the meetings he has in the West Wing to the dinner table with Michelle, Malia and Sasha.
Referring to the select group of eminent women in the room at the reception, Obama said it is hard to believe that 100 years ago this month, thousands of women were marching right outside this house demanding one of the most fundamental right: the right to vote, to have a say in the democracy.
"And today, a century later, its rooms are full of accomplished women who have overcome discrimination, shattered glass ceilings, and become outstanding role models for all of our sons and daughters. And that means we`ve come a long way, and that`s thanks to the efforts of so many people like you," he said.
"We`re also seeing expanded opportunity for women to reach their full potential all around the world. That`s in large part because four years ago, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - a tireless advocate for women herself, designated an Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women`s Issues whose sole job it is to make sure that women and girls are a central part of every aspect of our foreign policy, that their concerns are considered at the highest level of our diplomatic decision-making," Obama added.