The Obama administration has named a senior official to head a new office that will oversee U.S. assistance to Arab nations going through democratic transitions after popular uprisings toppled their longtime autocratic leaders.
The State Department announced Wednesday that William B. Taylor, a veteran diplomatic troubleshooter who previously organized U.S. and international assistance to post-Taliban Afghanistan, had been named special coordinator for Middle East transitions. Taylor, who was most recently vice president for conflict management at the U.S. Institute of Peace, will focus primarily on Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.
His office will coordinate U.S. development and other civilian aid to those countries.
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