Pentagon's John Kirby appointed State Department spokesman

Reuters News
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Posted: May 13, 2015 12:34 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday he had picked John Kirby as the State Department's new spokesman to succeed Jen Psaki, who left for the White House.

Kirby, a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy, was the Pentagon's press secretary until February when Ash Carter was confirmed as new defense secretary.

"John has always – intuitively, instinctively – gravitated toward diplomacy, and I know that he is looking forward to that focus as he retires from the Navy and moves into civilian life," Kerry said in a statement.

Kirby also served as spokesperson for Admiral Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and was chief of information for the U.S. Navy.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Alan Crosby)