Up in Arms

Ellen Tauscher stepped down this week as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. She’s joined the Atlantic Council as vice chair of the organization’s soon-to-open Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. On a part-time basis, Tauscher will also serve as the State Department’s special envoy for strategic stability and missile defense. Rose Gottemoeller has filled the undersecretary’s seat on an acting basis. During this period, Gottemoeller will continue to execute her duties as assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification, and compliance, the position she’s held since April 2009. Tauscher served as the top US arms control diplomat since June 2009. She played a major role in the United States concluding the New START agreement with Russia, which, now in force, will reduce US and Russian strategic nuclear forces to historically low levels before the decade ends. Gottemoeller was the lead US New START negotiator.