State Dept gets first-ever chief economist

February 21, 2012 - 12:45 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is appointing the State Department's first chief economist as the Obama administration tries to fully integrate the agency into its attempts to promote domestic job growth.

Officials say Clinton will name Heidi Crebo-Rediker, a top aide to Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry, to the post on Tuesday. The announcement will come in a speech outlining Clinton's concept of "Jobs Diplomacy," an initiative that aims to strengthen the State Department's existing economic team, promote American businesses abroad and boost U.S. exports.

Clinton wants American diplomats to do more to advance U.S. economic interests overseas and is seeking input from the private sector on how they can help.