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  William J. Burns

Deputy Secretary of State,

William J. Burns, The Deputy Secretary of State, is the principal deputy and adviser to the Secretary of State, and serves as Acting Secretary of State in the Secretary's absence. Ambassador Burns holds the highest rank in the Foreign Service, Career Ambassador, and previously served as Ambassador to Russia and Jordan. Ambassador Burns has held a number of other promiment posts in the State Department and U.S. government, including Under Secretary for Political Affairs and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.