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Ellen Tauscher tapped for top State Department post

Alamo's Ellen Tauscher (and a 2007 Diablo Woman to Watch) is President Obama's pick for a State Department post overseeing arms control and international security.

Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Alamo) has been tapped for a post in President Obama's State Department.

Courtesy of Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher's office

Alamo's Ellen Tauscher may soon be giving up her Congressional seat to go to work in President Obama's State Department as undersecretary for arms control and international security.

The Associated Press reports that Tauscher, a moderate Democrat, is Obama's pick for this post. She is seen as one of the most knowledgeable members of Congress on military matters and the nation's nuclear arsenal. She chairs the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces, which oversees the nation's nuclear weapons. Her 10th Congressional district includes Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

If confirmed, the Contra Costa Times says, Tauscher, 57, a former investment banker first elected to Congress in 1996, would serve as a senior adviser on arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament issues to the president and to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. News reports say this new job would put Tauscher in the No. 3 position at the State Department.

The vetting process could take weeks or months. If confirmed, a special election would be held to fill her seat through January 2011. In addition to Livermore, her district also covers swaths of central Contra Costa County (Walnut Creek, Alamo, San Ramon, Lamorinda, Pleasant Hill, parts of Concord) as well as cities in east Contra Costa, and cities in Solano and Sacramento counties.

Diablo magazine named Tauscher one of our five Women to Watch in 2007. That year, President Bush was still in office, but the Democrats had just seized control of Congress, and Tauscher had carved a niche for herself as a moderate willing to work in a bipartisan fashion. She had also just been named chair of the House strategic forces subcommittee, with authority over $56 billion in defense spending.  And we're now seeing to which heights that commitee chair might take her.