John Kerry was on Tuesday confirmed by the US senate’s foreign relations committee as the 68th secretary of state succeeding Hillary Clinton.
The full senate will clear the appointment later in the day.
Kerry’s confirmation was expected to be easy and there were enough indications during his four-hour confirmation hearing last week by the foreign relations committee.
A Vietnam war veteran, Kerry ran unsuccessfully for presidency in 2004. And helped President Barack Obama prepare for presidential debates against Mitt Romney in 2012.
But he was not the president’s first choice to replace Clinton who had announced she wouldn’t be serving in Obama’s second term.
President Obama wanted to give her job to Susa rice, US ambassador to the UN, but changed his mind in view of a high-pitch campaign launched against her by some Republicans.
Kerry’s nomination was cleared unanimously.
Chuck Hagel, nominated for the Pentagon top job, will have a more difficult passage.