Tauscher to resign as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security

Ellen Tauscher will formally resign as the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security in February after a successful battle with esophageal cancer.

Tauscher will be appointed to a newly created position known as the "special envoy for strategic stability and missile defense." By working part-time, Tauscher will use her flexible schedule to work on cancer patient advocacy and projects outside of government. She will report directly to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and will remain the lead negotiator in the missile defense cooperation agreement with Russia, the Cable reports.

"Ellen has been campaigning, legislating, and working at a breakneck pace for nearly 16 years and, now with a new lease on life, she wants to focus on some new opportunities while still working on critically important national security issues," a State Department official said, according to the Cable.

Rose Gottemoeller, the assistant secretary of State for arms control, verification and compliance, is expected to be named as Tauscher's replacement. She will lead the office for at least the rest of the year. The administration does not expect that the Senate will be able to confirm any officials in arms control before the November presidential election, so it will not bother with the effort.

Tauscher will continue to maintain her role as the lead official in the U.S. government on civilian nuclear cooperation in the lead up to the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul later this year. She will also continue to oversee implementation of the administration's missile defense scheme in Europe and will be the lead official on a bilateral commission on strategic stability with Russia. Her final day as undersecretary will be February 6.