Undersecretary of State for Arms Control Ellen Tauscher is recovering after she underwent a successful cancer surgery earlier this month and hopes to return home by Christmas, according to a State Department official in her office.
"Undersecretary Tauscher underwent surgery to treat esophageal cancer earlier this month and her doctors consider the surgery a success," the official told The Cable. "She and her family appreciate everyone's support and prayers."
If the Senate is able to ratify New START by Christmas, as Vice President Joseph Biden is promising, that would be a nice coming home present for Tauscher, who has been a key member of the Obama administration team involved in the negotiation and ratification of the treaty. Tauscher was diagnosed with an early stage of cancer of the esophagus in July. Since then, she underwent full courses of radiation and chemotherapy before having surgery to remove the tumor in early December.
A former Congresswoman from California, Tauscher influenced the arms control debate and led efforts to revamp ballistic missile defense plans at the State Department and as chairwoman of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee.
A close friend of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Tauscher received credit for restaffing, reorganizing, and revamping State's arms control bureau which Obama administration officials say was neglected during the George W. Bush administration.
Meanwhile, her chief of staff Simon Limage has been promoted to deputy assistant secretary of State for nonproliferation programs in the bureau of international security and nonproliferation (ISN). There he will report up to the acting assistant secretary Vann Van Diepen. Limage has worked for Tauscher for 10 years, the last two as her chief of staff in her Congressional office and at State.
Tauscher's new chief of staff will be Wade Boese, who was already working in the arms control bureau as a special assistant. Boese joined the staff in September 2009. He previously spent years at the Arms Control Association and worked for Lee Hamilton on the Strategic Posture Commission.
Best wishes to Tauscher for a full and speedy recovery from all of us here at The Cable.