I've worked with Alec and can say he'll really help the U.S. work more effectively with the world. This is for real.

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Alec Ross arrives today at the State Department, armed with a new set of diplomatic tools including Facebook, text-messaging and YouTube.

Ross is a senior adviser on innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton — a role created for the 37-year-old nonprofit leader, who quickly rose within the Obama campaign, helping to craft tech policy under top technology adviser Julius Genachowski.

His new job will blend technology with diplomacy in an attempt to help solve some of the globe's most vexing problems on healthcare, poverty, human rights and ethnic conflicts. And it is emblematic of the expansive approach the administration has taken to the role of technology in advancing its domestic and global agendas.

The bottom line, which is my personal experience:

... friends and colleagues who worked on the Obama campaign and transition say Ross has what it takes to pull it off: business savvy and the ability to bring large, disparate groups together.