Obama picks UN reform nominee

President Obama on Thursday nominated a replacement for the State Department's representative for UN management and reform.

If confirmed, Leslie Berger Kiernan, the president's deputy counsel at the White House, will take over from Joseph Torsella, who is stepping down at the end of the year. Prior to joining the White House in 2011 she'd been with the Zuckerman Spaeder law firm for 23 years.

Torsella first made a name for himself 20 years ago as Deputy Mayor for Policy and Planning for Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell. He lost a 2004 House primary to fellow Democrat Allyson Schwartz and withdrew from the state's 2010 Senate race to avoid a bitter primary fight with Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter.

Torsella has made waves at the UN over the past two years with his efforts to shake up the massive international bureaucracy and make it more transparent. He has notably fought to make audits public and pushed to reduce UN compensation so it's in line with the federal government's.

Obama also nominated career Foreign Service member Maureen Elizabeth Cormack to be ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is currently the principal deputy coordinator of State's Bureau of International Information Programs.

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