By Julian Pecquet - 08/30/12 08:44 PM EDT
The Obama administration has praised the longtime leader's record on development, peacekeeping and anti-terrorism since his death was made public last week, largely ignoring his crackdown on political opponents. Rice in particular released a gushing, 277-word statement calling him a “close friend and cherished colleague.”
Also attending the funeral: Ambassador Donald Booth, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson and Special Assistant to the president and Senior Director of the National Security Staff Gayle Smith.
The funeral will offer Rice, a senior foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign, a chance to showcase her diplomatic skills on the world stage away from the United Nations halls as she lobbies for the secretary of state slot in a second Obama administration.