US ambassador to the UN to head delegation to Ethiopian premier's funeral

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.

Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonDylan's 'Jokerman' a metaphor for Election 2016 and more Clinton Brooklyn office evacuated after receiving suspicious powder Breitbart escalates war on Paul Ryan MORE is on a six-nation trip across the Pacific this week and next.

The funeral will offer Rice, a senior foreign policy adviser to Barack ObamaBarack ObamaObama promotes new airline regulations Is Georgia turning blue? Five takeaways from money race MORE 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.