Obama promotes Jill Biden's chief of staff to ambassador

President Obama on Tuesday nominated Second Lady Jill Biden's chief of staff to be ambassador at large for global women's issues, a role he created during his first term.

“Cathy is a longtime advocate for justice and fairness and has worked on preventing violence against women here in America and around the world,” Obama said in a statement. “She served as Chief of Staff to Dr. Jill Biden for my entire first term, and has worked tirelessly alongside Michelle and Jill to make sure our military families get the honor and support they’ve earned. I’m certain that Cathy will continue to be a powerful advocate for women and girls in her new role.”

Russel served as staff director of the Senate Judiciary Committee under then-Sen. Biden in 1994 when the Violence Against Women Act passed. If confirmed, Russell will replace Melanne Verveer, who served as Hillary Clinton's chief of staff when she was first lady.