Administration

Blinken appoints former Iowa rep as youth envoy at State Department 

Former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party’s Liberty and Justice Celebration, Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday appointed former Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa) to be the State Department’s special envoy for global youth issues. 

In her new role, Finkenauer “will encourage youth-related programming around the administration’s foreign policy priorities and existing regional initiatives, while consistently and meaningfully consulting with young people on the formulation and implementation of relevant policies and programs,” Blinken said in a statement. 

Finkenauer was elected to the Iowa state House of Representatives at age 25 and became the youngest woman to pass a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, Blinken noted.

But despite securing a seat in the lower chamber in the 2018 “blue wave,” Finkenauer lost her reelection bid in 2020. 

She launched a bid for the Senate in this year’s midterms but was defeated in the Iowa Democratic primary.

Now at the State Department, Finkenauer “will serve as the Department’s principal public representative on youth issues, engaging a variety of stakeholders to channel their good ideas back to the Department,” Blinken said. 

“Our young people are driving change at home & abroad. Our office will uplift their voices, fostering relationships as we advance & protect democracy. Grateful to serve,” Finkenauer said on Twitter from her new @StateYouth handle. 

Tags Abby Finkenauer Abby Finkenauer Antony Blinken Antony Blinken state department youth
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