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Antony Blinken Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

(CNN) — Here is a look at the life of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.


Birth date: April 16, 1962

Birth place: Yonkers, New York

Birth name: Antony John Blinken

Father: Donald Blinken, investment banker and US ambassador to Hungary

Mother: Judith (Frehm) Pisar, UNESCO Special Envoy for Cultural Diplomacy

Marriage: Evan Ryan

Children: Two

Education: Harvard College, A.B., 1984; Columbia Law School, J.D., 1988

Religion: Jewish

Other Facts

His stepfather, Samuel Pisar, was a famed lawyer and Holocaust survivor.

Attended grade school and high school in Paris.

Was a writer for The Harvard Crimson. Worked as a reporter at The New Republic and has written about foreign policy for publications such as The New York Times and Foreign Affairs.

Before his career in government, Blinken practiced law in New York and Paris.

Former CNN global affairs analyst.

Blinken is visible in the famous photo of the “Situation Room” during the raid which killed Osama bin Laden in 2011.


1987 – His thesis, “Ally Versus Ally: America, Europe and the Siberian Pipeline Crisis,” is published.

1993-1994 – Special assistant to the assistant secretary of state for European and Canadian Affairs at the State Department.

1994-2001 – Holds multiple roles in the administration of President Bill Clinton, including special assistant to the president, senior director for speech writing and member of the National Security Council staff.

2001-2002 – Senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a policy research institute in Washington.

2002-2008 – Democratic staff director for the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

2008 – Works on Sen. Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.

2009-2013 – National security adviser to Vice President Biden.

January 2013-2015 – Deputy national security adviser to President Barack Obama.

January 9, 2015-2017 – Deputy secretary of state.

2017 – Co-founds WestExec Advisors, a consulting firm that offers geopolitical risk advisement.

January 26, 2021 – Is sworn in as the 71st secretary of state.

April 15, 2021Blinken arrives in Kabul, Afghanistan, in an unannounced visit less than 24 hours after the United States and the NATO coalition formally announced they would withdraw their troops from the country after nearly two decades. During remarks to Afghan political leaders, Blinken underscores the United States’ commitment to the people and the country.

May 25, 2021 – Blinken meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials, marking his first official visit to the Middle East. His trip will take him to Israel, the West Bank, Egypt and Jordan. Blinken pledges that the United States will make “significant contributions” to rebuild Gaza and reopen its consulate in Jerusalem following the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas.

March 23, 2022 – In a statement, Blinken announces the US government has formally declared that members of the Russian armed forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine.

April 24, 2022 – Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin make an unannounced trip to Kyiv and meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

May 4, 2022 – Blinken tests positive for Covid-19, according to State Department spokesman Ned Price.

September 8, 2022 – Blinken makes an unannounced visit to Kiev – his second since the war with Russia began more than six months ago – which coincides with the announcement of an additional $625 million tranche of security assistance to support Ukraine, as well as an intended $2.2 billion in long-term investments to bolster the security of Ukraine and 18 other regional countries.

January 30-31, 2023 – Blinken makes his first visit to Israel since the new Israeli government, which includes ultra-nationalists and ultra-religious parties, took power.

March 2, 2023 – Blinken meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for the first time since the war in Ukraine began more than a year earlier.

March 28, 2023 – House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul subpoenas Blinken for a dissent cable written by US diplomats in Kabul criticizing the Biden administration’s plans to withdraw troops in 2021. On March 7, 2024, McCaul announces the House Foreign Affairs Committee has postponed a meeting for the markup to consider holding Blinken in contempt of Congress after Blinken agrees to deliver documents pertaining to the 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan.

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