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Elliot Diringer in 2006. Photo: Roni Rekomaa/AFP via Getty Images)

Elliot Diringer, a well-known figure in climate diplomacy circles, has joined the State Department as the Biden administration looks to step up global collaboration.

Driving the news: Diringer's auto-reply email at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), where he had long been a senior executive vice president, says he began the job on Feb. 18.

Alec Gerlach, C2ES' communications director, confirms that Diringer left to join State in a climate-focused role.

Why it matters: He's one of several well-known names who will work on the team led by John Kerry, the former senator and secretary of state who is President Biden's special climate envoy.

  • Diringer also adds to the list of senior energy and climate officials with prior federal government experience.
  • He served in President Clinton's administration, including three years at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

What we don't know: The precise parameters of the gig. State did not comment on Diringer's role specifically.

  • But a spokesperson said more broadly that the administration is looking to strengthen climate capabilities at State and U.S. embassies after the Trump administration "underinvested."
  • "We hope to share more details on the special presidential envoy for climate’s team and its organizational structure soon, after consultations with Congress have concluded," the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, C2ES is adding to its roster. The group is bringing on climate diplomacy veteran Kaveh Guilanpour as its VP for international strategies, Gerlach said.

His many prior roles include, per C2ES, include time as a lead climate negotiator for the European Union and the Alliance of Small Island States, and recently as a senior member of the UN Secretary General's Climate Action Team.

Go deeper

Biden's pick to lead major banking regulator drops out

Saule Omarova, nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, at a confirmation hearing on Nov. 18. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden's pick to head one of the country's most powerful banking regulators is dropping out of consideration for the post, according to a statement from Biden that accepted the withdrawal.

Why it matters: Saule Omarova, nominated to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, faced a tough path to confirmation — with opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats.

Judge temporarily blocks Biden vaccine mandate for federal contractors

Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked President Biden's vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide.

Why it matters: It's the latest setback in the Biden administration's rollout of COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Federal judges in two states temporarily barred the administration from enforcing mandates for millions of workers last week.

Biden threatens Putin

Photo: Kremlin Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In a video call that lasted for just over two hours on Tuesday, President Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that if Russia invades Ukraine the U.S. will impose unprecedented sanctions and provide additional weaponry to the Ukrainians, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

Why it matters: Russia's military activity on the border with Ukraine has triggered alarms from the U.S. and its European allies of a potential large-scale Russian invasion in early 2022. Sullivan said Biden made clear to Putin that, "things we did not do in 2014, we are prepared to do now."

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