Secretary of State John Kerry’s Remarks on Departure of State Department Chief of Staff David Wade


Secretary of State John Kerry’s longtime, trusted aide, David Wade has stepped down from his position as Chief of Staff. David Wade has been aide to John Kerry in a variety of capacities since he joined Kerry’s Senate staff in 1997 as a speechwriter.

From speechwriter, David Wade rose through the ranks to press secretary, communications director and finally chief of staff in Kerry’s Senate office. When Kerry moved to the State Department, David Wade, was by his side at Foggy Bottom, sticking with Kerry with the unwavering loyalty that was a hallmark of David character.

I don’t find a lot of time to write about politics lately, but I do feel the need to take the time to wish David Wade well as a new father, which is his reasoning for stepping down as Kerry’s chief of state:

I’ll be leaving the Department, taking time off just to be a Dad, and then thinking through what I’ll be doing next in terms of work,” Wade wrote, noting that he plans to leave around Feb. 20, “or earlier if nature intervenes.”

Secretary of State Kerry released this statement today on David Wade’s departure from State:

The first day I walked into the State Department as Secretary, David Wade had already been quietly sworn in the day before to start work on Mahogany Row as my Chief of Staff. He promised to stay a year in his job, but true to form, he went above and beyond, giving me and the Department more than two years of the kind of remarkable service he’s given me for close to two decades.

I’m grateful for David’s skill and his leadership. He first came to work for me in the Senate as my 22-year-old speechwriter. First known as one of the youngest, he quickly became known as one of the very best. That’s been true for many of the jobs David has performed, from the Senate, to the campaign trail for two presidential campaigns, to my years as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and senior Senator from Massachusetts, right here to Foggy Bottom. It’s no secret that over the years he passed up many opportunities to go elsewhere and do other things, because loyalty matters to him and I value that special kind of loyalty.

David has been an integral partner and advisor to me on every single issue, a “five-tool player” in the baseball vocabulary with which he’s so familiar: critical strategic depth, policy and political judgment, rare communications expertise, and innate leadership skill. David has always had the unique ability to anticipate issues before they arise and solve problems before they hit a fever pitch, and he’s done it all with great calm, and with an instinct to give others credit and avoid the puffery of Washington. I still remember when President Obama announced my nomination, David politely told me he should watch the announcement on television with the rest of the Senate staff instead of joining me in the East Room of the White House. That was the kind of quiet, unheralded leadership that marked his tenure in so many positions for me. David never let anything distract from doing his job, and he did it with excellence and grace, grit and fearlessness.

David’s experience and expertise working as my Chief of Staff in the Senate, as well as his deep relationships on Capitol Hill, have been vital to our work here at the State Department. He excelled under the pressure and intellectual ferment of two years of unbelievably complicated foreign policy challenges. He was also my right arm, recruiting and building a team of great talent at a time of wholesale turnover at the Department. As a result, he leaves the Department now in great hands.

I will miss David, but I’m thrilled for him and his wife Elizabeth as they begin a new chapter of their lives together as parents, and I know he will remain my friend, and he will continue to contribute in whatever he chooses to do next.

Best Wishes David Wade… Besides your unwavering loyalty to John Kerry, you had,  as Matt Viser noted in the Boston Globe, “an encyclopedia memory of his boss’s life, votes, and policy positions.” In my opinion, Secretary of State Kerry will have a very hard time replacing you. On a personal level, you were a friend to The Democratic Daily and a mentor to me.

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