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Susan Rice, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, announced to the UN press corps on July 20 that Mark Kornblau, her spokesman and the spokesman for the US mission since 2009, is leaving and will be succeeded by Erin Pelton, a director of communications and assistant press secretary for the National Security Council.
“I’m very, very grateful to him for his service to the mission and to our country,” Rice said at the UN, speaking after the resolution extending the UN mission in Syria passed. “And we’re very pleased to welcome Erin Pelton as his successor.”
Pelton graduated from Drake University in Des Moines with a degree in international relations and Latin American studies and has a master’s degree from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She also spent six years at the State Department in Washington, D.C., Saudi Arabia and Mexico and was a spokeswoman in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, working with Jeffrey Feltman, who was assistant secretary. Feltman recently became under secretary-general of the UN’s Department of Political Affairs.
Kornblau is to become managing director of corporate communications at JP Morgan Chase. Before his post at the US mission to the UN, Kornblau was a senior adviser and national spokesman for the Democratic presidential nominee campaign of John Edwards from 2007 to 2008. Kornblau testified in the recent trial of Edwards, a former senator from North Carolina, in which he was ultimately acquitted on charges of election finance fraud, conspiracy and making false statements. Kornblau has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin.