U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland was named chair of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, September 27.
He replaces Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey.
Cardin is a Democrat who has served on the Foreign Relations Committee ever since he joined the Senate in 2007. He’s also co-chair of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, better known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission.
In a statement, Cardin said he’s accepting the position “with great humility and appreciation” to his colleagues and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“Democracy and freedom are being tested around the world,” Cardin said in his statement. “America’s national security, which depends on effective diplomacy and international development, as well as a strong defense, is facing challenges that require focused and responsible leadership in Congress to work with the White House on behalf of the American people.”
“I intend to continue my longstanding work to ensure that human rights, anti-corruption and good governance are woven into America’s foreign policy,” Cardin said. “We have much work ahead of us.”
Cardin takes over the chairmanship as he begins the final stretch of his tenure in the U.S. Senate. Earlier this year, Cardin announced he would not run for reelection in 2024, though he promised to continue to work in public service in some fashion.