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Senate Confirms McFaul as U.S. Ambassador to Russian Federation

The Senate today confirmed Michael McFaul, the top White House adviser on Russian affairs, as the next U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation.

McFaul, author of “The Liberty Doctrine” in Policy Review magazine in 2002, which compared and contrasted the Cold War to the Bush administration’s reaction to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, will be taking office as Russia was accepted as a member of the World Trade Organization this week after 18 years of negotiations.

McFaul, senior director for Russian and Eurasian affairs at the White House National Security Council, was a political science professor at Stanford University from 1995 to 2009, according to a White House statement. While at Stanford, he was a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and was co-director of the Iran Democracy Project at Hoover from 2003 to 2009.

McFaul holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and Slavic languages, and a master’s degree in Russian and East European Studies, both from Stanford. McFaul received a doctorate in international Relations from Oxford University in 1991, where he was a Rhodes scholar.

Obama, who is pressing Congress to scrap a 1974 law limiting trade with Russia, called Russian President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday to offer his congratulations on his country’s accession to the WTO. Once the U.S. law is eliminated, the two governments can have so-called permanent normal trade relations.

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