On January 21 2021, SIWPS Senior Research Scholar Derek Chollet was appointed The Counselor of the United States Department of State, a position that serves the Secretary of State as a special advisor and consultant on major problems of foreign policy,  and who provides guidance to the appropriate bureaus with respect to such matters. The Counselor conducts special international negotiations and consultations, and also undertakes special assignments from time to time, as directed by the Secretary. Currently, the Counselor holds under law a rank equivalent to that of Under Secretary of State. Unlike the other Under Secretaries of State, the Counselor currently does not require Senate confirmation. Previously, Chollet was the Executive Vice President for security and defense policy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.