President Barack Obama has nominated Sen. John Kerry as his next secretary of state, saying Kerry's entire life "has prepared him for this role."
If confirmed, the Massachusetts Democrat would succeed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Obama's second-term Cabinet.
Clinton did not attend the Roosevelt Room announcement. She's recovering from a concussion sustained in a fall.
Obama said Kerry's political career and service has established him as a respected American voice around the globe. Obama said Kerry will not need on-the-job training.
Kerry has served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is a decorated Vietnam veteran who was critical of the war effort when he returned home to the U.S.
He has represented Massachusetts in the Senate since 1985.
Sen. John Kerry, President Barack Obama's pick for secretary of state, will need no introduction with the world leaders vital to American interests.
Kerry has been a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 27 years, the last six as chairman. He has traveled extensively in his capacity as a lawmaker and served as an unofficial envoy for Obama to hot spots such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Egypt.
Obama was expected to announce Friday that he had tapped Kerry to replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Kerry was an early backer of imposing a "no-fly zone" over Libya as Moammar Gadhafi's forces attacked Libyan rebels. The Massachusetts senator also has pushed to address global climate change.