President Barack Obama appointed a former State Department official to the new position of special envoy for hostage affairs, the White House announced Friday.
Jim O'Brien will work with foreign governments to secure the safe return of American hostages, according to a statement from Lisa Monaco,the President's Advisor on Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. O'Brien will also work directly with the families of hostages.
In this role, Mr. O’Brien will report to the Secretary of State and will work closely with the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell also established under the Executive Order and the rest of the U.S. Government to synchronize diplomatic efforts in support of comprehensive strategies to bring home American hostages. He will also work directly with the families of hostages as part of the U.S. Government team dedicated to securing the safe return of their loved ones.