Washington, DC – Howard L. Berman (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today announced changes to the leadership of two subcommittees as a result of the impending departure of Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) from Congress.

Wexler will leave at the end of this year to become president of the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation.  Taking his place today as chair of the Subcommittee on Europe is Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-MA); Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO) replaces Delahunt as chair of the Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight.

"As he prepares for his new role, I'd like to express my deep gratitude to Robert Wexler for his service to the American people and to this committee," Berman said.  "He has been a wonderful member and is a dear friend. I congratulate the new chairs of these two subcommittees and look forward to your leadership."

Delahunt has been serving as the vice chairman of the Europe subcommittee.  His priorities in this new role include improving US-Russian relations and working on interests that the U.S. and Europe share, such as energy security and climate change.  Delahunt has chaired subcommittee hearings on America’s standing in Europe during the Bush Years and U.S.-European Union relations in the struggle against al Qaeda.

“We still need to repair America’s ties with Europe,” Delahunt said. “The United States must have a relationship with Europe based on mutual respect and cooperation if we are to meet the global challenges of the 21st century." 

Carnahan has been serving as the vice chair of the International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight subcommittee.  As chairman, he will follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, who headed the subcommittee in the 85th Congress.  Carnahan said he intends to make oversight of spending in Iraq and Afghanistan a priority for the New Year, as well as pursuing international economic opportunities that stimulate U.S. business and job creation that are vital to our recovery here at home.

“We have a responsibility to service members and to taxpayers to make sure that we have a strict accounting of how resources are being spent,” Carnahan noted.  “We must leave no stone unturned as we work to get people back to work and put our nation back on the path to prosperity.”