Washington (CNN)A top State Department official -- Wendy Sherman -- will depart following the completion of the Iran nuclear talks, a source confirms to CNN. Sherman has been the lead U.S. negotiator with Iran as the Obama administration has pursued a nuclear agreement.
Top State Department official to depart
"Wendy has been an absolutely critical member of my team, most notably in her work spearheading the nuclear negotiations with Iran, but on nearly every important issue that has crossed my desk," said Secretary of State John Kerry in a statement provided to CNN.
Sherman, the under secretary for political affairs, is the fourth-ranking State Department official. A key member of Kerry's team, she departed for Vienna, Austria, Wednesday along with the negotiating team to continue the European Union-coordinated P5+1 talks, according to a State Department release.
On Saturday, Sherman is scheduled to join Kerry in Geneva, Switzerland, for further meetings with Iranian officials.
"Wendy's tenacity and skill, and her close relations and collaboration with her P5+1 and EU counterparts, were instrumental in enabling us to reach the interim agreement that halted the progress of Iran's nuclear program for the first time in almost a decade and made our nation, our partners and allies and our world, safer," Kerry said.
Sherman, a former social worker, also served as the director for EMILY's List, a political fundraising group aimed at getting pro-choice Democratic women elected. She first served in the State Department under the Clinton administration. She was appointed to her current position in 2011 by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Sherman's departure was first reported by The New York Times.