The White House announced that President Barack Obama picked her to serve as under secretary for political affairs, the No. 3 post at the department.
Sherman was an adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
If confirmed, she will succeed William Burns, who has been nominated to be deputy secretary of state. Burns would replace James Steinberg, who resigned to teach at Syracuse University.
Announcing Sherman’s nomination along with some other key administration posts, Obama said, “I am proud to nominate such impressive men and women to these important roles, and I am grateful they have agreed to lend their considerable talents to this administration. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”
Sherman is vice chairwoman of the Albright Stonebridge Group, a consulting firm headed by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
From 1997 to 2001, Sherman worked as Albright’s counselor and doubled as President Bill Clinton’s policy coordinator on North Korea. Sherman visited Pyongyang in 2000, accompanying Albright, who met the North’s leader, Kim Jong-il.
Conservatives claim Sherman was behind the former administration’s kid-gloves approach to the North.
Sherman, an expert on disarmament, was appointed by congressional leaders in 2008 to serve on the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation and Terrorism.
If Sherman takes office, she is expected to be in charge of the department’s Asia policy, while Burns focuses on the Middle East and Europe.