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State Department names Kerry aide to economic post

WASHINGTON -- In the Obama administration’s latest effort to boost the economy, a top aide to Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is being appointed the State Department’s first chief economist, charged with helping boost American business overseas, according to officials.

Heidi Crebo-Rediker, a former investment banker and graduate of Dartmouth College, has been advising the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which Kerry chairs, since 2009 on economic issues and will now move to the State Department to help implement Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s new diplomatic strategy of “economic statecraft,” according to a government official briefed on the new job.

Much as she was doing for Kerry, Crebo-Rediker will be tasked with applying the knowledge of finance, economics, and capital markets to foreign policy in the hopes of finding international opportunities for American companies.

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“This is a very big job,” Kerry told the Globe in a statement. “Heidi’s crackerjack and she did a heck of a job on the committee helping connect the dots between global economics and foreign policy. The lines between foreign policy and economic policy that maybe existed 20 years ago just don’t apply to this new world, and Heidi understood this before most people.”