State Dept. anti-corruption czar Rich Nephew admits jokes about name are ‘hilarious’

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State Dept. anti-corruption czar Rich Nephew admits jokes about name are ‘hilarious’

Secretary of State Antony Blinken tapped a rich nephew — or rather, Rich Nephew — to a top anti-corruption position this week, and y

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken tapped a rich nephew — or rather, Rich Nephew — to a top anti-corruption position this week, and yes, the new hire is aware of the irony. 

“Alright, I’ve heard a *lot* of ‘nephew’ jokes in my time, but this is straight-up hilarious and had not occurred to me until now,” the new coordinator on global anti-corruption tweeted on Tuesday, after MSNBC writer and editor Hayes Brown responded to news of the appointment by posting: “I’m sorry but ‘Rich Nephew’ is a very funny name for an anti-corruption czar.”

Nephew’s role focuses on “the fight against corruption across all aspects of US diplomacy and foreign assistance.” 

Despite the seriousness of the position and Nephew’s extensive background in the diplomatic corps — including a stint as deputy special envoy for Iran — other social media users also couldn’t get past the name.

Tweet about Rich Nephew
The new hire claims he is aware of the irony.
Rich Nephew
Nephew himself has also poked fun at his name and new title.
Twitter / @RichardMNephew

“I think that we can all agree that it’s funny to put ‘Rich Nephew’ in charge of your anti-corruption efforts,” Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy wrote. “This is something we can all still unite around, yes?”

“‘Rich Nephew’ seems like something I’d read in the public declaration of a Ukrainian official describing who ‘gifted’ them their palatial estate, Rolex collection, and metallic colored G-Wagon,” Politico’s Ukraine war correspondent Christopher Miller wrote

“Irony found dead in Miami,” tweeted Miller’s Politico colleague, Alex Guillen. 

“It’s probably hard to build a career in anti-corruption when your name is literally ‘Rich Nephew,’” added former Department of Education spokesperson Angela Morabito.

Richard Nephew
Nephew was appointed to the new role by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
AP

“Creating and filling this position demonstrates the importance the United States places on anti-corruption as a core national security interest and reiterates the central role global partnerships play in this fight,” Blinken said in announcing Nephew’s hire. 

Nephew is returning to the State Department from Columbia University, where he was a senior research scholar at the Ivy League school’s Center on Global Energy Policy.



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