WASHINGTON – Dina Powell, an American of Egyptian descent who speaks fluent Arabic, will be named to a top State Department public diplomacy job on Monday as the White House seeks to improve its image in the Arab world, U.S. officials said. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will announce the choice of Powell, head of personnel at the White House, to be assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs and deputy under secretary of state for public diplomacy at noon (1700 GMT), the officials said.

Powell, who came to the United States from Egypt as a child, will serve as deputy to Karen Hughes, a long-time confidante to President George W. Bush who was to be officially tapped for under secretary of state for public diplomacy at the same State Department ceremony on Monday. The choices of one of Bush’s closest advisers and of an Arabic speaker illustrate the emphasis the White House attaches to trying to improve the way Arabs view the United States, long seen by Arabs as favoring Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and resented for supporting repressive Arab regimes.


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