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Panel OKs Hughes for State Dept.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved the nomination of Karen Hughes (search), a former political adviser to President Bush, as the State Department's top public relations official.

The Senate is expected to complete the confirmation process this week before leaving for its August recess.

Hughes' main assignment as Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (search) is to reverse anti-American sentiment around the world.

She said at a committee hearing last week that the challenge was "the urgent need to foster greater understanding, more respect and a sense of common ideals among Americans and people of different countries, cultures and faiths around the world."

Also approved by the committee on Tuesday were five new ambassadors as well as:

Henry A. Crompton (search) as coordinator for counterterrorism

— Henrietta Holsman Fore as undersecretary of state for management

— Josette S. Shiner as undersecretary of state for economics

— Kristen Silverberg as assistant secretary of state for international organizations

— Jendayi E. Frazer as assistant secretary of state for Africa.