The retired ambassador appointed by Secretary of State John Kerry as a “transparency coordinator” to streamline the State Department’s response to records requests revealed Tuesday that she donated to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Janice Jacobs told the Associated Press she made the $2,700 donation to Clinton’s campaign in June when she was retired and didn’t expect to be recalled to work.
Kerry named Jacobs, the former U.S. Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, to the position Tuesday to improve release times of documents requested by Congress and the public under the Freedom of Information Act.
The department has faced blistering criticism in the wake of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and the ability to find documents and release them in response to records requests. Officials have previously said the sheer volume of requests since 2008 has increased threefold, straining their existing resources and manpower, creating delays.
State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters he could not say whether Kerry was aware of the donation, but that Jacobs’ appointment was a “testament to a commitment to transparency.”
Kirby said that Jacobs would not be involved in adjudicating the release of Clinton's emails and had been appointed to “improve document transparency” by utilizing the “best practices and new technologies.”
Kerry has asked the State Department's inspector general to review the agency's document management policies and recommend improvements. Jacobs is expected to be in charge of implementing those recommendations when they are released.
Besides serving as an ambassador, Jacobs was previously assistant secretary of state for consular affairs and received praise for revamping the U.S. visa application process after Sept. 11, 2001.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.