Antony Blinken, current Secretary of State in the United States, has worked in a variety of Democratic presidential administrations, from the Clinton Era until today. Politico calls him a “Europeanist,” and the organization further stated that Blinken has life-long ties to Europe. He lived in Paris as a child, and he speaks fluent French as a result. Blinken’s wife worked off and on for Hillary Clinton, and, when the pair married, Blinken gave a toast in which he thanked the 40 million who voted for Bill Clinton, as he believed that is how he met his wife. Blinken likes to portray himself as a man capable of wearing many hats – he even uploaded music to Spotify (Blinken plays the guitar) and added a tag inviting people to check his music out at the end of a recent Twitter post.
|Celebrated Name:||Antony Blinken|
|Real Name/Full Name:||Antony John Blinken|
|Birthdate:||April 16, 1962|
|Height:||5 ft. 10 in.|
|Children/Kids:||Two (Blinken’s children are toddlers and the family keeps them out of public spotlight as much as possible)|
|Is Antony Blinken Gay?||No|
|Highest Political Office:||Secretary of State, United States Presidential Cabinet Position|
|Colleges Attended:||Harvard University; Columbia University|
|Degrees:||Bachelor’s – Social Studies; Juris Doctor|
|Net Worth in 2021:||$10 million|
Biography: Early Life and Family
Blinken was born into a political family, which seemed to pave the way for his own career on Capital Hill. His father, Donald Blinken, served as an American Ambassador to Hungary. His uncle had served as an ambassador as well, but to Belgium.
Blinken’s parents would divorce when he was a child, and he spent some time living with his mother in Paris, which would explain why some political pundits have referred to him as a Europeanist. He would later move back to the United States to attend Harvard University.
It is important to know that Blinken had multiple family members affected by the Holocaust. His stepfather was a survivor, and his mother’s parents were Hungarian Jews.
As a student at Harvard, Blinken was a co-editor of the university’s daily newspaper. Blinken dabbled a bit in journalism; he was an intern at The New Republic between the time he attended Harvard and Columbia. He would earn a Juris Doctor from Columbia.
Blinken is a very private person, only releasing a certain amount of information about himself. He only related that his stepfather was a Holocaust survivor during his confirmation hearings in 2021.
Blinken met his wife, Evan Ryan, when she was working for the Clinton Administration, notably, Hillary Clinton. The pair met in 1995, but would not marry until 2003. At the time of their meeting, Blinken was serving as a speechwriter on the National Security Council. Ms. Ryan was a scheduler for Hillary Clinton.
Both Blinken and his wife have worked for the Clintons off-and-on for a number of years. Ryan worked for Hillary Clinton during her United States Senate campaign, and he has also worked for Joe Biden (when he was Vice President). Ryan has also worked as an assistant Secretary of State for educational and cultural affairs under the Obama Administration.
Blinken and Ryan have two toddlers. They keep the children out of the public spotlight as much as possible, but, there are those who say that because of the jobs Blinken and Ryan hold, they should be seen as an inspiration to working couples everywhere.
Blinken has told the press that he enjoys playing the guitar, and, in particular, he “loves to jam.” He has music on Spotify that can be found under ABlinken.
Age, Height, and Weight
Antony Blinken is 59 years old. He is 5′ 10″ in height, and he weighs approximately 156 lbs.
Although Antony Blinken has worked in some capacity of the government most of his life, he has a reported net worth of $10 million, according to Forbes.
Forbes also relates that, when the Trump Administration began in 2017, Blinken helped to create a firm called WestExec Advisors. WestExec is a consulting firm, which provided Blinken the opportunity to garner profits from the media, finance, and corporate strategy. WestExec Advisors boasts clients such as FedEx, Blackstone, and Uber, and the company advises on strategy as well as assists in making connections. On the WestExec Advisors website, their slogan reads,”(WestExec Advisors) brings the Situation Room to the boardroom.”
Between 2018 and 2020, the company doubled its workforce, so, most of Antony Blinken’s wealth could reasonably come from his involvement in the consulting firm.
Americans should note that there are several former WestExec employees, including White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
Between 2019 and 2020 alone, Blinken’s wealth from WestExec totaled $1.2 million. A part of Blinken’s compensation involved stocks, which are worth about $1.5 million. Blinken sold his share of the business back to its partners when he took the Secretary of State job.
Career Outside of Politics
Most of Antony Blinken’s career has been inside politics. However, he spent one year working in journalism; this job took place between the year he graduated from Harvard and Blinken’s enrollment in Columbia to pursue a Juris Doctor degree.
Blinken has never served as a litigator, however. It is unknown if he passed the bar exam (or if there was an attempt).
Blinken’s chief occupation outside politics has to do with the consulting firm which he co-founded with three others – WestExec Advisors. The company is billed as a political strategy advising firm. In addition to companies such as Uber and Blackstone, WestExec has also advised Google’s Jigsaw, an Israeli artificial intelligence company, and other “Fortune 100 companies.”
Fellow co-founder, Michele Flournoy has described WestExec as a company that “facilitated relationships between Silicon Valley and the Department of Defense and law enforcement.”
Blinken is a partner in a private equity firm known as Pine Island Capital Partners; this is a “strategic partner” of WestExec, and Blinken is partners along with Lloyd Austin, the current United States Secretary of Defense.
In December 2020, The New York Times called for “full financial disclosure” regarding Pine Island, Blinken, WestExec, and the private firms’ ties to the Biden Administration.
Blinken has also worked as an analyst for CNN.
Career in Politics
Blinken became a member of the National Security Council under the Clinton Administration in 1994. For the first four years of his work within the Council, Blinken was a Special Assistant to the President as well as a Senior Director for Strategic Planning as well as a Senior Director for Speechwriting.
Between 1999 to 2001, he was a Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European and Canadian Affairs.
Blinken also worked during the Bush (43) Administration. He worked as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee between 2002 and 2008. At one time, Blinken is said to have supported the invasion of Iraq by the United States and its allies.
After 2008, Blinken was an assistant to then-Vice President Joe Biden. He originally worked with Biden as a member of his presidential campaign, but, after Biden dropped out and threw his support behind Barack Obama, Blinken would eventually be tapped to work on the Obama Administration’s transitional team.
In 2009, Blinken was named the Deputy Assistant to the President as well as Biden’s National Security Advisor. He would eventually be chosen to serve the Obama Administration as the Deputy National Security Advisor.
Blinken assisted both the Bush (43) and the Obama Administration in crafting national policy regarding the Middle East. In 2014, Blinken was confirmed as the Deputy Secretary of State, which would pave the way for Blinken’s current position.
Joe Biden once again called on Blinken during his 2020 presidential campaign. Within weeks of the November 2002 election, Biden announced he had selected Antony Blinken as his Secretary of State. Blinken would eventually be confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 78 – 22.
Blinken has been criticized by members of Congress for a decision in which the United States – assuming his Secretary of State position has influence on this foreign relations issue – for declining to place sanctions on Russia regarding the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Blinken appears to have struggled in bolstering relations with Russia. Both Blinken and Biden admitted that current relations between the United States and Russia are at “their lowest point.” Blinken has met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the past, and he vowed to assist in Russian – Ukrainian relations. As of this writing, however, tensions are at a boiling point between the two countries.
Blinken was also criticized for his role in the American exit from Afghanistan. Blinken supported the decision to leave, and he rejected comparisons of the Afghanistan exit to that of Americans leaving Saigon after the Vietnam War.
On an interesting note, the public sees Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby much more often than Secretary Blinken.