This past July, I was commissioned by The Atlantic to work on a story about Secretary of State John Kerry. What initially was going to be a portrait session plus a day of following him around turned into the briefest of opportunities to document the Secretary at work. After an early morning spent waiting outside the State Department, I was given the go ahead and quickly escorted in through security and up to Secretary Kerry's office.
I was motioned to come out to the balcony and had the good fortune to catch Secretary Kerry as he welcomed the negotiators from Israel and Palestine. Whether I was documenting a historic moment or just another failed attempt at Mideast peace will not be known for some time, but I felt fortunate to be standing there, overlooking the National Mall as Secretary Kerry spoke in calm, reassuring tones to the negotiators and laid the groundwork for this first morning of talks. Soon after, his press advisors let me know my time was up and I walked out, past the table where they would first sit down for their first face to face meeting. I highly recommend David Rohde's story that I shot these photos for. Rhode presents a nuanced, honest look at the man and his chances of success in this job.