US President George W Bush has chosen one of his closest advisers as an envoy to improve the image of the US abroad, especially in Muslim countries.
Karen Hughes (right) will report to Sec of State Condoleezza Rice
Karen Hughes has been nominated to the position of undersecretary of state for public diplomacy.
"I'm eager to listen and to learn," said Mrs Hughes, as she was presented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Mr Bush said the choice of one of his most-trusted aides showed his "personal commitment to international diplomacy".
Mrs Hughes' appointment has to be confirmed by the Senate.
She is likely to take a prominent role in Mr Bush's mission to spread democracy in the Middle East.
The president said the US must pursue an "aggressive effort to share and communicate America's fundamental values while respecting the cultures and traditions of other nations".
"Karen Hughes... has the experience, expertise and judgement to lead this critical effort," he added.
Mrs Hughes was a member of Mr Bush's inner circle until she left the White House in 2002 to move her family back to Texas.
She continued to advise the president from her home in Austin.
Washington also announced that Dina Powell, an Egyptian-born, Arabic-speaking former White House aide, would work with Mrs Hughes.