WASHINGTON (CNN) - One might think the hiring of an envoy to handle outreach to the Muslim world would be something the State Department would want to tout.
Such a move was recently made, but it didn't qualify as significant news for diplomats, who failed to make the appointment public.
This week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose Farah Pandith for the job.
State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly confirmed the appointment on Thursday after being asked about Indian news reports that Pandith, a Kashmiri-American, had been selected for the job.
"She's actually a friend of mine," Kelly told reporters. "I worked with her very closely in the European Bureau, Farah Pandith. She was a special adviser for outreach to Muslim communities in Europe. The secretary has appointed her to more of a global role."
Kelly was unclear about when Clinton tapped Pandith, saying he believed it was made within the past few days.
When asked why the post had not been made public, Kelly said an announcement was sent out to the "State Department community." However, he promised to disseminate more information about the appointment.
During his inaugural speech, President Barack Obama pledged to seek a "new way forward" with the Muslim world "based on mutual interest and respect," after eight years of tense relations with the Muslim world under President Bush.
Earlier this month during speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, Obama once again said he would try "to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect."