Jan. 11, 2019: Brett McGurk resigned on Monday, Dec. 31, 2018, as the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS at the U.S. Department of State. McGurk had led U.S. efforts to counter the influence of ISIS on the battlegrounds of Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond since 2015. He was one of the few Obama appointees asked by the Trump administration to remain in his post. Before that, McGurk worked in the Bush administration. McGurk also led the successful and controversial secret negotiations with Iran that led to the 2016 release of American prisoners, including Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian. McGurk is expected to take a position at Stanford during the spring of 2019.