Kerry, 69, is the son of a diplomat and has served as Obama’s unofficial envoy, using his skills of persuasion with leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In advance of the hearing, Kerry said he plans to divest holdings in dozens of companies in his family’s vast financial portfolio to avoid conflicts of interest if he is confirmed.
He notified the State Department earlier this month that within 90 days of his confirmation he would move to sell off holdings in three trusts benefiting him and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.
In the Jan. 8 letter to the department’s Office of the Legal Adviser, Kerry said he would not take part in any decisions that could affect the companies he has holdings in until those investments are sold off.
Kerry is the wealthiest man in the Senate, worth more than $184 million, according to a 2011 Senate disclosure.