U.S. Senate confirms Rice as U.N. ambassador

WASHINGTON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday unanimously confirmed President Barack Obama’s nomination of Susan Rice as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Rice, who served as an assistant secretary of state for African affairs in the Clinton administration, will be the first African-American woman to hold the U.N. post.

The Senate also confirmed former Republican Rep. Ray LaHood of Illinois as secretary of the Transportation Department, New York housing commissioner Shaun Donovan as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Lisa Perez Jackson as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Since Obama took office on Tuesday, the Senate has confirmed more than a dozen of his top nominees, and plans to vote on more next week. (Reporting by Thomas Ferraro; editing by Mohammad Zargham)