The Senate has approved the nomination of Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske as the national drug czar.

WASHINGTON — The Senate has approved the nomination of Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske as the national drug czar.

Kerlikowske, a 36-year law enforcement veteran, has said he will take a balanced, science-based approach to the job of director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The position is commonly known as the drug czar. The Senate approved his nomination, 91-1, on Thursday.

The 59-year-old Kerlikowske said he will help develop a strategy to address drug-related violence along the Mexican border. While he and other officials would work to reduce the international drug supply, the biggest contribution the United States can make is to reduce demand for illicit drugs, Kerlikowske said.