As one of his highest profile ambassador picks thus far, President Joe Biden nominated Caroline Kennedy to serve as ambassador to Australia. Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, was previously the ambassador to Japan under President Barack Obama, from 2013 to 2017. She is a longtime friend and supporter of Biden’s and endorsed his candidacy early in the Democratic presidential primary.
Today, Biden announced his intent to nominate a number of individuals to ambassadorships including Kennedy (Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Commonwealth of Australia), former figure skater Michelle Kwan (Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Belize), and Robert Wood (Nominee for Alternate Representative of the United States of America for Special Political Affairs in the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador). Read more about today’s nominees here.
CNN previously noted that Kennedy’s possible appointment emphasizes the high priority the Biden administration is placing on the Asia-Pacific, as it “deals with an increasingly assertive China.” Australia and the US also share close military and trade alliances, and maintain a strong diplomatic relationship.
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Kennedy is the only surviving child of President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis. She is a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University Law School, and was nominated as the first woman ambassador to Japan in 2013. She was then unanimously confirmed by the Senate. While in Japan, Kennedy worked on military and trade relations between the two nations, and attended an annual memorial service for the victims of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima, becoming just the second American ambassador to do so.