by Alberto Galvi –
US President Joe Biden appointed former New Mexico Senator Tom Udall, a Democrat who retired in 2021 after two terms in the Senate but did not seek a third term in the Senate, as ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa in 2020. He was previously elected multiple times for the House of Representatives and served as the attorney general for the state of New Mexico.
Udall is the third former Senate fellow Biden selected for ambassador: Ken Salazar, a Colorado Democrat, is also named ambassador to Mexico, and Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona, has been named ambassador to Turkey.
Biden is also expected to choose Jane Hartley as ambassador to the UK, and is considering appointing George Tsonis, founder and CEO (CEO) of Chartwell Hotels, as ambassador to Greece.
At the urging of Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, the White House is evaluating Tsunes as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In this position, Tsunes will have an important influence in the selection of ambassadors.
The White House also announced that Biden had appointed several officials, including an official at the United States Embassy in London and a second in the Office of European and Eurasian Affairs. Finally, a third diplomat will go to the State Department in Washington. Straight
Karen McClelland will go to Brunei as ambassador, Michael Murphy for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Howard Van Franken for Botswana.
The president began his term by appointing a large number of ambassadors, although many key positions remained vacant. All Biden candidates are awaiting confirmation from the Senate.
The White House also announced plans to appoint Laurie Lucasio as Under Secretary of Commerce. Two assistant ministers will be appointed: Andrew Hunter at the Department of Defense and James Rodriguez at the Department of Labour.