WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he’s nominating Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy who served as ambassador to Japan during the Obama administration, to serve as ambassador to Australia and Michelle Kwan, the renowned U.S. Olympic figure skater, to serve as his chief envoy to Belize.
Kennedy supported Biden in the 2020 Democratic primaries. This was a significant move. To announce her endorsement in the Boston Globe, Kennedy praised Biden’s long career as an official and fondly remembered Biden visiting Tokyo during her time as ambassador.
Kennedy in a statement offered gratitude to Solomon Islanders and Australian coast watchers in the Pacific who rescued her father during World War II after his crew’s motor torpedo boat was sunk by the Japanese in August 1943.
“If confirmed, I will work hard to repay this debt,” she said. “I look forward to collaborating with the Government of Australia to strengthen our alliance, improve global health and increase vaccine access during this terrible pandemic and to address the urgent climate crisis. I am excited to get to know the Australian people, learn about their fascinating country and share with them what I love most about America.”
Biden appointed another Kennedy clan member. Victoria Kennedy,An attorney, and his widow, will serve as his Ambassador to Austria. Her nomination was confirmed by the Senate in October.
Kwan, a two-time Olympic medalist, was also an early supporter of Biden’s successful White House run, joining his campaign in 2019 as surrogate director.
Kwan was named the State Department’s first public diplomacy envoy in 2006. Kwan serves currently as Special Olympics International’s treasurer.