WASHINGTON — President Biden said on Wednesday he would nominate two high-profile women who were early supporters of his candidacy, former Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and decorated figure skater Michelle Kwan, for ambassadorial positions in his administration.
The president appointed Ms. Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy and the ambassador to Japan under President Barack Obama, as ambassador to Australia. He said he would nominate Ms. Kwan, who earned Olympic silver and bronze medals as a speed skater before pursuing careers in diplomacy and politics, as ambassador to Belize.
Ms. Kennedy, 64, supported Mr. Biden for president in February 2020, in the heat of the Democratic primary. She wrote in a Boston Globe op-ed that Mr. Biden was “a president who can bring people together, who knows how to do things at home and abroad, whose word we can count on, and who can nurture the next generation of leaders.” .”
In a press release announcing her nomination, White House officials praised Ms. Kennedy’s tenure as the first female ambassador to Japan from 2013 to 2017.
“It promoted the redeployment of US troops in Okinawa,” they wrote, “promoted women’s empowerment in Japan and increased student exchanges between the US and Japan.”
Ms Kwan, 41, joined Mr Biden’s campaign team in 2019, long after she made the transition from athletics to the political arena. She was named the country’s first envoy for public diplomacy in 2006 and traveled on behalf of the State Department for a decade to meet children around the world.
Representative Judy Chu, a California Democrat and the chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, noted in a statement that Ms. Kwan would be the first Asian-American woman to serve as ambassador to Belize.
“I am so pleased that after her career as an Olympian, she will now continue to represent our country’s diverse talent,” she said, adding: “I have no doubt that she will continue to be an outstanding representative of our country in her new role.”