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Biden Names Nominees for Ambassadors to Mexico and Israel

President Joe Biden attends a meeting during a NATO summit, at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, June 14, 2021. (Stephanie Lecocq/Reuters)

President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced plans to nominate former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to be the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, and Morgan Stanley vice chairman Tom Nides to be ambassador to Israel.

The long-awaited announcement came as Biden made his first trip abroad since taking office. Biden has undertaken a trip to Europe with the aim of demonstrating to global leaders that “America is back at the table.”

Nides’s nomination comes just days after Israeli opposition parties were sworn in as a new governing coalition, formally ousting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after twelve consecutive years in office.

Other nominations included Captain C.B. “Sully” Sullenberger, a retired airline pilot who successfully landed U.S. Airways flight 1549 on the Hudson River in 2009 after a dual engine failure, to be ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The president also tapped Julianne Smith, who served as national security adviser to Biden when he was vice president, as U.S. permanent representative to NATO. Smith is currently an adviser to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Biden will nominate Julie Chung for ambassador to Sri Lanka; Sharon L. Cromer for ambassador to Gambia; Troy Damian Fitrell as ambassador to Guinea; Marc Ostfield for ambassador to the Republic of Paraguay; and Dr. Cynthia Ann Telles for ambassador to Costa Rica. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has previously said that the nomination process can be a lengthy one as “countries have to agree to these selections, and so sometimes that’s part of the timeline.”

Some of Biden’s nominees who were not formally announced on Tuesday but have been selected are still completing background checks and financial reviews, according to the New York Times.

Those who have been selected but not publicly announced include R. Nicholas Burns, a veteran Foreign Service officer and a former ambassador to NATO, whom Biden has reportedly selected as ambassador to China, as well as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has reportedly been chosen as ambassador to India.

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