Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of former US president John F Kennedy, is reportedly being considered for the role of United States ambassador to Australia.
- The previous US ambassador to Australia, Arthur B Culvahouse Jr, went home in January
- Joe Biden is expected to announce his first major tranche of political ambassadorial nominations soon
- Mr Biden is reportedly considering another Kennedy, Vicki Kennedy, for an ambassadorial posting in Western Europe
US President Joe Biden is giving serious consideration to nominating Ms Kennedy, who served as ambassador to Japan during the Obama administration, to serve in a high-profile ambassadorial role, according to a person familiar with the deliberations.
US politics news site Axios reported, citing another anonymous source, that Mr Biden was looking at posting her to Australia.
The White House declined to comment. The US embassy in Australia has been contacted for comment.
Under the previous administration, Australia went nearly two-and-a-half years without an ambassador from the United States, one of dozens of senior positions former president Donald Trump left unfilled.
Arthur B Culvahouse, who was finally appointed to the position in March 2019, went home in January.
Ms Kennedy, a scion of one of America’s most high-profile political families, threw her support behind Mr Biden relatively early in the crowded 2020 Democratic primary process.
In a Boston Globe editorial to announce her endorsement, she praised Mr Biden for his long career as a public servant and fondly recalled Mr Biden visiting Tokyo as vice president while she was ambassador.
“[Mr Biden] stepped off Air Force Two wearing his aviator glasses and a big smile,” she wrote in the Globe ahead of the New Hampshire primary last year.
“He radiated American optimism and generosity of spirit.
“He made clear that America would always stand by our allies, and that we were committed to keeping the region peaceful and prosperous.
“He delivered tough messages as well, but he did it in private, with skill and respect.”
Ms Kennedy, along with her uncle, former senator Ted Kennedy, also offered a critical early endorsement to Mr Obama in his 2008 run for the White House.
The Associated Press has previously reported that he is expected to nominate former senior State Department official Nicholas Burns to serve in China, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in India, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Japan, and former deputy secretary of state Tom Nides to Israel.
Axios reported that Mr Biden was considering another Kennedy, Ted Kennedy’s widow Vicki Kennedy, for an ambassadorial posting in Western Europe.
Ken Salazar, a former colleague of Mr Biden’s in the Senate and Obama-era Interior Department secretary, is a top candidate for the Mexico ambassadorship.
Cindy McCain, the widow of Republican senator John McCain and a longtime friend of the President and first lady Jill Biden, is under consideration for an ambassadorial position, including leading the UN World Food Program.
Prominent Democratic fundraisers Denise Bauer, Jane Hartley and David Cohen have also emerged as leading contenders for postings in France, Italy and Canada, respectively, according to people familiar with the White House deliberations but also not authorised to publicly comment on the matter.
During the Obama administration, Ms Bauer served as ambassador to Belgium, and Ms Hartley was ambassador to France and Monaco. Mr Cohen is a top executive at the cable company Comcast.
NEW: Biden is considering naming two Kennedys to represent him abroad: Caroline Kennedy for U.S. ambassador to Australia and Vicki Kennedy for Western Europe, people familiar with the matter tell Axios. https://t.co/nj1efw1r25
— Axios (@axios) May 30, 2021