Biden expected to name Caroline Kennedy as ambassador to Australia

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President Biden is expected to name Caroline Kennedy as the United States ambassador to Australia, according to people familiar with the selection.

The move places a boldface name and member of one of the best-known Democratic political families in charge of relations with a key Pacific ally.

Kennedy served as U.S. ambassador to Japan from 2013 to 2017 and is the daughter of President John F. Kennedy. She delivered Biden a boost in last year’s Democratic presidential primary when she penned an op-ed in the Boston Globe endorsing him as a leader “who can bring people together,” and was also a key backer of President Barack Obama, under whom Biden served as vice president.

Australia is among the closest U.S. allies, with long-standing diplomatic and military ties. The country is part of a five-member English-language intelligence consortium that is a backbone of U.S. operations globally.

Kennedy’s previous experience in Asia is likely to prove valuable as Australia finds itself facing an increasingly assertive China.

Biden’s choice of Kennedy was first reported Friday by CNN. The Washington Post confirmed it with officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss matters not yet public. The White House declined to comment.

Earlier this week, the White House announced that Biden has chosen Victoria Kennedy, the widow of Sen. Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy (D-Mass.), to serve as ambassador to Austria.

Victoria Kennedy is senior counsel in the corporate and securities practice group at Greenberg Traurig and president of the board and co-founder of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.

Tyler Pager contributed to this report.

Source: WP