President Biden announced his first slate of political ambassadors Tuesday, naming five political allies and donors, as well as four career foreign service officers.
Why it matters: Biden’s announcement is the first step in an ambassadorial nomination process that will include several more waves. But it gives an indication he is more comfortable with former and current politicians and Washington insiders than big-dollar donors who have typically populate a president’s ambassador list.
- Tom Nides, a former deputy secretary of State and respected Democratic operative, will be named for Israel.
- Former Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar, who also served as President Obama’s Interior Secretary, is slated for Mexico.
- Julie Smith, a longtime Biden aide, foreign policy expert and German speaker, is Biden’s pick to be ambassador to NATO.
- Cynthia Telles, a prominent Latina donor and professor at UCLA, is in line for Costa Rica.
- Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger will be nominated to be the ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal.