Mexico City, Mexico — US President Joe Biden has announced his selections for several prominent ambassador positions, a group that includes career diplomats with extensive foreign policy experience. On Tuesday, Biden announced his nominee of ambassador to Mexico in the middle of a campaign to strengthen alliances with his neighbor to the south.
Biden chose Ken Salazar, a former senator from Colorado and former secretary of the interior to be his ambassador to Mexico, one of the United States’ largest trading partners. The US Democratic government is working to manage immigration across the border between the two nations.
Among a list of names announced by the White House also highlights Thomas Nides, vice president of Morgan Stanley who served as undersecretary of state under Barack Obama, to serve as ambassador to Israel.
Biden also chose security expert Julianne Smith to represent the United States to NATO in a series of appointments that included diplomatic representatives in Paraguay and Costa Rica.
The announcement comes as Biden wraps up an eight-day trip to Europe that included stops in Britain for a G7 summit and in Belgium for a NATO meeting.
As a candidate, Biden refused to rule out that he would nominate political donors for ambassadors or other positions if elected. However, he promised that his nominees, regardless of their taxpayer status, would be “the best people” for the job, marking a departure from his predecessor Donald Trump’s heavy reliance on political appointments and a greater preference for the reserves of career diplomats of the State Department.
Nominees need Senate confirmation before they can take office.