Ken Salazar to Mexico and Tom Nides to Israel

Former U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar

Joe Amon | Denver Post | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced that he would nominate former Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar to be the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, and Morgan Stanley vice chairman Tom Nides to be ambassador to Israel.

Salazar is a former Colorado state attorney general and a former Democratic senator who left the Senate to join the Obama administration in 2009 and lead the Interior Department.

Biden also announced that he will nominate Capt. C. B. “Sully” Sullenberger as an ambassador-rank U.S. representative to the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization. Sullenberger is a retired airline pilot, known best for successfully landing US Airways flight 1549 on the Hudson River in 2009.  

For the prestigious ambassador-rank post of U.S. permanent representative to NATO, Biden has chosen Julianne Smith. A former deputy national security advisor to Biden when he was vice president, Smith also directed NATO policy at the Pentagon.

The announcements were largely expected. But coming as they did while Biden is traveling overseas, they underscore Biden’s broader aim of staffing U.S. embassies abroad with experienced and widely respected diplomats.

In addition to the intended nominees above, Biden also tapped:

  • 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
  • Julianne Smith for U.S. permanent representative to NATO 
  • Dr. Cynthia Ann Telles for ambassador to Costa Rica

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.

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