Biden Expected to Coveted Ambassador Picks at Beginning of YearDecember 17, 2020
President-elect Joe Biden has gone full-speed ahead with nominations to his Cabinet over the past few weeks. Just one month after winning the election, Biden and his transition team have announced several key nominations for his Cabinet while also filling out the major roles in his administrative team. Next on the docket will be his picks for the various ambassador positions around the world.
Ambassador Picks Up Next: While the ambassador picks have not taken center stage yet, this is likely to change over the next month as these choices are revealed to the nation. The Biden team has acknowledged that these choices are particularly important as America seeks to rebuild its relationships with allies all over the world.
Why the Delay in the Announcements? According to sources with the Biden transition team, the country should expect to see the first wave of ambassador nominations by the beginning of January. The reason for the delay is largely attributed to the Georgia Senate runoff elections. Because the nominations for ambassador positions need to be confirmed with the Senate, the Biden team is waiting to see if the Democrats can squeak out two victories in the Georgia races and gain control of the Senate. Should this happen, Biden may have more flexibility in who he can push through the confirmation process.
All Eyes on Israel Post: One of the first appointments expected to be announced is the post to Israel. This position will be one of the most desired positions for those close to Biden. Those in consideration for this appointment include former New York Congressman Steve Israel and former senior State Department official Tom Nides. Another frontrunner is Daniel Shapiro, who coincidentally served in the position during the Obama-Biden administration. Like his Cabinet nominations, it is expected that Biden will lean on those people who surrounded him when he was vice president under Barack Obama.
Interesting Rumors: In addition to the expected names floating around as possibilities, there are also some more interesting individuals who are being mentioned as being in contention for some of the most coveted posts around the globe. Based on her unwavering support of Biden during his campaign, Cindy McCain is being mentioned as a frontrunner for the position in the UK. As the widow of former Sen. John McCain, she has been credited for swinging the state of Arizona to Biden’s win column after she crossed party lines and threw her support behind the Democratic ticket.
There is also a smattering of business leaders who have expressed interest in serving in a diplomatic role. Bloomberg owner and co-founder and former presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg has also said that he is interested in the appointment to the UK. More notably, Disney’s outgoing CEO Bob Iger has expressed interest in becoming the ambassador to China, a country that he has extensive familiarity within the business world.