President BidenJoe BidenUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Schumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks GOP Rep. Cawthorn likens vaccine mandates to 'modern-day segregation' MORE will pick a former ambassador to France, Jane Hartley, as his ambassador to Britain, The Washington Post reported Friday.
A White House spokesperson declined to confirm the nomination to The Hill and said nothing is final until it is announced.
The Post cited two people in the know about the decision. Among the positions that a president chooses, the ambassadorships in London and Paris are considered two of the most prestigious. The news outlet noted the British ambassador position is considered more important due to the “close diplomatic, military and historical relationship” between the two countries.
The ambassadorship is usually one of the first to be announced and is often given to an important donor or close friend of the president’s, but the news outlet reported that the president had difficulty finding the right candidate for the job and had considered former Secretary of State Colin PowellColin Luther PowellCivil rights museum to honor Michelle Obama, Poor People's Campaign In Afghanistan, lines between aid and government agendas are blurred The Powell Doctrine could have helped us avoid the Afghanistan debacle MORE and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg for the role.
The Post noted that some close to the president are surprised by his decision to nominate Hartley but also acknowledged that she remained a loyal donor to Biden even when his campaign was struggling.
The Washington Post could not immediately reach Hartley for comment.
Earlier this week, Biden nominated former Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBiden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Voting rights will be on '22, '24 ballots MORE (R-Ariz.) to be the U.S. ambassador in Turkey. The nomination now goes to the Senate for approval.
“Given the strategic importance of the United States’ relationship with our long-time NATO Ally, the Republic of Turkey, I am honored and humbled by the trust President Biden has placed in me with this ambassadorial nomination,” Flake wrote in a Medium post shortly before the White House confirmed his nomination.
— Morgan Chalfant contributed.