Biden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador

Biden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador
© Bonnie Cash

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 is nominating former Democratic Sen. Tom UdallTom UdallOvernight Defense: Milley reportedly warned Trump against Iran strikes | Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer killed in Afghanistan | 70 percent of active-duty military at least partially vaccinated Biden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Senate Democrats befuddled by Joe Manchin MORE as ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, the White House announced on Friday, the latest in a series of political ambassador picks.

Udall was first elected to represent New Mexico in 2008 and did not seek a third term in 2020. He was among seven nominees for top administration posts that the White House announced on Friday afternoon.

Udall also served as New Mexico’s attorney general and served as assistant U.S. attorney before he was elected to the Senate.


“Having dedicated my life to public service and having served as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee focusing on policies that promote democracy, international development, and conservation, I am honored to be nominated by President Biden to this next role serving our great country,” Udall said in a statement, according to The Associated Press.

Udall will need to be confirmed by the Senate, where his established relationships on Capitol Hill are likely to help him.

Biden has nominated a mix of political types and career foreign service officers to a number of ambassador positions since taking office in January. Among his political choices, Biden last week announced former Arizona GOP 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 is his choice for ambassador to Turkey.

Last month, Biden named former Obama administration official Tom Nides as ambassador to Israel and former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as ambassador to Mexico.

The White House also announced Friday that Biden would nominate three career members of the foreign service to ambassador posts. Biden is nominating Caryn McClelland as ambassador to Brunei, Michael Murphy as ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Howard Van Vranken as ambassador to Botswana.