President Biden plans to nominate Caroline Kennedy—a friend, donor, and experienced envoy—as US ambassador to Australia, reports CNN. The daughter of President John F. Kennedy, she served as ambassador to Japan during President Obama's administration. White House officials have not officially confirmed Kennedy's selection, saying that ambassadors will be announced when vetting of nominees is complete and host nations have been notified. On Wednesday, per the Hill, the administration announced Biden's choice of Victoria Kennedy as ambassador to Austria; she's the widow of longtime Sen. Ted Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy's uncle. Australia's importance to the US includes its value as a trading partner and ally in intelligence sharing—as well as its proximity to China.
During her tenure in Japan, Kennedy focused on military and trade issues. She was just the second US ambassador to attend the annual service marking the US nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. In Australia, she would succeed Arthur Culvahouse Jr., who held the post under President Trump, per the Guardian. Biden has long been close to the Kennedys, and Caroline Kennedy backed his presidential candidacy early, per People. In her endorsement, she wrote in the Boston Globe about Biden's visit to Japan while he was vice president and she was ambassador. "He radiated American optimism and generosity of spirit," she wrote. "He made clear that America would always stand by our allies." Biden conveyed less popular messages as well, Kennedy wrote, "but he did it in private, with skill and respect." (Read more Caroline Kennedy stories.)