The US Senate on Thursday confirmed Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late president John F Kennedy, as ambassador to Australia, one of Washington’s most important Asia-Pacific allies.
She heads to Canberra as its relationship with Washington strengthens in response to China’s growing power and increasingly assertive behaviour.
Australia is a member of the so-called Quadrilateral Dialogue, or Quad grouping – along with the US, Japan and India – which has been expanding cooperation in the face of China’s rise.
In multiple votes held by the Senate, MaryKay Loss Carlson was confirmed as ambassador to the Philippines and Philip Goldberg approved as envoy to South Korea.
Kennedy, 64, is an author and attorney as well as a former ambassador to Japan. Her father was the 35th president, who served from 1961 until his assassination in November 1963.
Kennedy succeeds Arthur Culvahouse, who left the position in early 2021, when former Republican President Donald Trump left office.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell