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Biden names more ambassadorships, including Amy Gutmann for Germany

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U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday unveiled more nominees for ambassadorships, including for Germany, Kosovo and Ghana. The announcement confirmed murmurs about Biden’s plans to tap political philosopher Amy Gutmann as ambassador to Germany.

Gutmann, 71, is an expert in political philosophy and has served as the president of the University of Pennsylvania since 2004. Gutmann’s appointment comes at a crucial time for the transatlantic relationship in the post-Trump era. Her appointment would come more than a year after former President Donald Trump’s controversial ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, resigned from his job. If confirmed, she’d be the first woman to hold the post.

Biden also named Chantale Wong as nominee for director of the Asian Development Bank, with the rank of ambassador. Wong, with more than 30 years of experience in international policy, including finance, technology, and the environment, has served under Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Wong was also appointed to senior roles in the Office of Management and Budget, Treasury, NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Jeffrey Hovenier, a career foreign service member, was nominated for ambassador to the Republic of Kosovo. Hovenier serves as the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, and has served at missions in Croatia, Greece, Panama, Paraguay and Peru. He speaks German, Green, Croatian and Spanish.

Virginia Palmer, another career member of the senior foreign service, is up for ambassador to the Republic of Ghana. Palmer is principal deputy assistant secretary for the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources. She was the U.S. ambassador for Malawi from 2015 to 2019.

The White House has dismissed criticism that Biden is running late with his ambassador nominations. Biden has now nominated more than 20 ambassadors.

The Biden administration has also said it intends to keep the ratio of career appointees to political appointees closer to the traditional 70 to 30 percent. All of Biden’s picks must be confirmed by the Senate.

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