US names ambassador picks for Germany, India

WASHINGTON • US President Donald Trump has announced a series of ambassador nominations to key capitals, including Berlin and New Delhi, more than seven months after taking office.

In a statement released on Friday, the White House said Mr Trump intends to nominate Mr Richard Grenell to be ambassador to Germany, and Mr Kenneth Juster to be ambassador to India.

Mr Grenell is a media commentator and the "longest serving United States spokesman at the United Nations (2001-2008) having served four United States ambassadors", the White House said.

If confirmed, the prominent Trump supporter would be the first openly gay appointee of the current administration, US media reported.

Mr Juster is an administration official who most recently served as deputy assistant to the President for international economic affairs, and deputy director of the National Economic Council.

Mr Trump also plans to nominate an ambassador to Angola. Career diplomat Nina Fite, who is currently the principal officer at the US consulate in Montreal, is set to become the new US envoy to the African oil-exporting nation.

Meanwhile, Mr Edward McMullen Jr will be named as ambassador nominee to Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The South Carolina-based public affairs consultant was Mr Trump's campaign chairman in the state.

The nominations need to be approved by the US Senate, where Mr Trump's Republicans hold a majority.

The President has been criticised for his slow pace in filling ambassadorial and management posts at the State Department.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former ExxonMobil chief, has a plan to slash by 30 per cent the budget of an agency that employs more than 70,000 people in Washington and around the world.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2017, with the headline 'US names ambassador picks for Germany, India'. Print Edition | Subscribe