Caroline Kennedy, Michelle Kwan Nominated for U.S. Ambassadorships

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that Caroline Kennedy, daughter of John F. Kennedy, and Michelle Kwan, the United States' most decorated figure skater, would be nominated for ambassadorships.

Kwan is nominated to serve as an ambassador to Belize while Kennedy is nominated as an ambassador to Australia. The selections still need U.S. Senate approval.

Kennedy, an early supporter of Biden's campaign, served as ambassador to Japan from 2013 to 2017, during the Obama administration. While ambassador, she mainly worked on military and trade matters. She also helped to organize a 70th anniversary event for the ending of World War II, which brought then-President Barack Obama to Hiroshima.

In a statement, Kennedy thanked Australian and Solomon Islander coast watchers who saved her father after Japanese forces sank his motor torpedo boat during World War II.

"If confirmed, I will work hard to repay this debt," she said. "I look forward to collaborating with the Government of Australia to strengthen our alliance, improve global health and increase vaccine access during this terrible pandemic and to address the urgent climate crisis. I am excited to get to know the Australian people, learn about their fascinating country and share with them what I love most about America."

Kennedy's nomination was lauded by Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne.

Kwan, who has won five Figure Skating World Championships and two Olympic medals in the sport, currently serves as a Special Olympics International board member.

Kwan has also served as a Senior Advisor at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and an Advisor to the Office of Global Women's Issues with the U.S. Department of State, the White House said in a statement. She was also the department's first public diplomacy envoy starting in 2006, traveling around the world to "engage youth on social and educational issues."

"I am honored to be nominated by President Biden to serve as ambassador to Belize, and if confirmed, I will be very proud to serve my country," Kwan tweeted.

Caroline Kennedy, ambassador nominee
President Joe Biden has announced he’s nominating Caroline Kennedy, who served as ambassador to Japan during the Obama administration, to serve as ambassador to Australia. Above, Kennedy is seen before she christened the nuclear aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia, on December 7, 2019. Steve Helber, File/AP Photo

In a Boston Globe editorial to announce her endorsement, Kennedy praised Biden for his long career as a public servant and fondly recalled Biden visiting Tokyo as vice president while she was ambassador.

Biden appointed another member of the Kennedy clan, Victoria Kennedy, an attorney and the widow of Senator Ted Kennedy, to serve as his ambassador to Austria. The Senate confirmed her nomination in October.

Kwan, a two-time Olympic medalist, was also an early supporter of Biden's successful White House run, joining his campaign in 2019 as surrogate director.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Michelle Kwan, ambassador nominee
President Joe Biden has announced he’s nominating Michelle Kwan, the renowned U.S. Olympic figure skater, to serve as his ambassador to Belize. Above, Kwan smiles at an event in Providence, Rhode Island, on January 28, 2014. Stephan Savoia, File/AP Photo