The appointment of Carolyn Kennedy—who has direct access to President Biden—as US Ambassador to Australia shows the importance President Biden places on the US’s relationship with Australia.



Caroline Kennedy, lawyer, author, a person of influence and only surviving child of assassinated US President John F Kennedy, has been nominated as the next Ambassador to Australia. Former Australian Senator, and senior visiting fellow at the United States Studies CentreStephen Loosley assesses its significance.

Key points:

  • Kennedy is a former ambassador to Japan.

  • US ambassadors serve at the president’s discretion.

  • She is President Biden’s choice and should be able to pick up the phone and talk directly to him when needed.

  • Ambassadorial nominees need Senate confirmation which can be slow.

  • Senators often use delaying tactics to negotiate on other issues of concern.

  • Under Donald Trump, Australia had no ambassador for years, relying on the chargé d’affaires instead.

  • Kennedy’s experience in Japan should be advantageous in further growing the Australia-Japan relationship and in the QUAD.

  • In the face of Australia’s and the Indo-Pacific’s strategic challenges, Kennedy should bring a sustained diplomatic focus to the region.



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Source Information: ASPI