President Biden Reveals Nominees For Ambassador To Israel, Mexico

(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden announced his nominations for an number of U.S. ambassadorships Tuesday, including Israel, Mexico and NATO.

Biden will nominate longtime state department official Thomas Nides as ambassador to Israel; Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as ambassador to Mexico, and Julianne Smith, who served as Biden’s national security adviser when he was vice president, as ambassador to NATO.

Biden also announced nominations to Sri Lanka, Gambia, Paraguay, Guinea, and Costa Rica.

The nominations are among Biden’s first high-profile ambassadorial nominations since gaining office. His administration has taken longer than usual to fill U.S. embassies across the globe, including key allies and adversaries.

Biden’s nomination to Israel comes just after longtime Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu lost his position to a new government coalition.

Photo by Debbi Hill - Pool/ Getty Images

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – MARCH 09: L – R US Vice President Joe Biden is presented with a document certifying the plantation of trees in honour of his late mother Catherine by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 9, 2010 in Jerusalem, Israel. The American Vice-President is in the Middle East to meet Israeli leaders including Peres and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before travelling to Jordan on Thursday. (Photo by Debbi Hill – Pool/ Getty Images)

Presidents commonly hand out certain ambassadorships to prominent donors and other wealthy allies, and the White House has reportedly been debating how many ambassadorships to set aside for that purpose, according to USA Today.

Biden still has yet to announce nominations for the ambassadorships to the U.K., Canada, Germany, China, and dozens of other major countries.

The empty post in Beijing is most striking, as Biden has placed America’s ongoing “competition” with China at the center of his foreign policy. He has said the competition between the two nations will determine whether democracy or autocracy will rule the world going into the future. (RELATED: President Biden Launches Pentagon Task Force To Counter China)

The White House has announced no updates on how far along it is in making a nomination, though reports suggest he may plan to select career diplomat Nick Burns.