The US senate has confirmed Caroline Kennedy, a former ambassador to Japan and daughter of late president John F Kennedy, as US ambassador to Australia, an important ally to the US.
Ms Kennedy, 64, is an author and lawyer. Her father was the 35th US president, who served from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. She previously served as US ambassador to Japan from 2013-2017 under former president Barack Obama.
US President Joe Biden nominated Ms Kennedy as the country’s next ambassador to Australia last December.
The US senate said on Thursday she would head to Canberra as Australia’s ties with Washington strengthened in response to China’s growing power and increasingly assertive behaviour in Asia and beyond.
Like Japan, Australia is a member of the so-called Quad grouping, along with the US and India, which has been expanding co-operation in the face of China’s rise.
Ms Kennedy succeeds Arthur Culvahouse, who left the position in early 2021, when former Republican president Donald Trump left office.