The Obama Administration has asked Carolina Kennedy to serve as the next US Ambassador to Japan and is currently vetting the candidate for the post. If Kennedy is nominated and confirmed, she will become America’s first female Ambassador to Japan.
Kennedy has wanted the post for years now, but she was not offered the job in President Barack Obama’s first term. She has not had the strongest relationship with Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State, following her high-profile endorsement of then-Senator Obama for president at a time when the Democratic party favored Clinton. She went on to co-chair the search for Obama’s vice president and addressed the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Talk of promoting Kennedy to the ambassador position for Obama’s second term predated current Secretary of State John Kerry‘s arrival. Now that Kerry holds the position, Kennedy stands to benefit from their warmer relationship. Kerry served with Carolina’s uncle, Ted Kennedy, as Massachusetts senators for over twenty years.
Talk circulated a month ago that Kennedy had become the top candidate for the post, where she will replace John Roos, a lawyer who handled the Obama campaign’s finances in California. It is a long-standing practice that leading campaign fundraisers are promoted into ambassador posts once their candidates are elected.
Carolina Kennedy is the 55-year-old daughter of former president John F. Kennedy. Born in 1957, she was just a young child when her father was assassinated in Dallas, Texas in late 1963. She now serves on the boards of many non-profit organizations and works as an attorney, writer, and editor.
The Washington Post reports that Japan prefers for their American ambassadors to be heavyweights. Previous Ambassadors to Japan include former Senate majority leader Mike Mansfield and former vice president Walter Mondale. If Kennedy is granted the position, her husband Edwin Schlossberg is expected to remain in New York while she works full-time in Tokyo.