Michelle Kwan, a native of Torrance and 1984 Olympic figure skating gold medalist, has been nominated by President Trump to serve as an Ambassador for the United States. Her nomination was made public on July 19th.
TORRANCE, Calif. (CBSLA) — Michelle Kwan, a former figure skater, Olympic champion, and current American diplomat, has been nominated by President Joe Biden for the job of US Ambassador to Belize.
President Biden nominated Kwan as one of eight persons for various roles on Wednesday.
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Kwan’s significant achievements were lauded in a statement issued on the White House website:
“Michelle Kwan has a long and illustrious history in public service, diplomacy, and athletics. She has won 43 championships, including five world championships, nine national crowns, and two Olympic medals, making her the most decorated figure skater in American history. In 2006, she was appointed as the first Public Diplomacy Envoy, and over the next 10 years, she traveled widely on behalf of the US Department of State, engaging youngsters throughout the globe on social and educational concerns. Kwan is now the Treasurer and a member of the Special Olympics International Board of Directors.
She became a Senior Advisor at the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs after earning a B.A. in international relations from the University of Denver and an M.A. in law and diplomacy from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She also worked as an advisor for the US Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, where she helped with the US-China Women’s Leadership Exchange and Dialogue. At the US Department of State, she was a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, as well as the Council on Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports.”
Kwan had been pressing for an ambassadorship before the news, according to City News Service.
“If confirmed, I would be extremely pleased to serve my country,” Kwan stated in reaction to her nomination. Belize has a rich history and culture, and it has been an excellent partner for the United States. I’m excited to collaborate with the Belizean administration on economic concerns, as well as to put a stop to the epidemic and address the core reasons of migration.”
Kwan was nominated a public diplomacy ambassador by then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice when her figure skating career began to wane in 2006. She stayed in this post throughout Barack Obama’s administration, collaborating with both Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
She traveled extensively as a public diplomacy ambassador until 2011, when she was appointed to the US-China Women’s Leadership Exchange and Dialogue as an advisor.
Kwan was named senior advisor for public diplomacy and public affairs at the State Department in 2012.
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Michelle Kwan, a former Olympian, speaks at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire on February 8, 2020, in front of US Presidential Candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. (AFP photo by Joseph Prezioso) (Photo courtesy of JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images) )
She also worked on the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.
Kwan won a silver medal in the 1998 Olympics and a bronze medal in the 2002 Olympics, making him the most decorated figure skater in American history. She also won gold at five World Figure Skating Championships and nine US Figure Skating Championships, among many other honors and prizes. She is a member of the California Sports Hall of Fame as well as the United States Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
She was born in Torrance in 1980 and grew up in the Los Angeles region for the most of her life. She attended UCLA for one year after graduating from Rim of the World High School in Lake Arrowhead in 1998. She moved to the University of Denver in 2006 and graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree. Her major was international studies with a political science minor.
The following are the other seven nominations for diplomatic and agency posts, according to the White House:
- Caroline Kennedy, Nominee for Commonwealth of Australia Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
- Robert Wood, United States of America’s Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs to the United Nations, with the status of Ambassador
- Frank Calvelli, Department of Defense nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition
- Franklin Parker, Department of Defense nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs
- Michael Morgan is a nominee for Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction.
- LaWanda Toney is a nominee for Assistant Secretary of Education’s Office of Communications and Outreach.
- Nominee for Deputy Director for Defense Programs at the Department of Energy, Marvin Adams
On Tuesday, the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee examined Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s nomination for Ambassador to India.
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(CBS Broadcasting Inc., Copyright 2021, All Rights Reserved.) This article was written with the help of City News Service.)