Former Sen. Tom Udall is Biden's pick as ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa

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Former Sen. Tom Udall is President Joe Biden’s pick to be ambassador to New Zealand and the Independent State of Samoa, the White House said Friday.

Udall, a Democrat from New Mexico whose second term in the Senate ended this year, was among four people Biden announced as planned nominees. Udall said in a statement that he has dedicated his life to public service and is honored to be nominated to this post “working with one of our closest partners and allies” to face challenges like Covid-19 and threats from China.

“This is a critical time for our country and my wife Jill and I are humbled and honored for the opportunity to continue to serve our country, and if confirmed, look forward to representing the United States in this important diplomatic post,” Udall said in the statement, per the White House.

Other picks include Caryn McClelland, the minister counselor for economic affairs at the U.S. Embassy in London, as a nominee to Brunei. Michael Murphy, a deputy assistant secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, will be Biden’s nominee to serve as ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Howard Van Vranken, the executive director and deputy executive secretary at the Department of State in D.C., is the president’s pick as ambassador to the Republic of Botswana.

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