Kennedy served as U.S. ambassador to Japan from 2013-17 during Barack Obama’s presidency. Goldberg is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and has been serving as U.S. ambassador to Colombia.
The Senate approved the nominations Thursday as President Joe Biden’s administration looks to fill out its diplomatic team with key allies in Asia. Kennedy has extensive experience in the region and and had thrown her support behind Biden relatively early in the crowded 2020 Democratic primary process.
Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., said shortly before the Senate action that it was critical for the U.S. to have Goldberg in Seoul, citing North Korea’s launch Wednesday of a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters.
“South Korea is one of our most important trading partners. South Korea is one of our most important security partners,” Ossoff said. “We need a U.S. ambassador to lead our mission in South Korea.”
The Senate also confirmed Mark Nathanson to be ambassador to Norway, MaryKay Loss Carlson to be ambassador to the Philippines, and John Nkengasong to coordinate U.S. efforts to combat HIV-AIDS globally.
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