Another milestone is in store for Asian Americans, as the State Department announced retired Olympic skater Michelle Kwan as the newest diplomat to join the federal government ranks. On Thursday, Sept. 29, the Senate confirmed that Kwan would serve as an ambassador to Belize, having been nominated by President Biden in December 2021.
Kwan has been a longtime activist for the Democratic party. AsAmNews reported that she worked on Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election.
According to CNN, the State Department highlighted Kwan’s impressive athlete career, educational background, and work experience as some of the many reasons she was given the ambassadorship position.
“Kwan’s extensive work experience at the U.S. State Department in public diplomacy and youth outreach and her work with non-profit organizations combined with her strong management and business skills make her a well-qualified candidate to be the U.S. Ambassador to Belize,” the State Department said in a statement.
Kwan has won two Olympic medals, five world championships, and nine U.S. championships in figure skating.
Her education includes a bachelor’s degree in international studies and a minor in political science from the University of Denver. She also holds a master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
In a statement released by the State Department, it said that Kwan became “the first Public Diplomacy Envoy in 2006 and for a decade traveled extensively on behalf of the U.S. Department of State to engage youth around the world on social and educational issues.”
Before her appointment, Kwan took to Twitter to share her excitement and nervousness as a potential U.S. ambassador to Belize.
“Belize is full of incredible history and culture, and has been a tremendous partner to the United States. I look forward to working with the Belizean government on economic issues, to put an end to this pandemic, and to address the root causes of migration,” Kwan said, per CNN.
The Hill reports that in addition to Kwan’s position in Belize, the Senate also confirmed three other nominees as ambassadors to Kyrgyzstan, Nicaragua, and Panama.
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