This past Wednesday, President Biden nominated decorated figure skater Michelle Kwan to be the US Ambassador to Belize:
“Ms. Kwan, 41, joined Mr. Biden’s campaign team in 2019, long after making a transition from athletics to the political arena. She was named the country’s first public diplomacy envoy in 2006 and spent a decade traveling on behalf of the State Department to meet with children around the world.”
The last time I saw and interviewed Kwan was when she first launched ‘AAPIs for Biden’ back in October of 2019, when Biden was first running for the Democratic nomination.
When I first heard the news, I was a bit surprised, since I always thought Kwan would appreciate a role that had a more flexible schedule and be closer to home and her brother and parents who still reside in Los Angeles as far as I know. I do wonder if she does have longer-term political ambitions and sees this as a stepping stone to elected office? I hope so.
If you don’t recall, Kwan did graduate with a Master’s degree from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and had served as the first U.S. diplomacy public envoy by then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (under the Bush Jr. administration). In a statement, Kwan stated:
“I am honored to be nominated by President Biden to serve as ambassador to Belize, and if confirmed, I will be very proud to serve my country,” Kwan said in a statement provided by the White House. “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 regional migration.”
I’m curious as to how Kwan was selected to be ambassador to Belize. I had to search in order to learn exactly where Belize was and how large, etc it was:
“Belize is a Caribbean country located on the northeastern coast of Central America. Belize borders Mexico to the north, Caribbean Sea to the east and Guatemala to the south. It has an area of 22,970 square kilometres (8,867 sq mi) and a population of 419,199 (2020) … Belize has a small, mostly private enterprise economy that is based primarily on agriculture, agro-based industry, and merchandising, with tourism and construction recently assuming greater importance.”
I think the most I knew about Belize was that it was a great place to go SCUBA diving. I think I’ve heard or seen some friends on Facebook go diving there. Best of luck to Michelle in Belize – I will have to try to visit!