Trump nominates KT McFarland as US ambassador to Singapore

Trump nominates KT McFarland as US ambassador to Singapore

US deputy national security advisor KT McFarland. (Photo: AFP/Chris Kleponis)

SINGAPORE: KT McFarland, the US deputy national security adviser, is President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the next US ambassador to Singapore.

Calling Singapore "one of America’s great allies", Trump said in a statement on Friday (May 19) that McFarland will remain a key member of his team in this “new and important role”.

"While I am sorry to lose her, KT’s work in developing policies that put American interests first will have a lasting impact," he said in his statement.

The move comes as the president’s national security adviser, HR McMaster, revamps the national security team he inherited from retired General Michael Flynn, who resigned as Trump's first national security adviser in February.

The 65-year-old McFarland is a former national security analyst for Fox News and was one of Trump's original hires after he was elected president on Nov 8. She also served in the Reagan, Nixon and Ford administrations.

If her ambassadorship is confirmed, she will replace the most recent US ambassador to Singapore, Florida attorney Kirk Wagar, who departed in January upon Trump's inauguration.

McFarland said on Friday that she looks forward to implementing Trump's policies as ambassador to Singapore.

”It’s been an incredible experience to serve here in the White House during his early months in office, and now I’m looking forward to implementing his policy with one of our key allies in Asia. I wish all my colleagues the very best, especially Lieutenant General McMaster, and I look forward to continuing to coordinate closely with them from my new perch in Singapore," she said.

Her nomination comes after President Trump’s selection of envoys to two other Asian powers – Iowa Governor Terry Branstad as ambassador to China and businessman William Hagerty as ambassador to Japan. Trump is also reportedly close to selecting former White House official Ashley Tellis as the US envoy to India.

McFarland's nomination will now move to the Senate for confirmation.

Following her departure, the role of deputy national security adviser will be given to Rick Waddell, a former major general in the US Army Reserve who has worked in the private sector in Latin America for 17 years, the White House said.

Source: CNA/cy