SINGAPORE: The US Senate on Friday (Nov 19) confirmed President Joe Biden’s nomination for ambassador to Singapore.
The Senate confirmed by voice vote the appointment of technology entrepreneur Jonathan Kaplan, who was picked by Mr Biden in July.
The position of US ambassador to Singapore has been vacant since the January 2017 departure of Mr Kirk Wagar, who was appointed by former president Barack Obama.
Kaplan, who was formerly CEO at Pure Digital, is currently the chairperson of EducationSuperHighway, a non-profit organisation.
During a Senate hearing last month to confirm his nomination, Mr Kaplan noted that Singapore was a “vital economic partner” for the US, adding that more than 5,400 American companies were registered here.
“These businesses provide responsible, sustainable investment for the region and directly support more than 215,000 American jobs here at home,” he said.
“If confirmed, I plan to strengthen our bilateral trade relationship, advance an economic agenda that promotes a shared prosperity, further secure economic resiliency and our access to supply, and work with Singapore to tackle the climate crisis.”
In January 2020, former president Donald Trump’s nominee for ambassador to Singapore, Ms Barbera Hale Thornhill, was returned by the Senate for renomination.
Mr Trump had nominated Ms Thornhill, who ran an interior design firm, in September 2019 before it was withdrawn by the Biden administration in early 2021.
The appointment of ambassadors must be confirmed by the US Senate in a process that involves extensive checks, a hearing and a vote.