United States President Joe Biden has named Bridget Brink as ambassador to Ukraine following a visit to the war-torn country by the US Secretary of State and the Pentagon chief.
Brink, who is currently serving as ambassador to Slovakia, is a career diplomat.
She has served as a senior advisor and deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the US Department of State, where she focused on Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, as well as deputy chief of mission in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and Tbilisi, Georgia.
The official announcement on Monday of Brink’s nomination came after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made an undisclosed trip to Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who he notified of the planned nomination.
Washington did not provide a timeline on when the US embassy in Kyiv, which was closed days before Russia launched its invasion on February 24, would reopen.
Blinken and Austin also announced $300m more in US military financing for Ukraine and $165m in ammunition. To date, the US has given Ukraine $3.7bn since the invasion began.
There has not been a Ukraine ambassador since former President Donald Trump removed Marie Yovanovitch from the post in 2019.
Yovanovitch’s firing was central to a House of Representatives impeachment investigation into allegations Trump and his allies sought to dig up damaging information on Biden’s son’s business dealings in Ukraine.
Brink, who is from the state of Michigan and speaks Russian, will need to be confirmed by the US Senate.
Speaking to the New York Times, William Taylor, a retired diplomat who briefly served in an acting capacity as the head of the US embassy in Ukraine following Yovanovitch’s removal, said he expected Brink to get bipartisan support in her confirmation.
“It will be great to have a Senate-confirmed ambassador out there who clearly has the authority to speak to the president,” he said.