Yesterday, July 21, the White House officially nominated Victoria “Vicki” Kennedy to follow Trevor D. Traina as the United States Ambassador to Austria. The Alpine Republic’s Präsidentschaftskanzlei (Office of the President) has already granted the necessary agrément (diplomatic consent), provided her appointment is confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
A longtime friend of President Biden as well as an accomplished lawyer and widow of prominent politician Ted Kennedy, she was a close confidante to the long-serving Massachusetts senator (and younger brother of JFK) until his death in 2009, and remains highly active in the democratic party as a gun control advocate; she was nominated as a governor of the US Postal Service by the Obama administration in 2014 but was unable to be confirmed by the Republican-majority senate at the time.
The United States of America has enjoyed longstanding friendly relations with Austria and is the country’s second-largest trading partner, importing over €10 billion worth of goods in 2019, up 150% compared to a decade ago. The US is also Austria’s third-largest foreign investor, adding €12.2 billion to the national economy.
Chancellor Kurz has stated that he would consider it an “honor for Austria” to welcome Kennedy, but emphasized that he must await her formal confirmation before he can officially say “looking forward to working with you.”