Trump pick has less experience than most U.N. ambassadors
WASHINGTON» Heather Nauert will be nominated by the Trump administration as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, succeeding Nikki Haley.
But despite almost two years as the State Department spokeswoman, Nauert struck many as an incongruous pick for one of the top jobs in diplomacy.
Unlike almost all of her predecessors, Nauert does not have a significant background in the Foreign Service or other government service: Instead, she had worked as a reporter and anchor since 1996, mostly for Fox News. She is best known as a former co-host on “Fox and Friends,” one of President Trump’s favored television shows.
Indeed, when you compare the potential U.S. diplomat’s resume to those of other top U.N. ambassadors from other nations on the Security Council, Nauert stands out.
• Karen Pierce joined Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1981 and was posted to Tokyo after spending a period learning Japanese. She had a variety of other foreign postings after that, including in Washington, from 1992 to 1995.
She served as Britain’s Deputy Permanent Representative at the United Nations in New York from 2006 to 2009, and from 2012 to 2015 she was permanent representative at the United Nations in Geneva.
• Like Nauert, Ma Zhaoxu once served as head spokesman for his country’s foreign ministry. However, the Chinese diplomat had a longer history with China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, which he joined in 1987. He also held highranking positions in Britain and Belgium before being appointed director-general of the ministry’s Information Department in 2009.
He was China’s ambassador to Australia from 2003 to 2016 and followed that with a 20-month stint as China’s top envoy to the United Nations in Geneva. He took up his post in New York in January 2018.
• Francois Delattre joined the French foreign ministry in 1989. He has served abroad a number of times, including as French ambassador to Canada from 2008 to 2011 and as ambassador to the United States from 2011 to 2014. He took up his position at the United Nations in New York after leaving Washington in 2011.
The French ambassador sees himself as a supporter of multilateralism. Writing in the Financial Times this year, he called on the United States to work with other countries in areas such as the Sahel region in Africa.
• Vasily Nebenzya’s diplomatic career dates to Soviet days — his first postings was as attache of the Soviet Union Embassy in Thailand in 1988. Over this lengthy career, he served abroad at Russia’s Permanent Mission to the U.N. in New York and as deputy permanent representative of Russia to the United Nations office and other international organizations in Geneva.
Before taking up his current position in New York last year, Nebenzya had been serving as deputy minister of foreign affairs for Russia.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert speaks to the media in November 2017. Nauert is President Donald Trump’s choice to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.