President Joe Biden has nominated career foreign service officer Bridget Brink to be the next US ambassador to Ukraine, the White House announced Monday.
In Brink, Biden has chosen a seasoned diplomat who speaks Russian to be his chief envoy in a nation suffering a full-scale invasion by Moscow.
Brink, currently the US ambassador to Slovakia, would fill a position that has been officially empty since 2019.
She has “spent her twenty-five-year career in the Foreign Service focused on advancing US policy in Europe and Eurasia,” the White House said in a statement announcing Biden’s pick.
Brink also has served as deputy chief of mission in US embassies in Uzbekistan and Georgia and was stationed early in her career in Belgrade, Serbia, and in Cyprus.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Kyiv on Sunday, where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and told him Biden was nominating Brink to the post.
He also told Zelensky that the United States intends to return its diplomats to Kyiv this week, months after they evacuated and set up operations in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, and in neighboring Poland.
Though several European countries have already reopened their embassies in Kyiv, the return will be gradual for American diplomats, according to a State Department official.
“Since the start of hostilities, we’ve had a team across the border in Poland who’s been handling this work for us,” the official told reporters waiting for Blinken on the Polish side of the border.
Biden’s nomination of Brink requires confirmation by the US Senate. The chamber is evenly split 50-50, but given the urgency of conditions in Ukraine, it is expected Brink will be confirmed to the post.