The United States Senate approved veteran diplomat Bridget A. Brink as the ambassador to Ukraine. Her confirmation came the same day the Embassy in Kyiv formally reopened on May 18, 2022: It was shuttered due to Vladimir Putin’s Feb. 24 invasion.
In a State Department press statement, spokesperson Ned Price shared information about Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III’s visit to Ukraine. During the discussion with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Secretary Blinken shared information about the ambassador nominee:
If confirmed, Ambassador Brink will lead our diplomatic mission in Ukraine with dedication and distinction. Her decades of experience make her uniquely suited for this moment in Ukraine’s history.
Demonstrating rarely seen Congressional bipartisanship, both Democrats and Republicans urged the diplomat’s quick confirmation. As a result, the 12-member Senate Foreign Relations Committee fast-tracked Brink’s hearings. The Senate unanimously confirmed the ambassador’s new post just 16 days after President Joe Biden announced her nomination.
After Brink’s confirmation, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D- N.Y.) said, “I have every confidence she will be an outstanding ambassador.
She speaks Russian and has studied Slovak, Serbian, Georgian, and French. The veteran diplomat holds Master’s degrees in International Relations and Political Theory and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.
Brink, the current U.S. ambassador to Slovakia, has served as a foreign service officer for the past 25 years. She spent most of her career in the countries of the former Soviet Union. During that time, the diplomat has served as the Senior Advisor and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassies in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and Tbilisi, Georgia, according to Price.
The veteran foreign services diplomat will be the first ambassador to Ukraine since 2019 when then-President Donald Trump removed Marie Yovanovitch from the role.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Reuters: U.S. Senate confirms Biden nominee to be Ukraine ambassador; by Patricia Zengerle
Politico: Senate unanimously confirms Brink as Ukraine ambassador; by Andrew Desiderio
NPR: Biden plans to nominate Bridget Brink as the next ambassador to Ukraine. Who is she? By Rachel Treisman
U.S. Department of State: Secretary Blinken and Secretary Austin’s Travel to Ukraine
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi’s Flickr Page – Public Domain License
Inset Images Courtesy of ZupaBA VUCBA’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License