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Biden names ambassadors to UK, Denmark

President Joe Biden announced plans on Wednesday to nominate four new ambassadors, moving to fill vacancies at U.S. embassies in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Chad and Denmark.

Three of the nominees are former ambassadors, including Jane Hartley, an adviser and former ambassador to France and Monaco whom Biden will nominate as U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom. Her tenure in Paris included a string of terrorist attacks — including the Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan attacks in 2015, and the Nice attack in 2016 — as well as efforts to strengthen the U.S.-France relationship by bolstering counterterrorism efforts. Those efforts earned her the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest honor, from then-French President François Hollande.

Hartley will be the first woman to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom in over 40 years. The announcement ends months of speculation, as Hartley’s nomination to the U.K. ambassadorship was reported as early as July of last year.

Biden’s pick for ambassador to Brazil is Elizabeth Bagley, a longtime diplomat and attorney. Bagley served as ambassador to Portugal during the administration of former President Bill Clinton, during which she was given the Grand Cross of Prince Henry the Navigator, Portugal’s highest civilian honor.

Following her time in Portugal, Bagley served as senior adviser to secretaries of State Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. Other federal appointments include special representative to the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, and the first special representative for global partnerships in the Office of the Secretary of State from 2009 to 2010.

Another former ambassador was tapped for the ambassadorship to Chad. Alexander Laskaris, a senior adviser in the Bureau of African Affairs, served as ambassador to Guinea during the Obama administration. His career in the State Department and as a minister-counselor in the Senior Foreign Service has included posts in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

Biden’s selection for the ambassadorship to Denmark comes from the private sector. Alan Leventhal is the founder, chair and CEO of Beacon Capital Partners and a Boston-area philanthropist.

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