Cindy McCain nominated as ambassador to United Nations food agency

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Washington (CNN) President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he will nominate Cindy McCain as US ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, elevating a longtime friend and Republican ally to an administration post.

If confirmed by the Senate, McCain – the widow of longtime Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona , whose relationship with the President spanned decades – will represent the US in a specialized UN role focused on ending global hunger and expanding access to quality foods worldwide.

“I am deeply honored and look forward the work ahead,” McCain wrote in a tweet.

The announcement underscores Biden’s push for bipartisanship in Washington – and the path traveled by McCain, a lifelong Republican, into the embrace of the Democratic Party after former President Donald Trump made an enemy of John McCain , the GOP’s 2008 president nominee.

“My husband John lived by a code: country first. We are Republicans, yes, but Americans foremost. There’s only one candidate in this race who stands up for our values as a nation, and that is @JoeBiden,” McCain said in a series of tweets last September.

In response, Biden had tweeted, “Cindy — I’m deeply honored to have your support and your friendship. This election is bigger than any one political party. It requires all of us to come together as one America to restore the soul of the nation. Together, we’ll get it done.”

McCain is a member of the Human Trafficking Council at the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University and serves as chair and director of the Hensley Beverage Company.

The announcement on Wednesday came alongside a raft of others, including Claire Cronin – a Massachusetts Democrat – to be US ambassador to Ireland and Michael Carpenter – managing director of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement – as US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The President also picked former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell to be US ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development along with eight picks to the National Council on the Arts, among others.

Cindy McCain is Biden’s choice for ambassador to the U.N.’s food program.

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President Biden announced Wednesday that he was nominating Cindy McCain, the widow of former Senator John McCain, as ambassador to the United Nations World Food Programme, giving the post to a longtime Republican friend as he continues to emphasize the importance of bipartisanship in a deeply divided Washington.

Ms. McCain, who participated in a video supporting Mr. Biden’s candidacy during the all-virtual Democratic National Convention last summer, was seen as a “must do” for an ambassador posting in the Biden administration, according to sources familiar with the process, and has been undergoing the vetting process for some time.

In the video, Ms. McCain spoke about Mr. Biden’s “unlikely friendship” with her husband.

“My husband and Vice President Biden enjoyed a 30+ year friendship dating back to before their years serving together in the Senate,” she tweeted before the Democratic convention. “So I was honored to accept the invitation from the Biden campaign to participate in a video celebrating their relationship.”

The U.N. mission is based in Rome.

Mr. Biden also announced on Wednesday that he was nominating Claire Cronin, a Massachusetts state representative, as ambassador to Ireland. Former Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut, a longtime Biden friend, had taken himself out of the running for that posting because he did not want to move his family out of the country, according to people familiar with the process.

Cindy McCain picked by Biden as UN food ambassador

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday tapped Arizona’s Cindy McCain, the widow of former U.S. Sen. John McCain, as the U.S. Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, with the rank of ambassador.

Earlier this year, Arizona Republicans voted to censure Cindy McCain and two other members of the state’s GOP, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Gov. Doug Ducey.

McCain broke with the Republican Party and endorsed Biden for president in 2020. She delivered a virtual endorsement for Biden at the Democratic convention last year.

Former President Donald Trump had repeatedly attacked the late John McCain, a maverick Republican and his party’s unsuccessful 2008 nominee for president.

Cindy McCain also has disavowed an audit in Arizona of the 2020 election results, Forbes reported.

In a statement released by the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University, where she chairs the Board of Trustees and is a member of the Human Trafficking Council, McCain said she was honored to be selected.

“The United States has long been a leader in the fight against hunger and malnutrition worldwide,” she said. “I care deeply about the effectiveness and capacity of the Rome-based food agencies to tackle these challenges. My work at the Institute has shown me the power of committed action to mobilize action for change to benefit the world’s most vulnerable.”

Josette Sheeran, executive chairman of the McCain Institute Board of Trustees and former head of the UN World Food Program, also offered praise.

“Cindy McCain has long demonstrated her commitment to humanitarian action and the world’s urgently hungry,” said Sheeran.

According to a biography supplied by the White House, McCain is chairman and director of the Hensley Beverage Company in Phoenix. In addition to her positions at the institute, she is a member of the Leadership Council at the Too Small to Fail Initiative in New York and a member of the Phoenix Mayor’s Human Trafficking Task Force.

She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Southern California.

McCain’s nomination is subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

“Cindy McCain is a demonstrated humanitarian, civic leader, and a terrific choice to represent America’s work with the United Nations combating famine and hunger crises around the world,” Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat, said in a statement. “As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, Cindy’s leadership will prove even more important to the world’s vulnerable populations. I look forward to supporting her nomination, and I know she will make Arizona — and America — proud.”