New Mexico Senator Tom Udall was confirmed as the United States Ambassador to New Zealand and American Samoa on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021 by voice vote in the Senate.
According to the Committee on Foreign Relations in its certification of competency for the ambassadorial appointment, Sen. Udall “has a long and distinguished career in public service. He most recently served two terms as United States Senator from New Mexico (2009-2021) after serving five terms as United States Representative from New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District (1999-2009). While in office, Udall was a notable champion for the environment, for Native Americans, for government and election reform and for resolving international disputes diplomatically. Earlier in his career, Udall was twice elected Attorney General of New Mexico (1991-1999) and was appointed Assistant United States Attorney (1978-1981).
“His Senate Committee assignments included the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the Committee on Indian Affairs, the Committee on Rules and Administration, the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the International Narcotics Control Caucus. He was a congressional delegate to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
“His extensive and substantive policy experience, notably ten years on the Foreign Relations Committee and his legal education in a Commonwealth country, coupled with his broad management experience and demonstrated ability as a leader, make him a well-qualified candidate to be the U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and the Independent State of Samoa.
“A native of Arizona, Udall has a B.A. degree from Prescott College, a Bachelor of Law from University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, and a J.D. from the University of New Mexico.”
The Senator expressed his delight and honor in being named ambassador in a Santa Fe New Mexican interview this summer, stating, “Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa is an important diplomatic post for the United States, for New Zealand, Samoa, and for the Indo-Pacific, and this position — working with one of our closest partners and allies — is integral as we work closely with New Zealand to confront the challenges facing our nations — including COVID-19, climate, and China.”