Retired figure skater, Michelle Kwan, appointed US Ambassador to Belize

The content originally appeared on: Amandala Newspaper

by Khaila Gentle

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Oct. 3, 2022

Diplomat and retired Olympian figure skater Michelle Kwan has been appointed by the US Senate as Ambassador to Belize. Kwan was nominated by President Biden for the role in December of 2021, and on Thursday, the US Senate officially confirmed her appointment.

Last year, Kwan said that she was honoured by her nomination and looked forward to serving her country.

“Belize is full of incredible history and culture, and has been a tremendous partner to the United States. I look forward to working with the Belizean government on economic issues, to put an end to this pandemic, and to address the root causes of migration,” she stated.

According to the US State Department, Kwan’s extensive work in public diplomacy and youth outreach make her a well-qualified candidate for the position, as does her experience working with non-profit organizations.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and Immigration, Hon. Eamon Courtenay, said on Monday that the government is looking forward to Kwan’s arrival.

“We have looked at her C.V. and her work. She is an experienced diplomat. Most people regard her as a sportswoman, as a medallist, and as a skier, but in fact she has tremendous experience in diplomacy,” he said.

According to Hon. Courtenay, an ambassador in Belize has been long overdue, as the government continues to build relations with the United States.

Michelle Kwan is a five-time World Championship gold medallist. She also won a silver medal at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics and a bronze medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. She also holds a Master’s Degree from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She has worked on the presidential campaigns of both Hillary Clinton (2016) and President Joe Biden (2020).