The White House announced Thursday that President Donald Trump has chosen former Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas to be the next NATO ambassador.
Hutchison, 73, served in the Senate for 20 years until she decided not to run in 2012. She will step into the role amid Trump’s scrutiny of NATO, and his demand member nations meet their defense spending commitments, Politico reports.
Trump was slow to announce support for Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which guarantees that all member nations will come to the aid of any member that has been attacked, voicing his support weeks after his speech to NATO members in May, Politico states.
Richard Grenell, a prominent Trump supporter and former United Nations official, was previously reported to be the front-runner for the job but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was said to prefer Hutchison for the role, Politico reports.
According to the The Texas Tribune, she’s the fourth prominent Texan to receive a Trump appointment. U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Tillerson are confirmed Cabinet members. In early June, Trump appointed Dallas GOP bundler Ray Washburne as President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a government agency that directs private capital into the developing world.