Kyiv will finally get a new U.S. ambassador after having only a charge d’affaires for more than two years, with U.S. president Joe Biden announcing his nomination for the post on April 25
The new U.S. ambassador will be Bridget A. Brink, a veteran diplomat.
Brink will replace Kristina Kvien, who has served as U.S. charge d’affaires since January 2020 after a short stint at the same position in 2019.
Ukraine hasn’t had an extraordinary and plenipotentiary U.S. ambassador since Marie Yovanovitch left Kyiv in 2019. Since then, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv has been headed by Joseph Pennington, Kristina Kvien, William Taylor and then Kristina Kvien again.
Brink, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, currently serves as the U.S. ambassador the Slovak Republic, a country that neighbors Ukraine on the West.
Prior to that, she served as a senior advisor and deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, covering Eastern Europe and Caucasian countries – Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
Brink also served as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassies in Uzbekistan and Georgia.
She has spent her twenty-five-year-long career in the Foreign Service, focusing on advancing U.S. interests in Europe and Eurasia. Her previous positions also included serving as the director for the Aegean and the South Caucasus at the National Security Council, the deputy director for Southern European Affairs, and special assistant to the under-secretary of state for political affairs, Cyprus Desk officer.
Brink began her career in Belgrade, Serbia.
Originally from Michigan, she holds master’s degree in international relations and political theory from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Kenyon College.
The new U.S. ambassador to Kyiv speaks Russian and has studied the Slovak, Serbian, Georgian and French languages.
Joe Biden’s decision comes next day after Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Kyiv to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky in person.
Blinken said that U.S. diplomats will return to Kyiv by the end of April. The embassy evacuated to Lviv for security reasons ahead of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.