Just five months before he’s up for re-election, US President Donald Trump has nominated a new ambassador to Norway. A local politician from the State of Georgia, J Mark Burkhalter, is due to replace Kenneth J Braithwaite who’s held the post for two years.
Braithwaite, a retired rear admiral in the US Navy, arrived in Norway in February 2018 and remains listed as the ambassador to Norway on the website of the US Embassy in Oslo. There’s no mention that he’s leaving on the embassy’s website or on that of the Norwegian foreign ministry.
The White House nonetheless issued a press release Friday announcing Trump’s nomination of new ambassadors to both Norway and the Bahamas. Burkhalter was described as a senior adviser on public policy and regulation practice at the Dentons US law firm in Atlanta. He’s also a former state representative for Atlanta surburbs in the Georgia General Assembly, held what Trump described as “a successful career in real estate development” and majored in German and Slavic languages at the University of Georgia.
It remains unclear when Burkhalter may arrive in Norway. His nomination is subject to Senate approval and the Corona crisis currently restricts entry of non-Norwegian citizens.
Trump, meanwhile, also sent a congratulatory message to King Harald V on the occasion of Norway’s Constitution Day on the 17th of May. He cited “the strong, enduring friendship between the United States and Norway.” The full message can be read here (external link to the US Embassy’s website).