President Trump announced Friday his intention to nominate Navy Adm. Harry Harris of Florida to be U.S. ambassador to Australia.
Harris has served as commander of U.S. Pacific Command since May 2015 and has been a member of the Navy for 39 years.
A White House press release praised Harris for being a “highly decorated, combat proven Naval officer with extensive knowledge, leadership, and geo-political expertise in the Indo-Pacific region.”
The Trump administration has struggled with the pace of nominees for ambassadorships, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, amid rising tensions with North Korea.
In January, Trump's top pick for ambassador to South Korea, Victor Cha, was dropped after he privately expressed disagreements with the administration’s policy on North Korea.