PETALING JAYA: US President Donald Trump’s administration has confirmed Republican Kathleen Troia McFarland as the country’s next ambassador to Singapore.
McFarland replaces Kirk Wagar, a staunch supporter of former president Barack Obama who departed after Trump’s inauguration in January.
She served as deputy national security adviser to Trump and was Ronald Reagan’s public affairs official during his administration in the 1980s.
McFarland is known for her hard-line position on national security and shares many of Trump’s views on issues including the Iran nuclear deal signed by Obama in 2015.
Before joining Trump’s administration, she was a national security analyst with Fox News.
After her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, McFarland said Singapore was vital to US interests in Asia.
“Singapore’s value to the United States is more than just our bilateral relationship, strong as it may be,” she was quoted as saying by Singapore daily The Straits Times.
She added that the island-state was the economic and security “gateway between East and West”.