The US Senate received President Joe Biden’s nomination of Claire Cronin to become the next US Ambassador to Ireland on Tuesday, July 13.

Cronin’s nomination was amongst a long list of Biden’s nominations sent to the Senate on Tuesday.

Her nomination has now been referred to the US Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations. The US Senate will have to vote to approve Cronin as the next US Ambassador to Ireland.

Should Cronin be confirmed, which is expected, she will take up her role at the US Embassy at the Ballsbridge Chancery in Dublin, Ireland. The official residence of the US Ambassador to Ireland is at Deerfield Residence in Dublin's Phoneix Park.

As part of becoming the Ambassador to Ireland, Cronin will have to present her credentials to the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.

Alexandra McKnight currently serves as the chargé d’affaires ad interim at the US Embassy in Dublin. She assumed this role when Edward F. Crawford, the US Ambassador to Ireland under President Trump, stepped down from his role in January 2021. (It is customary for an Ambassador to step down once the President who appointed him or her completes their term.)

Presenting his credentials to President Higgins in July 2019, Crawford said: "When I was a young boy, my parents instilled in me a deep love and sense of connection to Ireland. As Ambassador, I plan to build on our important relationship and strengthen the bonds between our two countries."

Prior to Crawford, Kevin O'Malley was nominated by President Barack Obama and ultimately served as Ambassador from October 2014 through January 2016, when Trump was elected. 

61-year-old Claire Cronin, who was first reported as being considered for the US Ambassador to Ireland role here on IrishCentral, serves as a Representative and as Majority Leader in the legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

A graduate of Stonehill College and Suffolk University Law School, Cronin is admitted to the Massachusetts bar and is also admitted to practice in U.S. District Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Should she be confirmed as the next US Ambassador to Ireland, Cronin will be the first female in the role since Jean Kennedy Smith who served from June 1993 through September 1998 during the Clinton administration.

Upon being nominated in June, Cronin said: “I am deeply honored to be nominated by President Biden for ambassador to Ireland, especially given the President’s and my own Irish roots.

“If confirmed, I look forward to serving as Ambassador and working with our partners in Ireland on both the challenges and opportunities ahead of us.”

What does the US Ambassador to Ireland do?

The US Ambassador to Ireland leads the US Embassy in Ireland's capital city of Dublin. Under the Ambassador's leadership, the US Embassy:

  • Provides documentary assistance and services to ensure the security and well-being of U.S. citizens in Ireland, and grants visas to Irish citizens and other foreign nationals.
  • Explains and advocates the position of the United States Government and its citizens on bilateral and multilateral political, economic and social issues.
    Reports to the United States Government Irish views on issues affecting American interests.
  • Promotes the expansion of American exports in Ireland, advocates open markets, and assists American businesses in establishing commercial links in Ireland and the EU.
  • Facilitates cultural and educational exchange between the United States and Ireland.