It was with great surprise that I discovered today that the United States has no ambassador to the Dominican Republic.
The scale of the disaster in Haiti is such that the United States will be involved in that nation's recovery efforts for years to come. A critical partner in these recovery efforts will be the Dominican Republic. The United States needs a strong ambassador to serve in the Dominican Republic to make sure that the hard work of recovery in Haiti goes as smoothly as possible.
The ideal candidate for the ambassadorship to the Dominican Republic would need several characteristics: a strong command of the Spanish language, a close working relationship with President Barack Obama, experience as an executive of a state, and a history of working as a missionary in Central America would be helpful.
Former Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia has all of these qualities and I am confident he could make a major contribution to Haitian recovery efforts by acting as an effective facilitator in the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic, by virtue of history and geography, is the other indispensable partner--along with the United States--in Haitian recovery efforts.
Tim Kaine would seem to be the ideal candidate for this post: fluent in Spanish, a former missionary in Central America, a confidante of Barack Obama, and Kaine has already worked along with Governor Bob McDonnell to ensure that Virginia did all it could to aid Haiti in the days and weeks after the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince.
I hope that the Obama administration will see the wisdom of this appointment and place Tim Kaine in a position where he can do the people of Haiti the most good: in the U.S. Ambassadorship to the Dominican Republic.