Retired Navy Rear Admiral Kenneth J. Braithwaite to be U.S. Ambassador to Norway

Posted: 1:35 am ET
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On October 19, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Kenneth J. Braithwaite to be the next ambassador to Norway. The WH released the following brief bio:

Kenneth J. Braithwaite of Pennsylvania to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kingdom of Norway. Mr. Braithwaite, a distinguished 27-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Navy Reserve, currently serves as Group Senior Vice President for Vizient, a healthcare strategy and performance improvement company. He completed his military service in 2011 as the Navy’s Vice Chief of Information. Immediately prior, he served as Commanding Officer, Joint Public Affairs Expeditionary Support Element (Reserve), Joint Forces Command. In that role, he deployed to Pakistan as the overall Director of Strategic Communications supporting work of the American Embassy. Earlier, Mr. Braithwaite served as Commanding Officer, Navy Combat Camera deployed in combat operations to Iraq. He also served as Executive Director, Delaware Valley Healthcare Council; Vice President, Government Affairs, Ascension Health and State Director to U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA). Mr. Braithwaite received his B.S degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, his pilot wings as a Naval Aviator and an M.G.A from the University of Pennsylvania.

Almost 80 percent of ambassadors nominated for this post are political non-career appointees.  The U.S. Navy provides a more detailed bio for Trump’s second rear admiral appointee (also see Retired Navy Rear Admiral Edward Masso to be Ambassador to Estonia):

In his final assignment as the Navy’s Vice Chief of Information Rear Adm. (ret) Kenneth J. Braithwaite served as the principal Navy Reserve liaison and advisor to the Chief of Information having responsibility for formulating strategic communications counsel to the leadership of the Department of the Navy. Concurrently, he served as the head of the Navy Reserve (NR) Public Affairs program and as an adjunct advisor to the Commander, Navy Reserve Force.

A 1984 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Braithwaite was designated a naval aviator in April 1986. His first operational assignment was to Patrol Squadron 17, NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. He flew anti-submarine missions tracking adversary submarines throughout the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.

In April 1988, Braithwaite was selected for redesignation as a public affairs officer (PAO) with his initial tour aboard the aircraft carrier USS America (CV-66). He had additional duty as PAO to Commander Carrier Group 2 and Commander, Striking Force 6th Fleet. He made both a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Force deployment to the North Atlantic operating above the Arctic Circle and a Mediterranean /Indian Ocean cruise where the battle group responded to tensions in the Persian Gulf. In 1990 he was assigned to the staff of Commander, Naval Base Philadelphia as chief of Public Affairs.

Braithwaite left active duty in 1993 and immediately resumed naval service in the reserve where he served with numerous commands from Boston to Norfolk. Additionally during this time he earned a master’s degree in Government Administration in April 1995 with honors from the University of Pennsylvania.

In October 2001, Braithwaite assumed command of NR Fleet Combat Camera Atlantic at Naval Air Station Willow Grove, Pa. During this tour the command was tasked with providing support to the Joint Task Force (JTF) Commander, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In March 2003 Braithwaite deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom with a portion of his command in support of naval operations to capture the port of Umm Qasr. Following this tour he served as commanding officer of Navy Office of Information New York 102.

Braithwaite served as Commander, Joint Public Affairs Support Element-Reserve (JPASE-R) from October of 2004 to October 2007. In this role he commanded a 50-person joint public affairs expeditionary unit that was forward deployed to support Joint Combatant Commanders in time of conflict. While in command and following the devastating earthquake in Pakistan in 2005, Braithwaite was deployed to Pakistan as part of the Joint Task Force for Disaster Assistance serving as the director of Strategic Communications working for both the JTF Commander and the U.S. Ambassador in Islamabad.

His decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster), Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (5) with Combat “V”, Navy Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and numerous campaign and service medals.