Nebraska native Daniel Kritenbrink confirmed as U.S. ambassador to Vietnam

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday confirmed Nebraska native Daniel Kritenbrink to be the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam.

A diplomat since 1994, Kritenbrink served as senior director for Asian affairs for President Barack Obama’s National Security Council. Before that, he was deputy chief of mission in Beijing.

Kritenbrink grew up outside Ashland and developed his interest in world affairs while studying political science at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

In a press release, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., thanked Kritenbrink for his commitment to public service.

“The United States needs an ambassador in Vietnam who will work to ensure our trade agreements and lead our diplomatic conversations,” Sasse said.

“Dan Kritenbrink can do both of those. Nebraskans should be thrilled that the administration selected one of our own to represent our country.”

After Kritenbrink received a master’s degree from the University of Virginia, he started on a doctorate — but dropped that plan the moment he passed the State Department’s Foreign Service examination.

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