Mon | Dec 11, 2023

N. Nick Perry now the official US ambassador to Ja

Published:Saturday | March 12, 2022 | 12:06 AMLester Hinds/Gleaner Writer

Jamaica-born N. Nick Perry is now officially the new United States ambassador to Jamaica.

He was confirmed by the United States Senate late Thursday night.

Earlier this week, Perry’s nomination received overwhelming support from the US Foreign Relations Committee and was later sent to the floor of the Senate for confirmation. The confirmation vote was held Thursday night and Perry received more than the required 51 votes to make him the new US ambassador to Jamaica.

He is the first Jamaica-born candidate to hold this position.

Perry will serve as US ambassador until the next presidential elections. Should the Biden/Harris administration be re-elected, Perry will continue to serve as ambassador without going through another confirmation hearing.

A past student of Kingston College, the 71-year-old Perry migrated to the United States in 1971 and served two years in the United States army.

Perry represented the 58th Assembly District in Brooklyn, New York, for over three decades and was first elected to the New York State Assembly in 1992. He has risen through the assembly ranks over the years and is the third most-powerful politician in Albany.

Perry was recommended to US President Joe Biden by New York’s Senior Senator Chuck Schumer to be the next top US diplomat to Jamaica. Schumer, who is the majority leader of the Senate, shepherded Perry’s nomination through the Senate and made the announcement of his confirmation late Thursday night.

“I am proud to announce that tonight, the Senate confirmed New York’s Nick Perry as the ambassador to Jamaica. He’s a true public servant. A Brooklynite through and through. And now the first-ever US ambassador to be Jamaica-born in Jamaica,” said Schumer.

Confirmation process

Following his nomination by the US president, Perry went through the confirmation process meeting with a number of senators who quizzed him on various issues. However, Perry met no objections from Republican senators.

When the Foreign Relations Committee voted earlier this week to send Perry’s nomination to the full Senate for confirmation, the vote was unanimous.

Speaking with The Gleaner earlier this week, Perry said he was awaiting the outcome of the vote but was unable to make any formal statement.

The Jamaican community in New York had reacted favourably to Perry becoming the next US ambassador to Jamaica when his nomination was announced.

“We did not specifically say Jamaica, but that he would make a great ambassador anywhere. We testified for him. Nick has a great perspective and is someone who keeps his word. He is a good example of immigrants coming to the United States and giving back through service,” said Una Clarke, former New York City Council member.

Leroy Comrie, a New York state senator, said that Perry has worked to foster better relationships between Jamaica and the United States.

Former City University of New York professor, Dr Basil Wilson, sees Perry’s appointment as a topping off of his outstanding career.

“He has always maintained close ties with Jamaica and has contributed to a better understanding between Jamaica and the United States. It would be a befitting appointment,” said Wilson.

Dr Karren Dunkley, Jamaica’s global diaspora leader for the north-east region in the United States, also reacted positively to Perry’s appointment.

“He is a very dedicated servant of the people and he would work hard in the interest of Jamaica and the United States. I believe that he would exceed the expectations of what is expected of an ambassador,” said Dunkley.

Irwine Clare believes that the appointment of Perry will place more focus on parochial issues, such as the perennial problem will the importation of illegal guns into Jamaica.

“Nice. He has the understanding coming from the political side. The economic side may be at a loss, but his experiences could bring other issues to the forefront,” he said.

Perry is expected to give up his state Assembly seat shortly, now that he has been confirmed as ambassador to Jamaica.