Edward Crawford has got a hard act to follow

As Donald Trump departs these shores, the next American visitor of political significance is likely to be Edward Crawford, the US president’s nomination to become ambassador to Ireland. It is not before time, as there has not been a US envoy here since the end of Barack Obama’s administration.

Last month, members of the US Senate foreign relations committee voted unanimously in favour of his nomination. The next step in the confirmation process, US Senate approval, is due to happen next week.

If, as expected, Mr Crawford gets that approval, he will have a hard act to follow. The previous US ambassador, Kevin O’Malley, was an enormous success, even though his tenure was less than three years.

He left a lasting legacy to his time as ambassador with his project Creative Minds, a series of collaborations between prominent American cultural and business innovators and their young Irish counterparts.

Like many of Mr Trump’s political appointments, Mr Crawford, who is from Cleveland, Ohio, is a wealthy businessman, but there is far more to him than that. Like his predecessor, his roots are steeped in Ireland and he helped establish the Irish Cultural Garden in Cleveland.

Mr Crawford has already indicated that he sees the role of ambassador as an active one in building on the historic relationship between the US and Ireland. Assuming confirmation, we wish him well in his role as US ambassador.

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