Joe Biden chose former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel to be his ambassador to Japan.
The selection ends months of speculation over whether the first chief of staff of Barack Obama, former congressman and longtime Democratic member, would be appointed to an administrative post.
In the early days of Biden’s presidency, Emanuel, 61, was mentioned as a possible transport secretary. Biden ended up choosing Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who ran strongly in the Democratic presidential primary.
Some progressives see Emanuel as a major antagonist within the party. He is often criticized among liberals, for example, for his handling of the filming of an African-American teenager while in Chicago.
Emanuel served two terms as mayor but chose not to run for a third time, facing a potentially brutal campaign.
His selection as ambassador was first reported by the Financial Times. The Guardian confirmed this on Tuesday.
The selection, which will be officially announced later this month, is one of many appointments Biden plans to make in full ambassadorial roles. Democratic donors have complained that the president has not followed a long tradition of appointing major donors to lavish diplomatic posts.
Biden is said to have considered top American politicians for diplomatic jobs. In April, for example, Axios reported that he is considering choosing Cindy McCain, wife of late Republican Senator and presidential candidate John McCain, to be Ambassador to the United Nations World Food Program.
Biden reportedly intends to appoint Ken Salazar, former cabinet secretary and senator from Colorado, as ambassador to Mexico.