Biden appoints a diplomat for plants and animals

Biden appoints a diplomat for plants and animals: Ron Klain’s wife is appointed the special envoy for biodiversity and water diversity (even though countries like Italy still don’t have an ambassador)

  • The State Department announced Wednesday that Monica Medina would be the country’s first Special Envoy for Biodiversity and Water Resources 
  • Medina is the wife of White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain and already serves in the State Department at the assistant secretary level 
  • The pick comes at a time when State Department vacancies have been highlighted due to Italy electing its most right-wing leader in decades 
  • Italy remains the last major European country – with three European countries outstanding – where Biden has not yet announced an ambassador pick 
  • One Republican lawmaker tweeted that Biden was prioritizing choosing a ‘special envoy to asparagus’ over dealing with border and inflation issues

The State Department announced Wednesday that Monica Medina, the wife of White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, would be the country’s first Special Envoy for Biodiversity and Water Resources. 

President Joe Biden’s signing off on a plants and animals diplomat comes the same week that State Department vacancies have been highlighted due to Italy electing its most right-wing leader in decades, Giorgia Meloni.

Italy remains the last major European country – with three European countries outstanding – where Biden has not yet announced an ambassador pick. 


President Joe Biden’s (left) State Department announced Wednesday that Monica Medina (right) would be the country’s first Special Envoy for Biodiversity and Water Resources

The White House did not respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment on why there was a delay – and if the nomination would be forthcoming due to the Italian election result. 

On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported on speculation that the job was being held open for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, should Democrats lose control of the lower chamber come November. 

Monica Medina (right) is the wife of White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain (left) 

A spokesperson for Pelosi later knocked down that narrative, saying Pelosi has no interest in the position, nor has ever spoken to the White House about it. 

Pelosi had made no commitment to retire and is running for re-election in her San Francisco district.  

Axios reported in February that financier Stephen Robert was under consideration for the Italian post – and Pelosi was pushing for him to be named. 

However, no nomination was ever made. 

As for Medina’s new post, she was already serving as the assistant secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs and will take on the envoy duties in addition to her current role, an announcement from Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. 

Rep. Yvette Herrell, a Republican from New Mexico, indicated Thursday that she believed Monica Medina’s appointment showcased the Biden administration’s misplaced priorities 

Her appointment comes just weeks before a biodiversity conference is to take place in Montreal. 

‘There’s a direct connection between biodiversity loss and instability in a lot of parts of the world,’ Medina said in a phone interview with The Washington Post. ‘It’s not just about nature for nature’s sake. I think it is about people.’ 

But at least one Republican lawmaker saw the appointment as a sign of the administration’s misplaced priorities. 

‘Americans: can we have a secure border, safe communities, and lower cost of living? Biden: here’s a special envoy to asparagus,’ tweeted Rep. Yvette Herrell, a Republican from New Mexico.

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