President Donald Trump couldn’t have chosen a better U.S. ambassador to Canada than Kentucky’s own Kelly Knight Craft.
While famous names, including that of Sarah Palin, were being publicly bandied about for the role, insiders felt certain that Craft, a former U.S. delegate to the United Nations, would be the nominee. And rightly so.
Kentuckians know Craft as articulate and intelligent. She’s also fair and forthright. And she's likable, respectable and ethical. She’s everything the U.S. could hope for in an ambassador.
The White House announced Trump's intention to nominate Craft on Wednesday evening, confirming widespread speculation that had been in the U.S. and Canadian press for weeks.
This would not be the first diplomatic role for Craft, who heads Kelly G. Knight, LLC, a business advisory firm based in Lexington. She was appointed in 2007 by former President George W. Bush to serve as a United Nations delegate.
Craft has served in key roles for several organizations, including the board of directors for the Salvation Army, and the Center for Rural Development, a non-profit dedicated to economic progress in rural Kentucky. She is a co-founder of the Craft Academy for Science and Mathematics at Morehead State University and a member of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees.
Canada is Kentucky’s top international trade partner. More than 112,000 Kentucky jobs depend on direct investment from Canada. Clearly, having a Kentuckian serving as U.S. ambassador would be beneficial. Interestingly, the distance from Kentucky’s northern border to the international bridge leading into Canada from Detroit is little more than four hours via Interstate 75.
The role of U.S. ambassador to Canada is an important one. The last ambassador helped broker a deal to simplify, and thereby speed up, the movement of goods between the U.S. and Canada.
Once confirmed by the Senate, the U.S. and Canada will quickly learn what Kentuckians have long known, that Craft is a topnotch public servant whose willingness to accept this role will serve both countries well.