WASHINGTON – The Senate confirmed former Nassau Republican chairman Joseph Mondello to be U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in a voice vote on Thursday evening before senators left for the Fourth of July recess.
Mondello, 80, will take the new diplomatic post in the two-island country in the Caribbean with one of the strongest economies in the region after stepping down in May from a powerful Republican Party post on Long Island that he had held for 35 years.
President Donald Trump in March announced his nomination of Mondello, who endorsed the then-New York City reality star and entrepreneur early in 2016, before most politicians of either major party took him seriously.
Mondello passed muster with the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee after appearing before a hearing two weeks ago, where Mondello said he would seek to improve economic relations and work to reduce ISIS recruitment on the two islands.
After the hearing, Mondello said he felt had done well.
On June 26, the committee reported out his nomination favorably, and Senate Republican leaders gave it expedited consideration two days later.
Local Republicans and Democrats supported the appointment.