McConnell recommends UK alumna, former trustee as next UN ambassador


U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell details the Heyburn Initiative for Excellence in the Federal Judiciary, named for the late U.S. Senior District Judge John G. Heyburn II, after its announcement at the University of Kentucky’s Main Building on Monday, October 10, 2016, in Lexington, Ky. The national, nonpartisan initiative aims to “establish an archives and oral history program for Kentucky’s federal judges and a national lecture series on relevant judicial topics,” as well as “play host to federal judicial conferences,” according to a press release. Photo by Joshua Qualls | Staff

Rick Childress

Kelly Craft, a UK graduate and former board of trustee member was recommended as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, multiple media outlets have reported.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recommended Craft, who is currently the ambassador to Canada, to President Donald Trump, an Axios article first reported. 

McConnell’s office confirmed that he had spoken with Trump, the McClatchy DC Bureau reported. When Craft was confirmed for her Canadian ambassadorship in September 2017, McConnell called her a “proven advocate for our national interests.”

She is reportedly one of four potential picks for the UN ambassadorship which is selected by the president, the bureau reported. 

Craft is a UK alumna and in 2016, she was appointed to the UK Board of Trustees, but left when she was appointed to the Canadian ambassadorship. UK officials told the McClatchy DC Bureau that Craft was expected to stay in her position during the ambassadorship. She’s not currently listed among the current trustee members on the board’s website. 

Her husband and fellow UK alum, Joe Craft, is the head of Alliance Resource Partners, a large Kentucky coal producer, and is the namesake for the Joe Craft Center. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Joe is a major donor for UK athletics as he’s helped fund many of the program’s construction endeavors.

The couple are known Republican donors. According to the McClatchy DC Bureau, the pair donated $265,000 to Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016.