This was a pleasant surprise.
President Joe Biden on Friday nominated Houston lawyer and Metro chairwoman Carrin Patman as the nation’s next ambassador to Iceland, according to a White House statement.
“I am presuming nothing. It is up to the Senate,” Patman said, referring questions to the State Department.
In the meantime, Patman, 65, said she has picked up some basic Icelandic.
“Just a little,” she said.
In the statement, Patman said she hoped to “strengthen our cooperation and understanding between the governments of the United States and Iceland.”
All ambassadorial nominations require Senate confirmation, which for Patman would begin in the Foreign Relations Committee. No timetable has been announced for her confirmation.
Some Biden administration nominees from mid-2021 still are awaiting any movement on their appointments, including Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, who was renominated last month to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement after his nomination last year lapsed.
Patman has done a fine job as Metro chair, and Iceland’s gain will be our loss if she is confirmed. I was thinking I should do an exit interview with her, to follow up with the one I did in 2019, to see where we are now that some of those big Metro projects are finally moving, and where we might go from here, but according to an email I got from TAG Houston on Thursday, Mayor Turner has appointed current Board member Sanjay Ramabhadran to be the new Chair. Guess I should be asking him those questions then. Anyway, congrats to Carrin Patman, and best of luck with the confirmation process.