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Cindy McCain picked by Biden as UN food ambassador

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday tapped Arizona's Cindy McCain, the widow of former U.S. Sen. John McCain, as the U.S. Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, with the rank of ambassador.

Earlier this year, Arizona Republicans voted to censure Cindy McCain and two other members of the state's GOP, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Gov. Doug Ducey.

McCain broke with the Republican Party and endorsed Biden for president in 2020. She delivered a virtual endorsement for Biden at the Democratic convention last year.

Former President Donald Trump had repeatedly attacked the late John McCain, a maverick Republican and his party's unsuccessful 2008 nominee for president.

Cindy McCain also has disavowed an audit in Arizona of the 2020 election results, Forbes reported.

In a statement released by the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University, where she chairs the Board of Trustees and is a member of the Human Trafficking Council, McCain said she was honored to be selected.

"The United States has long been a leader in the fight against hunger and malnutrition worldwide," she said. "I care deeply about the effectiveness and capacity of the Rome-based food agencies to tackle these challenges. My work at the Institute has shown me the power of committed action to mobilize action for change to benefit the world's most vulnerable..

Josette Sheeran, executive chairman of the McCain Institute Board of Trustees and former head of the UN World Food Program, also offered praise.

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"Cindy McCain has long demonstrated her commitment to humanitarian action and the world's urgently hungry," said Sheeran.

According to a biography supplied by the White House, McCain is chairman and director of the Hensley Beverage Company in Phoenix. In addition to her positions at the institute, she is a member of the Leadership Council at the Too Small to Fail Initiative in New York and a member of the Phoenix Mayor's Human Trafficking Task Force.

She received her bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Southern California.

McCain's nomination is subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

"Cindy McCain is a demonstrated humanitarian, civic leader, and a terrific choice to represent America's work with the United Nations combating famine and hunger crises around the world," Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat, said in a statement. "As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, Cindy's leadership will prove even more important to the world's vulnerable populations. I look forward to supporting her nomination, and I know she will make Arizona — and America — proud."

This report was first published by the Arizona Mirror.

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