President Donald Trump has chosen former Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas to be the next NATO ambassador, the White House announced on Thursday.
Hutchison, 73, served in the Senate for 20 years until she decided not to run in 2012.
Hutchison’s nomination to be the U.S. representative to the military alliance comes amid scrutiny of the organization from Trump. The president demanded in May that NATO member nations spend more on defense, saying that it was unfair to American taxpayers if they don’t meet commitments to do so.
Trump had also been slow to announce support for Article 5, the portion of the treaty that guarantees all members will defend each other if attacked. He publicly voiced his support weeks after his speech to NATO members in May.
Richard Grenell, a prominent Trump supporter and former United Nations official, was previously reported to be the frontrunner for the NATO ambassador job. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, however, was said to prefer Hutchison for the role.