Kathleen Stephens, the nominee for U.S. ambassador to South Korea is expected to replace outgoing Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, after Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), withdrew his opposition to her nomination.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved her nomination in May, but a floor vote for confirmation was delayed at the request of Brownback.
When confirmed, she will be the first female ambassador to Korea.
The career diplomat has a long personal and professional connection with Korea. Stephens was a Peace Corps volunteer in Korea, and taught English at a middle school here. Also, her first husband was Korean.
She served in Korea twice during her 30-year diplomatic career. First as chief of the internal political department at the embassy in Seoul from 1984 to 1987, and then as principal officer at the consulate in Busan (1987-1989).