U.S. President Joe Biden intends to nominate longtime New York state legislator N. Nick Perry to be the U.S. ambassador to Jamaica, according to a White House announcement on November 3. The statement noted that Perry had been a New York State Assembly member for nearly 30 years. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he would be the first Jamaican American to occupy this diplomatic position, the announcement said.

The White House added that Perry was currently Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore of the New York State Assembly. The statement said he was also a regional vice chairman of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.

It also mentioned that he had been chairperson of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus.

Support from Chuck Schumer

This year, Senator Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Democratic Party in the Senate, had publicly urged Biden to nominate Perry on Twitter. After the White House announcement, Schumer repeated his support for the fellow New Yorker.

Working for Brooklyn

Before being elected to the state legislature, Perry had served on the Brooklyn Borough Board for five terms, the White House said.

The Brooklyn Eagle noted that the state legislator had represented a district including the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brownsville, Canarsie, and East Flatbush. Many of his constituents were fellow immigrants from the Caribbean, the paper said. The legislator was a veteran of the U.S. Army, the Brooklyn Eagle said.

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'A great ambassador to Jamaica'

Carl Heastie, the New York State Assembly speaker, congratulated Perry on the nomination in a thread on Twitter and in a statement on his official web page. "While we will miss him in the People's House, I have no doubt that President Biden has made the right choice and that Nick will make a great ambassador to Jamaica," Heastie said.

According to Perry's official biography for the Assembly at nyassembly.gov, he was the "fourth of five sons in a family of eleven children." The biography said that he had joined the armed forces soon after arriving in the U.S. from Jamaica.

After being honorably discharged with the rank of Specialist E-5, he had attended Brooklyn College on the G.I. Bill, the biography said. He had graduated with a degree in political science, it noted. The biography added, "After college, Perry got involved with community organizing and gained recognition as an effective advocate and strong leader in his community."

In a 2019 video posted online by Altice USA, Perry noted that he had authored legislation that required New York prosecutors to account for misconduct.