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A diplomat is usually a person who represents one country in negotiations or other interactions with foreign governments. Diplomats may be known as ambassadors or envoys.

In the United States, ambassadors to foreign countries are nominated for the position by the president and the nomination is ratified, or approved, by the United States Senate. Presidents may nominate anyone they wish for the position of ambassador to a given country. However, persons who represent the United States as diplomats to foreign countries frequently have past experience in dealing with the specific country or others in the same geographic area.

Persons nominated for an ambassadorship may have business experience, education in international relations, or legal training that will assist them in negotiations and relations with their host country. Nominees may also be political allies of the president, being recognized for loyalty and support with an appointment to a post as ambassador.