Bay State Rep. Cronin of Easton is Biden's pick as Irish envoy

The Biden-Cronin team on the campaign trail last year.

President Biden has nominated State Rep. Claire Cronin to be the US Ambassador to Ireland, ending months of speculation that centered around the Easton Democrat, who presently sees as the majority leader of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

In a statement released by the White House on Wednesday, Cronin said: "I am deeply honored to be nominated by President Biden for ambassador to Ireland, especially given the President’s and my own Irish roots. If confirmed, I look forward to serving as ambassador and working with our partners in Ireland on both the challenges and opportunities ahead of us.”

Cronin was a prominent figure in the state and across the country during Biden’s successful campaign, supporting him against local favorite Elizabeth Warren and announcing the final tally for Biden at the Democratic National Convention last summer.

An attorney specializing in mediation who grew up in Brockton, Cronin has politics in her bloodline. She told Commonwealth Magazine earlier this year that she is the third generation of her family to serve in the Massachusetts House citing a great-uncle who served in the 1920s and an uncle who was in the House in the late 1940s and later served as mayor of Brockton. 

Cronin was chair of the House Judiciary Committee before she moved into the majority leader’s office earlier this year. From that office, she had substantial influence over the passage of major criminal justice, abortion access, and policing accountability laws. In her lawyer’s role, she was involved in the mediation aspect of the Catholic clergy sex abuse settlement.

She was first elected in 2012, is a graduate of Stonehill College and Suffolk University Law School. She is a member of the Massachusetts bar and admitted to practice in U.S. District Court and before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Other names bandied about since Biden’s election on the Boston Irish website and elsewhere included: former US Sen. Paul Kirk, former Boston Police Commissioner Kathy O’Toole, former Massachusetts lieutenant governor and current public affairs activist Tommy O’Neill, Democratic strategist and philanthropist John Cullinane, New England Council CEO Jim Brett, Harvard Kennedy School’s Richard Cavanagh, and Bank of America vice chair Anne Finucane. 

Going back 45 years to the Carter Administration, six individuals with Bay State credentials, personal or otherwise, have represented the interests of the United States in Dublin, among them Jean Kennedy Smith, the GOP’s Margaret Heckler, EMC founder Richard Egan and the journalist William V. Shannon. We’ll soon know if Claire Cronin will be added to the listing.

Irish Central, the outlet that first named Cronin as the president’s pick, had this to say about her candidacy: “Having a political fighter who is also a human rights lawyer and determined advocate for the underdog sure feels a better choice to me than another billionaire boyo like departing  Donald Trump ambassador Edward Crawford, who left very little stamp on the place.”