Barack Obama with Caroline Kennedy at a rally in 2008.
Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the late president John F. Kennedy, is a leading candidate to become President Barack Obama's nominee as US ambassador to Japan, according to insiders.
Ms Kennedy, 55, would replace Ambassador John Roos, a former technology lawyer and Obama campaign donor, as the US envoy in Tokyo, according to the sources, who asked for anonymity because the decision hasn't been made official.
While the president has signed off on Ms Kennedy's nomination, her vetting for the post hasn't been completed, said one of the people.
An early backer of Mr Obama in his 2008 run for president and a co-chairman of his 2012 campaign, Ms Kennedy is one of several Obama political supporters and donors being reviewed for ambassadorships to top US allies.
The president is considering John Emerson, the president of Capital Guardian Trust, as US ambassador to Germany, the sources said. For the US embassy in France, the leading candidate is Marc Lasry, the chief executive officer of Avenue Capital Group, who helped unite the fundraising networks of Mr Obama and former president Bill Clinton.
White House press secretary Jay Carney declined to comment. Ms Kennedy and Mr Emerson did not respond to a request for comment. Mr Lasry declined to comment.
As Mr Obama replaces cabinet members, he is also rounding out his diplomatic representatives and rewarding those who worked for his re-election.
After considering Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, as envoy to the UK, Mr Obama is leaning towards Matthew Barzun, finance chairman of his presidential campaign, for the job, officially known as "ambassador to the Court of St James's".
While Mr Obama's second-term ambassadors will report to Secretary of State John Kerry, political appointees often have the ability to go directly to the president. Their status as a friend or supporter of the president can give them more leeway than envoys who achieved ambassadorial ranking by working their way up the foreign service.
Mr Obama has drawn ambassadors from the political ranks at a higher rate than the historical average of 30 per cent, according to the American Foreign Service Association. In his first term, Mr Obama nominated 59 ambassadors, including 40 fundraising bundlers, who lacked experience in the diplomatic corps.
For Ms Kennedy, becoming an ambassador would allow her to continue a family tradition of public service. Her father, the 35th US president, was assassinated on November 22, 1963.
Her uncle Robert Kennedy, a US senator, also was assassinated, while running for president in 1968. Another uncle, former Senator Edward Kennedy, died in August 2009, after serving in the Senate for almost 47 years.
In 2009, when then-senator Hillary Clinton left her New York senate seat, Ms Kennedy called the then-governor, David Patterson, to express her interest in the job.
In January of 2008, when Mr Obama was still battling Ms Clinton for the Democratic nomination, she endorsed Mr Obama with a New York Times opinion article, writing that "I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them".
"But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president," she wrote.
At the Charlotte convention last year, she said that Mr Obama's first term record reflected "the ideals my father and my uncles fought for".