Kennedy and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will open a new US embassy in the capital of Honiara during their trip, timed to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II.
After arriving in Australia on Friday Kennedy said: “I know there’s a lot of work to do in the Pacific. I am excited the Peace Corps is coming back into the Pacific Islands after an absence of many years in terms of the US engagement.”
She said the US and Australia have a “big agenda” to pursue together, including greater cooperation in the Pacific.
Kennedy was echoing Vice-President Kamala Harris who told the Pacific Islands Forum earlier this month that the Pacific may not have previously received enough attention from the US in recent times.
“We are going to change that,” Harris said.
Kennedy, who served as US ambassador to Japan during the Obama administration, said her first official day as ambassador to Australia was “really one of the most important days of my life”.
“The United States and Australia are the closest of allies, and we are global partners working toward peace and stability, health, security and economic prosperity in this region and beyond,” she said.
Cut through the noise of federal politics with news, views and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can sign up to our weekly Inside Politics newsletter here.