WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday confirmed the nomination of Wilson Nathaniel Howell Jr., a veteran Arabist, to be ambassador to Kuwait, the Persian Gulf sheikdom whose oil shipments the United States has agreed to protect from Iranian attack.
Howell, 47, will replace Anthony C. Quainton, former ambassador to Nicaragua who has served in Kuwait since late 1985. Quainton's next assignment was not disclosed by the State Department.
A native of Virginia, Howell's first assignment after entering the diplomatic service in 1966 was to Cairo. He received Arabic language training in Beirut and later served in the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Howell became deputy chief of the U.S. Embassy in Algiers from 1983 to 1985, after which he was assigned as political adviser to the commander in chief, U.S. Central Command, Tampa, Fla.