Jeffrey DeLaurentis has been appointed as the first US ambassador to Cuba in 55 years as relations between the countries thaw.
According to President Barack Obama, it was a “step towards a more normal and productive relationship”.
However, the president may face a battle in Congress where some Republicans are opposed to his dealings with Cuba.
Jeffrey DeLaurentis had been working at the new US embassy in Havana, which opened in July 2015.
Barack Obama said there was “no better-qualified public servant”.
President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro, have begun to reignite the diplomatic relations that were broken off in 1961 after Cuba’s communist revolution.
Restrictions on flights have been lifted but the US embargo on Cuba remains in place.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who is Cuban-American, has previously said the improved relations will go “a long way in providing the economic lift that the Castro regime needs to become permanent fixtures in Cuba for generations to come”.