His confirmation, by a bipartisan vote of 82 to 13, comes as US President Donald Trump is looking to Beijing, its biggest rival and trading partner, to step up economic pressure on North Korea's irascible regime.
Branstad's resignation will take place on Wednesday, May 24, at 10 a.m.in the governor's formal office at the Iowa State Capitol Building in Des Moines.
While Iowans are losing a tenacious champion for our state, we're getting someone that's equal in Terry Branstad's passion and enthusiasm with Kim Reynolds.
In her first address to Iowans as the state's governor, Reynolds on Tuesday at the Iowa Capitol said she hopes her tenure is "filled with great accomplishments" that relegate her milestone to secondary status.
Terry Branstad has resigned as Iowa governor and has been sworn in as US ambassador to China.
Gov. Branstad said this position doesn't mean he will be leaving Iowa for good.
He served as the Governor of Iowa in 1983-1999, and again since 2011.
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Branstad was sworn in as ambassador by federal Judge Steve Colloton in front of an audience of about 85 people, including his wife, Chris, their children and five of the Branstad grandchildren.
"Here's the question: Will she do what Gov. Branstad did and just work with Republican legislative leaders or will she say as governor, 'No, you have to include Democrats in this decision-making process, '" he said.
TV-6 will be streaming the swearing in ceremony online.
"If you look at how Iowa has weathered the very, very slow emergence from the recession, I really think that the governor's steady hand has made sure that there have not been erratic swings", said Jeff Kaufmann, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa. "We have a lot of ideas, and we'd love to work with her on that".
Rows of people were seated before a large stage Wednesday morning as music blared from nearby speakers. From her public service at the grassroots of Iowa as a county treasurer then to state senator and lieutenant governor, Governor Reynolds walks into the governor's office in touch and with the experience, ability and know-how to hit the ground running in her new job. She will be sworn in by Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady. The 57-year-old Reynolds will become the first female governor in state history.
Surrounded by staff and family, the gray-haired and mustachioed governor watched the Senate confirm his nomination, a tweet on Branstad's Twitter account showed.