Incoming United States ambassador John Berry has sent a video message to Australians, introducing himself as a nature lover who hopes to boost channels of trade and investment between the two countries.
Shown strolling through the National Zoological Park in Washington DC where he was once director, Mr Berry, 54, arrives in Canberra as a first-time diplomat having most recently been charged with heading up personnel management for the administration of President Barack Obama.
Openly gay, Mr Berry hails from Maryland and studied at the University of Maryland and Syracuse University.
"I love the outdoors," Mr Berry says in his transmission posted on the US Embassy's website.
"My spouse Curtis Yee is a triathlete from Hawaii who loves anything involving salt water and waves. We both can't wait to explore your beautiful country."
Mr Berry says he is the second generation of his family to serve America in the Pacific, after his father fought as a marine in the Solomon Islands and Cape Gloucester.
"As ambassador I hope to deepen our cooperation in science and conservation in addition to strengthening our strategic alliance and increasing our trade and investment," the diplomat said.
"The United States and Australia share a proud past and we hope for an even brighter future.
"I look forward to strengthening the friendship ... and learning more about your culture and history."
Mr Berry replaces Jeffrey Bleich, who returned to the US in early September after a four-year term in Canberra.