Former US Ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown resigns from law school to 'get back into political arena'

Former United States Ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown has resigned his Boston law school role to "re-build" the Republican Party.

Brown, who served as former US President Donald Trump's man in Wellington from 2017 to 2020, resigned from the ambassador role to become dean of the New England Law school in January. 

However, just seven months on, he is stepping down effective immediately. The Boston Globe reports a letter sent from Brown to the board as saying that his vision for the school's future differed from the board of directors. 

"Enjoyed my time as Dean, loving life as a musician @sbrowndiplomats, but now it’s time to get back in the political arena and help re-build our party," the former US Senator for Massachusetts tweeted on Thursday morning.

US media outlet Axios reported there are several potential opportunities for Brown, including Governor of New Hampshire - his home state - should current Republican Governor Chris Sununu choose to run for the US Senate in 2022. 

But a source told the Globe Brown won't be on the ballot himself in 2022, when the US holds its midterm elections for some House of Representative and Senate roles, and will instead focus on supporting candidates who could break through the country's intense political divide. 

However, the Globe makes no mention of Brown's plans for 2024, which is when the presidency and other representative roles will be contested. Anyone wanting to be the Republican nominee for President would first have to go through the lengthy American primary process in the year prior. The source also noted that a federal political action committee (PAC) linked to Brown remains active. 

Axios says Brown running for President is "more of a long-shot", but he could be helped by his residency in New Hampshire - which will reportedly hold the first primary contest - and his experience working overseas in New Zealand. 

It's unclear whether Brown's links to Trump would help or hinder him. While the former President nominated Brown to be ambassador, Brown has distanced himself from Trump this year in the wake of the attack on the Capital that Trump allegedly incited.

Asked on The AM Show in May whether he would support Trump if the former President was to run again in 2024, Brown said he wasn't sure.

"It's so far in the future right now, and as I said I'm pretty disgusted with politics. I believe the beauty of not only New Zealand politics but US politics, is we need two vibrant parties that can actually have a conversation without killing each other...  I don't know what he's going to do. Quite frankly, it doesn't have any bearing on what I'm doing now. I wish him and his family well."

He also said he wished current President Joe Biden well and praised his efforts in "getting the [COVID-19] vaccine out the door". 

Brown has proven he can get bi-partisan support. In 2010, he became the first Republican to be elected to the Senate from Massachusetts since 1972, and while he lost to Democrat and future presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren in 2012, his nomination as ambassador in 2017 received near-unanimous approval in the Senate.

Warren voted in favour of him, but the four Senators opposed were Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand, Corry Brooker, Brian Schatz and now-vice-President Kamala Harris. 

During his time in New Zealand, Brown was a regular on The AM Show, including a stint reading the sports news in 2019. 

Names currently being thrown around as potential Republican candidates include Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Governor and Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Fox News television host Tucker Carlson. 

Former US Senator Tom Udall looks to succeed Brown as ambassador to New Zealand. He was nominated by Biden last month for the post. Kevin Covert has been acting as the Chargé d'Affaires at the US Wellington Embassy since Brown's departure.