The U.S. Senate this week confirmed native Utahn Michael Nemelka as a new deputy U.S. trade representative, with the rank of ambassador.

He will succeed C.J. Mahoney as deputy trade representative for investment, services, labor, environment, Africa, China and the Western Hemisphere.

During his confirmation hearing last month, Nemelka promised to help ensure that China does not violate trade agreements. “We must ensure that China lives up to its commitments. And we have an agreement that is in writing, and is fully enforceable, to make sure they do.”

Before his confirmation, Nemelka served as special adviser to Robert E. Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative.

Before joining government service, Nemelka was a partner at the law firm of Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, where his practice focused on complex commercial litigation.

Nemelka also clerked on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for Judge Paul V. Niemeyer.

A native of Mapleton, Nemelka holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Brigham Young University and a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was on the managing board of the Virginia Law Review.