Obama nominates two more fund-raisers as ambassadors
June 21st, 2013
04:29 PM ET
2 months ago

Obama nominates two more fund-raisers as ambassadors

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Washington (CNN) - President Obama Friday nominated two major fund-raisers from his 2012 campaign as ambassadors.

He tapped Denise Bauer, who was finance chair for Women for Obama and raised more than $500,000 for the president's re-election campaign, as ambassador to Belgium. She was also a key fund-raiser for the president's 2008 campaign helping to bring in between $200,000 and $500,000 as well as raising $53,500 for the first inaugural. Bauer served on the campaign's national finance committee last election as well as on the Democratic National Committee.

James "Wally" Brewster, who raised more than $500,000 for the re-election campaign along with his partner, was nominated to be ambassador to the Dominican Republic.

The gay rights organization Human Rights Campaign lauded Brewster's nomination. "Wally Brewster is an excellent choice to be our nation's ambassador to the Dominican Republic. His global business and management expertise is matched by his enthusiasm and commitment to human rights and democracy around the world. Wally's political intelligence and work in public affairs and communications would make him a valuable contribution to our nation's diplomatic efforts."

The president also nominated career foreign service officers for ambassadorships to Peru, Greece, Lebanon, Lao People's Republic, Cote d'Ivoire and to the African Union.

Last week President Obama nominated several major financial backers as ambassadors.

Also Friday the White House nominated John Berry, a former director of the Office of Personnel Management, as ambassador to Australia. Berry previously served as director of the Smithsonian's National Zoo in the Clinton Administration was Assistant Secretary of Interior for policy and management as well as an official with the Smithsonian Institution.

The Human Rights Campaign also applauded the naming of Berry, a member of its board, pointing out when he headed OPM he was the highest ranking openly gay or lesbian official in the executive branch.

"John Berry has been a devoted public servant for thirty years, and will bring tremendous experience to our embassy in Canberra. His lifetime of professional experiences make him an outstanding choice to be the nation's next Ambassador to Australia. I urge the Senate to confirm his nomination."

CNN White House Producer Adam Aigner-Treworgy and CNN's Laura Resnick contributed to this story.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Tony in Maine

    Gasp! Which is why the heavy lifting is done by career FSO's. Most ambassadors are cookie pushers and photo op models. Not a bad job when it's in a 21st European or Asian capital.

    June 22, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  2. Bruce Rubin

    Mel Brooks said it best. " Its good to be King"

    June 22, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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