Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Biden names major Democratic donors as UK, Denmark envoys

President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced his intention to nominate prominent Democratic fundraiser Jane Hartley to serve as ambassador to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and major donor Alan Leventhal to serve as his envoy to Denmark. The White House also announced Biden would nominate longtime diplomat and attorney Elizabeth Bagley to serve as ambassador to Brazil and career senior foreign service officer Alexander Laskaris to serve in Chad. The Associated Press reported in July that Biden had settled on Hartley for the high-profile U.K. ambassadorship. She served as ambassador to France and Monaco during the Obama administration. She was a significant fundraiser for Biden’s 2020 presidential race and has been a big supporter of Democratic candidates over the years. (https://news.yahoo.com/biden-names-major-democratic-donors-154528408.html) Hartley serves on the board of trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and is a member of the board of overseers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Leventhal is the chairman and CEO of Beacon Capital, one of the leading owners and managers of office properties in the U.S., and was among several Wall Street bundlers who helped Biden raise money for his 2020 campaign. Presidents have typically rewarded donors and key supporters with sought-after ambassadorships. About 44% of Donald Trump’s ambassadorial appointments were political appointees, compared with 31% for Barack Obama and 32% for George W. Bush, according to the American Foreign Service Association. Biden hopes to keep political appointments to about 30% of ambassador picks, according to an administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk about internal discussions.

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