President Barack Obama plans to send the Senate 10 nominees for ambassador, including two active in Democratic Party politics who were top fundraisers for his presidential campaigns.
Obama announced Friday he intends to nominate Deniser Bauer as ambassador to Belgium. Bauer was the finance chair for Women for Obama from 2011 to 2012 and served on the Obama national finance committee in the 2008 and 2012 campaigns.
Obama also intends to nominate James "Wally" Brewster to be ambassador to the Dominican Republic. Now a senior managing partner for the Chicago consulting firm SB&K Global, Brewster was a fundraiser for Obama and an inaugural committee contributor.
Also on Obama's list for nominations is State Department veteran Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be assistant secretary of state for African affairs. Thomas-Greenfield chairs the Board of Foreign Service and was ambassador to Liberia from 2008 to 2012.
Michael Hammer, the assistant secretary for public affairs at State, will be nominated to be the ambassador of Chile.
If confirmed along with other nominees, Brewster and the nominee for ambassador to Australia, John Berry, would be the seventh and eighth U.S. ambassadors in history to be openly gay.
Most recently Berry served as director of the Office of Personnel Management. He also has been director of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park executive director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. When Obama took office in 2009, only two previous ambassadors had been openly gay. Last Friday Obama nominated the fifth and sixth. If those two and Brewer and Berry are confirmed, Obama will have doubled the number of openly gay ambassadors in U.S. history.
The other ambassador nominees, all of them career foreign service officers:
— Reuben E. Brigety II to be representative to the African Union with the rank of ambassador.
— Dan Clune to be ambassador to Laos.
— David Hale to be ambassador to Lebanon.
— Terence McCulley to be ambassador to Ivory Coast.
— Brian Nichols to be ambassador to Peru.
— David Pearce to be ambassador to Greece.
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