Biden announces three new ambassador picks, including two top donors
By Arlette Saenz and Maegan Vazquez, CNN
(CNN) -- President Joe Biden announced a new round of ambassador picks on Friday, which includes two top donors to his 2020 presidential campaign.
The President nominated Scott Miller, an LGBTQ rights activist and philanthropist, to be the next US ambassador to Switzerland. Miller and his husband Tim Gill have long been top Biden donors, giving money to his presidential campaign, foundation and political action committee.
Miller is the co-chair of the Gill Foundation's board of directors, a foundation focused on LGBTQ equality. He was previously an account vice president at UBS Wealth Management in Denver, Colorado.
The President also nominated Marc Stanley, a Biden bundler and Texas attorney, to be the next US ambassador to Argentina.
Stanley is former president of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association. He also served as chairman of the Texas Public Finance Authority and was co-chair of the Mayor's Complete Count Outreach Committee for the US Census (City of Dallas).
The President rounded out his ambassadorial picks by nominating David Gilmour, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, as ambassador to Equatorial Guinea. Gilmour previously served as US ambassador to Togo and has served in several assignments across Africa, Central America and Australia.
All of the ambassadorial nominees require Senate approval.
Miller and Stanley are not the only Biden donors to be nominated to ambassador-level posts.
Last month, Biden announced his ambassador picks for Canada, Slovenia and Austria. All three nominees were or had spousal ties to Biden campaign bundlers.
While the appointment of presidential political allies and donors to plush ambassador posts has long been the norm in Washington, Biden officials indicated earlier this spring that they were planning for a larger percentage of career ambassadors than the Trump administration.
The Biden administration's nominations for ambassadors started off slow. Focused on the pandemic and with international borders closed, the President went more than two months into his presidency without naming a single ambassador to send overseas.
Despite the pace having picked up on nominations, there are still key vacancies among US ambassadorships. And while Biden has made nominations, the US does not have any confirmed ambassadors installed in key countries such as China, Canada, India, France or Israel.
The White House also announced several other appointments Friday afternoon, nominating Alice Albright as chief executive officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation; Sam Bagenstos to serve as general counsel at the Department of Health and Human Services; Melissa Dalton to be assistant secretary for Homeland Defense and Global Security Affairs at the Department of Defense; Alexia Latortue to be assistant secretary for International Markets at the Department of the Treasury; Brent Neiman to be deputy under secretary/designated assistant secretary for International Finance and Development at the Department of the Treasury; Todd Harper to be chairman of the National Credit Union Administration; and Owen Hernstadt to be a member of the Board of Directors at the Export-Import Bank.
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