Obama names new European ambassadors

President Barack Obama has named new ambassadors to key US allies France and Britain, as well as to Denmark, Iceland and Kosovo. Charles Rivkin (pictured), CEO of an animation studio, has been named as ambassador to France.


AFP - President Barack Obama on Wednesday named new ambassadors to key US allies France and Britain, as well as to Denmark, Iceland and Kosovo.

Obama nominated Charles Rivkin, a major California fundraiser for his successful 2008 presidential bid, to be his ambassador to France.

Rivkin, the CEO of Wildbrain animation studios, is also a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council -- a group of individuals from outside the federal government that advises the Homeland Security secretary -- and a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy.

For the much-sought appointment to London, Obama picked Louis Susman, a retired vice chairman of Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking.

Susman, based in Obama's hometown of Chicago, has also raised hundreds of millions of dollars for the president's Democratic Party. He practiced law in the midwestern US city of St. Louis for 27 years before joining the Salomon Brothers investment bank in 1989, where he practiced corporate law.

Laurie Fulton, a white collar criminal defense expert and partner at the Washington-based Williams & Connolly LLP law firm, was nominated for the top US diplomatic post in Denmark.

Fulton served on the board of directors of the US Institute of Peace from 2004 to 2008, and has been active in groups as diverse as the Girl Scouts Women's Advisory Board and the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation.

Obama turned to career diplomat Christopher William Dell -- who has served as deputy chief of mission in Afghanistan since 2007 -- as ambassador to the Republic of Kosovo.

And he tapped Robert Connan, a top official at the US mission to the European Union since September 2008, to represent him in Iceland.

All the nominations require US Senate confirmation.

"I am grateful that these distinguished Americans have agreed to help represent the United States and strengthen our partnerships abroad at this critical time for our nation and the world," Obama said in a White House statement.

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