Friday, May 29, 2009

Officially In: Louis B. Susman to London

Winfield House: Official residence of US Ambassador to London
Source: US Embassy London

On May 27, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Louis B. Susman, to be Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland. Official bio below: Mr. Susman is retired and was Vice Chairman of Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking, and was a Member of the Citigroup International Advisory Board. Prior to joining Salomon Brothers, Inc. in June 1989, Mr. Susman practiced law in the City of St. Louis for 27 years and was a senior partner at the St. Louis based law firm of Thompson & Mitchell. His practice focused on mergers and acquisitions and general corporate law, and as part of his practice, he was a member of the Board of Directors and Management Committee of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1975 to 1989. In 1988, Mr. Susman was appointed by President Ronald Regan to the U. S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, which provided oversight to the U.S. Information Agency. USIA’s mission was "to understand, inform, and influence foreign publics in promotion of the national interest, and to broaden the dialogue between Americans and U.S. institutions, and their counterparts abroad." He was a Director of the Center for National Policy in Washington, D.C. a nonpartisan organization that examines national public policy issues. Mr. Susman holds an A.B. from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from Washington University.

* * * on Louis B. Susman: “This lawyer and investment banker has reportedly earned the nicknames the "vacuum cleaner" and "big bundler" for his prowess as a bundler of campaign cash. He bundled nearly a quarter-million for Obama's presidential campaign and at least $300,000 for his inauguration, according to Public Citizen. This includes $50,000 from his personal funds. Further, he and his wife have contributed at least $581,400 to federal candidates, committees and parties, with 99 percent of that sum going to Democrats, including at least $12,800 to Obama. He has been nominated to be the ambassador to the United Kingdom.”

Only one out of the six ambassadors assigned to London in the last 20 years was a career diplomat (Raymond George Hardenbergh Seitz). If confirmed, Louis B. Susman will succeed Robert Holmes Tuttle, a non-career appointee (who reportedly raised more than $200,000 for President Bush's 2004 re-election campaign and his inauguration ceremony). Mr. Susman will reside at Winfield House - the residence of the Ambassador of the United States of America to the Court of St. James's - occupying twelve and a half acres on the northwest side. Visiting U.S. Presidents regularly stay at the residence. Apparently, President Reagan was a frequent visitor. Read more here.

Related Post: White House Rolls Out First Dozen Ambassadors

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