Image by Portuguese_eyes via FlickrOn November 30, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Allan J. Katz to be his Ambassador to the Portuguese Republic. The WH released the following official bio:
Allan J. Katz is currently of counsel to Akerman Senterfitt and the Chair of the firm-wide Policy practice group. Katz was previously City Commissioner for the City of Tallahassee. In 2007, he organized and created the Village Square, a bi-partisan community based organization. Prior to that, he was the managing partner of Katz, Kutter, Alderman & Bryant, P.A. Mr. Katz was also appointed by Florida's CFO to serve on the board of the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. He also served as the head of the Joint Planning Board which coordinates the distribution of funds to social service agencies on behalf of the City, the County and the United Way.
Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Katz was Assistant Insurance Commissioner and General Counsel for the State of Florida Insurance Department. He also held positions as General Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives Commission on Administrative Review; Legislative Director for Congressman David Obey, and Legislative Assistant to Congressman Bill Gunter.
Katz has a B.A. from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and holds a J.D. from the American University, Washington College of Law.
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According to OpenSecrets.org, Katz is one of the Obama bundlers who pulled together a minimum of $500,000 contributions during the last election campaign. His Akerman Senterfitt’s biography states that he is currently a member of the Democratic National Committee, and was a member of the National Finance Committee of Obama for America, where he served on the 15 member DNC Platform Drafting Committee for the 2008 convention.
If confirmed, Mr. Katz would be the sixth non-career ambassador appointed to Lisbon in the last 16 years. He would replace Thomas F. Stephenson of California who was appointed US Ambassador to Portugal from December 2007-June 2009. The most recent career diplomat (Everett Ellis Briggs) appointed to head the US Embassy in Lisbon served there from 1990-1993.
Previous appointees to this position in Lisbon includes Frank C. Carlucci, Herbert Claiborne Pell and, Elizabeth Frawley Bagley who came back to Foggy Bottom early this year. Ambassador Bagley is currently the Special Representative for Global Partnerships in the Secretary of State’s Global Partnership Initiative and was previously US Ambassador to Lisbon during President Clinton’s term.
- WH Announcement via HuffPo (Text of official announcement seems to be currently MIA from the official WH website)
- Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate, 11/30/09
- Akerman Senterfitt: Allan J. Katz Biography