Raise a lot of money for the winning presidential candidate, and you’re next title may be Ambassador. That’s no less true for President Obama’s gay donors. The president has nominated two of his gay backers to plum positions in Europe.
Heading to Denmark (if confirmed) will be Rufus Gifford, who was finance director of Obama’s re-election campaign (you know, the one that pulled in more than$700 million.) Gifford is a long-time Democratic finance official who helped raise $30 million for Sen. John Kerry’s unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2004.
James Costos, an HBO vice president, was chosen as the next ambassador to Spain. Costos wrote checks for more than $67,000 to help the president and Democrats last year. The Human Rights Campaign described him as “a true citizen of the world.” Both Gifford and Costos will be representing the U.S. to countries that have approved marriage equality.
Obama has also tapped an openly gay State Department official to serve as ambassador for a multinational government organization. David Baer was nominated to head the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which focuses on early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation for security issues, including arms control.
Still in the wings for his ambassadorship: John Berry, former head of the Office of Personnel Management.