This week the White House announced the nominations of Rufus Gifford, a former finance official for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, Obama for America, and the Democratic National Committee, as the United States Ambassador to Denmark and James Costos, an accomplished businessman and current executive at HBO, as the United States Ambassador to Spain.
Gifford is a Massachusetts native and the son of former former Chairman Emeritus of Bank of AmericaChad Gifford and Anne Gifford founder of the book project, “The Shared Heart: Portraits And Stories Celebrating Lesbian, Gay, And Bisexual Young People.’’
Last week, President Obama also nominated Daniel Baer, the openly-gay Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, to be Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. If all three are confirmed, they would become the fourth, fifth, and sixth openly-LGBT people to serve as a U.S. Ambassador. Spain and Denmark are two of the 13 countries in the world that have marriage equality. Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin issued the following statements:
“Rufus Gifford is a terrific choice to represent our country in Denmark. His demonstrated leadership and unwavering commitment to democracy and human rights will serve him well as he represents America’s interests abroad. I urge the Senate to confirm his nomination.”
“Ambassador-designate James Costos is a true citizen of the world. He has incredible global business experience and is a respected and innovative leader. He has solid business and political relationships at the highest levels and a proven commitment to community, philanthropy, human rights, and democracy that make him an outstanding choice to be the nation's next Ambassador to Spain.