Twelve nominated for ambassador positions

Picks include jobs in Britain, France

Associated Press And Globe Staff / May 28, 2009
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President Obama last night announced a slew of nominations for high-profile ambassador posts, including those he wants to post to Britain, France, India, and Japan.

Obama's picks include a Cuban-American Roman Catholic theologian who advised his presidential campaign as ambassador to the Vatican. Miguel H. Diaz, an associate professor of theology at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minn., was among 26 Catholics who signed a statement supporting the nomination of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic whose support for abortion rights was criticized by conservative Catholics.

Another nominee is former congressman Tim Roemer of Indiana, who was tapped as ambassador to New Delhi. Roemer, who endorsed Obama during the Democratic primaries, also served on the panel that investigated the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The other nominees are Michael A. Battle, president of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, as ambassador to the African Union; Vilma S. Martinez, a lawyer and president of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, as ambassador to Argentina; Thomas A. Shannon, assistant secretary of state for Western hemisphere affairs, as ambassador to Brazil; Laurie S. Fulton, a Washington lawyer, as ambassador to Denmark; Charles H. Rivkin, a former president and CEO of the Jim Henson Co., as ambassador to France; and Louis B. Susman, a retired vice chairman of Citigroup, a Chicago fund-raiser for Obama, and national finance chairman for Senator John F. Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign, as ambassador to the United Kingdom;

Also, Robert S. Connan, a minister for commercial affairs to the US mission to the European Union, as ambassador to Iceland; John V. Roos, a Silicon Valley lawyer, as ambassador to Japan; Christopher William Dell, a career Foreign Service officer who is now deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Afghanistan, as ambassador to Kosovo; and Patricia A. Butenis, deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Baghdad, as ambassador to Sri Lanka.

"I am grateful that these distinguished Americans have agreed to help represent the United States," Obama said.