— By Domani Spero
On June 14, President Obama announced his intent to nominate James Costos as the next Ambassador to Spain. The WH released the following brief bio:
James Costos is Vice President of Global Licensing and Retail for Home Box Office (HBO). Before joining HBO in 2006, he was President and CEO of Eight Cylinders, Inc., an entertainment marketing and licensing agency. Previously, from 2002 to 2004, he was head of Promotions and Consumer Products at Revolution Studios in California. He began his career in New York as a fashion and retail executive. From 2001 to 2002, he was Vice President of Retail for Hermes in New York, and from 1991 to 2001, he was Vice President of Retail Operations for Tod’s in New York. Mr. Costos currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Humane Society of the United States.
He received a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts.
According to OpenSecrets.org Mr. Costos and his partner, designer Michael Smith, raised at least $500,000 for Obama’s reelection campaign in the 2012 cycle. In 2009, Smith was selected by the first lady to redecorate the residential quarters of the White House, and he later designed a makeover of the Oval Office.
If confirmed, Mr. Costos would replace political appointee Alan Solomont who was appointed chief of mission to the US Embassy Madrid in December 2009. Non-career ambassadors make up 73.7% of all ambassadorial appointments to Spain since 1960.
June 14, 2013 | President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts
- US appoints former HBO executive and gay activist to Madrid embassy (elpais.com)
- Obama Nominates HBO Exec James Costos as Ambassador to Spain (variety.com)
- Obama Nominates HBO VP For Ambassador To Spain (deadline.com)
- Obama Nominates Two More Openly Gay Ambassadors (advocate.com)