Officially In: Cynthia Stroum to Luxembourg

On September 12 President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Cynthia Stroum to be Ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The official bio released by the WH is below:

A native of Seattle, Cynthia Stroum has been an angel investor in over twenty successful technology, biotechnology and retail start-up companies, including Starbucks Coffee Company. Over the last 30 years, Ms. Stroum has also been active in civic and charitable activities focusing on philanthropy and community service, establishing two non-profit foundations, with a particular focus on cancer research. Ms. Stroum has helped to bring greater visibility to pancreatic cancer, serving on the board of The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and as the Founding Chairman of the Board of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). She has also served on the board of the Shoah Foundation.

Previous to her business and philanthropic ventures, Ms. Stroum worked in the television and film industries and continues her commitment to the arts. Ms. Stroum made her Broadway producing debut in 2004 with the acclaimed Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun, earning her a Tony nomination.

Ms. Stroum holds a BA in Public Relations and Journalism from the University of Southern California.

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If confirmed Ms. Stroum would replaced another non-career appointee, Anne Louise Wagner who was appointed to Luxembourg in 2005 (Ms. Wagner was Chair of the Missouri Republican Party for six years, from 1999 until 2005, and Co-chair of the Republican National Committee for four years).
Ms. Stroum has been identified by as one of President Obama’s bundlers, raising a minimum of $500,000. (Bundlers are people with friends in high places who, after bumping against personal contribution limits, turn to those friends, associates, and, well, anyone who’s willing to give, and deliver the checks to the candidate in one big “bundle.”) She has also donated to the presidential inauguration. According to Puget Sound Business Journal, Ms. Stroum was one of the top 25 Obama fundraisers in the United States, and is credited with hooking Barack Obama on Fran’s Chocolates famous sea-salt caramels.

In the last 50 years, there had been 21 US ambassadors posted to Luxembourg. Out of those 21 ambassadors only 3 were career diplomats. I should add that our blog friend, Avuncular American served as Charge d’Affaires ad interim in the country from January 2001-April 2002.

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