Posted: 1:41 am ET
On January 4, the White House announced the President’s intent to nominate prominent American businessman Andrew Gellert to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Chile. The WH released the following brief bio:
Andrew Gellert of New Jersey, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Chile. Mr. Gellert, President of Gellert Global Group in Elizabeth, New Jersey, is a prominent American businessman. He leads an enterprise consisting of many North American food importing companies, including Atalanta Corporation, the largest privately held food importer in the United States. He has served as Chairman of the Association of Food Industries (AFI), which is part of a coalition of food importing associations pursuing the mutual trade interests of overseas suppliers and United States importers before the FDA, and within the food legislation arena. In addition, he is a member of the Young Presidents Organization and a Board member of the Elizabeth Development Corporation. Mr. Gellert earned a B.S. from Cornell University.
A quick search of the Federal Election Commission database indicates modest contributions mostly to Democratic candidates in years past including to Al Gore, Chuck Schumer, Bob Menendez, even Hillary Clinton in 2003.
Andrew Gellert is listed on his company’s website as: “President of the Gellert Global Group joined Atalanta a year after graduation from Cornell in 1989 and currently serves as Treasurer of Atalanta Corporation and Senior Vice President of Camerican International, where he developed the Company’s successful juice division” (also see Atalanta Corp.: Around the World in 70 Years).
According to its website, the Gellert Global Group is partners in numerous real estate ventures with The Kushner Companies. According to Bloomberg, the Gellert family, headed by patriarch George Gellert, is also a close friend of Charles Kushner and that Gellert is “a co-guarantor of the Kushners’ debts at 666 Fifth Avenue, loan documents show.” (See Kushners’ New York City Buildings Are Mostly Owned By Others).
So it looks like the WH must have now accepted the traditional resignation submitted by our Ambassador to Chile on January 20, 2017 and now wants a non-career appointee to be its top representative in the country.
If confirmed, Mr. Gellert would succeed career diplomat Carol Perez who was confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to Chile in July 2016. Tenures for career diplomats on chief of mission positions (with few exceptions) are typically for three years. Of course, it should be noted that appointees also serve at the pleasure of the president, and can be replaced at any time during their tenure.
— Embajada EEUU Chile (@EmbajadaEEUUcl) January 5, 2018
New: Trump names Andy Gellert, scion of the New Jersey food importing Gellert family, as US Ambassador to Chile. Gellert also has business interests in the country. pic.twitter.com/9SzsS0Yo3k
— Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) January 5, 2018
Carol Perez, career ambassador appointed by Obama and 1st female amb to Chile, has only been there since late 2016. Why is she being forced out for a political hack? https://t.co/VHO4JkZ5Ks
— Philip Arsenault (@PhilipArsenault) January 5, 2018
— Johnson at Cornell (@CornellMBA) July 8, 2017