Biden Taps Confidant Mark Gitenstein to be Ambassador to the European Union


President Biden announced his intent to nominate his former Senate aide and confidant Mark Gitenstein to be the next Ambassador to the European Union. The WH released the following brief bio:

Mark Gitenstein, Nominee for Representative of the United States of America to the European Union, with rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Mark Gitenstein is Senior Counsel at Mayer Brown LLP, and a former U.S. Ambassador to Romania. He has spent most of the last decade working on projects in Central and Eastern Europe.  As Ambassador, he focused on fighting corruption and preserving democratic institutions, issues he continued to focus on through his work as a lawyer and with NGOs. Since his term as ambassador ended in 2012, he has returned to the region over two dozen times since then.

Earlier in his career, Gitenstein worked for 17 years in the U.S. Senate as Chief Counsel or Minority Chief Counsel of the Judiciary Committee, Chief Counsel of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, and Counsel for the Intelligence Committee.  In 2008 he co-chaired then Senator Biden’s transition to the vice presidency. In 2021 he served as a senior advisor to and member of the advisory committee to the Biden presidential transition.

Gitenstein earned an A.B. at Duke University and a J.D. at Georgetown University Law School.  He was awarded the Star of Romania, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by the President of Romania in 2012.

Ambassador Gitenstein previously served as chief of mission at the US Embassy in Bucharest. Unlike most political ambassadors, his post was inspected by the Inspector General in 2012, the last year of his tenure in Romania. The report indicated a well-run embassy and had very good things to say about the chief of mission: “The Ambassador has led the mission to notable political, political-military, public outreach, and economic-commercial successes.” Also that “the Ambassador thinks strategically and has a clear set of goals.”
If confirmed, Ambassador Gitenstein would succeed Trump Impeachment I witness Gordon Sonland who served as Ambassador to the European Union from 2018 until he was fired by Trump on February 7, 2020, two days after the conclusion of Trump’s impeachment trial.

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