Ambassador to France

Updated

Charles Rivkin, the CEO of animation studio Wild Brain Media who was finance co-chair of President Obama’s campaign in California, is in line to be chosen as U.S. Ambassador to France, according to sources.

The choice of Rivkin is already buzzing in French media circles in Washington, apparently a byproduct of the White House Correspondents dinner, where the combination of cocktail conversation, government and journalist types usually generates a story or two.

A spokeswoman for Wild Brain declined to comment, and Rivkin has neither been nominated or confirmed for the post. But I’m told that Rivkin is in the final stages of the vetting process, with plans to announce the administration’s slate of overseas appointments en masse.

Along with music executive Nicole Avant, Rivkin helped oversee Obama’s prolific fund-raising in Southern California, which ran neck and neck with that of Hillary Clinton’s efforts throughout most of the primaries. In the general election, Obama dominated fund-raising in the region, making the state one of the top sources of support in the country.

Rivkin, formerly the head of the Jim Henson Co., has been active in politics for some time, including the presidential campaign of John Kerry, and comes from a family with a tradition of engagement in public affairs. His father, William R. Rivkin, was ambassador to Luxembourg under John F. Kennedy and ambassador to Senegal and Gambia for Lyndon Johnson. 

The ambassadorship is considered among the most prestigious among all those given to non-career diplomats, with a legacy that includes Sargent Shriver and Pamela Harriman, not to mention the first minister sent to France, Benjamin Franklin.

Other media types who appear to be on their way to foreign posts include Marc Nathanson, the retired cable exec being eyed for ambassador to the Czech Republic.
 
Rivkin’s brother, Robert, was chosen by Obama to be general counsel for the Department of Transportation. Robert Rivkin’s wife, Cindy S. Moelis, was chosen as the director for the Commission on White House Fellows.

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