Obama may enlist industry organizers

Avant, Rivkin may get posts in administration

When President Obama returned to entertainment industry circles Wednesday for his first fund-raiser since taking office, there was considerable buzz that he will enlist two of the event’s organizers for ambassadorial posts.

Sources say Nicole Avant, the music industry executive who was the Obama campaign’s Southern California campaign finance co-chair, is in line to be nominated as ambassador to the Bahamas. Late Wednesday came the announcement that her partner in the campaign’s fund-raising efforts, Wild Brain CEO Charles Rivkin, will be tapped as ambassador to France, after weeks of speculation that he was about to be nominated for the post.

Each would have to be confirmed by the Senate.

In addition to her work on the Obama campaign, Avant has been involved in a number of campaigns and causes, including fund-raising for Al Gore and Harold Ford Jr. She follows in the footsteps of her father, music industry legend Clarence Avant, long active in politics.

Rivkin, former head of the Jim Henson Co., has been involved in politics for some time and comes from a family with a tradition of engagement in public affairs. His brother, Robert, was chosen by Obama to be general counsel for the Dept. of Transportation, and his brother’s wife, Cindy S. Moelis, was chosen as director for the Commission on White House Fellows. His father, William R. Rivkin, was ambassador to Luxembourg under John F. Kennedy and ambassador to Senegal and Gambia for Lyndon Johnson.

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