President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he is nominating his wife Jill’s chief of staff as his ambassador to Spain.
President Biden has nominated his wife Jill’s Chief of Staff, Julissa Reynoso, as his ambassador to Spain
Julissa Reynoso also co-chaired the Gender Policy Council at the White House and advised the West Wing on border issues. She traveled to the border with President Biden’s staff in March. Reuniting migrant children with their families would be a matter of personal interest to Reynoso.
Jill Biden praised the decision.
“When I first met Julissa in 2019, we clicked right away. We kept in touch, and I knew that when we came to the White House, I wanted her to be my chief of staff. She has been exceptional and an incredible leader and friend. Given her experience and her heart, I can think of no one better than Julissa to represent us in Spain and Andorra. This opportunity came earlier than we both expected and I will miss it,” Jill Biden said in a statement.
There are no plans for a replacement for Reynoso as chief of staff to the first lady, according to the East Wing, and she will remain in that position until confirmed. The Senate confirmation process can take months.
Reynoso is one of several high-profile women Biden has tapped to represent the United States at diplomatic outposts around the world, including Cindy McCain for the World Food Program; Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President, for Australia; and Victoria Kennedy, the widow of the late Ted Kennedy, for Austria.
She is also a former U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay and served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.
An East Wing spokesman said Jill Biden was “pledging” Reynoso to get the nomination.
“When the president and his team discussed potential ambassadors, Reynoso’s experience and skill was immediately requested. While the timing of this opportunity came a little sooner than either of them anticipated, the First Lady fully supported Reynoso being considered an ambassador again and pleaded on her behalf. She is family and we will miss her terribly,” said Jill Biden spokesman Michael LaRosa.
Jill Biden ‘pled’ for Reynoso to be appointed ambassador to Spain
Prior to joining Jill Biden in the East Wing, Reynoso was a partner at the international law firm of Winston & Strawn LLP in New York.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Reynoso immigrated to the United States in 1982. She speaks fluent Spanish.
She holds a BA in Government from Harvard University, a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge in the UK and a JD from Columbia University School of Law.
The Spanish ambassadorship comes with a swanky house in Madrid that has been refurbished by President Barack Obama’s wealthy ambassador.
James Costos, whose partner is Hollywood decorator Michael S. Smith, is a major Democratic fundraiser. He and Smith redecorated the ambassador’s residence in Madrid at considerable personal expense — with items ranging from a painting by John Singer Sargent to a 12-panel Coromandel screen once owned by Coco Chanel — then donated much of what they paid to the house for future ambassadors to enjoy.
Biden will also urge Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, to serve as US Ambassador to Australia, CNN reported, citing three unidentified people familiar with the process.
Biden is about to nominate Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy, as ambassador to Australia (photo June 2019)
The 63-year-old former first daughter had been a vocal supporter of Biden since February last year, when she stated he was better prepared for the job than his rivals.
Kennedy, a lawyer, writer and editor, was three years old when her family moved to the White House and five years old when her father was murdered just days before her birthday.
But it’s not her first time back at the White House since she was a tyke — she was ambassador to Japan under former President Obama.
Kennedy, the first female US ambassador to Japan, was an early and prominent supporter of Obama in his first presidential quest in 2008 and also campaigned for him.
Kennedy was also on Obama’s vice presidential search committee, which ultimately helped put Joe Biden on the 2008 ticket.
She would be the second Kennedy to be nominated to government, after Victoria Kennedy, a lawyer and the widow of Senator Ted Kennedy, who has been asked to serve as his ambassador to Austria.
Kennedy, a gun control attorney and senior counsel at the law firm Greenberg Traurig, met the president during the years Biden served in the Senate with her husband.
Ted Kennedy died in 2009 after a battle with brain cancer, and Biden held a eulogy at his funeral after serving with him in the Senate for 36 years.
President Joe Biden nominates Victoria Kennedy, a lawyer and the widow of Senator Ted Kennedy, to serve as his ambassador to Austria
Biden tapped Cindy McCain as his representative to the World Food Program
Jamie Harpootlian is pictured with her husband, Dick, a South Carolina state senator is Biden’s choice as ambassador to Slovenia
Kennedy, a 67-year-old mother of two, is the chairman of the board and co-founder of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, an impartial, nonprofit educating the public.
She also heads the education committee of the Kennedy Center’s board of trustees in Washington.
Kennedy also served on the boards of gun control advocacy groups, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, DC, and Stop Handgun Violence in Boston.
She founded the group Common Sense about Kids and Guns, aimed at reducing the number of firearm deaths and injuries among children.
Biden also tapped Cindy McCain as ambassador to the UN food program in Rome.
McCain was Biden’s top surrogate in the 2020 presidential contest and a key factor in his Arizona victory after supporting him over Donald Trump.
Her appointment came as the president emphasized the importance of duality in a deeply divided Washington.
The World Food Program, based in Rome, is working with U.S. policymakers, companies, foundations and individuals to help provide financial and in-kind resources and develop policies needed to alleviate global hunger, according to its report. website.
As chairman of the board of trustees of the McCain Institute, Cindy McCain has worked, among other things, to reduce world hunger and human trafficking.
Biden also tapped Jamie Harpootlian, a South Carolina attorney and influential Democrat in the early primary state, to serve as his ambassador to Slovenia.
She is married to another powerful Democratic operative from South Carolina and Biden’s ally, state senator Dick Harpootlian.
President Biden has reportedly settled for Jane Hartley, fundraiser and former ambassador to Paris, who chooses to be his ambassador to London. It comes after months of uncertainty
Biden has also nominated women as ambassadors to the UK and France – coveted roles, which come with beautiful mansions in the heart of Europe’s capitals.
Jane Hartley, a former ambassador to France, is nominated as ambassador to Great Britain, and Denise Campbell Bauer for both France and Monaco.
Bauer was a major fundraiser for former President Barack Obama and had served as U.S. Ambassador to Belgium between 2013 and the end of Obama’s last term in his administration.