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White House names Obama's choice for ambassador to Sweden

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White House names Obama's choice for ambassador to Sweden
10:58 CEST+02:00
Matthew Barzun, a 38-year-old internet entrepreneur, will be nominated by President Barack Obama to be the United States' next ambassador to Sweden, the White House announced on Friday.

As The Local reported on Tuesday, the Swedish foreign ministry recently notified American officials that they saw Barzun as an acceptable candidate for ambassador, paving the way for an official announcement of his nomination.

Barzun' nomination was announced along with those of several other individuals to various ambassadorial and administration positions.

“I am grateful that these fine individuals will serve in my administration and I am confident that they will well represent our nation abroad and help strengthen our relationships within the international community. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead,” Obama said in a statement accompanying the announcement.

The US Embassy in Stockholm welcomed the news of Barzun's nomination.

"The Embassy community greatly looks forward to continuing our work in Sweden under Mr. Barzun's leadership, when he has been confirmed by the Senate," said Charge d'affaires Robert Silverman, who has been serving as the top US envoy in Sweden since the departure of the previous US ambassador, Michael Wood.

Barzun's nomination must first be reviewed by the Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations, where he will be asked to submit testimony about his qualifications as well as his plans and visions for the conduct of bilateral relations between Sweden and the United States.

Most of Barzun's professional life was spent with CNET, a media company specializing in technology and internet-related news and information where he rose to the position of executive vice president of the company' Business Technology group.

In 2008, Barzun then joined the National Finance Committee of Obama' presidential election campaign, succeeding in designing events which appealed to small donors.

Barzun and his family also contributed nearly $300,000 to various Democratic candidates and party organizations, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

He currently lives in Louisville, Kentucky where he heads up BrickPath LLC, an internet media advisement and investment company.

Once approved by the Foreign Relations committee, the full Senate then votes on whether or not to make Barzun the next ambassador to Sweden.

With roughly two-dozen ambassadorial nominations already waiting for approval by the Foreign Relations committee, it will likely be several weeks until before the Senate has the opportunity to hold a vote on Barzun's nomination.

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