Obama fundraising director rumoured to be next US ambassador to Denmark
Longtime gay rights activist Rufus Gifford also served on Democratic National Committee
Rufus Gifford: Coming soon to Østerbro? (Photo: Obama for America)
Rufus Gifford, the finance director for Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, is said to be Obama's likely pick for the next US ambassador to Denmark, according to the Washington Post.
Gifford is a longstanding Democratic fundraiser and is said to have been a key player in raising $1 billion for Obama’s re-election campaign. He also served as the finance director for the Democratic National Committee from 2009 to 2011.
If selected, Gifford would succeed US Ambassador Laurie Fulton, who stepped down from her post earlier this month. He would also be the second openly gay US ambassador to a NATO country. James Hormel, who served as ambassador to Luxembourg during President Bill Clinton’s second term, was the first.
The Washington Post reported that the gay community has advocated for a high-profile ambassadorship for Gifford since the election. As Denmark has sent hundreds of troops to aid US efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the country is a favourable option for ambassadorship despite its small size.
His ex-partner Jeremy Bernard currently serves as the social secretary for the White House, the first gay male to hold the position. He is also a leading Democratic politician and formidable fundraiser.
Speculations on Gifford’s potential ambassadorship have yet to be confirmed. The Huffington Post has much more on Gifford's role in Obama's re-election in this 2011 feature.