Biden picks Victoria Kennedy, Comcast exec David Cohen as ambassadors

Biden picks Victoria Kennedy, Comcast exec David Cohen as ambassadors

President Biden on Wednesday announced his intent to nominate the widow of Sen. Ted Kennedy and an executive from Comcast to serve as ambassadors.

Victoria Kennedy, 67, is Biden’s pick for ambassador to Austria. Although US policy toward the small Alpine country isn’t particularly tense, Vienna is the site of ongoing Iran nuclear talks.

David Cohen, a senior adviser to the CEO of Comcast, which owns NBC and MSNBC, is being nominated to be ambassador to Canada.

Sen. Kennedy (D-Mass.), 77 and the younger brother of JFK and RFK, died in 2009 from a brain tumor after about 47 years in the Senate. Victoria was his second wife. They wed in 1992.

A White House-distributed biography does not identify any expertise that Victoria Kennedy, an attorney, has in US-Austria relations.

The White House noted that she is president of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, a non-profit that “educates the public about the U.S. Senate, and inspires leadership and active citizenship.”

David Cohen is President Biden's choice to be ambassador to Canada.
David Cohen is President Biden’s choice to be ambassador to Canada.

“An advocate for gun safety, Kennedy was a long-time member of the Board of Trustees of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C., and has served on the board of Stop Handgun Violence in Boston,” the release also said. “She founded an advocacy group, Common Sense about Kids and Guns, aimed at reducing guns deaths and injuries to children.”

Cohen, the would-be ambassador to Canada, has a history in Democratic politics. He was chief of staff to former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell while he was Philadelphia mayor, the White House said.

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