Barack Obama | James Costos | News | Rufus Gifford

Obama Names Two Gay Men to Ambassadorships

President Obama has named Rufus Gifford, a prominent fundraiser who was most recently Finance Chair of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, as Ambassador to Denmark. He has also named James Costos, Vice President of Global Licensing and Retail for Home Box Office (HBO), as Ambassador to Spain.

Background from the White House:

GiffordRufus Gifford most recently served as Finance Chair of the Presidential Inaugural Committee.  He served as Finance Director for Obama for America from 2011 to 2012, and as Finance Director for the Democratic National Committee from 2009 to 2011.  From 2008 to 2009, he was the California Finance Director for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, after working as a political consultant in California from 2004 to 2008.  From 1998 to 2004, Mr. Gifford was Creative Executive for Davis Entertainment, an independent film company based in Los Angeles.  He is currently a Federal Club Member of the Human Rights Campaign and a Partner in Conservation for the World Wildlife Fund.  He received a B.A. from Brown University.

CostosJames Costos is Vice President of Global Licensing and Retail for Home Box Office (HBO).  Before joining HBO in 2006, he was President and CEO of Eight Cylinders, Inc., an entertainment marketing and licensing agency.  Previously, from 2002 to 2004, he was head of Promotions and Consumer Products at Revolution Studios in California.  He began his career in New York as a fashion and retail executive.  From 2001 to 2002, he was Vice President of Retail for Hermes in New York, and from 1991 to 2001, he was Vice President of Retail Operations for Tod’s in New York.  Mr. Costos currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Humane Society of the United States.  He received a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts. 

The nominations need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

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Comments

  1. handsome men.

    Posted by: James | Jun 14, 2013 6:04:28 PM


  2. I think it would be cool to be an ambassador to Spain. Or Denmark. Where do I sign up?

    Posted by: martin | Jun 14, 2013 6:08:19 PM


  3. Hello Mr. Gifford. Rawr.

    Posted by: Joseph L | Jun 14, 2013 6:28:01 PM


  4. More symbolism from Obama that does not improve the gay rights situation for you and me.

    Oh, and why didn't AndyTowle sufficiently criticize Obama for failing to address the ENDA issue today? Too much of a Dem shill, Andy?

    Posted by: jason | Jun 14, 2013 6:35:37 PM


  5. If either of them needs a househusband.... I'm @moviemartin.

    Posted by: Martin Haro | Jun 14, 2013 6:36:42 PM


  6. jason, give it a rest.

    Posted by: will | Jun 14, 2013 6:40:20 PM


  7. Jason, reduce the number of Pubes in Washington to nil and you will get all the gay rights you want.

    Posted by: Teehee | Jun 14, 2013 6:45:01 PM


  8. Appoint gay men... support gay marriage... end the Plan B fight... encourage an ineffectual "dialogue" on policies we won't change... anything to appease and distract the base from us spying on everyone.

    Posted by: Jeff | Jun 14, 2013 7:02:22 PM


  9. Teehee

    There's a Dem in the White House just in case you didn't get the memo. The Dem is in power. The Dem has done nothing to enact ENDA.

    Posted by: jason | Jun 14, 2013 7:06:48 PM


  10. What makes you think that these guys were appointed because they're gay, hence an act of appeasement for us?

    Posted by: J.J. in the Navy | Jun 14, 2013 7:13:36 PM


  11. Did you guys know that Jeff and jason are in fact the same person? Same talking points, and only post on the same stories. It's quite sad that this one pathetic person insists on trolling using several different aliases.

    Posted by: MateoM | Jun 14, 2013 7:16:26 PM


  12. James Costos may be Greek-American. Not to second-guess our President, but Greek LGBTs could use all the help they can get, and a Greek-American out-of-the-closet gay man would do a lot of good to help combat the institutionalized homophobia in Greece.

    Posted by: Jerry | Jun 14, 2013 7:39:04 PM


  13. Funny in these comment threads. Someone always has to question who is who. Wonder to yourself. Stay on topic. That video was okay. Kind of vacuous in capturing us. Too young maybe?

    Posted by: Beebs | Jun 14, 2013 8:13:17 PM


  14. I hope the new Ambassador to Denmark isn't assassinated by the extremists in Denmark and nearby countries. We know how well Obama cares for his ambassadors.

    Posted by: Kev C | Jun 14, 2013 8:41:55 PM


  15. "Where do I sign up?"

    Well, signature line on a large check made out the DNC would be a good start.

    Posted by: BobN | Jun 14, 2013 8:59:41 PM


  16. Good old patronage. What exactly does a fashion, retail and marketing executive know about being an ambassador? Why does he deserve this position? Money. This is another example of what is wrong with our system, and another example of how President Obama really is just like all the other politicians that came before. I know the "change" is that these are gay men. The game however is being played the same way. We cannot have change, or hope, if you just keep doing things just like everyone before you. I am a staunch liberal btw.

    Posted by: Critifur | Jun 14, 2013 9:04:36 PM


  17. You can go back thru time to almost any President and the Ambassadorships were given as payback for political patronage. The position itself is largely figurehead as most of the actual work is done by the permanent embassy staff.

    @Critifur
    Who would you think should have been appointed to either of these positions?
    Not everything in politics has to be change. We still have to have a State Dept.
    These appointments aren't anything to be angry about. Daley being appointed Chief of Staff was worthy of anger. Rick Warren at the inauguration was a slap in the face. Not putting pressure on Congress to pass ENDA needs commentary but these appointments; pablum for those Republicans that have to have something to bash.

    Posted by: JONES | Jun 14, 2013 9:42:37 PM


  18. @Kev C
    Back for more.

    How many embassy attacks happened under Obama? 2
    How many embassy attacks happened under Bush? 13

    Where's your outrage? Still harping for anarchy?

    Posted by: JONES | Jun 14, 2013 9:46:05 PM


  19. Jeff seems to have a fixation on spying. Rachael Maddow talking about Virginia GOP nominees; he brings up spying. Gay Ambassador appointments; he brings it up. Like it's just been revealed that the US spies on everyone. Maybe this really is news to him.

    The Patriot Act was signed into law in 2001 (Kev C: That was under BUSH) and spying on Americans had been going on long before that. Since J Edgar's days.

    'jason' is one trick pony with ENDA. Every thread about Obama he brings it up.
    The legislative process for passage and it's opposition by House GOPers means nothing to him. Anything to blame Obama. Like a paid shill.

    Kev C is a self confessed libertarian anarchist bent of destroying the Democratic Party. If I could get him to focus that intensity on ALEC or Scalia he'd be worth his weight in Snickers.

    Posted by: JONES | Jun 14, 2013 10:10:10 PM


  20. I wish more ambassadorships were promotions from career diplomats rather than political rewards.

    Posted by: Mike B. | Jun 14, 2013 11:26:21 PM


  21. "Kev C,"

    Ambassador Christopher Stevens COMMITTED SUICIDE. PERIOD! BENGHAZI IS A SHAM.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

    Posted by: CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON | Jun 15, 2013 12:01:12 AM


  22. "Jerry" - GREECE IS NOT THE ONLY NATION RUNNING FROM, pedophilia. Y'ALL Towleroaders SEEM TO BE SO CONCERNED ABOUT GETTING ENDA PASSED - BUT, THE FIGHT WHICH GOES TO THE HEART OF OUR SOCIAL VIABILITY AS HOMOSEXUALS - i.e., GETTING ON Boy Scouts' ASS FOR NOT ALLOWING ADULT MEMBERS - IS BEING PASSED-OVER IN FEAR [afraid states will stop legalizing same-sex marriage?].

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

    Posted by: CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON | Jun 15, 2013 12:09:31 AM


  23. Whoa brothers, you having a big discussion, a huge pleasure and confusion and finally exhaustion. Everybody's smart and the embodiment of how it is that experts don't agree and therefore can't be trusted.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jun 15, 2013 12:16:55 AM


  24. These guys are flaming angels, I'm thrilled that they are going to represent us. Until now anyway.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jun 15, 2013 12:17:54 AM


  25. "Critifur,"

    HAVING A BACKGROUND IN FASHION, RETAIL AND MARKETING [i.e., THE BUSINESS OF FINE ARTS] IS QUITE APPROPRIATE FOR AMBASSADORSHIPS TO DENMARK A-N-D SPAIN - TWO NATIONS OF WORLD RENOWN IN THE ARTS.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

    Posted by: CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON | Jun 15, 2013 12:24:37 AM


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