The White House has announced another spate of ambassador picks, and it looks like two Washington law offices will be preparing to lose partners to the coveted overseas gigs.
Howard Gutman, a partner at Williams & Connolly who bundled at least $500,000 for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, was nominated to be ambassador to Belgium. Gutman also personally gave $4,600 to Obama.
Mark Gitenstein, a partner in Mayer Brown’s D.C. office, is Obama’s pick for ambassador to Romania. Unlike Gutman, Gitenstein did not donate or bundle money for Obama’s campaign. However, he was the early favorite to head the Office of Legal Policy at the Justice Department, until controversy over his past as a lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce put him out of the running. Gitenstein was also once a Senate staffer for Vice President Joe Biden, and according to the Center for Responsive Politics, he donated $5,000 to Biden’s 2008 presidential bid.
Gutman is not the first Williams & Connolly lawyer to get tapped for a European post. Last month, partner Laurie Fulton, was chosen to become ambassador to Denmark. She bundled as much as $200,000 for Obama.