Biden appoints Meg Whitman ambassador to Kenya
Meg Whitman, CEO of Quibi speaks in Laguna Beach, California, October 22, 2019.
Mike Blake | Reuters
President Joe Biden has chosen top political donor and former Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman to be his ambassador to Kenya.
Whitman has spent decades in high profile corporate roles, but she has also been politically active for years.
She ran in 2010 as a Republican for governor of California, but lost to Democrat Jerry Brown. She now supported Sen. Mitt Romney ran for president in 2008 – before she eventually became co-chair of Senator John McCain’s national campaign – and in 2012. She backed Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 race against Donald Trump.
Last year, she donated $ 500,000 to the Biden Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee to benefit the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Wealthy donors often get ambassadorial positions in the Democratic and Republican administrations.
Data from the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics shows that more than a dozen supporters of the Obama campaign became ambassadors during his administration. Biden had previously chosen donor Tom Nides, a former Morgan Stanley executive who served in the Obama administration, to be the United States’ ambassador to Israel. Former President Donald Trump has also chosen ambassadors in various countries after contributing to his campaign.
In announcing Biden’s selection of Whitman, the White House underscored his vast business experience.
Prior to leading Hewlett-Packard, Whitman was CEO of e-commerce giant eBay. Whitman eventually became the CEO of Quibi, a short-lived video platform that was founded by Hollywood executive Jeffrey Katzenberg.
She sits on the boards of General Motors and Procter & Gamble.