President Joe Biden on Wednesday nominated Meg Whitman, a business executive and onetime California gubernatorial candidate, to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Kenya.
Whitman, the former leader of Hewlett Packard and eBay,endorsed then-candidate Joe Biden at the Democratic National Convention in August 2020. She also endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016 over Donald Trump despite her longstanding ties to the private sector and the GOP.
In 2010 Whitman ran for governor of California, losing to Democrat Jerry Brown by double digits despite spending $177 million — including $144 million from her vast personal wealth — on her campaign.
More recently, Whitman helmed the star-crossed video streaming platform Quibi, which was financially flush and launched with considerable fanfare in 2020, only to flame out within months. Quibi’s content library was sold off to Roku earlier this year.
Prior to Biden’s inauguration, POLITICO reported that Whitman’s name was one of several Republican backers floated for possible Cabinet roles in the new administration, though she was not selected for any such position.
Whitman’s endorsement of Clinton in 2016 came after she served as finance co-chair of then-New Jersey’s Gov. Chris Christie’s failed presidential campaign, but diverged from him and other Republicans over supporting Trump — whom she has likened to Hitler and Mussolini.
Over the summer Biden tapped another media executive, Comcast’s David Cohen, as the U.S. ambassador to Canada.
In addition to Whitman, Biden on Wednesday also announced the nominations of Constance J. Milstein and Alina Romanowski as ambassadors to Malta and Iraq, respectively.
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