Matthew Barzun

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Matthew Barzun
Matthew Winthrop Barzun.jpg
United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
Incumbent
Assumed office
August 1, 2013
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Louis Susman
United States Ambassador to Sweden
In office
August 12, 2009 – October 18, 2011
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Michael Wood
Succeeded by Mark Brzezinski
Personal details
Born Matthew Winthrop Barzun
(1970-10-23) October 23, 1970 (age 43)
New York, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Brooke Brown (1999–present)
Children Jacques
Eleanor
Charles
Alma mater Harvard University
Religion Christianity

Matthew Winthrop Barzun (born October 23, 1970) is the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom. He is a business executive who is known for his work with CNET Networks and for his volunteer work on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.[1][2] He served as U.S. Ambassador to Sweden from 2009 to 2011. He was selected by President Barack Obama as National Finance Chair for the president's 2012 re-election campaign.[3]

Education[edit]

Barzun was born in New York City, New York. He grew up in Lincoln, Massachusetts and received his A.B. in history and literature magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1993. In his testimony to the Senate during his confirmation vetting, Barzun noted that he had served as a summer intern to Massachusetts Senator John Kerry in 1989. Prior to his college education Matthew Barzun was a student at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire. After graduating from Harvard College, Barzun began working with CNET Networks.

2008 Obama campaign[edit]

Barzun’s small-dollar fundraisers were supporter-driven via online event pages, and replicated throughout the country.

In The Audacity to Win, author and political strategist David Plouffe describes Matthew Barzun’s grassroots campaign idea as “citizen fundraisers” that drove Obama’s connection with supporters.[4]

Diplomacy[edit]

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, chaired by Senator John Kerry, approved Barzun's nomination as Ambassador to Sweden during the week of August 3, 2009, and the nomination was confirmed on August 7. Barzun was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Sweden on August 12, 2009, and presented his credentials to King Carl XVI Gustaf on August 21, 2009.[5] Barzun prioritized outreach and personal engagement, launching the U.S. Embassy Road Show that brings embassy personnel, resources, and exhibits out of Stockholm to smaller cities and towns.[6] In partnership with the Swedish government, he also created the Swedish American Green Alliance where Swedes and Americans share news and ideas toward a clean energy future.[7]

President Obama nominated Barzun to be the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom in 2013.[8] [9] The Senate confirmed him by unanimous consent on August 1, 2013. He presented his credentials to Queen Elizabeth II on November 27, 2013.

Personal life[edit]

Matthew Barzun is a descendant of Lucretia Mott,[10] a proponent of women's rights, and John Winthrop, founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the city of Boston.[11] He is also the grandson of Jacques Barzun, a historian of ideas and culture. He is married (since 1999) to Brooke Brown Barzun, heiress of the Brown-Forman Corporation distilling empire, which includes the brands Jack Daniel's and Woodford Reserve. They have three children, Jacques Barzun II, Eleanor Barzun, and Charles Barzun. Matthew Barzun’s grandfather was the renowned French-born American cultural historian and former Columbia University professor, Jacques Barzun. He is the second of four children. His younger sister is film producer Lucy Barzun Donnelly, Emmy and Golden Globe winner for her work producing Grey Gardens for HBO. His younger brother, Charles Barzun, is a tenured professor of law at the University of Virginia. His eldest sister, Mariana Mensch, is director of parent giving and assistant campaign director at Vassar College.

Board memberships[edit]

  • Center for Interfaith Relations
  • Louisville Public Media
  • Louisville Free Public Library Foundation
  • Louisville Urban League
  • Teach Kentucky
  • Member, Prichard Committee
  • Greater Louisville Project

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gerth, Joseph "Innovator aided march to presidency" Louisville courier-Journal Dec 28, 2008
  2. ^ "How Obama did it". TIME. 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  3. ^ Johnson, Glen (2011-04-29). "Mass. native to oversee Obama's fund-raising effort - Political Intelligence - A national political and campaign blog from The Boston Globe". Boston.com. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  4. ^ Plouffe, David (2009). The Audacity to Win. New York: Viking Adult. ISBN 978-0-670-02133-8. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ Carlbom, Mats. "En pannkaksvändare på Sverigeturné". Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 5/02/2011. 
  7. ^ Swedish American Green Alliance blog http://sagastory.blogspot.com
  8. ^ "Matthew Barzun, Obama Fundraiser, Tapped As Ambassador To Britain". Huffington Post. July 9, 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  9. ^ White House: Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate
  10. ^ "Dagens Nyheter chat with public as newly appointed Ambassador to Sweden". Dn.se. 2009-08-24. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  11. ^ "New U.S. Ambassador Matthew Barzun Arrives". 23 August 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Louis Susman
United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
2013–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Michael Wood
U.S. Ambassador to Sweden
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Mark Brzezinski