|Born||March 6, 1968|
Music executive
Nicole A. Avant (born March 6, 1968) is a former Ambassador of the United States of America to The Bahamas. She is the youngest and first African-American woman to have served as U.S. Ambassador to the island nation.
Career and early life
Nicole Avant is a graduate of California State University at Northridge and holds a BA in Communications. After graduating, Avant worked in promotions at the legendary A&M Records before taking a post as Vice President of Interior Music Publishing from 1998-2009.
The daughter of music industry icon Clarence Avant and Jacqueline Avant, Ambassador Avant was raised in a culture of music, philanthropy and political passion.
Ambassador Nicole Avant has served as an active Board Member of both Best Buddies International and The Bogart Pediatric Research Program. Ambassador Avant also served as an Academic Counselor at the Neighborhood Academic Initiative, a University of Southern California mentorship program for high school students that provided full academic scholarships as well as daily guidance and direction in social behavior and social responsibility. Ambassador Avant’s commitment to public service and philanthropy was recognized by the American Cancer Society, when she was honored as a Next Generation Leader in 2007.
Ambassador Avant has played pivotal roles in the campaigns of former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. and the senatorial race for Barack Obama. In 2008, Ambassador Avant served as finance co-chair in Southern California for Obama’s successful presidential campaign.
Serving as U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas
Avant was nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama to be Ambassador of the United States of America to The Bahamas. Following a unanimous confirmation of her nomination by the United States Senate, she was sworn into office by U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary R. Clinton on September 9, 2009, and she presented her Letters of Credence to the Governor General of The Bahamas, His Excellency Arthur D. Hanna, on October 22, 2009. Ambassador Avant resigned her post and returned to private life on November 21, 2011.
While serving as Ambassador, Nicole Avant focused on five priority initiatives: Education, alternative energy, economic and small business development, women’s empowerment, and raising awareness about the challenges facing people with disabilities. The U.S. Embassy together with the Ministry of Education continues to sponsor the national Read to Lead Program to encourage the nation’s youth to develop a lifelong love of reading. The Embassy adopted a local inner city school, Woodcock Primary, and Embassy volunteers traveled to the school each week to read to grades 1-6. The Embassy also fostered other educational activities including an annual Martin Luther King Essay Competition for high school students and an annual competition to encourage sustainable practices among Bahamian youth.
At the invitation of Ambassador Avant, leading education reform activist and CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone, Geoffrey Canada, addressed Bahamian education officials at her residence.
Under the Ambassador’s leadership, Embassy Nassau also partnered with African-American business leaders to strengthen economic ties between the United States and The Bahamas and encourage a diverse economic strategy that stretches beyond the traditional tourism sector. Embassy partners include the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, the Travel Professionals of Color (TPOC), the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD). To enhance this effort, Ambassador Avant hosted Earvin “Magic” Johnson to be the keynote speaker at the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce’s 2010 Business Development Seminar.
Ambassador Nicole Avant worked to promote the empowerment of women and raise awareness about the challenges facing people with disabilities. Ambassador Avant has personally hosted a number of prominent guests who have participated in outreach events designed to empower youth and impart positive messages about self-esteem and self-image. The Ambassador developed a special relationship with the Williemae Pratt Center for girls, a detention facility for at-risk youth. Grammy winning singer-songwriter, India.Arie and “Access Hollywood” host Shaun Robinson were among the visitors to join Ambassador Avant for visits to the Williemae Pratt Center.
She has also worked closely with local advocacy groups for people with disabilities. Ambassador Avant hosted Eunice and Francesca Shriver, granddaughters of Special Olympic founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Special Olympians from the Bahamas to mark Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day and to raise awareness for Special Olympics-Bahamas. Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete were also guest of the Ambassador to raise awareness for REACH, a Bahamian support group for families affected by autism.
While public diplomacy was a key focus for Ambassador Avant, a report from the Inspector General’s office on Embassy Nassau praised Ambassador Avant’s "leadership in the areas of law enforcement, security and public affairs;" noting that the Bahamas is a "critical crime threat post." 
Separately, in the Inspector's Evaluation Report, the IG team leader stated that Ambassador Avant's public diplomacy activities "generated excellent publicity for the embassy and the United States, demonstrating U.S. interest in the Bahamas."
In 2011, Ambassador Avant was nominated for the Sue M. Cobb Award for Exemplary Diplomatic Service. The Sue M. Cobb award honors a Non-Career Ambassador who has used private sector leadership and management skills to make a significant impact on bilateral or multilateral relations and has done so in a manner that best reflects the foreign service culture of uncommon commitment in carrying out United States foreign policy through proactive diplomacy.
On January 7, 2012, Ambassador Avant was honored at the 20th Annual Trumpet Awards, where she received the International Award for her dedication to public service. Mayor Cory Booker, Ted Turner and Aretha Franklin were among the other honorees.
A March 29, 2012 editorial in the Bahamas Tribune titled, "Ambassador Nicole Avant- A Job Well Done," stated that Ambassador Avant was "considered among the more popular US Ambassadors to be posted to Nassau Embassy.” 
- Thompson, Lindsay (October 23, 2009). "The Bahamas welcomes 13th US Ambassador". The Bahamas Weekly. Retrieved 2012-02-24.