Trevor Traina

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Trevor Traina
United States Ambassador to Austria
In office
May 24, 2018 – January 20, 2021
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byAlexa L. Wesner
Succeeded byVictoria Reggie Kennedy
Personal details
Born1968 (age 55–56)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
SpouseAlexis Swanson
Parent(s)Diane Buchanan Wilsey
John Traina
RelativesHerbert Henry Dow (great-great-grandfather)
Wiley T. Buchanan Jr. (grandfather)
Todd Traina (brother)
Danielle Steel (ex-stepmother)
Nick Traina (adopted stepbrother)
EducationPrinceton University (BA)
University of Oxford
Haas School of Business (MBA)

Trevor D. Traina (born 1968) is an American businessman who served as the United States Ambassador to Austria from 2018 to 2021.

Early life[edit]

Traina was born in San Francisco, California to Diane Buchanan Wilsey and John Traina in 1968. His father was a shipping and cruise magnate who later became a Napa Valley vintner and world-renowned art collector.[1][2] His parents divorced when he was 12. He has a younger brother Todd, and five younger half-siblings through his father's marriage to his ex-stepmother Danielle Steel. He was also brother to Steel's son Nick Traina, who was adopted and given the family name by his father. His maternal grandfather Wiley T. Buchanan Jr. was U.S. Ambassador to Austria from 1975 to 1977.[3]

Traina graduated from Princeton University with an A.B. in politics in 1990, having written a 112-page long senior thesis titled "The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act: A Model for the Future?".[4] He later studied at the University of Oxford and at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business where he graduated as Master of Business Administration.[5]


Traina started his career as brand manager at Seagram's. As an entrepreneur, he was involved in the creation of CompareNet, which was bought by Microsoft in 1999.[6] In total he founded or co-founded five technology startups which were all sold. The most recent was IfOnly which was sold to MasterCard in August 2020 [7]

Traina was an honorary advisor to the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, the Haas School of Business, the Princeton University Art Museum and other institutions. He wrote columns for Huffington Post[8] and for Town and Country magazine.

Ambassador to Austria[edit]

Traina attends a dinner with Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo in Vienna, Austria on August 13, 2020.

On January 23, 2018, President Donald Trump nominated Traina to become Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Austria.[9] The post had been vacant since January 2017. The U.S. Senate confirmed Traina's nomination on March 22, 2018.[citation needed] He was unanimously confirmed [10]

Traina was sworn in on March 29, 2018 and arrived in Vienna on May 18, 2018 to present his credentials.[11] Traina subsequently presented his credentials on May 24, 2018.[12]

Traina risked controversy for supporting the LGBTQ community by flying a rainbow flag at the Embassy during Vienna Pride despite a ban from the State Department on doing so.[13] Traina is credited with arranging the most high level meetings between Austria and the US in history and bringing about an era of Verbundenheit or "new closeness" between the two countries that had not before been seen.[14]


The Secretary of Defense awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service to Traina in January 2021. The Chancellor of Austria awarded Traina the Austrian Grand Declaration of Honor in Gold in January 2021. Traina has been awarded over two dozen patents from the USPTO

Publications: American Photography. 2020 Walter Moser, Anna Heinrich, Trevor Traina

Personal life[edit]

Traina is married to Alexis Swanson Traina.[15] He and his wife have two children Johnny and Delphina.[16] His hobby is collecting photographs, an exhibition of his collection in summer 2012 at the Fine Arts Museum was discussed in the media.[17][18] Traina made a major loan of photographs to the Albertina museum in Vienna for the Fall 2021 exhibition American Photography.[19] In 2023 Traina paid to restore the Red Rooms in the Schloss Leopoldskron - home of the Salzburg Forum.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ W.T. Buchanan was also U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg from 1953 to 1956 and US Protocol Chief during the second term of Eisenhower.
  4. ^ Traina, Trevor Dow. Princeton University. Department of Politics (ed.). "The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act: A Model for the Future?". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ (January 22,2018): IT millionaire becomes new US ambassador; accessed July 6, 2018.(in German)
  6. ^ "IfOnly – Extraordinary Experiences for Good". IfOnly. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Mastercard acquired and shut down IfOnly, an experiences marketplace hit by COVID-19". 24 August 2020.
  8. ^ author profile of Trevor Traina at Huffington Post, retrieved on January 24, 2018.
  9. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Trevor Traina of California, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Austria". January 22, 2018 – via National Archives.
  10. ^ "PN1517 - Nomination of Trevor D. Traina for Department of State, 115th Congress (2017-2018)". March 22, 2018.
  11. ^ "Ambassador-Designate Trevor D. Traina". U.S. Embassy in Austria. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  12. ^ "Ambassador presented his credentials". U.S. Embassy in Austria. May 25, 2018. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  13. ^ Garchik, Leah (June 12, 2019). "Cheering the red, white and blue ... and green, purple, yellow". San Francisco Chronicle.
  14. ^ "Vienna Is the New Havana Syndrome Hot Spot". The New Yorker. July 16, 2021.
  15. ^ Wine: Alexis Swanson Traina and Target launch...; by Jessica Yadegaran, San Jose Mercury News, published on November 21, 2013
  16. ^
  17. ^ cf. Kevin Moore: Real to Real: Photographs from the Traina Collection. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. ISBN 9780884011347. 2012
  18. ^ New York Times (March 16,2013): Turmoil at Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, accessed on January 24, 2018
  19. ^ "American Photography" (PDF).

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by United States Ambassador to Austria
Succeeded by
Robin Dunnigan
Chargé d’Affaires