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Obama to Name Gay Ambassador


The Advocate has learned that President Barack Obama intends to nominate David Huebner as the ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, according to an Administration official.

Huebner is a partner in the Shanghai law office of Sheppard Mullin Richter and Hampton and heads the firm's International Disputes practice and its China practice. He has also served as a mediator and arbitrator and specializes in dispute resolution.

Huebner co-chaired the board of directors of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in 1997 and has served as legal counsel for the organization for a number of years. He has also taught international business and intellectual property classes at the University of Southern California's Gould School of Law.

Huebner graduated from Yale Law School and received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University.

Huebner is the first openly gay person to be nominated to an ambassadorship in the Obama administration. If confirmed, he will become the third gay man to hold such a post. James Hormel served as U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg during the Clinton administration, and Michael Guest was appointed by President George W. Bush as U.S. ambassador to Romania.

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