(Washington) US President Joe Biden has appointed David Cohen, the chief technology officer who once served as Philadelphia’s chief of staff, to be his ambassador to Canada.
Mr. Cohen, a lawyer, lobbyist and fundraiser who currently serves as a senior advisor to the president of US telecom giant Comcast, has long been a potential candidate.
In addition to a number of roles in various departments at Comcast, the White House biography indicates that Mr. Cohen also served as the company’s director of diversity.
But he’s no stranger to politics: In addition to being the company’s chief lobbyist, Cohen spent five years as chief of staff for Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell in the 1990s.
It also hosted the first fundraising event for Mr. Biden’s presidential campaign in 2020.
Mariscott Greenwood, president and CEO of the Canadian-American Business Council, said Senate approval for this appointment would not come soon enough for relations between the two countries.
In a press release, M . mentionedI Greenwood highlighted issues that need to be addressed, such as divergent travel restrictions between Canada and the United States as well as the “road map” that Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in February for closer bilateral relations, which, according to her, should be done with attention.
M said.I Greenwood.
Mr. Cohen’s appointment comes as the US Department of Homeland Security has extended ground travel restrictions at the Canada-US border by one month.
Many groups, including US lawmakers, are unhappy with the move, as Canada announced earlier this week that it will allow fully-immunized US citizens and permanent residents to return to the country from August 9.
David Cohen said in a statement that if the Senate endorses his appointment, he will seek to develop this “important relationship” as the two countries seek to recover from the pandemic.
Brett Bruen, a former US adviser and diplomat who served as an adviser to the White House under Barack Obama, criticized Biden’s choice.
“The relationship between the United States and Canada is one of the most important between us. It is disappointing to see someone with no diplomatic experience being sent to Ottawa to deal with them,” he wrote on Twitter.
Mr. Bruin also finds it “disheartening” for President Biden to continue to treat important national security positions as if they were a partisan appointment.
In other anticipated appointments, Biden also nominated Victoria Reggie Kennedy, a prominent Washington, D.C. attorney and widow of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, to be his envoy to Austria, and Jimmy Harbotlian for the position in Slovenia.