Joe Biden has tapped Jane Hartley, a Democratic fundraiser and former ambassador to France, as the US envoy to the UK, according to people familiar with the matter.
Hartley’s selection comes after weeks of uncertainty over Biden’s intentions with regard to the post. Mike Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor; Colin Powell, the former secretary of state; and Ted Kaufman, the former Delaware senator and his longtime friend, have all been considered candidates.
According to one person familiar with the choice, Hartley was tapped because of her performance and experience as US ambassador to France during Barack Obama’s second term in office.
When she arrived in Paris the Franco-American agenda was expected to be driven by economic issues, but co-operation in the fight against terrorism quickly took over after the attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January 2015 and the Bataclan concert hall and other sites across Paris later that year.
If confirmed by the Senate, Hartley will be charged with managing US-UK relations at a pivotal moment, with Biden and Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, trying to cement a strong relationship despite differences over Britain’s exit from the EU.
Biden visited the UK during his first foreign trip as president last month. He participated in the G7 summit in Cornwall, held a bilateral meeting with Johnson, and visited Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle.
The White House declined to comment on Hartley’s nomination, which was first reported by The Washington Post.
The US president has in recent weeks made a number of formal nominations to top diplomatic positions, tapping a mix of career foreign service officers, prominent donors and politicians from both parties.
Some recent picks include Jeff Flake, the former Arizona Republican senator, to be US ambassador to Turkey, and Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, to be US ambassador to India.
In Europe, Biden has picked Denise Campbell Bauer, a prominent Democratic fundraiser and Obama’s envoy to Belgium, as ambassador to France, and tapped Amy Gutmann, the president of the University of Pennsylvania, for Germany.
Hartley served as a Carter administration official in the 1970s, then pursued a lengthy career in the private sector, including work for broadcasting companies and leading two international economic policy consultancies — the Observatory Group and the G7 Group.
She was a top fundraiser for Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. She also donated to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, although she played a smaller fundraising role.
In recent years, Hartley has served on the board of trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the visiting committee of the Harvard school of government, and the board of trustees at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
She is married to Ralph Schlosstein, co-chief executive officer of Evercore, the investment bank and advisory firm.