James Costos, an executive with HBO, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to Spain.
Costos currently serves as HBO's vice president of global licensing and retail, consumer marketing. He has been a prominent face in the political spectrum for some time now, as he helped raise at least $500,000 for Obama's 2012 reelection campaign and hosted First Lady Michelle Obama at his home in 2011.
Additionally, his partner, designer Michael Smith, was selected by the first lady to help redecorate the residential quarters of the White House and also the Oval Office.
Chad Griffin, Human Rights Campaign president, praised the move by Obama, saying that Costos was a “true citizen of the world," had “incredible global business experience” and had a “commitment to community, philanthropy, human rights and democracy.”
In addition to Costos, Obama has also nominated John Emerson, of Capital Group Private Client Services, for ambassador to Germany, and Rufus Gifford, a California fundraising consultant who worked on his reelection campaign, as ambassador to Denmark.
The next step in this process is confirmation in the Senate.
The Spanish press corps has been talking about Costos' rumored nomination for some time, with some being critical as he does not have a background in diplomacy.
Spain has been criticized for its lackluster effort in combating piracy, so maybe his nomination has something to do with that.
Entertainment industry figures serving as ambassadors is nothing new. The current ambassador to France, Charles Rivkin, used to serve as CEO at the Jim Henson Company.