American tech billionaire may become US ambassador to the Czech Republic

Following a lengthy wait for the appointment of a U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic, venture capitalist Bijan Sabet may assume the post.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 01.07.2022 14:02:00 (updated on 01.07.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

The U.S. Embassy may finally have a new ambassador after a year and a half. The position has been vacant since Joe Biden took over as U.S. president.

American billionaire Bijan Sabet may take a new career path, switching from business to diplomacy. Known for multi-million dollar investment deals in tech companies, Sabet is now a candidate for the vacant post in Prague.

According to the news server Lidovky.cz, Sabet's approval for the post of ambassador to the Czech Republic is already being discussed.

President Joe Biden appoints ambassadors, with the consent of the Senate. Sabet, a member of the Democratic party, was reportedly a contributor to the president's campaign.

The Boston-based venture capitalist co-founded Spark Capital and invested in notable social media companies like Twitter and Tumblr. In 2017, he was ranked 89 on Forbes' list of Top Tech Investors.

The U.S. Embassy in Prague, located in Malá Strana, neither confirmed nor denied the nomination. "President Biden has not announced a candidate for the position of ambassador to the Czech Republic. The official announcement will come from the White House," Todd Jurkowski, deputy press attaché of the US Embassy in Prague, said.

Mike Dodman, the current highest-ranking U.S. diplomat in the Czech Republic, took over as chargé d’affaires at the end of March, following Jennifer Bachus who took over on Jan. 20.

The last U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic was Trump appointee Stephen King. He was appointed on Oct. 18, 2017, and presented his credentials to Czech President Miloš Zeman on Dec. 6, 2017. His term ended along with that of Trump on Jan, 20, 2021.

Although the nomination for the ambassador has taken a while, Czech-American relations are on the rise as trade exchange and military cooperation intensify. With a number of military modernization projects underway and the U.S. nuclear power firm Westinghouse aiming to win the tender for the completion of the nuclear power plant in Dukovany, the contracts are worth hundreds of billions of crowns.

It’s thought the American tardiness in appointing a new Czech ambassador is the result of domestic political problems. The U.S. Senate must approve new ambassadors, and Republican representatives have blocked long-term nominations. Nearly 40 new ambassadors were finally approved in December 2021, including to neighboring Poland. Prague was not included in that round of nominations.

 

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