Former Virginia Lt. Governor Beyer nominated Ambassador to Switzerland
President Barack Obama announced that he has nominated former Virginia Lt. Governor Don Beyer as the Ambassador to the Switzerland and the principality of Lichtenstein. Unlike many Lt. Governors before and after him, Mr. Beyer was known for using the position as a platform to move an agenda. He was widely considered to be an “activist” Lt. Governor.
He served as Lt. Governor for two terms from 1990-1998, under governors Doug Wilder and George Allen. He lost a race for Governor in 1997 to Jim Gilmore.
Beyer was a very active participant in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and helped to raise a significant amount of money for the candidate.
In his private life, Beyer has become a successful businessman, running a group of Volvo dealerships in Northern Virginia. hence his connection to Switzerland. (Wisely pointed out by Shaun Kenney Volvo is a Swedish not a Swiss company, my mistake. )
When I spoke recently to Michael Signer, a Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor who lost to Jody Wagner, he evoked Beyer during our conversation. He said that he had hoped to model his tenure as Lt. Governor after Beyer’s example.
Beyer’s appointment will be subject to the approval of Congress.
The White House release, including their remarks about Beyer can be found after the jump:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 11, 2009
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts
WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key administration posts:
o Pamela J. H. Slutz, Ambassador to the Republic of Burundi
o Gordon Gray, Ambassador to the Republic of Tunisia
o Richard J. Schmierer, Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman
o Martha L. Campbell, Ambassador to the Republic of the Marshall Islands
o Alfonso E. Lenhardt , Ambassador to the United Republic of Tanzania
o Mark Gitenstein, Ambassador to Romania
o Howard W. Gutman, Ambassador to Belgium
o Don Beyer, Ambassador to Switzerland and the Principality of Lichtenstein
o Vinai Thummalapally, Ambassador to Belize
o John Nay, Ambassador to the Republic of Suriname
President Obama said, “Americans will be fortunate to have these distinguished men and women as their representatives abroad. Their talent, experience, and dedication will be invaluable as we continue to strengthen America’s partnerships around the world and confront the challenges of the 21st century. I am grateful for their service and look forward to working with each of them.”
Don Beyer, Ambassador to Switzerland and the Principality of Lichtenstein
Mr. Beyer was elected Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 1989 and served until 1998. In that capacity, he presided over the Virginia Senate, earning the reputation as the most activist President of the Senate in Virginia history. He chaired the Economic Recovery Commission, the Virginia Commission on Sexual Assault, the Virginia Commission on Disabilities, the Poverty Commission and was co-founder of the Northern Virginia Technology Council. Mr. Beyer has served on the Virginia Board of First Union National Bank and the board of Shenandoah Life Insurance Company. He is currently on the board of Lightly Expressed, a fiber optic lighting design and manufacturing firm. An experienced and successful businessman, he has grown his family’s chain of automobile dealerships and serves on the Volvo International Product Development team. Mr. Beyer is a member of the Northern Virginia Business Roundtable and the Northern Virginia High Tech Council, which he co-founded. He currently serves on the boards of Youth for Tomorrow, the Washington Community Foundation, and the Red Cross. Mr. Beyer graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Williams College, magna cum laude with Highest Honors in Economics in 1972.