Courtney O’Donnell, VP adviser and former Jill Biden aide, nominated for UNESCO ambassadorship

 September 6, 2023

A current adviser in the vice president's office and former adviser for first lady Jill Biden was just rewarded with a plum United Nations agency assignment located in Paris, France.

According to Breitbart, Courtney Diesel O’Donnell, who holds the title of senior adviser in Vice President Kamala Harris’ office and acting chief of staff for Harris’ husband, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, was nominated by the president for the posting.

The posting is the U.S. permanent representative to the Paris-based UNESCO, with the rank of ambassador. There hasn't been such a posting available for over five years, as former President Donald Trump exited the United States from UNESCO in 2017.

Trump cited anti-Israel bias as a reason for the U.S. pulling out of the organization.

Breitbart noted:

The first lady attended a ceremony in late July at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, where the U.S. flag was raised to mark Washington’s official reentry into the U.N. agency after the absence initiated by Trump but now restored by Biden.

Under the Biden administration, the U.S. rejoined UNESCO, but only after paying back dues of $619 million and a promise from Biden to fund 22% of the organization's future budget.

Biden also pledged to fund several Africa-specific programs in the United States' bid to reenter the UNESCO club.

"I am encouraged and grateful that UNESCO members have accepted the U.S. proposal," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at the time.

For her part, O'Donnell, who also served as communications director for Jill Biden, when she was second lady during Joe Biden’s vice presidency, will need to be confirmed by the Senate. A date for her confirmation hasn't been set.

The Associated Press noted:

She has extensive experience in developing global partnerships, public affairs and strategic communications, having held senior roles in two presidential administrations, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, national political campaigns and the private sector, according to her official bio.

A formal announcement regarding O'Donnell's nomination, as of this writing, hasn't been made.

"This is a fantastic pick and she will do a fantastic job at UNESCO," said former White House chief of staff Ron Klain.

Former colleague Cathy Russell said, "Everyone who knows Courtney knows she is committed to the value of global engagement and strengthening American leadership around the world."