Mark D. Gilbert.

Mark D. Gilbert.

Today the White House announced the nomination of Mark David Gilbert of Palm Beach, Florida to be the next American Ambassador to New Zealand and to the Independent State of Samoa. The nomination will now go to the U.S. Senate for consideration. If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Gilbert would become the 22nd American Ambassador posted in Wellington.

Mr. Gilbert has worked for many years in the investment banking sector and is currently director of Barclays Bank in Palm Beach. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, he earned a degree in finance from Florida State University in Tallahassee. He has been involved in a variety of charitable and fundraising activities, and currently serves on the Sundance Institute’s Utah Advisory Board.

My research reveals that Mr. Gilbert would be the first Major League Baseball player ever to sit in the chair I now occupy. He was drafted out of college by the Chicago Cubs and played for several years on teams affiliated with the Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, and Chicago White Sox. His Major League debut was in 1985 as a pinch hitter with the White Sox. While in the minor leagues, he was honored as the Cincinnati Reds (Indianapolis) AAA Rookie of the Year, and as Chicago Cubs (Quad Cities) Player of the Month, which netted him his own Topps Baseball Card.

I have spoken with Mr. Gilbert on a several occasions, and I look forward to tracking his confirmation process. If confirmed, he would be joined in Wellington by this wife, Nancy. The couple has two adult daughters, Danielle and Elizabeth.

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