Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour tipped as next US envoy to Britain

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 December, 2012, 5:01am


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US President Barack Obama is considering nominating Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, as his next ambassador to either Britain or France as he looks to reward his biggest fundraisers with embassies never out of fashion, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Wintour, 63, may have some competition for the London posting. The sources said that Matthew Barzun, finance chairman of Obama's presidential campaign, was also interested in the job - officially known as ambassador to the Court of St James'.

Both Wintour and Barzun were among Obama's biggest bundlers of donations in the campaign, with each raising more than US$500,000 to help re-elect the president. Marc Lasry, the managing partner and founder of Avenue Capital Management, also wanted the Paris embassy, the people said.

The current US envoy to Britain, Louis Susman, was a Chicago-based investment banker and bundler for Obama's campaign in 2008 before becoming ambassador. Like Obama's other political ambassadorial appointees - Pittsburgh Steelers football-team owner Dan Rooney, who is serving in Ireland, and Charles Rivkin, the former chief executive of Muppets creator Jim Henson Company, who is posted in France - Susman was not expected to stay for a second term.

Wintour, born in Britain and now a US citizen, was among Obama's top 10 fundraisers, two of the people said. She co-hosted a US$40,000-a-plate event in June at the home of actress Sarah Jessica Parker. Then in August, she hosted a dinner that cost US$35,800 per person at the home of movie executive Harvey Weinstein.

Megan Salt, a spokeswoman for Vogue, said Wintour was not interested in a diplomatic post. "She's very happy with her current job," Salt said.