Biden taps Nathalie Rayes for key international ambassadorship
Nathalie Rayes may soon glide to her next endeavor: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Croatia.
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President Joe Biden and the administration tackled the first week of May by releasing the nominees tapped for two key international ambassadorships and a board appointment for a foreign aid agency.
Nathalie Rayes, who helmed Latino Victory through several critical elections as its Chief Executive Officer, will undergo a congressional evaluation to determine her nomination as Ambassador Extraordinary or Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Croatia.
“I am deeply honored to be nominated as Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia, and I thank President Biden for the opportunity to serve my country. If confirmed, I will work to further strengthen our important relationship with the people and the government of Croatia,” Rayes wrote in response to her nomination.
Other neighboring nominations include Edgard D. Kagan, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Malaysia, and Steven L. Swig, Nominee for Member of the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
She’ll succeed acting ambassador Victoria Taylor, a government foreign affairs staffer temporarily appointed to replace Robert Kohorst, an attorney and businessman appointed by former president Donald Trump.
If confirmed, Rayes will represent U.S. interests in Croatia as its highest-ranking diplomat overseas, poised to become the first Latina to assume an ambassadorship in the Republic of Croatia.
“Nathalie Rayes has had a distinguished career in public service as a leader, consensus builder, and advocate,” a press release wrote of Rayes when announcing her nomination.
Rayes joined Latino Victory in 2020 and has since used its political reach to advance the interests of Latinos within political spaces, starting with endorsing candidates with robust track records of supporting their respective communities across multiple levels of government.
Latino Victory — under Rayes’ vision — led country-wide operations to increase Latino participation in local races by elevating their endorsed slate, and leveraging Latino Victory Fund, its political advocacy arm, and a fiercely Democratic operation, to push new candidates amid crowded fields.
In 2022, Latino Victory ushered a limited series in partnership with FIERCE by mitú “to remind [Latinas] that their vote is power and can determine the direction of this nation” in an effort to drive an awareness campaign striving to target Latina voters.
Some of its work traced back to Pennsylvania, a battleground state where it endorsed Shamaine Daniels, who unsuccessfully ran against Republican incumbent Scott Perry.
In Philadelphia, Latino Victory endorsed Maria Quiñones Sánchez before the city learned that she would discontinue her mayoral campaign.
Beyond election cycles, Latino Victory spearheaded campaigns to increase voter participation, using digital strategies to reach voters in battleground states. It’s one of the few organizations to release bilingual, nonpartisan voting information for voters.
Recently, Latino Victory Fund urged the Democratic National Committee to strongly consider amending the primary agenda and prioritize South Carolina in lieu of Iowa, challenging the status quo politics, according to a letter sent with AAPI Victory Fund in February.
The DNC adopted the new calendar and will begin primary proceedings in South Carolina.
Before her work with Latino Victory, Rayes boasts a strong resume as a public servant, having served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn. She managed the Office of Intergovernmental Relations, International Trade, and Protocol and established Los Angeles’s first Office of Immigrant Affairs.
Presently, she sits on the Board of the United States Institute of Peace as chair, a position likewise appointed by Biden.