N.J. businessman tapped to be ambassador here

President Barack Obama has put forward the name of a New Jersey businessman as the next ambassador to Costa Rica.

The man, Stafford Fitzgerald Haney, is an unusual mixture of race, religion and culture. Haney, who is married to a rabbi, has served on a number of non-profit and community boards such as the Foundation of Jewish Culture: Ayecha, a resource organization for Jews of color and as an appointed member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, said the U.S. Embassy here. He was educated at a Jesuit university.

He also is unusual in that he has had Latin American experience and speaks Spanish, as well as Portuguese, Hebrew and conversational French, according to the embassy summary.

Like all recent ambassadors, Haney and his wife, Andrea Dobrick Haney, are heavy contributors to political causes, in this case Democratic.

The embassy said Haney is now a principal and director of business development and client service at Pzena Investment Management, in New York City, a position he has held since 2007. On its Web site, the firm said it has a diverse, global client base of respected and sophisticated institutional investors, high net worth individuals and select third-party distributed mutual funds for which it acts as sub-investment adviser.

The embassy statement also said that:

Haney served as senior vice president of ethnic consumer products at International Discount Telecommunications in Newark, New Jersey, from 2006 to 2007, director of strategic planning at Depository Trust and Clearing Corp. in New York City from 2002 to 2006, senior associate at Israel Seed Partners in Jerusalem from 1999 to 2001 and vice president of marketing and  strategic planning at Citibank in Mexico City

and Monterrey, Mexico, from 1997 to 1999.  He held various positions with PepsiCo Restaurants International from 1993 to 1997, including marketing director in Sao Paulo, Brazil, senior marketing manager for Mexico and Central America in Mexico City, Mexico, and marketing manager in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  He was also assistant brand manager at Procter & Gamble Co. in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and served as an appointed member of the City of Englewood Planning Board and Board of Adjustment in that  New Jersey community.

Rabbi Haney was graduated by Brandeis University. She was ordained in 2002. The couple have four children, the embassy said

Ambassador designate Stafford Fitzgerald Haney


Ambassadors must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, which usually is considered a given unless a senator objects strongly or prejudicial information surfaces. Haney, if confirmed, will become the country’s 58th U.S. ambassador.

The last U.S. ambassador, Anne Slaughter Andrew, is a lawyer and married to the former chairman of the Democratic National committee. She resigned last year. The embassy currently is under the control of the chargé d’affaires, Gonzalo Gallegos.

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