Ambassador to Bahamas: Who is Nicole Avant?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Having mingled with politicians and celebrities her entire life, Nicole A. Avant made herself into one of the most powerful fundraisers in Los Angeles. And after helping President Barack Obama rake in millions of dollars from Southern California’s wealthy, Avant is now set to begin an extended vacation known as the U.S. ambassadorship to the Bahamas.

Born on March 6, 1968, Avant is the daughter of Clarence and Jacqueline Avant. Her father is a recording industry mogul who once ran Motown Records and served on the board of PolyGram, and who has been a big player himself in Democratic politics for almost 40 years.
Avant’s Beverly Hills childhood included seeing the likes of Jerry Brown, Jimmy Carter, and Tom Bradley press the flesh at gatherings hosted by her parents in the 1970s. Gray Davis, who went on to serve as governor of California, once had a small office in Interior Music and Avant Garde Music, the company founded by Avant’s father. Her parents eventually became close personal friends of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Avant eventually took over managing her father’s music publishing company, while also dabbling in acting. She has appeared in the television shows JAG, The Bernie Mac Show, and Moesha, and also had a small part in the films First Daughter and Wag the Dog. On January 1, 2008, Avant was the maid of honor at the non-legal marriage of Eddie Murphy and Tracey Edmonds.
Along with other African American entertainment industry executives, Avant helped establish a political group, the Culture Cabinet, and she was a key fundraiser for Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr.’s unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate in 2006. She’s also raised money for Al Gore and served on the board of The Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program.
Despite her parents’ close relationship with the Clintons, Avant chose to support Obama in 2007, becoming one of the campaign’s Southern California finance chairs. She went on to be one of Obama’s top bundlers, raising at least $500,000, according to
Avant is engaged to Ted Sarandos, the chief of content acquisition for Netflix and the head of the company’s Beverly Hills office.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
A Daughter Follows Her Own Heart (by Tina Daunt, Los Angeles Times)
Bahamas (AllGov)


Sarah 12 years ago
bad ambassaor

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