Ambassador to Luxembourg: Who is Robert Mandell?

Saturday, August 06, 2011
On June 28, President Barack Obama announced his intention to replace one top donor with another in making his latest pick for ambassador to Luxembourg: Florida real estate developer Robert A. Mandell.
 
Obama first went with Cynthia Stroum, a Seattle investor and Obama bundler who resigned in February after a State Department report found Stroum had turned the U.S. embassy in Luxembourg into “a state of dysfunction.” Words like “bullying,” “hostile,” and “intimidating” were used to describe Stroum by Foreign Service officers serving under her.
 
Mandell is a native of Florida who earned his college and law degrees from the University of Florida. He also took part in the Owner Management Program at Harvard Business School.
 
A developer by profession, with no prior diplomatic experience, Mandell served as chairman and CEO of The Greater Construction Corp. from 1998 until 2005. He purchased his father’s business, Greater Homes, in 2005 and turned it into Greater Properties, Inc., a mall development company. He also operates Meritage Homes of Central Florida, which has built more than 20 residential communities in Orlando, St. Cloud and Winter Garden.
 
Mandell has served on the board of directors of Florida Hospital, the Burnham Institute for Medical Research of La Jolla, California, and the Vermont Studio Center. He also has served on the Audit and Finance Committee of the Adventist Health System and as trustee for the OK Corrall Ranch, Colorado,
 
He has been a member of the Orange County Chairman’s Transportation Commission and the Orange County Public Schools’ Blue Ribbon Panel on Education. 
 
In 2010, Obama appointed Mandell to the President’s Export Council, a White House group that advises on matters of international trade.
 
During the 2008 presidential campaign, he donated more than $30,000 to Obama’s presidential campaign. Mandell also donated $50,000 to Obama’s inauguration committee. In addition, he has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates since 1992.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
 

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