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Name: Katz, Allan
Current Position: Previous Ambassador


Despite lobbying from the Portuguese-American community to choose someone else, President Barack Obama went with a key campaign fundraiser and organizer for the post of U.S. ambassador to Portugal. Allan J. Katz, a lawyer and lobbyist who helped run Obama’s Florida campaign, was selected instead of Massachusetts State Senator Marc Pacheco, for whom numerous Portuguese organizations and U.S. legislators reportedly lobbied. Katz was confirmed by the Senate in March 2010 and presented his credentials in Portugal on April 28, 2010.
Katz attended college at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, receiving a bachelor’s degree. He then earned a law degree at American University.
In the 1970s Katz began his career working in Congress, serving first as a legislative assistant to Representative Bill Gunter (D-Florida). He later worked as legislative director for Representative David Obey (D-Wisconsin), before serving as general counsel for the House Commission on Administrative Review.
Relocating to Florida, Katz went to work for the state’s Insurance Department as general counsel and then as assistant insurance commissioner.
He joined the firm of Katz, Kutter, Alderman & Bryant, P.A. in 1987 and eventually became a managing partner. He joined Akerman Senterfitt in 2004 when the two firms merged, making Akerman the largest law office in Florida. It has more than 500 lawyers and lobbyists nationwide, with offices in New York, Washington, DC, California, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada and Texas.
Katz was made head of the firm’s Government Affairs and Public Policy practice,
which grew significantly during his leadership.
While in Florida, Katz was appointed by the state’s chief financial officer, Alex Sink, to serve on the Citizens Insurance board. He also served as the head of the Joint Planning Board, which coordinates the distribution of funds to social service agencies on behalf of the city of Tallahassee, the county and the United Way. In addition, he was a city commissioner for Tallahassee for seven years, and helped found the Village Square, a bi-partisan community-based organization.
Katz was one of Obama’s key bundlers during the 2008 presidential campaign, pulling together at least $500,000 in contributions, according to He was a member of the National Finance Committee of Obama for America, and served on the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Drafting Committee for the 2008 convention.
Katz is married to Nancy Cohn and the couple has two sons, Ethan and Matthew.
President Obama Names Non-Portuguese Ambassador to Portugal (by Lurdes C. da Silva, GateHouse News Service)
Tallahassee Lawyer-Bundler Bound for Portugal (by David Ingram, Legal Times)
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