Cohen’s selection was long expected. The senior adviser to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts backed Biden early in the presidential race, as he co-hosted the presidential candidate at his home for the campaign’s kickoff fundraiser in April, 2019.
Also tapped for an ambassadorship were Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of Edward Kennedy, who was nominated for a posting in Austria, and attorney Jamie Harpootlian, for a posting in Slovenia.
Before his current post, Cohen was senior executive vice president at Comcast, serving as a key D.C. spokesperson for Comcast as it lobbied and sought government approval for various mergers, including the company’s acquisition of NBC Universal and an effort to purchase Time Warner Cable, which was abandoned amid regulatory opposition. Cohen’s portfolio also included areas such as corporate communications, legal affairs, government and regulatory affairs and public affairs, and he served as the company’s first chief diversity officer. He previously was chief of staff to Ed Rendell when he was mayor of Philadelphia.
Earlier this month, Biden nominated Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to a posting in India.
The ambassadorial nominations are awaiting Senate confirmation.
Biden already has selected nominees for some of the most highly prized ambassadorial postings that have traditionally gone to campaign donors and supporters. Earlier this month, he nominated Denise Bauer, a former ambassador to Belgium, for a posting in France and Monoco, while a number of outlets reported that he will nominate Jane Hartley for the UK. Hartley is a former ambassador to France and a former cable and broadcast executive. Another prominent Los Angeles figure, physician and UCLA professor Cynthia Telles, was nominated to be ambassador to Costa Rica.
In a statement, Cohen said, “I am honored to be nominated as ambassador to Canada, and thank President Biden for the opportunity to serve my country and to represent him. If confirmed, I look forward to working with our neighbors in Canada, and continuing to develop and grow what is a very strong and important relationship as we continue to fight the pandemic and build our economies back stronger.”
Roberts said in a statement that “David’s dedication to public service is truly impressive, and a defining element of his long and distinguished career. I know if confirmed he will bring the same energy, passion, and commitment to representing the U.S. and President Biden as he continues to build a strong relationship between America and Canada.”