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The chairman of Mapleton Investments in Beverly Hills has been tapped by President Joe Biden to become the county’s next ambassador to Norway, pending a confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
The White House announced on Oct. 29 that Marc Nathanson, one of the county’s “leading communications entrepreneurs,” will be its nominee to become the U.S. ambassador to the Kingdom of Norway.
“I’m excited,” he said. “It’s been a long-time dream of mine to be an ambassador for the United States.”
If confirmed, Nathanson hopes to continue building upon the exceptional relations the two countries have maintained since the American Revolution.
“I would try to be a valued partner with Norway, sharing our democratic values and common interests around the world,” he added. “We’re both members of NATO, and I’m committed to continuing to strengthen this close relationship between our two governments.”
Norway has been a valuable NATO ally in international “feuds” throughout U.S. history, most recently in Afghanistan and Iraq, Nathanson said. Norway is also one of the biggest promoters of democracy around the globe and “very interested” in environmental issues, he said.
Nathanson learned of the nomination via a call from the White House on June 17. He said he couldn’t discuss the details of the nomination, but he had to fill out multiple forms and undergo “all this dialogue and security clearance and so forth.”
The confirmation process can be months long, and Nathanson will be using that time to do a lot of reading and receive briefings.
“I have briefing calls with the State Department, and they will advise me,” he said. “Obviously, they’re working on a lot of other ambassadors, trying to get these ambassadors in place to help Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken carry on American foreign policy.”
The Mapleton chairman has plenty of experience in international affairs. Nathanson has served on the board of governors of the East-West Center, an organization based in Honolulu that aims to improve relations between the U.S., Asia and the Pacific. Nathanson is also vice chairman of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the immediate past co-chair of the Pacific Council on International Policy.
Further, he serves as a trustee of the Aspen Institute, an education and policy studies organization, and is a member of the think tank Council on Foreign Relations.
“This is something I’m very interested in, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Nathanson added. “I look forward to serving our country.”
On a more local level, Nathanson said he hopes to further promote Southern California’s film, TV and music industries in Norway. He noted that the new James Bond movie – “No Time to Die” – was partially shot in the country.
“I think there’s great potential, because Norway has beautiful, beautiful scenery in particular,” Nathanson added.
He said he has visited the country, having done research there while seeking his master’s degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Nathanson also wrote his senior thesis at the University of Denver on the experiences of Norwegian Jews during World War II.
“It is a wonderful country that works. It is a country that has a very high standard of living. It has a very good educational system, a good medical system. I think there’s a lot to learn from Norway, and I think there’s a lot Norway can learn from the United States.”
According to U.S. Embassy in Oslo, the two countries have been close-knit since the American Revolution, which had a “profound impact” on Norway and influenced the creation of its constitution. Between 1825 and 1940, more than 850,000 Norwegians emigrated to the U.S. In 1999, President Bill Clinton became the first U.S. president to visit Norway while in office.
If confirmed, Nathanson will move to Oslo with his wife, Jane, a psychotherapist who founded the UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center.
The Westwood resident founded Falcon Cable TV in 1975 and became the vice chairman of Charter Communications in 1999. In addition to serving as chairman of Mapleton Investments, a real estate holding company, he is the chairman emeritus for Falcon Water Technologies.
*A previous version of this story misidentified Nathanson’s wife, Jane. The story has been updated.
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