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Biden administration nominates Tulane Law alumnae for ambassadorships

July 22, 2021 10:15 AM

Victoria Reggie Kennedy (NC'76, L'79), left, and Jamie L. Harpootlian (L'84) are nominated for ambassardorships in Austria and Slovenia, respectively.


Two distinguished Tulane Law alumnae have been nominated by President Biden for ambassadorships overseas, the White House announced.

Vicky Reggie Kennedy (NC ’76, L’79), senior counsel at Greenberg, Traurig, was nominated as Ambassador to Austria while Jamie L. Harpootlian (L’84), an attorney with the firm of Richard A. Harpootlian in Columbia, S.C., has been nominated as Ambassador to Slovenia.

The announcement of two Tulanian nominees to foreign policy posts came late Wednesday and included two others, John R. Bass, who was nominated for Under Secretary of State (Management) and David L. Cohen, nominee as ambassador to Canada.

“We are enormously proud that two of our distinguished alumnae have been nominated for these key diplomatic posts,” said law Dean David Meyer. “At a time when diplomacy has never been more important, their long records of forging common cause for the public good make them exceptionally qualified to represent the United States abroad.”

Kennedy is a dedicated Tulanian who serves on the law Dean’s Advisory Board and has devoted her life to public service fighting gun violence and promoting civic education and engagement.  She is the president of the board and co-founder of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, a non-partisan non-profit honoring her late husband that educates the public about the Senate and inspires civic engagement and bi-partisanship. She also is a founder and past president of Common Sense About Kids and Guns, an advocacy group that aims to reduce child gun deaths.

Kennedy at Tulane's scholarship brunch.

She is the recipient of eight honorary degrees and civic awards and chairs the Education Committee of the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. and is on the Board of other non-profit and civic organizations.

While at Tulane Law, Kennedy was a member of the Tulane Law Review and graduated summa cum laude in 1979. In recent years, she spoke to Tulane Law graduates as commencement speaker and gave the keynote at the 2017 Tulane Celebration of Scholarship, an event where students meet the donors who established their scholarships. With other members of her family, she has endowed a scholarship at Tulane Law honoring her late father, Judge Edmund M. Reggie, a legendary Louisiana political figure, a 1949 Tulane Law graduate, and himself a devoted Tulanian.

Harpootlian’s practice centers on federal litigation; she has served as a court-appointed Special Master to facilitate case resolution in complex, mass disaster class actions. The Department of Justice appointed Harpootlian to serve as a Hearing Officer for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 on behalf of the Special Master Kenneth Feinberg.

Prior to her appointments, Harpootlian served 17 years as a career judicial law clerk in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, New Orleans, where she provided legal advice to the Court to assist in making decisions in civil and criminal actions. She is a leader and patron of non-profit groups supporting the environment, the arts, and historic resources.  Harpootlian earned a B.A. in Political Science and Art History from Mary Baldwin University in Virginia in 1981 and her JD from Tulane Law School.