Matthew Winthrop Barzun (born October 23, 1970) is a former United
States Ambassador to the United Kingdom. He is a business executive
who is known for his work with
and for his volunteer
work on Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. He served as
U.S. Ambassador to
from 2009 to 2011. He was selected by
as National Finance Chair for the president's
2012 re-election campaign.
2 2008 Obama campaign
4 Personal life
5 Board memberships
7 External links
Barzun was born in New York City. He grew up in Lincoln,
Massachusetts, and received his A.B. in history and literature magna
cum laude from
Harvard College in 1993. In his testimony to the Senate
during his confirmation vetting, Barzun noted that he had served as a
summer intern to Massachusetts Senator
John Kerry in 1989. Prior to
attending university, he was a student at St. Paul's School, Concord,
New Hampshire. After graduating from Harvard College, he began working
with CNET Networks.
2008 Obama campaign
Barzun's small-dollar fundraisers were supporter-driven via online
event pages, and replicated throughout the country.
In The Audacity to Win, author and political strategist David Plouffe
describes Matthew Barzun's grassroots campaign idea as "citizen
fundraisers" that drove Obama's connection with supporters.
The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, chaired by Senator John
Kerry, approved Barzun's nomination as Ambassador to
Sweden during the
week of August 3, 2009, and the nomination was confirmed on August 7.
Barzun was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of
August 12, 2009, and presented his credentials to King Carl XVI Gustaf
on August 21, 2009. Barzun prioritized outreach and personal
engagement, launching the U.S. Embassy Road Show that brings embassy
personnel, resources, and exhibits out of Stockholm to smaller cities
and towns. In partnership with the Swedish government, he also
created the Swedish American Green Alliance where Swedes and Americans
share news and ideas toward a clean energy future.
President Obama nominated Barzun to be the
United States Ambassador to
the United Kingdom in 2013. The Senate confirmed him by
unanimous consent on August 1, 2013. He presented his credentials to
Elizabeth II on November 27, 2013. Barzun set up the Young
Leaders UK (YLUK) programme whilst in office, which allowed him to
communicate and speak with young people from across the United
Kingdom. YLUK met with President Obama during his visit to the UK in
2016. Barzun was selected by the U.S. Department of State as the
winner of the 2016 Sue M. Cobb Award for Exemplary Diplomatic Service
for "his passion and commitment during his tenure in London by
promoting American values and ideals, and his dedication to developing
the next generation of career Foreign Service Officers."
In January 2017, Barzun announced that he was to leave as Ambassador
Donald Trump took office. Barzun left the UK on 18 January
2017, moving back to Kentucky. The then Deputy Chief of Mission, Lewis
Lukens, then succeeded Barzun as
Chargé d'affaires pending the
appointment of a new ambassador. Upon his return to the United
States, he received the Marshall Medal from the Marshall Aid
Commemoration Commission created by the British Parliament for his
dedication to strengthening U.S. and British relations.
Matthew Barzun is a descendant of Lucretia Mott, a proponent of
women's rights, and John Winthrop, founder of the Massachusetts Bay
Colony and the city of Boston. His grandfather was the renowned
French-born American cultural historian and former Columbia University
professor, Jacques Barzun. He is the second of four children. His
younger sister is film producer Lucy Barzun Donnelly, Emmy and Golden
Globe winner for her work producing Grey Gardens for HBO.
His younger brother, Charles Barzun, is a tenured professor of law at
the University of Virginia. His eldest sister, Mariana Barzun Mensch,
is director of parent giving and assistant campaign director at Vassar
College. He has stated that his favourite band is The National,
and that he has a dislike for the traditional British meal of lamb and
potatoes, which was served to him 180 times in his first year as
ambassador to the United Kingdom.
Barzun is married (since 1999) to Brooke Brown Barzun, heiress of the
Brown-Forman Corporation distilling empire, which includes the brands
Jack Daniel's and Woodford Reserve. They live in Louisville, Kentucky,
Brooke's hometown. They have three children.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Matthew Barzun.
Center for Interfaith Relations
Louisville Public Media
Louisville Free Public Library Foundation
Louisville Urban League
Member, Prichard Committee
Greater Louisville Project
^ a b "Biography of Ambassador Matthew W. Barzun". U.S. Embassy &
Consulates in the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 23
November 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
^ Gerth, Joseph "Innovator aided march to presidency" Louisville
Courier-Journal December 28, 2008
^ "How Obama did it". TIME. 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
^ Johnson, Glen (2011-04-29). "Mass. native to oversee Obama's
fund-raising effort - Political Intelligence - A national political
and campaign blog from The
Boston Globe". Boston.com. Retrieved
^ Bewig, Matt (27 October 2013). "Ambassador to the United Kingdom:
Who Is Matthew Barzun?". AllGov. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
Matthew Barzun '88 is Form of 2017 Baccalaureate
speaker". St Paul's School. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
^ "Matthew W. Barzun". US Department of State. Archived from the
original on January 16, 2017.
^ Plouffe, David (2009). The Audacity to Win. New York: Viking Adult.
^  Archived August 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
^ Carlbom, Mats. "En pannkaksvändare på Sverigeturné". Dagens
Nyheter. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
^ Swedish American Green Alliance blog http://sagastory.blogspot.com
^ "Matthew Barzun, Obama Fundraiser, Tapped As Ambassador To Britain".
Huffington Post. July 9, 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
^ "Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate". 10 July 2013.
^ "Biography of Ambassador Matthew W. Barzun". U.S. Embassy &
Consulates in the United Kingdom. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
^ "Young Leaders UK (YLUK)". U.S. Embassy & Consulates in the
United Kingdom. 2015-06-16. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
^ Hahn, Michael (January 2017). "Extraordinary performances hailed and
honored" (PDF). State Magazine.
^ Sands, Sarah (18 January 2016). "US Ambassador Matthew Barzun: I'd
love Michelle Obama to be the next President". London Evening
Standard. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
^ "Former US ambassador, Louisville resident honored at Harvard". The
Courier-Journal. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
^ "Dagens Nyheter chat with public as newly appointed Ambassador to
Sweden". Dn.se. 2009-08-24. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
^ a b "New U.S. Ambassador
Matthew Barzun Arrives". 23 August 2013.
Archived from the original on 19 November 2013. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude". 13 July 2014.
^ "Is the UK unusually fond of lamb and potatoes?". BBC News.
September 2, 2014. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
Appearances on C-SPAN
United States Ambassador to Sweden
United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
Ambassadors of the
United States of America to the Court of St.
Ministers Plenipotentiary to
the Court of St. James's
John Adams (1785–1788)
Thomas Pinckney (1792–1796)
Rufus King (1796–1803)
James Monroe (1803–1807)
William Pinkney (1808–1811)
Jonathan Russell (chargé d'affaires) (1811–1812)
Envoys Extraordinary and
Ministers Plenipotentiary to
the Court of St. James's
John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams (1815–1817)
Richard Rush (1818–1825)
Rufus King (1825–1826)
Albert Gallatin (1826–1827)
James Barbour (1828–1829)
Louis McLane (1829–1831)
Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren (1831–1832)
Aaron Vail (chargé d'affaires) (1832–1836)
Andrew Stevenson (1836–1841)
Edward Everett (1841–1845)
Louis McLane (1845–1846)
George Bancroft (1846–1849)
Abbott Lawrence (1849–1852)
Joseph R. Ingersoll (1852–1853)
James Buchanan (1853–1856)
George M. Dallas
George M. Dallas (1856–1861)
Charles Adams Sr. (1861–1868)
Reverdy Johnson (1868–1869)
John Lothrop Motley
John Lothrop Motley (1869–1870)
Robert C. Schenck
Robert C. Schenck (1871–1876)
Edwards Pierrepont (1876–1877)
John Welsh (1877–1879)
James Russell Lowell
James Russell Lowell (1880–1885)
Edward J. Phelps (1885–1889)
Robert Todd Lincoln
Robert Todd Lincoln (1889–1893)
and Plenipotentiary to
the Court of St. James's
Thomas F. Bayard
Thomas F. Bayard Sr. (1893–1897)
John Hay (1897–1898)
Joseph Choate (1899–1905)
Whitelaw Reid (1905–1912)
Walter Page (1913-1918)
John W. Davis
John W. Davis (1918–1921)
George Harvey (1921–1923)
Frank B. Kellogg
Frank B. Kellogg (1924–1925)
Alanson B. Houghton
Alanson B. Houghton (1925–1929)
Charles G. Dawes
Charles G. Dawes (1929–1931)
Andrew W. Mellon
Andrew W. Mellon (1932–1933)
Robert Bingham (1933–1937)
Joseph P. Kennedy (1938–1940)
John G. Winant (1941–1946)
W. Averell Harriman
W. Averell Harriman (1946)
Lewis W. Douglas (1947–1950)
Walter S. Gifford (1950–1953)
Winthrop W. Aldrich
Winthrop W. Aldrich (1953–1957)
John Hay Whitney (1957–1961)
David K. E. Bruce (1961–1969)
Walter H. Annenberg (1969–1974)
Elliot L. Richardson (1975–1976)
Anne Armstrong (1976–1977)
Kingman Brewster Jr. (1977–1981)
John J. Louis Jr. (1981–1983)
Charles H. Price II
Charles H. Price II (1983–1989)
Henry E. Catto Jr. (1989–1991)
Raymond G. H. Seitz (1991–1994)
William J. Crowe
William J. Crowe (1994–1997)
Philip Lader (1997–2001)
William Stamps Farish III
William Stamps Farish III (2001–2004)
Robert H. Tuttle
Robert H. Tuttle (2005–2009)
Louis Susman (2009–2013)
Matthew Barzun (2013–2017)