A Baltimore native and former co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers was sworn in as the U.S. ambassador to France and Monaco on Monday, a White House official said.
Jamie McCourt, whose father founded the Baltimore-based appliance and electronics chain Luskin's, will head to Paris as U.S.-French relations have been jumbled by the divergent world views embraced by Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron.
The swearing in took place in the Oval Office but was closed to reporters. The Los Angeles Times reported that Trump was present and that Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath. McCourt was confirmed by the Senate last month.
A businesswoman and attorney, McCourt emerged last year as a Trump supporter, donating more than $400,000 to his campaign. She was among 100 business leaders who signed a letter in October stating that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had “thrown in the towel on the idea of strong economic growth.”
The 64-year-old Californian will have to navigate between Trump’s “America First” approach to foreign policy and Macron’s globalist perspective.
McCourt is the daughter of Jack Luskin, who in 1948 started a Baltimore-based appliance and electronics chain that became a household name in part because of the slogan he used to describe himself: “The Cheapest Guy in Town.” The business went bankrupt in 1997 and McCourt’s brothers — Kevin and Cary Luskin — opened the Big Screen Store chain in its place.
After graduating from Pikesville High School, McCourt studied French at Georgetown. It was there that she met her husband, Frank McCourt. The two returned to his native Boston and made a fortune in real estate, part of which they used to buy the Dodgers in 2004.
McCourt was fired by her husband as part of a bitter and public divorce that led to a lawsuit over the team’s ownership. Major League Baseball ultimately seized control of the Dodgers in 2011 and resold the team.