Meet Mark Gilbert, The New Ambassador to New Zealand


Mark Gilbert when he played for the Chicago White Sox

Former White Sox outfielder Mark Gilbert is believed to be the U.S’s only former major league player to have made it to the position of ambassador.

Gilbert is due to take up position in New Zealand in the near future and will replace outgoing incumbent David Huebner.

His former manager told USA Today he remembered Gilbert, saying

“I was always taken with his intelligence and how he was committed to what we were trying to teach — to become a teammate, a competitor and to pursue excellence as a professional.”

“You do that and get a proper foundation and out of the bottom, out drops your fame and fortune. I think he’s now raised his excellence to a new level,” he said.

It will remain to be seen if that excellence will be put to good use in New Zealand.

More recently Gilbert has been a banking executive at Barclays Wealth and was a supporter fundraiser for the Obama campaign in Florida, 2007.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told USA Today.

“Baseball is America’s pastime, so what better way to represent the United States overseas than with someone who, before he was a successful businessman, began his career as a major league baseball player?”

He should do well in a country that lives, breathes and bleeds Rugby union. At least he and John Key have one thing in common. Banking.

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3 thoughts on “Meet Mark Gilbert, The New Ambassador to New Zealand

  1. He is a good choice for New Zealand, with the sports and banking focus. The intelligence might be a problem, though.

  2. I suspect he owes his ambassadorship to fundraising for Obama. Handing out ambassadorships to insignificant countries is a common form of patronage in the US, irrespective of which party wins the White House.

    I suspect the fact that this aforementioned comment implies that New Zealand is an insignificant country in the eyes of the US will outrage Kiwis more than the openly corrupt process for dishing out US ambassadorships. After all, New Zealand has similarly corrupt ways of greasing the palms of political supporters despite pretending it is the apotheosis of transparency.

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