Senate confirms Sean Patrick Maloney as ambassador to OECD

Sean Patrick Maloney will be the next US Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Sean Patrick Maloney will be the next US Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
US Congress

Former Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, New York’s first out gay member of Congress, was confirmed by the US Senate on March 12 as the US ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The Senate voted 63-31 to confirm Maloney to the ambassador-level post at the OECD, which is an intergovernmental organization made up of 37 democracies — mostly in the west — committed to fostering economic progress and world trade. Former Delaware Governor Jack Markell most recently served as US ambassador to the OECD before becoming US Ambassador to Italy and San Marino.

Maloney’s confirmation comes less than a year after he was nominated to the post by President Joe Biden. In 2022, Maloney lost his Congressional race to Republican Mike Lawler, who now represents the 17th Congressional District. Maloney, a Democrat, represented the 18th District for a decade, but when it became time for redistricting, he opted to run in the 17th District, effectively squeezing out the incumbent, Mondaire Jones, who made history in 2020 when he became the first out gay Black person elected to Congress.

Maloney, 57, breezed through the final confirmation vote on March 12, but not before he faced some resistance from members of his own party. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts raised concerns last month about Maloney’s role as an advisor of Coinbase, a US crypto exchange, but she wound up supporting him after he vowed to resign from private advisory work and recuse himeslf from OECD decisions related to crypto and digital assets policy, according to Politico. Maloney also told Warren he would avoid employment, board roles, or compensation from crypto companies for four years after leaving his post, Politico reported.

From 2021 to 2023, Maloney was the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is the House Democrats’ campaign arm. He briefly served as the White House staff secretary under President Bill Clinton from September of 1999 until January of 2000. Maloney also worked under Governors Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson.

Maloney mounted two unsuccessful campaigns for the Democratic nomination for attorney general in New York State, losing to Andrew Cuomo in 2006 and Letitia James in 2018.