Charles H. Rivkin was nominated by President Barack Obama to be Ambassador of the United States of America to France and Monaco on June 1, 2009. He was sworn into office by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on August 3, 2009, following unanimous confirmation of his nomination by the United States Senate.
Ambassador Rivkin is the youngest Ambassador in nearly 60 years to serve as his country’s senior representative in France. Embassy Paris is America’s first and one of its largest diplomatic missions, which now has seven constituent posts throughout France and represents over 50 federal agencies and departments.
Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Rivkin worked in the media sector for over 20 years where he served as President and CEO of award winning entertainment companies such as The Jim Henson Company and Wildbrain. His contribution to the television landscape has impacted generations of viewers and helped shape American popular culture. In 2009, Ambassador Rivkin was named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company.
A lifelong advocate of community service, Ambassador Rivkin has held leadership positions with Save the Children (1997-2003), Chrysalis-Changing Lives through Jobs (1996-2002), and the Young Presidents’ Organization (1996-2009). In addition, he has been actively involved in a number of organizations dedicated to addressing foreign policy and national security issues, including the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC). Ambassador Rivkin has been politically active in his community and was selected as a California Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in both 2004 and 2008.
Ambassador Rivkin spent his early childhood in Luxembourg, Senegal, and The Gambia where his father, William R. Rivkin, was the United States Ambassador under Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. In honor of his father, Ambassador Rivkin and his family have proudly presented the U.S. State Department’s annual “Rivkin Award,” since 1968 encouraging “intellectual courage and constructive dissent” among officers in the American Foreign Service.
As a student, Ambassador Rivkin had the opportunity to intern with French automobile manufacturer Renault and to study at the Franco-American Institute in Rennes. Ambassador Rivkin received his bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1984, graduating with distinction in political science and international relations. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1988.
Ambassador Rivkin resides at the American Ambassador’s Residence in Paris with his wife, Susan Tolson, and their children, Elias and Lily.