Biden picks New York property billionaire Connie Milstein as ambassador to Malta

Constance Milstein, co-founder of New York property company Ogden CAP Properties, is a long-time donor to the Democratic Party

Connie Milstein, former Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army in the Obama administration, will be ambassador to Malta
Connie Milstein, former Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army in the Obama administration, will be ambassador to Malta

Constance J. Milstein, a property giant, attorney and social entrepreneur, has been picked as ambassador nominee to Malta by United States president Joe Biden.

She was served as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army in the Obama administration, and has played key roles in NGOs in international relations, global education, and democracy building, which include Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy, United Nations Association, Refugees International, and UN Watch.

Daughter of New York real estate developer Seymour Milstein, She has an extensive resume spanning the business and philanthropic worlds. With her brother, Philip Milstein, she co-founded Ogden CAP Properties, a New York residential real estate company.

She is a longtime donor to Democratic causes, according to the Federal Elections Commission, having made hundreds of donations to candidates and Democrat-affiliated committees in recent decades. She’s also supported the campaigns of some Republicans, including former Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tennesse) and John McCain (R-Arizona), as well as Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Arkansas).

Days after the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Milstein made a contribution of $725,000 to the Biden Victory Fund.

Milstein lives in New York, NY and Washington, D.C. with her husband, Saïd Abu-Kaud.

A “committed Francophile”, she speaks fluent French and is conversational in Italian and Spanish. She is chair of the French-American Cultural Foundation, and enjoys a close working relationship with several of France’s Ambassadors to the United States and the United Nations.

A trustee of New York University, she led NYU’s expansion in Washington, D.C. by creating the Constance Milstein and Family Global Academic Center. The Milstein Center supplements academic training with job and internship opportunities in government, politics, public administration, and journalism.

She served on the board of Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s Foundation and has worked with Satyarthi in the fight to end childhood slavery and trafficking.

She is a founding board member of Blue Star Families, America’s largest support organization for military spouses and children. Milstein pioneered the inventive non-profit Dog Tag bakery, dedicated to empowering disabled veterans.

Biden and former President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to the Washington bakery in 2018. In November 2020, Kamala Harris, then the vice president-elect, visited the bakery on Veterans Day with her husband, Doug Emhoff.

Biden also made a surprise appearance at a 2012 gala held at Milstein’s Georgetown home for Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE). 

Milstein’s website says she grew up living and traveling abroad, and through her experiences developed an appreciation for cultural and socioeconomic differences “along with an awareness of the shared interests and universal values that can unite people of different nations.  Her international exposure shaped her world view and created a lifelong commitment to the principles of multilateralism.”

Abu-Kaud is a Canadian international development advisors, whose expertise in development was cultivated with the United Nation’s Development Programme (UNDP), where he started his career in 2005 serving the UNDP in Iraq.