New York real estate developer and Hofstra University donor Peter S. Kalikow is reportedly under consideration for an ambassador role in Western Europe, according to Politico.
Top transition sources say the Hofstra alumnus and trustee, who originally announced his support for Donald Trump during the general election, is being considered for diplomatic roles in Italy and Spain. Other candidates for such coveted diplomatic positions include businessmen Lewis Eisenberg and Duke Buchan.
Kalikow’s professional career has also been marked by a continued commitment to political involvement and philanthropy, both on and off of Hofstra’s campus.
In 2015, Kalikow pledged over $10 million to Hofstra, becoming the namesake of The Peter S. Kalikow School of Government, Public Policy and International Affairs, which officially opened fall 2016. He also helped fund the 2016 presidential debate held here and sponsors Hofstra’s seminars on American presidents.
Outside of Hofstra, the former owner of The New York Post is just as politically and socially active. Kalikow helped found the National World War II Museum, is a founding board member of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, founded the super PAC “Cain Connections” during the 2012 election cycle and serves on the board of Temple Emanu-El, a Jewish reform congregation.
Foreign governments have also awarded Kalikow with numerous honors and awards. In 1982, he was given the Israel Peace Medal, the nation’s highest civilian award, for his work with the Museum of Jewish Heritage. In 2008, the Italian government awarded Kalikow with the Commendatore in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, one of the nation’s highest honors.
However, questions have been raised regarding Kalikow, and the other potential ambassadors’ lack of formal foreign policy experience. Likewise, any business dealings the candidates may have with European countries has yet to be fully investigated as the vetting process is still in its early stages.
The full process takes several months, and includes in-depth background checks conducted by both the FBI and the White House personnel office. Among the documents included in these background checks is the SF-278 Public Financial Disclosure Report, a form that details the assets and business dealings for Executive Branch Personnel.
The lengthy process serves to ensure that no potential ambassadors have existing ethical or business conflicts of interest with their prospective countries. Once a candidate passes the vetting stage, they can receive a formal nomination before being subjected to a Senate confirmation.
Although Trump ordered any ambassadors appointed by President Obama to leave their posts by Jan. 20, there is currently no clear timeline when those being considered for diplomatic roles will be confirmed.
Due to the lack of confirmation, Hofstra has declined to comment at this time.