The US embassy in Helsinki’s Kaivopuisto district will get a new Ambassador next year – if his appointment is approved by the US Senate.
Donald Trump’s nominee is businessman Robert Frank Pence, who has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican Party candidates over the years.
Pence, a native of Virginia, is not thought to be related to US Vice President Mike Pence.
The appointment is still subject to a committee hearing, and a Senate vote. But there is no certainty about the process. The appointment of the previous US Ambassador to Finland Charles C. Adams took a year to secure confirmation.
However, the nomination of a Republican sympathizer is likely to receive a faster passage through the Republican-controlled Senate.
Ambassador Adams was forced to leave Finland at the beginning of 2017, after Donald Trump purged the State Department of top diplomats appointed by his predecessor Barack Obama.
Pence is the founder and chairman of the Pence Group, a real estate development company founded in 1977.
According to its website, the company has built shopping malls, hotels and office buildings across the US. A White House press release says the company is committed to sustainable development.
Pence holds degrees from Yale and Maryland University, and American University. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Gary Sinise Foundation, which supports veterans.
Pence has given more than half a million dollars to Republican electoral campaigns over the last ten years. Donations were made to well known politicians like Mitt Romney, John McCain and Mike Pence, as well as conservative political action committees.