This biography is no longer current; at present, no other official Department of State biographical information is available.
Nicole A. Avant was nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama to be Ambassador of the United States of America to The Bahamas. Following a unanimous confirmation of her nomination by the United States Senate, she was sworn into office by U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary R. Clinton on September 9, 2009. U.S. Ambassador Nicole Avant presented her Letters of Credence to the Governor General of The Bahamas, His Excellency Arthur D. Hanna, on Thursday, October 22, 2009.
Prior to her confirmation as the U.S. Ambassador to The Bahamas, Nicole Avant was the Southern California Finance Co-Chairwoman of the Barack Obama Presidential Campaign. Most recently, Ambassador Avant served as the Vice President of Interior Music Publishing from 1998-2009.
Ambassador Nicole Avant was exposed to and raised amidst a culture of music, philanthropy and political passion. Being influenced by world leaders and international cultural icons led her to become a leader in education, entertainment, politics and philanthropy. She has worked tirelessly to mobilize and engage the younger generation towards greater charitable and political involvement. Ambassador Avant is committed to and passionate about children and ensuring that the less fortunate and disabled are afforded a quality education and equal access to meaningful employment.
For a number of years, Ambassador Nicole Avant was an active Board Member of both Best Buddies International and The Bogart Pediatric Research Program. Ambassador Avant also served as an Academic Counselor at the Neighborhood Academic Initiative, a University of Southern California mentorship program for high school students that provided full academic scholarships as well as daily guidance and direction in social behavior and social responsibility. Due to her commitment to philanthropy, Ambassador Avant was named one of the American Cancer Society’s Next Generation Leaders in 2007.
Since becoming Ambassador, Nicole Avant has focused on five priority initiatives: Education, alternative energy, economic and small business development, women’s empowerment, and raising awareness about the challenges facing people with disabilities. The U.S. Embassy together with the Ministry of Education sponsors the national Read to Lead Program to encourage the nation’s youth to develop a lifelong love of reading. The Embassy has adopted a local inner city school, Woodcock Primary, and Embassy volunteers travel to the school each week to read to grades 1-6. The Embassy also fosters other educational activities including an annual Martin Luther King Essay Competition for high school students and an annual competition to encourage sustainable practices among Bahamian youth.
Under the Ambassador’s leadership, Embassy Nassau has also partnered with African-American business leaders to strengthen economic ties between the United States and The Bahamas and encourage a diverse economic strategy that stretches beyond the traditional tourism sector. Embassy partners include the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, the Travel Professionals of Color (TPOC), the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD). To enhance this effort, Ambassador Avant personally invited Ervin “Magic” Johnson to be the keynote speaker at the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce’s 2010 Business Development Seminar.
Ambassador Nicole Avant has also worked tirelessly to promote the empowerment of women and raise awareness about the challenges facing people with disabilities. Ambassador Avant has personally hosted a number of prominent guests who have participated in outreach events designed to empower youth and impart positive messages about self-esteem and self-image. The Ambassador has developed a special relationship with the Willie Mae Pratt Center for girls, a detention facility for at- risk youth. She has also worked closely with local advocacy groups for people with disabilities and disorders, including Special Olympics-Bahamas and REACH, a Bahamian support group for families affected by autism.