Hannes Richter

New U.S. Ambassador

Hannes Richter

Susan Rasinski McCaw was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Austria by United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O' Connor on November 30, 2005. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice presided over the swearing-in ceremony. Mrs. McCaw will officially assume her duties as Ambassador upon presentation of her diplomatic credentials to Austrian Federal President Heinz Fischer in January, 2006.

The new ambassador who succeeds W. L. Lyons Brown is a former investment banker, business analyst, CEO and a graduate of Stanford University (BA) and Harvard Business School (MBA). Mrs. Rasinski McCaw was born and raised in Orange County, California, and lived in Seattle, Washington for the last years. She is married to the philanthropist Craig McCaw and they have three children.

Austrian Ambassador Eva Nowotny, Supreme Court Judge Sandra Day O'Connor, and Ambassador Susan Rasinski McCaw

During her opening statement before the Committee on Foreign Relations in the U.S. Senate, Mrs. McCaw recalled her impressions of Austria twenty-five years ago as a student. She was struck by the country s natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. It would be a great privilege to return to a country so steeped in history, and a model of democracy, stability and prosperity.

After a successful twenty-year career built on venture capital and finance as well as entrepreneurial leadership, she will work to continue strong trade relations between the two countries and to advance bilateral and regional economic development. Her years of civic responsibility and experience in working for private, non-profit organizations, will help to further one of her major goals which will be in education.

But she also has a quieter vision of what she might offer during her ambassadorship. During Senate hearings she emphasized her awareness of the negative image some Austrians have of America. It is her hope that by appearing before groups of Austrians, particularly the university student population, and by exchanging views, she will promote better understanding.