Since the midterm elections are over, President Donald Trump is looking to get back to business as usual. Yesterday, Trump appointed handbag designer Lana Marks as the next US ambassador to South Africa. Marks was born and raised in South Africa and attended the University of the Witwatersrand as well as the Institute of Personnel Management in Johannesburg. She also speaks Afrikaans and Xhosa, two of South Africa’s native languages.
The fashion executive has an impressive resume, starting her handbag line in 1984 when she wasn’t able to find a handbag to match an outfit she wanted to wear to Queen Elizabeth’s birthday celebration. Her luxury bags come in over 100 colors and exotic animal skins, like ostrich and alligator. The prices, as you can imagine, are pretty steep. Starting at close to $20,000.00, Marks’ most expensive bag to date is a clutch that costs $400,000.00.
Marks is also a Florida resident where she is an exclusive member of the Mar-a-Lago resort, owned by Trump. Club membership is $200,000 and Marks isn’t the first Mar-a-Lago member tapped into Trump’s White House administration. Robin Bernstein, a founding member of the resort is the U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic.
There are still several State Department positions open. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has vowed to cut the number of vacancies in the department. “This is a priority of his,” Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters. “He said that in his hearings on Capitol Hill, he said that to us privately, and I know he’s alluded that to all of you publicly, as well.”
The Palm Beach Daily describes her as “like Trump, a relentless self-promoter,” and Marks has also held a position as a longtime board member to the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of government. According to the website, both the board and the program focus on gender equality and improving lives around the world and is a strong supporter of the Women and Public Policy Program.
Marks will still need to be confirmed in the Senate.