Delegate to be nominated as Romania ambassador 'Honored' Rosapepe eager to support transition there

September 26, 1997|By William F. Zorzi Jr. | William F. Zorzi Jr.,SUN STAFF

President Clinton announced yesterday he will nominate Del. James C. Rosapepe, a three-term Democrat from Prince George's County, to be ambassador to Romania.

Rosapepe, 46, vice chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, is viewed as one of the Maryland General Assembly's experts on tax policy and one of its most articulate members.

"I am profoundly honored by President Clinton's decision to nominate me," Rosapepe said.

"As U.S. ambassador, I would have unparalleled opportunity to serve our country by helping to lead America's efforts to support Romania's transition and to strengthen economic and political ties between our nations," he said.

Romania is the fourth largest country in the former Communist bloc, with a population of 23 million.

While in Little Rock, Ark., yesterday, Clinton also announced his plans to nominate Peter F. Tufo, a New York attorney and investment banker, to be ambassador to Hungary.

Rosapepe, a policy wonk with a sense of humor, is involved in a handful of Washington businesses that provide political polling and investment services. He also lobbies part time on Capitol Hill.

He has been a vocal supporter of Gov. Parris N. Glendening, a fellow Prince George's Democrat. He is a liberal, supporting organized labor, environmental advocacy and increased government spending on education.

During the past legislative session, Rosapepe led an unsuccessful revolt against House leadership over the Baltimore school funding issue, attempting to leverage more state aid for poor schoolchildren in other jurisdictions.

He has a long interest in international affairs and since 1995 has been a board member of the Albanian Enterprise Fund, a $30 million investment fund created by the U.S. government to promote businesses in Albania.

His expected nomination is subject to Senate confirmation, and until then, he plans to remain in the House of Delegates. "I'm not going to resign my legislative seat until I'm confirmed," he said.

Rosapepe is married to Sheilah Kast, a former ABC television news correspondent who earlier this year became host of her own program on WETA in Washington, "This Week in Business." He said last night it was still unclear how this would affect her position.

Pub Date: 9/26/97

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