Rockwell A. Schnabel
Rockwell Schnabel, the US Representative to the European Union, was confirmed by the Senate on September 26, 2001. Ambassador Schnabel came to Brussels from Los Angeles, California, where he was Chairman and co-founder of Trident Capital, a venture capital fund aimed at supporting new economy companies. A longtime businessman, he started in the securities business as a financial analyst before joining the Los Angeles-based firm of Bateman Eichler Hill Richards Inc. (now First Union Securities) and rising through the ranks to become its President.
He accepted his first government post in 1986, when former President Ronald Reagan named him US Ambassador to Finland. After leaving Helsinki in 1989, he went to Washington, DC, where he served at the Department of Commerce, first as Under Secretary of Commerce for Travel and Tourism, then as Deputy Secretary of Commerce, and finally as Acting Secretary of Commerce in the administration of George H. W. Bush. He has long been involved in the Los Angeles community, where he has served as Chairman of the Los Angeles Tourism Board and of the Police and Firemanýs Pension Fund. After the Los Angeles riots of 1992, President George H. W. Bush named Ambassador Schnabel to head a presidential task force responsible for coordinating aid to the city from ten different federal agencies.
When he returned to the private sector in 1993, he continued these efforts by working to promote the city as a tourist destination. Mr. Schnabel, who was a member of the Los Angeles Olympic Committee and envoy to The Netherlands for the 1984 Olympic Games, received a Medal of Honor from The Netherlands Olympic Committee and a Gold Medal from the Dutch government for work performed for those games. In 1989, the President of Finland awarded him the Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion of Finland, and he also received the US Department of Commerce Gold Medal Award, the Departmentýs highest honor. A fluent Dutch speaker, he was born in Amsterdam and graduated from Trinity College in The Netherlands. He holds an Honorary Doctorate of Law from Pepperdine University.