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Trump names handbag designer as ambassador to South Africa

Trump names handbag designer as ambassador to South Africa
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President TrumpDonald TrumpHarry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' Man arrested for allegedly threatening to stab undercover Asian officer in NYC Trump says GOP will take White House in 2024 in prepared speech MORE on Wednesday announced his nomination of Lana Marks, a handbag designer and Mar-a-Lago club member, to be his next U.S. ambassador to South Africa.

In a statement, the White House noted Marks's service on the Women’s Leadership Board at the Harvard Kennedy School, as well as her schooling in South Africa. Marks speaks Afrikaans and Xhosa, two of South Africa's 11 official languages, according to the release.

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CNN reported that Marks remains a member of Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, noting that her daughter was married at the location.

Marks's handbag line, CNN noted, features designs with skins from exotic animals, including ostriches and alligators.

Dozens of key State Department positions, including the South African envoy position, remained unfilled as of earlier this year.

Upon assuming the top job at the State Department, Secretary Mike PompeoMike PompeoBiden loves the Georgia boycott — So why won't he boycott the Beijing Olympic games? The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings Five things to watch for at the GOP's donor retreat MORE pledged to reduce the number of vacancies within the department.

"This is a priority of his," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters in May. "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."

Marks will need to be confirmed to the post in the Senate, where Republicans will still hold the majority.