Ambassador: ‘Caught Off Guard’ Over Criticisms Of Management Style

JOIN TPM FOR JUST $1

Former ambassador to Luxembourg Cynthia Stroum — a big-time Obama donor who was criticized in an inspector general’s report for treating her staff poorly, obsessing over a bathroom remodeling, improperly spending money, wasting employees’ time and propelling “Embassy Luxembourg to a state of dysfunction” — says she’s proud of her work.Stroum told the Associated Press that she did not know whether she could release details of her rebuttal to the State Department Inspector General report publicly, but said she was proud of what she accomplished.

“I’ve been caught off guard,” she told the Associated Press. “I want to be helpful and I want to get my side out, but whether that’s something I can release or not, I don’t know.”

Stroum said she focused on initiatives that were in the best interest of U.S.-Luxembourg relations, and said she was proud of the links she helped to create between companies in Luxembourg and in Washington state.

“Serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg has been a true privilege,” she said in an e-mail to the news agency. “I have new found respect for the hard work done by the diplomatic corps around the world and applaud all of those who serve their country.”

Employees described Stroum as “aggressive, bullying, hostile, and intimidating,” which the report said “has resulted in an extremely difficult, unhappy, and uncertain work environment.”

Stroum reportedly had an employee spend virtually all of his time over a six week period searching for a temporary residence for her to stay as the ambassador’s official residence underwent repairs. The staff member screened 200 residences and visited 30-40 houses and apartments in Luxembourg during the search. All were eventually rejected by Stroum.

More from the report criticizing Stroum can be read here.

Comments
Masthead Masthead
Editor & Publisher:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Editor for Prime & Special Projects:
Investigations Desk:
Reporter:
Newswriters:
Front Page Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Manager & General Counsel:
Executive Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: