President Barack Obama has announced the nomination of a former Mahanoy City man to the post of Ambassador to New Zealand and the Independent State of Samoa.

David Huebner, a 1978 graduate of Mahanoy Area High School, will take the post pending Senate approval, according to an Oct. 7 White House press briefing. Huebner, who went on to graduate from Princeton University and Yale Law School, is currently the head of the China Practice and the International Disputes Practice at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, where he specializes in international arbitration and mediation. He now lives in Shanghai, where he has significant experience handling disputes in the Pacific Rim region. Previously, he was a longtime partner and served as chairman at Coudert Brothers.

Huebner also has chaired the California Law Revision Commission, served as president of the Los Angeles Quality and Productivity Commission. He has also taught courses in international business and intellectual property at the University of Southern California's Gould School of Law, and has also guest lectured on international topics at several schools in the United States and abroad. Huebner is licensed both as a solicitor in England and Wales and as an attorney in three U.S. jurisdictions.

Openly gay, he has been active in Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, several nonprofit and community organizations and professional associations such as the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, International Chamber of Commerce Commission on Arbitration, Los Angeles Committee on Foreign Relations.

Also on Wednesday, Obama nominated David D. Nelson as nominee for Ambassador to the Oriental Republic of Uruguay. Nelson has served as Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs (EEB) since January 2009 and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of EEB, with specific responsibility for International Finance and Development since June 2008, according to the briefing.