The State Department announced today that it is hiring former Baupost chief risk officer Scott Nathan as a special representative for the Office of Commercial and Business Affairs. Scott Nathan’s main job will be private sector outreach. The position is described as a liaison to the business community who will work with American companies that want to expand their global reach and foreign firms looking to do business in the U.S.

Scott Nathan

Assistant secretary for the Office of Economics and Business Charles Rivkin will be Scott Nathan’s boss. This State Department office is charged with developing business policy, advocating for foreign businesses in the U.S., and assisting American businesses in doing business in foreign markets. Nathan’s specific responsibilities relate to relationship-building between the State Department and both the domestic and international business community.

Statement from Scott Nathan

“I took this job because Secretary Kerry told me about how committed he is to making the State Department the friend of American businesses abroad, and I wanted to help him and the rest of his economic team put that into action,’’ Nathan explained in a statement released earlier today. “I believe that in today’s interconnected world, foreign policy is economic policy, important for our companies and key to greater stability and prosperity abroad and more jobs and growth at home.’’

Scott Nathan bio

Scott Nathan is a Harvard man, having earned undergraduate, business, and law degrees from Harvard University. He joined the hedge fund Baupost in 1995, and worked his way up to chief risk office. Nathan has extensive experience in foreign markets and broad knowledge of international business law and regulatory policies.

Scott Nathan is also friendly with Secretary of State John Kerry. According to the Boston Globe, Kerry and Nathan met 12 years ago at a reelection kickoff event. Although Nathan had not been officially invited to the event, he dropped by to express his appreciation to Kerry for his efforts to prevent oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The two men wound up talking for a couple of hours regarding how to encourage governments on global climate change. According to a State Department spokesperson, Nathan and Kerry have also held a number of conversations about the economy and tax incentives for investors.