Peoria Journal-Star

Aug. 2, 2001

Committee OK's Peoria native to be ambassador to Hungary 


WASHINGTON - Peoria native Nancy Brinker is close to winning Senate confirmation as ambassador to Hungary after gaining approval from a key Senate committee Wednesday. 

In a unanimous voice vote, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent her non-controversial nomination to the Senate, which is expected to vote on her before adjourning for its August recess at the end of this week. 

Brinker, 54, is the founding chairwoman of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, named after her sister who died of the disease. 

A political appointee, Brinker does not have any formal training in foreign policy and does not speak Hungarian. 

When President George W. Bush nominated her to the post earlier this year, he described Brinker as a "committed community leader whose efforts in the United States and around the world to raise breast cancer awareness have saved countless lives." 

She is a friend of the Bush family and contributed more than $60,000 to Republican candidates in the past two years. She also raised more than $100,000 for Bush's presidential campaign. 

Brinker has served on the National Cancer Advisory Board under an appointment from President Reagan and on the President's Cancer Panel, to which she was named by former President George H.W. Bush. 

She was born in Peoria and graduated from Richwoods High School before earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois in 1968. She now lives in Palm Beach, Fla.