James Costos was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain and Principality of Andorra on August 1, 2013, and sworn in on August 22, 2013. Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Costos was Vice President of Global Licensing and Retail for Home Box Office. In this capacity, he was responsible for leading HBO’s newly created global licensing, retail, and marketing division, which he established to further expand HBO's domestic and international interests. Ambassador Costos began his career as a fashion and retail executive in New York City, including as Vice President of Retail Operation for TOD’S and Vice President of Retail Operations for Hermès of Paris. He then took on the role of Head of Promotions and Consumer Products at Revolution Studios, a start-up production company. Before joining HBO, he was President and CEO of the entertainment marketing and licensing agency Eight Cylinders, Inc. Ambassador Costos has served on the Board of Directors of the Humane Society of the United States, the country’s largest animal protection organization. He is also a passionate supporter of several cultural and humanitarian organizations, including the Santa Monica Museum of Art and the Human Rights Campaign. Ambassador Costos earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts in 1985. Along with his partner of 14 years, Michael S. Smith, the Ambassador calls Los Angeles, California his hometown.