Nicole Avant was born in Los Angeles in California, USA. She graduated from California State University, Northridge. In 2009, she was named the thirteenth United States Ambassador to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas after a unanimous senate confirmation. Avant was the first African-American woman and the youngest person to hold this title. She has been honoured for her philanthropy by organisations including The Trumpet Awards and Children Mending Hearts. She is a board member for several not-for-profit organisations, including Girls Inc. and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art board of trustees.