Wednesday June 30th 2021
Biden makes choice for Berlin
The university president is to become the US ambassador
The USA has not been represented by an ambassador in Germany for more than a year. That should change now. According to a report, President Biden has chosen the political scientist Gutmann. Her family once had to flee Germany.
The president of the US elite university University of Pennsylvania, Amy Gutmann, is to become the new ambassador of her country to Germany. As the “Spiegel” reported, citing German and US government circles, US President Joe Biden Gutmann will propose for the post in Berlin. Gutmann has yet to be confirmed by the US Senate, according to the report. She would be the first woman to be sent to the Federal Republic as a US ambassador. The person is also with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, but his approval is a matter of form.
The 71-year-old political scientist is the daughter of a Jewish father who fled Nazi Germany in 1934. She has been president of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a private university since 2004, which is considered one of the best universities in the country. The UPenn abbreviated university belongs to the so-called Ivy League of prestigious universities in the northeastern United States such as Harvard, Princeton and Yale. Several Nobel Prize winners taught at the university. Among the students was daughter Tiffany von Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump. She studied sociology there.
The ambassadorial post in Berlin has been vacant since the controversial ambassador Richard Grenell left in June 2020. In July 2020, then President Donald Trump announced that he would make the retired Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor as Grenell’s successor. Macgregor was never confirmed by the US Senate. The embassy at the Brandenburg Gate has been temporarily headed by the ambassador Robin Quinville as chargé d’affaires since last year.
Grenell, an ardent Trump supporter, was always offended in Germany with his often brash announcements and his confrontational demeanor. In any case, the relationship between Washington and Berlin had deteriorated significantly in the Trump years.
Trump’s successor Joe Biden has made improved relations with the US’s traditional Western allies such as Germany a core concern of his foreign policy. Among other things, Biden put Trump’s decision to withdraw thousands of US soldiers from Germany on hold.