Gregory J. Newell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Gregory J. Newell
Nancy Reagan, Greg Newell and Candilyn Newell in Sweden.jpg
with Nancy Reagan and Mrs. Newell at Villa Åkerlund, Stockholm, 1987
United States Ambassador to Sweden
In office
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Franklin S. Forsberg
Succeeded by Charles Edgar Redman
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
In office
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Elliott Abrams
Succeeded by Alan L. Keyes
Personal details
Born (1949-09-30) September 30, 1949 (age 67)
Geneseo, Illinois
Spouse(s) Candilyn Jones
Children Six children
Alma mater Brigham Young University, Harvard University
Profession Former Diplomat
Religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Gregory John Newell (born August 30, 1949 in Geneseo, Illinois) currently serves as the President of International Commerce Development Corporation (1993–present).


Newell is a former United States Ambassador to Sweden (1985–1989) and a U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (1982–1985). Previously, he served in the White House as a Special Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Appointments under Ronald Reagan in 1981–1982. Before this he was a Staff Assistant to the President under Gerald Ford.

He began his political career as a conservative Republican working for President Richard Nixon (1972–1973). Between White House assignments Newell worked for U.S. Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) and Pennsylvania's Republican Governor Richard Thornburgh.

Newell was raised in Illinois, Iowa, and California. He received his Political Science and International Relations degree from Brigham Young University and completed the Senior Managers in Government program at Harvard University. As a 19- to 21-year-old he served a 2½ year mission in France and Belgium for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On April 16, 2011, the Church announced Newell's three-year assignment to preside over the Church's mission in Sweden. His tenure began on July 1, 2011.

He is married to the former Candilyn Jones and has 6 children.


When Newell was sent to Sweden as the nation's youngest ambassador at age 36, President Ronald Reagan commented,"Ambassador Newell represents America with imagination, energy and skill...he has my full personal confidence." Former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz said of Newell, "His contribution to our foreign policy has been important...he deserves much credit for substantial improvement in U.S. relations."

Withdrawal From UNESCO[edit]

In 1983 through 1985, Newell criticized UNESCO for inefficient managing of funds and becoming unduly politicized, backing liberation groups such as the Palestine Liberation Organization and attacking press freedoms. Newell would argue that US withdrawal would do more to speed up reforms than staying and cites the 1977 US exit from the International Labor Organization in Geneva. Change seemed to be possible after we left, he said.[1] After being out of the ILO for three years, the US took up membership again in 1980.

Newell said the US would rejoin UNESCO if it returns to its original purpose. President Reagan agreed and the U.S. pulled out of UNESCO in 1985 (to return later under George W. Bush).[1]

Nomination As Ambassador[edit]

Later, when Newell was nominated to the ambassadorship to Sweden, his nomination was favorably reported out of the Committee on Foreign Relations onto the floor of the U.S. Senate where there was "unanimous consent that the President be immediately notified that the Senate has given its consent to this nomination." Even with the nomination Democratic Senator Joseph Biden expressed reservations over the choice of the nominee with the unmerited statement: "I find it difficult to be sending an ambassador to Sweden who doesn't know how many countries are in NATO." Despite the detractors Newell had support from both parties including from Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy who said, "During his tenure, Mr. Newell presided over the United States withdrawal from Unesco as a result of serious problems that plagued that agency administratively and politically."[2] Of his time in Sweden President George H.W. Bush would say, "I have high regard and appreciation for Greg Newell's superb efforts."[2]


  • Presidential Appointments and Nominations, 3/12/1985
  • Department of States "Appointment of Gregory J. Newell" No. 184, 6/4/1982;
  • "Ronald Reagan's Foreign Service" Jai Bird, 1984;
  • Presidential Appointments and Nominations, 10/8/1985;
  • Presidential Documents, 10/14/1985, Volume 21, Number 41;
  • Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate Nomination Hearing, 11/21/1985;
  • Congressional Record Senate, S-17126, 12/6/1985;

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Francis, David (December 17, 1984). "UNESCO faces up to US pullout, shrinking budget". Christian Science Monitor. 
  2. ^ a b "International Commerce Development Corporation". ICDC. Retrieved 10/12/12.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
Government offices
Preceded by
Elliott Abrams
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
May 28, 1982 – November 12, 1985
Succeeded by
Alan Keyes
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Franklin S. Forsberg
U.S. Ambassador to Sweden
Succeeded by
Charles Edgar Redman