Richard Grenell

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Richard Grenell
Richard Grenell official photo.jpg
United States Ambassador to Germany
Assumed office
May 8, 2018
President Donald Trump
Preceded by John B. Emerson
Personal details
Born (1966-09-18) September 18, 1966 (age 51)
Jenison, Michigan, U.S.
Political party Republican
Education Evangel University (BA)
Harvard University (MPA)

Richard A. Grenell (born September 18, 1966) is the current United States Ambassador to Germany. He was previously the longest serving U.S. spokesman at the United Nations. Grenell also briefly served as national security spokesman for Mitt Romney in his 2012 campaign for President of the United States, becoming the first openly gay spokesman for a Republican presidential candidate.[1][2] He resigned after pressure from social conservatives.[3]

In September 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Grenell as U.S. Ambassador to Germany.[4] He was confirmed 56–42 on April 26, 2018.[5] He presented his credentials to the President of Germany on May 8, 2018.

Early life and education[edit]

Grenell graduated with a bachelor's degree in Government and Public Administration from Evangel University. He received a master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government [6]

Career[edit]

Prior to his post at the UN, Grenell was a political adviser to a number of prominent Republicans, including George Pataki and Dave Camp.[7]

US United Nations mission (2001–2008)[edit]

Grenell voting at a UN Security Council meeting in 2005

In 2001, Grenell was appointed by President George W. Bush as Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy for the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Serving in that role until 2008, Grenell became the longest serving U.S. spokesman at the United Nations, advising four different U.S. Ambassadors. During his tenure, Grenell led communication strategies on such issues as the War on Terror, global peacekeeping operations, Iran and North Korea's nuclear weapons programs, and the UN Oil for Food corruption scandal.[6]

Ambassador to Germany (2018–present)[edit]

Grenell (left) with Berlin Governing Mayor Michael Müller in 2018

In September 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Grenell to become the United States Ambassador to Germany. After a significant delay, the Senate confirmed Grenell 56-42 on April 26, 2018.[8] He was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence on May 7, 2018, making Grenell the highest-ranking openly gay official ever in a Republican administration.[9][10] Grenell was also under consideration for the posts of U.S. Ambassador to NATO and United States Ambassador to the United Nations.[11][12]

In June 2018, Grenell stirred controversy by telling right-wing news outlet Breitbart, "I absolutely want to empower other conservatives throughout Europe, other leaders."[13] It was viewed as anti-establishment.[14][15] This was described as a breach of diplomatic protocol, as ambassadors are expected to be politically neutral in the domestic politics of the countries where they serve.[13] Prominent German politicians called for Grenell's dismissal.[16][17][18][19] Martin Schulz, former leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, said, "What this man is doing is unheard of in international diplomacy. If a German ambassador were to say in Washington that he is there to boost the Democrats, he would have been kicked out immediately."[16]

Other[edit]

In 2009, Grenell founded Capitol Media Partners, an international strategic media and public affairs consultancy with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C.[6] He is under contract with Fox News where he is a "Contributor" commenting on foreign affairs and the media.[20][21] He has written for The Wall Street Journal,[22][23] CBS News,[24][25] CNN,[26] Politico,[27] Huffington Post,[28] The Washington Times,[29] Newsmax,[30] and Al Jazeera.[31] In 2012, CNN ranked Grenell's social media outreach as one of the top 5,[32] and Time magazine named Grenell as one of the Top 10 Political Twitter Feeds of 2014.[33] In 2013, Grenell was a signatory to an amicus curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage during the Hollingsworth v. Perry case.[34]

Personal life[edit]

Grenell is a registered Republican.[35]

In June 2013, Grenell revealed that he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and started chemotherapy.[36] In September 2013, Grenell announced that he was in remission.[37]

Grenell has a longtime partner, Matt Lashey.[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mitt Romney's Appointment of Gay Aide Richard Grenell Signals New Attitude". ABC News. April 6, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Mitt Romney's Gay Spokesman: A Milestone in Republican Politics". The Atlantic. April 24, 2012. 
  3. ^ Rubin, Jennifer (May 1, 2012). "EXCLUSIVE: Richard Grenell hounded from Romney campaign by anti-gay conservatives". The Washington Post. 
  4. ^ Giaritelli, Anna. "Trump picks 42 key administration nominees, including heads of NASA and Office of National Drug Control Policy". Washington Examiner. Retrieved September 2, 2017. 
  5. ^ Demirjian, Karoun (April 26, 2018). "Senate confirms Grenell as ambassador to Germany over Democrats' objections". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 27, 2018. 
  6. ^ a b c "About". richardgrenell.com. 
  7. ^ "Richard Grenell, Openly Gay Romney Spokesman, Resigns From Post". ABC News. May 1, 2012. 
  8. ^ Blumberg, Antonia (April 26, 2018). "Senate Confirms Richard Grenell, Trump Nominee For Ambassador To Germany". Retrieved June 6, 2018 – via Huff Post. 
  9. ^ http://www.washingtontimes.com, The Washington Times. "Richard Grenell, gay ambassador, sworn in by Mike Pence". Retrieved June 6, 2018. 
  10. ^ "Openly gay U.S. ambassador to Germany makes Republican history". NBC News. June 6, 2018. 
  11. ^ "Trump to Pick Former UN Spokesman Grenell for NATO Post, White House Says". March 8, 2017. Retrieved June 6, 2018 – via www.bloomberg.com. 
  12. ^ "The president-elect was considering tapping Richard Grenell as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations."Chicago Tribune, November 14, 2016
  13. ^ a b Oltermann, Philip (June 4, 2018). "New US ambassador to Germany under fire for rightwing support". the Guardian. Retrieved June 4, 2018. 
  14. ^ Robbie Gramer (6 June 2018). "State Department Defends Trump's Man in Berlin After Diplomatic Firestorm". ForeignPolicy.com. Retrieved 15 June 2018. 
  15. ^ Luis Sanchez (3 June 2018). "Trump's ambassador to Germany says he wants to 'empower' European conservatives". TheHill.com. Retrieved 15 June 2018. 
  16. ^ a b "German Politicians Call for Expulsion of Trump's Envoy". The Daily Beast. June 5, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2018. 
  17. ^ "Deutschland: EU-Parlamentarier Brok kritisiert US-Botschafter-Interview auf "Breitbart"". ZEIT ONLINE (in German). Retrieved 2018-06-10. 
  18. ^ (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle. "US ambassador Richard Grenell should 'reconsider role' after Europe comments: German lawmaker | DW | 06.06.2018". DW.COM. Retrieved 2018-06-10. 
  19. ^ "German lawmaker says U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell should reconsider role after 'empowerment' comments". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-06-10. 
  20. ^ "Richard Grenell". Fox News. Retrieved June 5, 2018. 
  21. ^ "Richard Grenell Re-Signs with Fox News Through Election 2016". Mediaite. October 15, 2014. 
  22. ^ Grenell, Richard (May 22, 2012). "Marriage, Gay Republicans and the Election". The Wall Street Journal. 
  23. ^ Grenell, Richard (November 21, 2011). "Obama's Failing Iran Diplomacy". The Wall Street Journal. 
  24. ^ Grenell, Richard (January 30, 2010). "Holden Caulfield and Me". CBS News. 
  25. ^ Grenell, Richard (April 18, 2010). "Why Yahoo Ought to Follow Google's Lead on China". CBS News. 
  26. ^ Grenell, Richard (December 1, 2009). "GOP rescuing Obama's Afghan policy". CNN. 
  27. ^ "Arena Profile: Richard A. Grenell". Politico. 
  28. ^ Grenell, Richard. "Richard Grenell". The Huffington Post. 
  29. ^ Grenell, Richard (March 19, 2015). "Nigeria on the brink". The Washington Times. 
  30. ^ Grenell, Richard (November 19, 2012). "Obama Praises Burma, Ignores Strife in Iran, Syria". Newsmax. 
  31. ^ Grenell, Richard (December 30, 2009). "A year of little change for Obama". Al Jazeera. 
  32. ^ "CNN's Gut Check for August 31, 2012". CNN. August 31, 2012. 
  33. ^ "The Best Twitter Feeds of 2014: Richard Grenell". Time. May 5, 2014. 
  34. ^ "The Pro-Freedom Republicans Are Coming: 131 Sign Gay-Marriage Brief". The Daily Beast. February 28, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Gay Bush Appointee Loses Appeal for Fair Treatment". The Advocate. September 27, 2008. 
  36. ^ "Joining the Fight". richardgrenell.com. June 10, 2013. 
  37. ^ Richard Grenell [@RichardGrenell] (September 30, 2013). "I'm officially in remission. #CancerFree @cityofhope" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  38. ^ Samuels, Brett (May 3, 2018). "Pence swears in Grenell as ambassador to Germany". Retrieved June 6, 2018. 

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
John B. Emerson
United States Ambassador to Germany
2018–present
Incumbent