Biden officially appoints Penn President Amy Gutmann Ambassador to Germany
The White House announced in a press release on Friday afternoon that President Joe Biden will appoint Penn President Amy Gutmann as the next U.S. Ambassador to Germany, confirming information from earlier this week.
Hours after the press release, Gutmann emailed the Penn community publicly commenting on the nomination for the first time. She wrote that she would continue to be president of Penn until June 30, 2022, as she had previously planned, or whenever the U.S. Senate confirmed her as an ambassador, which would likely hasten her departure.
“Until then, I remain absolutely energetic and committed to Penn’s leadership with an unrivaled leadership team and community of faculty, students, staff and alumni,” wrote Gutmann, the oldest president of the university, in the email. “The Penn community has shown its true courage more than ever this year, and with great effect for our city and the Commonwealth, the country and the world.”
The announcement highlights the significant changes in Penn’s administration for the coming year. Scott Bok, the new chairman of the board, began his term on July 1 and provost Wendell Pritchett, a senior Penn official, will be on medical leave until the end of 2021.
Bok also released a statement about Gutmann’s departure and wrote that “the board has already started their transition planning and we will provide details on this to the university community in the near future.”
Gutmann has yet to be confirmed by the US Senate and accepted by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. If that happens, she will become the first female ambassador to Germany in US history.
The announcement confirms rumors that Gutmann could be selected for a post in Biden’s administration. Gutmann and the University have a close relationship with Biden, who served as Penn’s Honorary “Benjamin Franklin Professor of Presidential Practice” since 2017. Biden also established the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, DC.
Gutmann wrote that she was “grateful beyond words to adequately convey” to Biden for the nomination and looks forward to working to represent America when she works with “one of our allies. closest and most important Europeans “.
It has also been reported that Biden is considering appointing former University of Pennsylvania board chairman David Cohen as US ambassador to Canada. Cohen, now an executive at Comcast, was a prominent donor who hosted Biden’s first official presidential fundraising event in 2020, according to the Washington Post.
On Tuesday, Washington bureau chief René Pfister of Der Spiegel, a German newspaper, announced that Gutmann would be appointed to take on the post of US ambassador to Germany. T-online US press correspondent Fabian Reinbold, a former Der Spiegel reporter, responded on Twitter with an English translation confirming the veracity of Pfister’s announcement. Reinbold added that Gutmann’s father fled Germany in 1934 at the start of the Holocaust, settling in the United States a decade later.
This is not the first time that Gutmann has been involved with the White House. In 2009, former President Barack Obama appointed Gutmann as chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, where she led several research projects to advise the President on issues related to science and research. technology.