Amy Gutmann would be first female ambassador to Germany
President Joe Biden has selected the daughter of a German-American Holocaust survivor to serve as the next ambassador to Germany.
Amy Gutmann, who currently serves as the president of the University of Pennsylvania, was announced as the president’s nominee on Friday in a statement from the White House.
If confirmed, she will be the first woman to represent the US to Germany, a top NATO ally.
“I am grateful beyond what any words can adequately express to President Biden for the faith he has placed in me to help represent America’s values and interests to one of our closest and most important European allies,” Ms Gutmann said in a letter to university faculty and students after the announcement.
Ms Gutmann is the daughter of Kurt Gutmann, a German Jewish metallurgist who along with his family fled Germany in 1934 amid a rising tide of antisemitism preceding the beginning of the Holocaust. His family initially fled to India, before coming to the US a decade after.
“It’s true that his whole family would have disappeared from the face of the earth had it not been for what he did,” Ms Gutmann told Penn’s student newspaper in 2013.
In her letter, Ms Gutmann explained that she previously planned to leave the university when her term expired in June of 2022, and added that she would step down earlier if confirmed. She would replace Robin Quinville, who was named acting ambassador last year after Richard Grenell, the outspoken previous holder of the post, was tapped to serve as acting director of national intelligence for former President Donald Trump.
Ms Gutmann previously served as the chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues during Mr Biden’s previous time in the White House as vice president under former President Barack Obama. She has also authored several books on topics including democracy, education, and political polarization in society.