WASHINGTON – During LGBT Pride Month, President Barack Obama has now nominated five gay men to ambassador posts around the world.
Late Friday, Obama nominated John Berry to be ambassador to Australia, and James “Wally” Brewster Jr. to be ambassador to the Dominican Republic.
Previously this month, Obama nominated fundraising expert Rufus Gifford as ambassador to Denmark; HBO executive James Costos as ambassador to Spain; and Daniel Baer, the openly-gay Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, to be Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
If all are confirmed, they would be among eight openly-LGBT people to serve as a U.S. ambassador.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, applauded the new nominations.
“John Berry has been a devoted public servant for 30 years, and will bring tremendous experience to our embassy in Canberra. His lifetime of professional experiences make him an outstanding choice to be the nation’s next ambassador to Australia,” he said
“Wally Brewster is an excellent choice to be our nation’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic. His global business and management expertise is matched by his enthusiasm and commitment to human rights and democracy around the world. Wally’s political intelligence and work in public affairs and communications make would make him a valuable contribution to our nation’s diplomatic efforts,” Griffin said.
From April 2009 to April 2013, John Berry served as director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and was the highest ranking openly-LGBT official to serve in the executive branch. Brewster currently serves as senior executive for SB&K Global, a global consumer dynamics strategy consulting firm, where he works with clients on global expansion and growth. He also sits on HRC’s board of directors, as well as the board’s Public Policy Committee.