Biden Nominates Amy Gutmann as Ambassador to Germany

Political theorist Amy Gutmann, currently President of the University of Pennsylvania, has been nominated by President Joseph Biden to be the next U.S. ambassador to Germany.

Reuters reports:

Her nomination was handed to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in mid-June, one of the sources told Reuters. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Gutmann would replace interim appointee Robin Quinville.

Gutmann, whose father fled the Nazis in 1934, would be the first woman to hold the position of ambassador to Germany.

Among Gutmann’s many accomplishments is the founding, in 1990, of Princeton’s University Center for Human Values while a professor there. She also served as the chair of the  Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues under President Barack Obama, from 2009-2016. She has been president of the University of Pennsylvania since 2004.

Her writing in political theory and philosophy has concerned democracy, education, moral disagreement, bioethics, multiculturalism, and other topics, and is the author of several well-known books, including Democratic EducationDemocracy and Disagreement (with Dennis Thompson), and Identity in Democracy, among others. You can learn more about her academic work here.

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Louis F. Cooper
Louis F. Cooper
2 years ago

This appointment, perhaps a little puzzling for someone first encountering it via this post, becomes more understandable in light of, among other things, Biden’s various ties to the Univ. of Pennsylvania, as set out in this Politico article:

2 years ago

Incidentally, another academic was the FIRST US Ambassador to West Germany – James B. Conant, former president of Harvard, accomplished chemist, and grandfather of the philosopher James Conant!

harry b
2 years ago

Well, on the one hand, congratulations to Amy Gutmann! On the other hand, selfishly, I hope she finds her way back to higher education (or, if not higher education, k-12 education) before too long…

Reply to  harry b
2 years ago

I imagine an eventual cabinet appointment would not be very unlikely.