John Berry was the highest ranked openly LGBT appointee
in the Obama Administration from 2009-2013
Finally! As has been rumored for months since he left his previous post as head of the Office of Personnel Management in April, President Obama has finally nominated John Berry to become Ambassador to Australia. If his nomination is approved by the United States Senate, Berry will become the first openly gay ambassador to a G-20 country and follows on the heels of the nominations announced last week of two gay men to ambassadorships in Denmark and Spain (two countries which have equal marriage rights for same-sex couples).
The same day the Berry nomination was announced, another gay man named Wally Brewster was nominated to become Ambassador to the Dominican Republic.
That brings the number of openly gay men who have been nominated as ambassadors in the Obama administration in the month of June to five! It should also be noted that the current Ambassador to New Zealand (which is basically next door to Australia) is openly gay David Heubner.John Berry served as the Director of the Office of Personnel Management from April 2009 to April 2013. Previously, he was the Director of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park from 2005 to 2009, and the Executive Director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation from 2000 to 2005. From 1997 to 2000, Mr. Berry served as Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, and Budget at the Department of the Interior. From 1995 to 1997, he was Director of Government Relations and Senior Policy Advisor at the Smithsonian Institution. He joined the federal government in 1994 as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Law Enforcement at the Department of Treasury. Before joining the Department of Treasury, Mr. Berry was the Legislative Director for U.S. Representative Steny Hoyer. Mr. Berry received a B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park and an M.P.A. from Syracuse University.James “Wally” Brewster, Jr. is the Senior Managing Partner for SB&K Global, a brand strategy and consumer dynamics consulting firm based in Chicago, Illinois. Before starting SB&K Global in 2010, he was an Officer and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications with General Growth Properties (GGP), a real estate investment trust headquartered in Chicago. Prior to joining GGP in 1996, Mr. Brewster worked in management at several real estate companies in Texas, including The Rouse Company and the DeBartolo Corporation. Earlier in his career, he held marketing and management positions with Carla Francis, Inc. and the Jim Collins Company in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Brewster is a National LGBT Co-Chair for the Democratic National Committee and currently serves on the Board of the Human Rights Campaign Fund.