With the 2014 appointment of Ted Osius as the new U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam still fresh in our minds, it is revealing to look at the list of LGBTQ Ambassadors around the world.
Not surprising, perhaps, is that there are not very many of them. As political representatives in other countries, a certain sensitivity to that country's culture and opinion is required. Too many countries are still working to accommodate, or completely intolerant of, LGBTQ individuals around the world. However, President Obama challenged that notion in 2013 with the appointment of James Brewster as Ambassador to Dominican Republic, a move which outraged that country's Catholics.
President Bill Clinton of the U.S. showed his mettle in appointing that country's first gay ambassador, James Hormel, in 1999. Later, the country's move to greater acceptance of LGBTQ individuals in the State Department received a significant boost from his wife and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. She implemented new policies toward LGBTQ members of her department and recognition of their spouses. Prior to that, as the Washington Post points out in the article referenced below, discretion was a key word, and it is doubtful an LGBTQ individual would obtain the necessary security clearance.
Great Britain lifted a ban on homosexuals in the Foreign Office only in 1991 under Prime Minister John Major.
Even more disappointing, perhaps, is that there is only one lesbian in the Ambassador list, Judith Gough (British Ambassador to the Ukraine since 2015). Why is this so? Perhaps more of an issue should be made of this fact.
An organization for American LGBTQ members of the State Department, including Ambassadors, is the Gay and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA).
Other countries with LGBTQ Ambassadors are limited to Great Britain, Israel, Spain, Belize, Chile, Australia, Sweden, Suriname, New Zealand and France. The advancement on this issue at this time rests principally with the U.S.
- Clark Accord, Surinamese Ambassador to the Netherlands
- Sverker Astrom, Sweden Ambassador to France, and the United Nations
- Daniel Baer, U.S. Ambassador to the OECD
- Brendan Berne, Australia Ambassador to France
- Randy Berry, U.S. Consul to the Netherlands; Special Envoy on LGBTQ Rights since 2015
- John Berry, U.S. Ambassador to Australia
- Jerome Bonnafont, French Ambassador to Spain, India
- Stephen Brady, Australian Ambassador to France
- James Brewster, U.S. Ambassador to Dominican Republic
- James Buchanan, U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain
- Filippo Buonaccorsi, Polish Ambassador to Constantinople
- James Clark, Great Britain Ambassador to Luxembourg
- John Dauth, Australian High Commissioner (Ambassador) to the United Kingdom, Malaysia, and New Zealand
- Brian Davidson, Great Britain Ambassador to Thailand
- Mark R. Dybul, U.S. Ambassador and Global AIDS Coordinator
- James Costos, U.S. Ambassador to Spain and Andorra
- Rufus Gifford, U.S. Ambassador to Denmark
- Judith Gough, Great Britain, Ambassador to Ukraine, Georgia
- Richard Grenell, U.S. Ambassador to Germany
- Michael Guest, U.S. Ambassador to Romania
- Richard Hoagland, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan
- James Hormel, U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg
- David Huebner, U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa
- Roger Karoutchi, French Ambassador to the OECD
- Damien Miller, Australian Ambassador to Denmark, Iceland, and Norway
- Ted Osius, U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam
- Perla Perdomo, Belize High Commissioner to Great Britain
- Pedro Felipe Ramirez, Chile Ambassador to Venezuela
- Gustav Rasmussen, Danish Ambassador to Rome
- Ion de la Riva, Spanish Ambassador to India, UNESCO
- Laurent Stefanini, French Ambassador to UNESCO
- Philip Turner, New Zealand Ambassador to North & South Korea
- Stephen Wall, Great Britain Ambassador to Portugal, and the European Union
- Isi Yanouka, Israel Ambassador to Cote d'Ivoire