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New US ambassador arrives in Berlin with focus on trade issues

The US ambassador-designate to Germany has arrived with his family in Berlin. John Emerson served in the Clinton administration and headed an international management firm.

John Emerson replaces former Ambassador Philip Murphy. Both Emerson and his wife Kimberly worked at the White House under the Clinton administration. He worked on trade issues while she was engaged in public diplomacy.

An attorney and longtime Democratic Party donor and activist, Emerson played prominent roles in several election campaigns, usually for moderate democrats.

Emerson first came to Germany in 1975 and returned in the 1980s on an exchange program. President of Private Client Services for Capital Group Companies, an international management firm, the new ambassador said in his introductory video he was excited by the potential for transatlantic trade and investment partnership, calling it a top priority for President Barack Obama.

Emerson was Bill Clinton’s California campaign manager and served from 1993 to 1997 as deputy assistant to the president. He coordinated the Clinton-Gore transition team’s economic conference in 1992 and served as the president’s liaison to California in the aftermath of the January 1994 Northridge earthquake.

After leaving the Clinton administration, Emerson joined Capital Group Companies, one of the world’s largest investment management firms.

Emerson has served as the chairman of the Music Center of Los Angeles County and as director of the Los Angeles Metropolitan YMCAs. He has also been appointed by Obama to serve on his Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

Coming from Los Angeles with their three teenage daughters the Emerson family enjoy music and sports.

Emerson takes up his post on August 26.

jm/ccp (dpa, AFP)