President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced Richard Grenell as the new acting head of the United States Agency for International Development.
The appointment was announced via a statement from the White House. Mr. Grenell, who had been the senior U.S. spokesman at the United Nations and served as President George W. Bush’s ambassador to Germany, will serve as the acting ambassador to Germany following Sigmar Gabriel’s resignation earlier this month.
“America’s representative at the United Nations has transformed the America’s image in the international community and I commend Ambassador Grenell on his willingness to serve our Nation,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “Ambassador Grenell is more than qualified to succeed Ambassador Gabriel and will receive the full support of my Administration as he leads our development and foreign assistance efforts.”
“The President’s decision to appoint me ambassador to Germany will enable me to take full advantage of this honor,” Mr. Grenell said in a statement. “The decision to serve in the Trump Administration was a tough one but my family and I could not be more excited.”
The move comes after Ambassador Richard Grenell, who was chief spokesman for the U.S. at the United Nations, was reportedly blocked from taking over the important position by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Mr. Grenell was forced to resign from his position at the UN due to his opposition to gay marriage.
In a statement issued in April of 2017, Mr. Grenell, who previously served as a diplomat at the State Department under President George W. Bush, said he was proud to be part of the team that “instilled a more positive view of America abroad and helped drive inclusiveness of diversity.” He noted that his goal was to “open hearts and minds, bring conflict resolution and inspire acts of generosity.”
With this new role, he joins an administration which has not exactly been warm toward Russia. During a news conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko last year, Mr. Trump said he expected that the United States would be able to “work together in hopes of reducing the large level of trade deficit we have between the United States and Russia,” and that relations between the two countries should “be based on mutual respect.”
In a brief tweet, President Trump hailed Mr. Grenell’s appointment as an “honest & hard working patriot.”
Since he has been at the U.N., Richard Grenell has successfully improved America’s image in the world. I will always remember this. Honest & hard working patriot! — Donald J. Trump () February 20, 2019