As an outcome of the change of administration in the U.S., the U.S. Ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford, will return to the U.S. in January 2017. Ambassador Gifford has served as Ambassador to Denmark since 2013.
In December, Ambassador Gifford visited the Embassy to thank Ambassador Lose for a mutual beneficial collaboration and to have a dialogue about the time that has passed and the time that will come. The American-Danish Business Council had the chance to ask Ambassador Gifford a few questions about his time as Ambassador and his opinion on the future for the U.S.-Danish business ties. When asked about what he will miss the most about Denmark, Ambassador Gifford emphasized the daily stories casually given by Danes on the streets of Denmark on how their personal ties to the U.S. are continually being strengthened, such as sending their children to universities in the U.S. and by traveling across the U.S. on Route 66.
Ambassador Gifford also appreciated the warm welcoming at the beginning of his tenure; “When I first came to Denmark, I had no idea of how to be an Ambassador. But everything was so relaxed and I learned a lot from the Danes, which made the transition extremely easy. Denmark has influenced a lot, I have enjoyed every collaboration. This is the end of a fantastic time”.
Ambassador Gifford stresses that one of the most vital tasks as ambassador is to connect people; “I have had some very valuable collaborations with the Danes, and I hope my successor will enjoy such collaborations just as much as I did. I do believe the government relations between the U.S. and Denmark will remain strong”.
When looking forward, the Ambassador addresses the importance of alliances, since alliances have the power of pushing the direction of global agendas; “No fundaments can be changed by individual parts. We need allies and we need to lean on allies”. According to Ambassador Gifford, it is important to focus on bilateral trade issues, and he advices Danish companies to continuously look for opportunities in the U.S. The Ambassador states that “Danish brands are unique in the U.S. – for example in terms of food, design, and innovation. You must keep up the work for trade and investments between the U.S. and Denmark. A local strategy is vital and you got to meet with locals and relevant stakeholders”. The Ambassador is confident that Danish companies will remain successful at the U.S. market, and he solicits the Danish companies to take a leap of faith and seize the great opportunities in the U.S.
The American-Danish Business Council wishes to thank Ambassador Gifford for the hard work he has done to enhance trade and investments between the U.S. and Denmark. We are delighted to announce that Ambassador Gifford will be part of ADBC’s Honorary Advisory Board together with other prior U.S. Ambassadors to Denmark.