Officially In: Philip D. Murphy to Berlin

US Embassy Berlin/OBO Photo

On June July 9, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Philip D. Murphy to be his Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany.

Philip D. Murphy served as the head of Goldman Sachs’s Frankfurt, Germany office from 1993-97. During that period, he had oversight responsibility for Goldman Sachs’s activities in the German region, which principally included all of Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and the then-emerging nations of Central Europe. In all, Mr. Murphy spent 23 years at Goldman Sachs and held such high level positions as President of Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC, Co-Head of Goldman Sachs’s Investment Management Division, member of the firm’s Management Committee and head of Private Wealth Management. He became a Senior Director of the firm in 2003, a position he held until his retirement in 2006.

After leaving Goldman Sachs, Mr. Murphy served from 2006-09 as the National Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Since leaving the DNC earlier this year, he has been a principal of Murphy Endeavors, LLC. He has devoted substantial time over the years to civic, community and philanthropic affairs. He co-chaired a task force of the Center for American Progress and The Institute for America’s Future on public education for the 21st century; chaired a benefits review task force appointed by New Jersey Governor Richard Codey on public sector employee benefits; served on boards and/or committees of the NAACP, The Goldman Sachs Foundation, The Wharton School’s Graduate Executive and Asian Advisory Boards, 180 Turning Lives Around and The U.S. Soccer Foundation.

Mr. Murphy graduated from Harvard University with an A.B. in Economics and received an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

* * * has included Mr. Murphy and his wife, Tammy in its list of Heavy Hitters who have contributed at least $50,000 to federal candidates and parties during one or more election cycles while affiliated with Goldman Sachs. The Murphys total contributions are listed at $1,221,500 with 92% going to Dems.

Related Item:
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 7-9-09

Top Most Expensive Places to Live in the Foreign Service

The cost-of-living allowances are those allowances that are designed to reimburse employees for certain excess costs that they incur as a result of their employment overseas where the cost of living, exclusive of quarters costs, is substantially higher than in Washington, D.C.

Below are the top most expensive places to live for Foreign Service personnel; alphabetic list based on government COLA rates as of June 2009:


Geneva, Bern, Other

#2. JAPAN [80%]

Akashi, Nagoya, Sapporo, Osaka-Kobe, Kyoto, Komaki

#3. DENMARK [70%]

Copenhagen, Other

#4. FRANCE [70%]

Garches, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Paris, Sevres, Suresnes, Versailles

#5. ITALY [70%]

Florence, Milan, Turin

#6. NORWAY [70%]


#7. ZIMBABWE [70%]

Harare, Other

#8. BERMUDA [60%]


#9. GABON [60%]

Libreville, Other

#10. FRANCE [60%]


#11. HOLY SEE [60%]

Holy See

#12. ITALY [60%]


#13. JAPAN [60%]


#14. SPAIN [60%]


Post (Cost of Living) Allowance FAQ (Also see DSSR Chapter 220). You can check out the full list of Post Cost of Living rates here.

Insider Quote: Learning a Language – the Best Antidote to That Classic Sin

“Learning a language is a path to the avoidance of the kinds of misunderstandings and miscalculations that give rise to conflict. It is essential to understand how the native speakers of the language think. It is the sine qua non of transnational cooperation and alliance management. It is also the best antidote to the classic sin of analysts and military commanders: the tendency to view one’s partners and competitors as the mirror image of oneself, projecting onto them one’s own values and thought processes rather than understanding their perspectives and proclivities in their own terms, for what they are. In peacetime such false expectations are a source of tension; in wartime they can lead to surprise and defeat.”

Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr.

Honoring Language Learners

At the spring’s graduation ceremonies at West Point to present awards to cadets who had excelled in learning Chinese and Russian