Posted: 14:15 EST
Updated 17:01 EST
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Today, Secretary Kerry announced the appointment of FSO Randy Berry as the first-ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons. Below is an excerpt from Secretary Kerry’s remarks:
We looked far and wide to find the right American official for this important assignment. Randy’s a leader. He’s a motivator. But most importantly for this effort, he’s got vision. Wherever he’s served – from Nepal to New Zealand, from Uganda to Bangladesh, from Egypt to South Africa, and most recently as Consul General in Amsterdam – Randy has excelled. He’s a voice of clarity and conviction on human rights. And I’m confident that Randy’s leadership as our new Special Envoy will significantly advance efforts underway to move towards a world free from violence and discrimination against LGBT persons.
Defending and promoting the human rights of LGBT persons is at the core of our commitment to advancing human rights globally – the heart and conscience of our diplomacy. That’s why we’re working to overturn laws that criminalize consensual same-sex conduct in countries around the world. It’s why we’re building our capacity to respond rapidly to violence against LGBT persons, and it’s why we’re working with governments, civil society, and the private sector through the Global Equality Fund to support programs advancing the human rights of LGBT persons worldwide.
Read the full announcement here.
Prior to his appointment, Randy Berry was the U.S. Consul General in Amsterdam. Below is his official bio from USCG Amsterdam:
Randy W. Berry arrived in Amsterdam August 3, 2012. He was United States Consul General in Auckland, New Zealand from 2009 to 2012, and prior to that, Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal from 2007 to 2009.
Mr. Berry’s career with the State Department has also taken him to postings in Bangladesh, Egypt, Uganda (twice), and South Africa, as well as Washington DC. Mr. Berry holds a State Department Superior Honor Award, and is a nine-time Meritorious Honor Award recipient. He speaks Spanish and Arabic.
Mr. Berry was raised on a family cattle ranch in rural Custer County, Colorado. He is a graduate of Bethany College of Lindsborg, Kansas, and was a Rotary Scholar at the University of Adelaide, South Australia. Before joining the Foreign Service in 1993, Berry worked as an international training manager for America West Airlines in Phoenix, Arizona.
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