Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Rufus Gifford to be @StateDept’s Chief of Protocol

13 Going on 14 — GFM:

On May 28, 2021, President Biden announced his intent to nominate his Deputy Campaign Manager and former US Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford to be the State Department’s Chief of Protocol with the rank of Ambassador during his tenure. The WH released the following brief bio:

Rufus Gifford, Nominee for Chief of Protocol, with the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service, Department of State

Rufus Gifford is a private consultant who left his consultancy work to serve as Deputy Campaign Manager, Biden for President. Earlier, Gifford was the U.S. Ambassador to Denmark.  Prior to that, Gifford was the Finance Chair of the Presidential Inaugural Committee in Washington, D.C., Finance Director, Obama for America, Chicago, Illinois, and Finance Director, Democratic National Committee, Washington, DC.  Earlier he was the California Finance Director, Presidential Inaugural Committee, for President Obama’s first inauguration and was a Political Consultant in Los Angeles, California.  Actively engaged as a civil society leader, Gifford has promoted and sponsored a variety of organizations including UTEC in Lowell, Massachusetts, The LGBT History Museum in New York, NY, Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C. and The Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, MA. Gifford received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 1996. 

According to, the Department first established a Division of Protocol on Feb 4, 1928. All incumbents since 1961 have held the rank of Ambassador. The Protocol Office has been part of the Office of the Secretary of State since July 12, 1965. The Chief of Protocol serves as the protocol officer for the U.S. Government and advises the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of State, and other high-ranking officials on this subject.
If confirmed, Ambassador Gifford would succeed Sean P. Lawler who served from 2017 until 2019. Lawler made news just prior to the G-20 summit in 2019 and left his post shortly after that according to news reports. The Chief of Protocol office has been a hot mess:

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