John B. Emerson was confirmed by the US Senate on August 1, 2013 as Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. Serving in Berlin, he was the 2015 recipient of the State Department's Sue M. Cobb Award for Exemplary Diplomatic Service, which is given annually to one non-career Ambassador who has used their private sector leadership and management skills to make a substantive impact through proactive diplomacy. In 2017 he was awarded the Distinguished Public Service Award by the Secretary of the Navy, the highest civilian honor the Secretary can award, and the CIA Medal for his service during a time of great challenge for the intelligence community. He serves as chair of the American Council on Germany.
Mr. Emerson was President of Private Client Services of the Capital Group (1997-2013), served on President Clinton’s senior White House staff (1993-1997) as Deputy Director of Presidential Personnel and then Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs (as the President's liaison to the nations' governors). He led the Administration’s efforts to obtain congressional approval of the GATT Uruguay Round in 1994. In 2010, President Obama appointed him to serve on his Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.
Before his White House service, Mr. Emerson was Los Angeles Chief Deputy City Attorney (1987-1993) and as a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. He has been active in civic affairs, serving as Chair of the L A Music Center (2003-11) and on several other LA Area civic and non-profit boards.
Mr. Emerson, originally from the suburbs of New York City, earned his B.A. in Government and Philosophy from Hamilton College and his J.D. from the University of Chicago. Moving to Los Angeles in 1978, he is married to PCIP Member Kimberly Marteau Emerson, who served in a senior role at USIA in the Clinton Administration and sits on the Human Rights Watch international board.