U.S. Ambassador to Nepal: Who Is Randy Berry?

Thursday, May 31, 2018
Randy Berry

Randy W. Berry, a career Foreign Service officer who was the State Department’s first special envoy for human rights of LGBTI persons, was nominated May 10, 2018, to be the U.S. ambassador to Nepal. If he’s confirmed, it will be Berry’s first ambassadorial post.

 

Berry was born in 1965 in Hillside, Colorado, near where his parents, Russell and Eunice, owned a cattle ranch. Berry graduated from Custer County High School in 1983. He then earned a B.A. in 1987 at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas.

 

Berry was an international training manager for America West Airlines in Phoenix before he joined the Foreign Service in 1993. His first assignment was as vice consul in Dhaka, Bangladesh, before taking a similar job in Cairo in 1996.

 

Berry went to the embassy in Kampala, Uganda, in 1998, first as political section chief, and then as regional refugee coordinator. He returned to Washington in 2002 as South Africa desk chief until leaving the following year to be deputy principal officer at the U.S. consulate in Cape Town, South Africa.

 

Berry’s first assignment in Nepal came in 2007, when he was named deputy chief of mission there. In 2009, he moved to Auckland, New Zealand, as consul general, and then to the same job in Amsterdam in 2012.

 

Berry assumed the LGBTI envoy post in February 2015, traveling around the world to help protect LGBTI people from violence and death. He remained in the post for a time after Donald Trump’s inauguration, despite disapproval from some in the conservative community. Tony Perkins, head of the far-right Family Research Council, said: “Keeping Berry only signals to the world that the extreme agenda of the Obama years is still deeply entrenched in the State Department.” Just before Trump took office, Berry was named deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, in addition to his envoy post.

 

Berry and his husband, Pravesh Singh, whom he met while serving in South Africa, have a son, Xander, and a daughter, Arya. Berry speaks Spanish and Arabic.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Trump Retains LGBT State Department Official, Frustrating Christian Conservatives (by Lauren Markoe, Religion News Service)

First Diplomat for LGBT Rights Speaks Out (by Oren Dorell, USA Today)

Randy W. Berry (Wikipedia)

Certificate of Demonstrated Competence (State Department)

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