John B. Emerson
Ambassador John B. Emerson
Chairman, American Council on Germany
Vice Chairman, Capital Group International
Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany
Ambassador John B. Emerson was named Chairman of the American Council on Germany at the Council’s Annual Meeting of the Members on January 17, 2018. He is Vice Chairman at Capital Group International. Previously, he was U.S. Ambassador to Germany, from 2013 to 2017.
Serving at a particularly challenging time, in 2015 Ambassador Emerson was awarded the State Department’s prestigious Sue M. Cobb Award for Exemplary Diplomatic Service, which is given annually to a non-career Ambassador who has used private-sector leadership and management skills to make a significant impact on bilateral or multilateral relations through proactive diplomacy. Upon his departure from the post, he was also awarded the highest civilian awards given by the Navy and the CIA, respectively.
Before going to Berlin, he was the President of Capital Group Private Client Services from 1997 to July 2013. Previously, he served on President Clinton’s senior staff, from 1993 to 1997, as Deputy Director of Presidential Personnel, and subsequently as Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. Ambassador Emerson also coordinated the Economic Conference of the Clinton-Gore transition team and led the Administration’s efforts to obtain congressional approval of the GATT Uruguay Round Agreement in 1994, and the extension of China’s Most-Favored-Nation trading status in 1996. In 2010, President Obama appointed Ambassador Emerson to serve on the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.
Earlier in his career, Ambassador Emerson served as the Los Angeles Chief Deputy City Attorney (1987-1993). In 1988, he traveled to Germany on an ACG Political Exchange Fellowship, carried out in collaboration with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Before that, he was a Partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, specializing in business and entertainment litigation and administrative law. Active on a number of civic and charitable Boards, Ambassador Emerson graduated from Hamilton College (AB, 1975) and University of Chicago (JD, 1978).
He is married to human rights activist Kimberly Marteau Emerson. The Emersons have three daughters.