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John Berry’s distinguished public service career spans more than thirty years. Prior to becoming the 25th U.S. Ambassador to Australia in September 2013, he served as the Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management – the federal government’s “chief people person,” — where he directed a workforce of nearly two million -– from April 2009 to April 2013. Hiring of veterans and people with disabilities reached record highs under his leadership. In this role, Mr. Berry was the highest ranking openly LGBT executive in U.S. history.
He was the Director of the National Zoo from 2005-2009, and Director of the non-profit National Fish and Wildlife Foundation from 2000-2005. Previously, he served as Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget at the Department of the Interior from 1997 to 2000, Director of Government Relations at the Smithsonian Institution from 1995 to 1997, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Law Enforcement in the U.S. Treasury Department from 1994 to 1995. Berry served as legislative director for U.S. Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD) from 1985 to 1994. He began his government career in 1982 as a management intern in Montgomery County, Maryland and served as legislative aide in the Maryland General Assembly.
As Ambassador, he seeks to strengthen the U.S.-Australia alliance, which has served as an anchor of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the world for more than sixty years; to increase bilateral trade and investment; and to deepen cultural, scientific and environmental cooperation between the United States and Australia.