President Biden has tapped a former Danish reality television star to serve as the State Department’s new chief of protocol.
Rufus Gifford became a sensation in Copenhagen while serving as ambassador to Denmark during Barack Obama’s second term after starring in two seasons in the show “Jeg er Ambassadøren fra Amerika” or “I Am the Ambassador from America.”
The series ran from 2014 to 2016 and showed Danes what typical life was like for America’s ambassador on their turf. The show gave viewers a window into Gifford’s personal life, including his relationship with veterinarian Stephen DeVincent, who he later married.
Gifford, 46, even earned a Danish television award for the show, according to Washingtonian magazine.
Gifford is also an improv comic and has some showbiz bonafides, too, having served as an associate producer for the 2003 Eddie Murphy comedy “Daddy Day Care” and worked on a few other flicks in the early 2000s.
After leaving Copenhagen, Gifford attempted a run for Congress in Massachusetts before heading back to the private sector as a consultant. He returned to public life to serve as a Deputy Campaign Manager for Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.
“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,” read an official White House announcement Friday lauding his civic work.
In his new role Gifford, who will retain the rank of ambassador, will assist Biden and other top US leaders with proper diplomatic protocols when visiting or receiving foreign dignitaries. He will also be in charge of scheduling itineraries for visiting officials form abroad.
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