Gutmann’s father, who was born to an Orthodox Jewish family in Bavaria, fled Nazi Germany in 1934 after Hitler’s rise to power.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
President Joe Biden has named Amy Guttman as the new U.S. ambassador to Germany, sources told Reuters on Wednesday.
The report has not been officially confirmed by the White House or State Department.
Guttman, 71, is a prominent academic who currently serves as the president of the University of Pennsylvania. Her salary of $3.6 million in 2017 made her the highest-paid university president in the Ivy League.
Guttman’s father Kurt, who was born to an Orthodox Jewish family in Bavaria, fled Nazi Germany in 1934 after Hitler’s rise to power. Initially denied asylum in the United States, he lived in Bombay, India for more than a decade before eventually immigrating to New York.
In a 2011 interview with the New York Times, Guttman named her father’s experience as a refugee as one of the biggest influences on her life.
“I would not even exist if it weren’t for his combination of courage and farsightedness,” she said.
“He saw what was coming with Hitler and he took all of his family and left for India. That took a lot of courage. That is always something in the back of my mind.”
While the German government did not formally confirm or deny the report, an official told Reuters that they welcome the nomination.
“With Amy Gutmann, Joe Biden is relying on an experienced bridge builder. She is taking on a difficult legacy after Richard Grenell,” Johann Wadephul, a leading politician in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative alliance, said.
Grenell, who was appointed by former president Donald Trump, had been critical of some German policies, including backing the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Gutmann would take over from temporary ambassador Robin Quinville.
Quinville was appointed after Grenell stepped down from the position.