A message to the Penn community on my nomination to serve as United States Ambassador to Germany

Earlier today, President Biden nominated me to serve as United States Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. I cannot overstate what a meaningful and extraordinary honor it is to be nominated by the President for this important position of service to our country. As the daughter of a German Jewish refugee, as a first-generation college graduate, and as a university leader devoted to advancing constitutional democracy, I am grateful beyond what any words can adequately express to President Biden for the faith he has placed in me to help represent America’s values and interests to one of our closest and most important European allies. 

Ambassadorial appointments require U.S. Senate confirmation, and Senate hearings on the nomination have not been scheduled. As you know, I have previously signaled my plans to conclude my Presidency of Penn at the end of my eighteenth year, on June 30, 2022. I will continue to avidly work as Penn President until then or the time when there is a Senate confirmation, which would likely mean that I would be leaving the presidency several months earlier than previously planned. 

Until that time, I remain absolutely energized and engaged in leading Penn with an unrivaled leadership team and community of faculty, students, staff, and alumni. The Penn community has shown its true mettle more than ever this year, and to great effect for our city and Commonwealth, country and world. 

As you know, I care deeply about our mission of research, teaching, patient care, and civic service, and I adore working with all of you. I will remain dedicated to furthering these essential roles that make our community, country, and world a better place. Every day, we will continue to work together and focus on an inspiring overarching goal—making Penn a more impactful, innovative, and inclusive institution—and that certainly does not change with my nomination.

I have had conversations with the leadership of our Board of Trustees and we all can rest assured that they are planning for a smooth transition. We have a most dedicated and talented leadership team and Board of Trustees that are altogether unsurpassed in higher education, so there is every reason to be confident that the operations of our University will proceed apace without any interruptions.

I will keep you posted as this process proceeds. I wish you a restful summer as we look forward to the fall and our joyful return to on-campus operations.