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gifford

Rufus Gifford

Former US Ambassador to Denmark
Country: USA

Our keynote speaker Rufus Gifford is easily the most popular US ambassador Denmark has ever had. Together with his husband, Stephen, he has won the hearts of the Danes and become a household name. In his keynotes, Rufus speaks about his time in Denmark and political cooperation between Denmark and the United States.

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During the period between August 2013 to January 2017, the keynote speaker Rufus Gifford was the US ambassador to Denmark. He was the star of the award-winning documentary series “I am the Ambassador”  which was recently purchased by Netflix and iTunes and is currently being broadcast in over ten countries. CNN has called him “anti-trump”, the Wall Street Journal considers him a “viral sensation”, and The Atlantic called him a “rockstar”. In January 2017, Rufus was afforded the great honor of becoming a knight of the Order of the Dannebrog by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

As an ambassador, Rufus Gifford’s personal mission was to transform a historically good relationship with Denmark, into meeting the challenges of the future by engaging the Danes, especially the youth, in issues that affect us all. Deciding to modernize diplomacy and build credible institutions, Rufus Gifford has pursued a public diplomatic strategy, and has allowed cameras to document his life and work, exemplified by his biography ‘Ambassador – The History of an American Dream’ published in 2015.

After graduating from Brown University in 1996, our speaker Rufus Gifford left his native Massachusetts to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, but entered the political world in 2004, in an unpaid internship on John Kerry’s presidential campaign. It signalled the start of an impressive political career, starting with his own consultancy and later working as a senior staff member and Finance Director on Barack Obama’s  Presidential re-election campaign.

In his freetime Rufus Gifford enjoys running, cycling and sailing. He married veterinarian Stephen DeVincent in 2015 in Denmark, and together the pair have a Golden Retriever, Argos.

    Keynote by Speaker Rufus Gifford 

    MY TIME IN DENMARK

    • In this personal and entertaining lecture, the keynote speaker Rufus Gifford talks about the last months of being an ambassador, including his honest thoughts and feelings about the recent presidential election, and the current role of the United States with Donald Trump as president. Rufus, also shares his experiences in Denmark and with the Danes – both as an ambassador, but also as an individual. Rufus also gives an insight about his future plans.
    • The keynote also includes an open quiz session, where Rufus will respond to as many questions from the audience as possible.

     

    Keynote by Speaker Rufus Gifford

    AMERICAN POLITICS

    • In this keynote, Rufus Gifford gives his insight to some of the topics that are affecting American politics right now. Where the United States is well into the Trump presidency, how does Trump, as a President, change the business climate in the United States. What does it now mean for Denmark (or Norway or Germany, for that matter) that Trump has become president and what is the most important task for the American Left and the Democrats? In addition, Rufus can also talk about NATO, trade, human rights and environmental policy.

     

    Keynote by Speaker Rufus Gifford

    COMMUNICATION AND PUBLIC DIPLOMACY

    • Throughout his time as US Ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford and his staff initiated and practiced a groundbreaking and American foreign policy in an unprecedented form of public diplomacy. In this exciting keynote, Rufus talks about modern communication and how traditional institutions (companies and governments) can apply modern technology to interact better with real people. This may, for example be on social media, where Rufus, as the Ambassador, increased their reach by a factor of 10.

     

    Keynote by Speaker Rufus Gifford

    DIVERSITY

    • During his work as Ambassador, our speaker Rufus Gifford has discovered how many companies were particularly interested in development and growth in the American Society, especially in relation to the immigration and integration challenges also in Denmark. Gain a unique insight into Rufus’ view of the matter. Rufus also speaks in this lecture on Gay rights and the struggle for equality. A thoughtful lecture on everything related to minorities and diversity.
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Rufus Gifford’s Keynote Speaking Topics