US Ambassador Carla Sands Says Farewell

  • January 25, 2021
  • January 28, 2021


With the inauguration of President Biden on January 20, the traditional resignations of previous administration appointments took place, and that included U.S. Ambassador to Denmark, Carla Sands.  It will likely be several months until a new US Ambassador to Denmark is appointed.  

NFDA reached out to former Ambassador to Denmark Laurie Fulton (term 2009-2013), to get some insight on the process, "It is traditional that all persons serving in positions as political appointees of the President submit their resignations effective upon the inauguration of the incoming President.  On January 7th, President Trump reportedly sent such a letter asking all political appointees to submit their resignations by the 20th of January.   This includes Ambassador Sands and other Ambassadors who are political appointees."

Fulton went on to say, "Because there are so many positions to be filled in a new Administration which require Senate confirmation, ambassadorships are not announced until March or later.  During the period between when the current ambassador resigns and the new ambassador is confirmed by the Senate and assumes her position in country (in this case, Denmark), the Deputy Chief of Mission becomes chargé d’affaires."

The Deputy Chief of Mission is Stuart A. Dwyer.  On January 20th, Sands tweeted, "It's been a privilege serving the Trump Administration for over 3 years as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark. I’ve enjoyed promoting (American, Danish, Greenland, Faroe Islands) relations.  Please continue to follow @USAmbDenmark to hear from Chargé d’Affaires Dwyer and the great team at @USEmbDenmark."

Posted on the Embassy Facebook Page Tuesday Jan 19 - "At her farewell ceremony Ambassador Sands received the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award – the highest recognition for non-career civilians – for her vision and leadership in strengthening US - DK, FO, GL security cooperation in the Kingdom of Denmark. Building on a pivotal time in the United States-Kingdom of Denmark bilateral relationship, Ambassador Sands served as the catalyst for resolving key issues involving Thule Air Base in partnership with the Greenlandic and Danish governments."

In the Danish Press, the Christian Daily (Kristeligt Dagblad) reported -

Some of what several people will recall from Carla Sands's time as ambassador to Denmark will also be her role in connection with the President's interest in the Arctic including Greenland. In August 2019 it emerged that Donald Trump had expressed an interest in buying Greenland from Denmark. It was great news at home , where Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (Social Democrat) was quick to state that Greenland is not for sale. That rejection prompted Trump to cancel a planned visit to Denmark. During that time, Carla Sands, as ambassador, held several meetings with the Danish government to try to quell the case.  Also until recently, Carla Sands has been in contact with the Danish Government. Here, however, the subject was different. After the onslaught of protesters against Congress, Carla Sands received a diplomatic message from Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod (Social Democrat). The message was that Donald Trump should acknowledge his defeat in the presidential election and ensure a peaceful transition. According to (Danish Newspaper Berlingske), this was the first time ever that a Danish Foreign Minister was protesting about internal US affairs.

Danish publication Billed-Bladet wrote that former US Ambassador Rufus Gifford (term 2013-2017) was emotionally moved on the day his friend Joe Biden was inaugurated -

Rufus Gifford took Denmark by storm when he became the American ambassador to Denmark during Barack Obama's presidency. When Donald Trump won the presidential election, Rufus Gifford could no longer be ambassador. Since then, he has worked closely with Joe Biden in the election campaign, and now he can see that the work was bearing fruit. A touching day on Wednesday morning, Rufus Gifford was on a virtual connection on "Good Morning Denmark".  Here he expressed how great a day it was for him, "It's very emotional for me - we have worked hard for this" said Gifford in the program.

Gifford said his future involvement with the administration is uncertain.  Many are hoping for him to return to Denmark as ambassador.  But there is speculation that he will be appointed as Chief of Protocol at the State Department.

- NFDA Thanks contributors Former Ambassador Laurie Fulton, and Lotte and Per Gregersen in Denmark.

Carla Sands

U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark
Term of Appointment 12/2017 – 1/20/2021

Ambassador Carla Sands was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 2, 2017 as the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark.

Prior to her appointment, Ambassador Sands had a diverse career in the entrepreneurial, investment, and philanthropic sectors, with a focus on real estate, community service and education. As Chairman of Vintage Capital Group, LLC, she also served on President Trump’s Transition Finance Committee and Economic Advisory Council in 2016, and was the California Delegate for the 33rd Congressional District to the 2016 Republican National Convention.

A strong supporter of arts and education, Ambassador Sands has served on the boards of Pepperdine University, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Arts, the California Cultural and Historical Endowment, the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, among others. She was also the President and Chairman of the Blue Ribbon, an organization that supports the Los Angeles Music Center and produces the Children’s Festival each spring. She also served on the Board of Visitors of the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture.

Ambassador Sands holds a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic College.

- U.S. Embassy in Denmark Website

Embassy in Denmark Website

National Foundation for Danish America
PO Box 1003
Wilmette, Illinois 60091

Contact Us

Log in
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software