DIS Students Debate Burning Issues with American Ambassador Rufus Gifford

American Ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford, presented at DIS last Wednesday on the extremely compatible relationship between Denmark and the U.S.

DIS DIS Copenhagen Semester

Ambassador Gifford was introduced by DIS faculty Anders Agner Pedersen and presented to a full room of DIS students who were ready to engage him.

Ambassador Gifford first shared his shift in career, as he initially worked with film in Hollywood, but eventually moved to politics in 2004 when there was an opportunity to work under the John Kerry campaign. Ignited by this first political opportunity, he then filled the role as a Finance Director for Obama in 2011 to 2012, where he was wildly successful. After fundraising $1 billion for Obama’s re-election, the Huffington Post named Rufus Gifford ‘The Man Behind Obama’s Historic Fundraising Machine.’

Ambassador Gifford spoke about his current initiatives while in Denmark, and with that, stressed the above-all importance of intercultural exchange between the United States and Denmark. While there is a vast difference in demographic between the two countries, the Ambassador explained that both have nuances that complement one another. With this, Ambassador Gifford shared his interest in inviting Denmark’s youth to converse with him as much as possible while serving as Ambassador.

Ambassador Gifford then opened up the floor to a Q&A from DIS students and was incredibly open to answering all questions brought to the table. Amongst many political hot topics, highlights of the discussion included the current exportation of ‘Westernization,’ the resources of the Arctic, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), free expression, and the Danish military in alliance with America.

The evening concluded with the opportunity for students to converse personally with Ambassador Gifford, and continue political discussion with classmates, faculty, and staff, along with light snacks and refreshments.

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