From Iceland — Iceland's US Embassy Under New Management

Iceland’s US Embassy Under New Management

Published January 29, 2021

John Pearson
Photo by
U.S. Mission to the O.S.C.E.

A new deputy ambassador was appointed last week as interim head of the US embassy in Iceland, following the recent resignation of the ambassador.

Harry Kamian is a career diplomat with 28 years of foreign service experience, Visir reports, including work in Vietnam, Chile, Turkey, Cuba and El Salvador. He holds a degree in International Relations and Spanish from the University of California.

Jeffrey Ross Gunter, the former Icelandic ambassador, was a dermatologist before he took up his post in Reykjavík. He had no prior experience of professional diplomacy, and had never visited Iceland before he took the role. Mr. Gunter was a financial supporter of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, and was appointed as ambassador to Iceland by the former president.

Mr. Gunter was at the centre of a number of controversies during his tenure. CBS reports that he requested door-to-door armoured car transport, personal bodyguards and a gun, and that he entertained the idea of wearing a stab-proof vest – despite being posted to one of the safest capital cities in the world. These, and several further issues, led to US citizens in Iceland calling for Mr. Gunter to be relieved of his post.

Mr. Kamian is looking forward to bringing his considerable diplomatic expertise to his new role. “I am excited to be in Iceland, and I am looking forward to getting to know the country and to meeting as many Icelanders as possible over the next few months,” he wrote on Facebook, adding: “I am committed to deepening the strong and productive relationship between the United States and Iceland.”

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