Thomas Barrett, nominated as new US Ambassador to Luxembourg; Credit: Flickr

Following the announcement on Wednesday 25 August 2021, when the President of the USA, Joe Biden, announced his intent to nominate Thomas Barrett to serve as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the decision has been ratified by the US Senate on Thursday 16 December 2021.

Mayor of Milwaukee since 2004, Thomas Barrett is currently the longest-serving big city mayor in the US. He has led great lakes mayors in both Canada and the U.S. as the chair of the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence Cities Initiative, and spearheaded multiple clean, green initiatives in the city to clean up rivers, parks and brownfields. He served five terms as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives and was a State Senator and State Representative in Wisconsin. 

Thomas Barrett received a B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a J.D. with honours from the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison. He clerked for the Honorable Robert W. Warren, Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Thomas Barrett is 64 years old, is married to Kris Barrett and ahs four children. He succeeds Randy Evans who stood down as Ambassador at the time of the US Presidential election and handover of power to the Biden administration.

In Milwaukee, Common Council President Cavalier Johnson will take over as acting mayor until a special election is held. Thomas Barrett said that he hoped to have the special election coincide with the scheduled spring election on 5 April to avoid additional cost to taxpayers; for that to happen, Thomas Barrett would have to leave office by 28 December. He said that being an ambassador bars him from participating in any partisan politics, which is why he can not endorse a candidate for mayor.