Opening Statement before the United States House of Representatives
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
The Honorable Gordon D. Sondland
U.S. Ambassador to the European Union
November 20, 2019
Thank you Mr. Chairman for the opportunity to speak again to the Members of this
First, let me offer my thanks to the men and women of the U.S. Department of State, who
have committed their professional lives to support the foreign policy work of the United States.
In particular, I want to thank my staff at the U.S. Mission to the European Union. Your integrity,
dedication, and hardwork -- often performed without public acclaim or recognition -- serve as a
shining example of true public service, and I am personally grateful to work beside you each and
It is my honor to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union. The U.S. Mission
to the EU is the direct link between the United States and the European Union and its members,
America’s longest-standing allies and one of the largest economic blocks in the world. Every
day, I work to support a strong, united, and peaceful Europe. Strengthening our ties with Europe
serves both American and European goals, as we together promote political stability and
economic prosperity around the world.
I expect that few Americans have heard my name before these events. So before I begin
my substantive testimony, please let me share some of my personal background.
My parents fled Europe during the Holocaust. Escaping the atrocities of that time, my
parents left Germany for Uruguay, and then in 1953 emigrated to Seattle, Washington, where I
was born and raised. Like so many immigrants, my family was eager for freedom and hungry
for opportunity. They raised my sister and me to be humble, hardworking, and patriotic, and I
am forever grateful for the sacrifices they made on our behalf.
Public service has always been important to me. As a lifelong Re