A Farewell Message from Ambassador Howery

My time as the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Sweden is unfortunately coming to an end.  As per our tradition in the United States, Ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the President and it is customary to submit one’s resignation as administrations change.

While I expect to return to private life in the United States, Sweden will always be a second home to me.  I have been so honored to represent the United States and the American people as Ambassador to a wonderful country that is a longstanding and close friend and partner.

I leave Sweden knowing that the relationship between our two countries is even stronger than when I arrived.  Together, we worked hand-in-hand to address global issues including health, the Arctic, disinformation, promotion of democracy, human rights, free trade, and regional security.  I was proud to advocate for policies that advance our common interests while bringing us closer together, such as a significant boost in Sweden’s defense spending, increased interoperability of our military systems, maintaining a strong communication channel on the DPRK to push for denuclearization given Sweden’s role as the U.S. protecting power, and alignment around potential threats to 5G technology.  Our shared values and global leadership give me confidence that no problem is insurmountable when our two countries work together, and with other like-minded partners around the world.

This was also a year of unprecedented challenges, and I’m proud to say we rose to meet them together.  While the pandemic has caused disruption in all of our lives, it has also provided opportunities for new ways of interacting, new ways of doing business, and new research to help counter the current pandemic.  Both Sweden and the United States are well placed to take advantage of these new opportunities, and I am certain that we will emerge from this crisis stronger than before.

My time as Ambassador has given me the chance to meet so many fascinating, talented, and engaging people from all walks of life, both in person and virtually, and I sincerely wish I could have met even more.  As I traveled, I was humbled by both the beauty of this country and the character of its citizens. Visiting Sweden’s highest peak, the southernmost point, the spectacular archipelagos that dot its west and east coasts, and everywhere in between, I was always grateful for the kindness, hospitality, and generosity of its people.  I have tremendous respect for everyone I’ve met in the Swedish government, including the military, private sector, academia, and the general public — you have truly been outstanding colleagues and friends. My admiration for Sweden has grown every day. You have made this the experience of a lifetime, and I will always cherish the memories of my time here.

I must also thank the great team at the U.S. Embassy in Sweden who have worked tirelessly to make not only my time as Ambassador a success, but who do the work of the American people day in and day out, year-round with unmatched dedication and professionalism.  They are an inspiration, and I am very proud to have worked alongside such dedicated public servants and local employees who represent the best of what the United States has to offer. I depart knowing that the relationship is secure in their good hands.

Thank you, Sweden.