Ambassador Howery’s remarks

January 11, 2021

Statement by Ambassador Howery 
“Like many around the world, I was horrified by the mob violence against the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, January 6.  This violent attack on America’s democracy cannot be justified.  Those who perpetrated it should face justice, and U.S. law enforcement is working to do that.  From today until sunset January 13, the flags at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm and all U.S. federal buildings are flying at half-staff as a sign of respect for the service and sacrifice of United States Capitol Police Officers Brian D. Sicknick, Howard Liebengood, and all Capitol Police Officers and law enforcement across the United States.  My thoughts are with their families and colleagues.”

December 31, 2020

New Year’s Eve Statement
“As we come to the end of a very difficult year, we have much to look forward to in 2021.  We have all had to face enormous disruptions in our lives; many people have lost jobs and suffered illness.   And sadly, too many families have lost loved ones to the relentless virus.  As we enter the New Year and the days become longer and brighter, however, we can look forward to the prospect of safe and effective vaccines and, in the not-too-distant future, even perhaps a return to some normalcy.  We still have several hard weeks and months ahead, but hope is on the horizon.  I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very safe, healthy, and happy New Year.  Gott Nytt År!”

December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve Statement
“Christmas is the season of family, friends, and fellowship.  Like so many other things during the past nine months, this holiday so many of us cherish will have to be celebrated a little differently.  While we may not be able to gather together, as we have in years past, the spirit of the holiday is, perhaps, more important than ever.  Kindness, generosity, and the thought of those we cherish most should be celebrated, even if we have to celebrate in smaller groups or virtually.  As we brighten our homes with light this Christmas, let’s take inspiration from that light and think of the future when we can be together again in person.  I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and God Jul!”

December 17, 2020

Remarks at virtual KTH event on Entrepreneurship
“Technology, as you know, is the product of the mixing of ideas about how we can do something better, the application of proven techniques in new ways, and a lot of hard work.  It is an exciting creative process grounded in science and engineering — a process many of you listening in today know a great deal of about.  I consider myself something of a technologist, but what I have particularly enjoyed in my pre-diplomatic career has been combining technology and business as an entrepreneur.”

December 10, 2020

2020 Nobel Prize Statement
“As the world’s eyes turn to Sweden today, Alfred Nobel Day, it is fitting that we take time to honor those who have conferred what he called the “greatest benefit on mankind.”  It is even more important this year that we celebrate the men and women who have received Nobel Prizes.  The virus may have forced the annual ceremony to become virtual, but their achievements are perhaps more real, more meaningful than ever.”

November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving Day Statement
“Thanksgiving is a time for reflection and for gratitude. It is a time when we gather with friends and family to give thanks for all that we have. Often, the thanks that we give is that we have each other. That is especially important this year, a year when we all have faced unprecedented challenges to the way we live, work, and interact with one another.”

October 20, 2020

Remarks at Studentafton, Lund University
“I think that seeing opportunity where others don’t and fiercely embracing the unknown are qualities that many people in the United States and Sweden share, and I would suggest that is also why the our two countries are so successful in creating new exciting companies.  Just last week, The Economist reported on the large rise in startups in the United States during the pandemic and the positive prospects of that development for the U.S. economy and employment.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there were similar reports about Sweden.  One of the key elements of the U.S.-Swedish relationship is our economic relationship, and I am very pleased to report that our trade and investment ties are strong.”

October 7, 2020

Remarks for Art in Embassies Reception
“I’m very happy to have you all here this afternoon to view the innovative and imaginative American art that has now been installed in this wonderful, historic home.  It is my honor and privilege as the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden to be able to showcase the works of a dozen artists here in Villa Åkerlund through the U.S. Department of State’s Art in Embassies program.”

October 1, 2020

Pre-recorded remarks for the 2020 SACC-USA Executive Forum
“I think the theme of this year’s event, ’Forces of Change,’ is a particularly timely and poignant one.  The ability to adapt and evolve has always been an important characteristic of any successful company (I speak from experience here), but I think we can all agree that this year has tested them all in unprecedented ways.  This spring and summer have challenged not just business but all of us to change the way we live and interact.  The U.S. Embassy in Sweden is no exception.  We have moved from fikas and regular office meetings to virtual interactions and teleworking to a degree previously thought impossible.  Like private enterprise, we have experienced the increased demand for communication and collaboration platforms, cyber security solutions, and seamless connectivity.  Welcome to the world of digital diplomacy!”

September 9, 2020

Remarks at the Hamilton screening
“Hamilton, however, is not just a story about the formation of a government. It is also a story of hope. It is a story that celebrates the ability of an individual to overcome inconceivable challenges, and the crucial contributions of immigrants to the United States.  It is the story of the American Dream.  I believe the musical’s astonishing success is due in no small part to the fact that it reflects so many of the ideals upon which the United States of America is founded and that we all hold dear today.”

September 1, 2020

Remarks ​by Ambassador Howery at a Reception in Honor of the Alice Aycock Sculpture Exhibition 
“During the Foundation’s virtual inauguration of Ms. Aycock’s sculpture exhibition in June of this year, I noted that the arts have been an integral part of the history of the United States.  We have benefited from the diversity of artistic influences that have arrived on American shores, and these influences then become mixed, tempered, and transformed to become something distinctly American.”

August 30-September 2, 2020

Remarks for the 2020 Independence Day Receptions 
“This has been a year of challenges.  A year unlike any we have ever experienced.  The last pandemic to strike the world with such impact was more than a hundred years ago.  Yet while we have been compelled to make changes over the past six months to how we travel, how we work, and even how we live, I am an optimist.  I believe that, despite the horrific losses we have suffered, and despite the disruptions to our daily lives  that we must still endure, we will come out of this pandemic stronger than before.  As Albert Einstein once said, “In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.”

July 4, 2020

Independence Day remarks
“July 4th is usually a time of celebration in the United States, and although we are certainly proud of our 244 years of independence, this year we must acknowledge that 2020 has presented us all with profound challenges: a global pandemic that has taken the lives of so many in the United States, Sweden, and around the world, as well as the resulting worldwide economic downturn and widespread unemployment. In the United States, we also saw tragic deaths at the hands of police that have triggered mass protests and long overdue discussions about equality, justice, and reform across continents, including Europe.”

June 5, 2020

Opening remarks: “Strengthening the Transatlantic Bond to Confront Today’s Challenges”
“We firmly believe that partnerships will be key to success in confronting complex, multilateral challenges.  But these partnerships must be founded on shared responsibility. They will require burden-sharing, free and fair trade and bilateral and multilateral agreements that are both reciprocal and substantive. These are guiding principles for our current foreign policy approach.”

February 13, 2020

Remarks at the Sweden-U.S. Entrepreneurship Forum, Norrbotten
“Sweden’s far north is full of people looking for opportunities were others don’t, and who madly embrace the unknown of the Arctic’s shifting environment.  It has been inspiring to meet so many Arctic “entrepreneurs” of one stripe or another during my week here.  But this is not so surprising as the Arctic’s ever-changing environment demands an entrepreneurial spirit.  It’s full of opportunities and unknowns to which Arctic nations like Sweden and the United States must begin to adapt in order to find innovative solutions.  It was for this reason that I wanted to come to Sweden’s North early in my tenure as Ambassador:  to learn about how Sweden is facing those opportunities and unknowns and to see how the United States can better work with Sweden in the Arctic.”

February 5, 2020

Remarks for Lunch in honor of Holocaust survivors
“This year we mark 75 years since the Shoah.  I am not a descendant of survivors myself, but like so many Americans I feel a very personal connection to the events of World War II as both of my grandfathers served in the U.S. military during this period.  I think there are very few – if any – other conflicts in history that were as black and white as the Second World War, where the purposes and intentions of one side were so wholly unjust and despicable.  And, whether we realize it or not, all of our lives, and the reality in which we currently live, have been greatly influenced by the events of the war and, in particular, the Holocaust.”

January 14, 2020

Remarks at Chalmers University of Technology – “The United States and Sweden: Strong Partners for a Better Future”
“Today, I would like to speak about the United States and Sweden, our strong partnership, and my conviction that we can make a better future for ourselves and each other through even deeper cooperation. Given my background, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that I truly believe that innovation and technology will be key to solving our most difficult challenges and seizing new opportunities. I can think of no better place to convey this message than here in Gothenburg.”

December 12, 2019

Remarks at Partnership for Peace reception – NATO at the core of European Security
“While NATO by itself is the strongest and most successful Alliance in history, NATO works best when it works with partners.  The Partnership for Peace has served as proof of concept, and it has led to meaningful cooperation around the world.  For example, 12 partner nations take part in the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, contributing some 2,000 troops.  And twenty-two partner nations took part in Resolute Support’s predecessor, the International Security Assistance Force.  The Partnership for Peace led to Sweden becoming an Enhanced Opportunities Partner, the most comprehensive level of cooperation available for NATO partners.”

November 7, 2019

Credentialing Reception Remarks
“It is a privilege to represent the United States in any country.  But it is a particular privilege to serve as the U.S. Ambassador in a country like Sweden, one of America’s most important partners in Europe and a force for good in the world.  The relationship between the United States and Sweden has deep roots.  Almost four centuries ago, during the reign of Queen Christina, Swedes established a colony in present-day Delaware.  And in 1783, Sweden was the first non-belligerent country to recognize our new republic as an independent country.   (My most distinguished predecessor, Benjamin Franklin, had a hand in that.) Since that time our relationship has only grown stronger, in large part because of the millions of Swedes who emigrated to the United States and helped make our country what it is today.”