How do you say “Go Mustangs” in German? Perhaps we should ask former President of Marlborough’s Board of Trustees, John Emerson, who was confirmed as the United States Ambassador to the German Federal Republic on Aug. 1. Emerson, his wife, Kimberly, and their three daughters, Jackie ’12, Hayley ’15, and Taylor ’15, recently moved to Berlin, Germany.
Emerson went from being President at Capital Group Private Client Services, a global investment management firm, where his job included overseeing investments for foundations and families, to being an Ambassador to the United States, managing trade, foreign policy, and international security issues between the United States and Germany. An ambassador’s other important roles include advising the President and the Secretary of State, securing the safety of Embassy offices and personnel, and advancing foreign policy goals.
Before he joined Capital Group, Emerson served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House, Deputy Director of Presidential Personnel at the White House, and Los Angeles Chief Deputy City Attorney. Since 2010, Emerson has also served as a Member of the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.
Although they raved about their new lives, Hayley and Taylor admitted that they are still getting used to being a part of the Embassy. “Adjusting was at first hard because we started school a week later; Dad started his job the day after we got [to Berlin], and we had to move into our new house, meet new people, get Dad’s schedule organized, get our schedules organized, get German phones,” Hayley said.
Taylor explained, “Although I was really sad to leave America, I learned that this is what Dad has always wanted to do ever since he got interested in politics. That kind of inspires me to follow my dreams because you never know where they will take you. He has worked so hard to get this opportunity, and I can’t wait to see how he can change the world with it!”
In order to make life easier, the Emerson sisters are undertaking the difficult task of learning German. Hayley said, “I’m actually learning a lot in school, and I know the basics, which is cool. I also practice with the guards, random people, and our German friends.” Learning a new language is not the only way that the sisters are adopting German culture. Hayley raves, “The food is fabulous here. It is the most amazing food ever! Germany has got great places to eat. Every time I go to a cafe or a restaurant, I freak out.”
Of course, being related to a public political figure certainly comes with its perks. When describing her family’s arrival in Berlin, Taylor explained, “It was really cool when we first got into the car …We felt like we were the President. We were literally in a motorcade… The big black suburban is totally bulletproof and tinted. It was so cool!” She adds, “The American Embassy is beautiful, and it’s really cool to have a pass made for yourself to get in.”