John B. Emerson ’75 was confirmed by the United States Senate in August as U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany.
Emerson was the president of Capital Group Private Client Services since 1997. Capital Group is one of the world’s largest investment management firms, with more than $1 trillion dollars in assets under management.
Previously, Emerson served on President Clinton’s senior staff, from 1993-1997. He served as deputy director of Presidential Personnel, and subsequently as deputy director of Intergovernmental Affairs, where he was the president’s liaison to the nation’s governors.
Emerson also coordinated the Economic Conference of the Clinton-Gore transition team and led the administration’s efforts to obtain congressional approval of the GATT Uruguay Round Agreement in 1994, and the extension of China’s MFN trading status in 1996. In 2010, President Obama appointed Emerson to serve on the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.
Before joining the Clinton administration, Emerson served as the Los Angeles Chief Deputy City Attorney (1987-1993), during which he was selected by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung to visit Germany as part of an American-German delegation. Before that, he was a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, specializing in business and entertainment litigation and administrative law.
Emerson has been active in civic affairs, serving for more than a decade as the chairman of the Music Center of Los Angeles County, which includes as resident companies the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the LA Opera. He was also a member of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Trade Advisory Council, the Pacific Council on International Policy, and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Emerson earned his Bachelor of Arts in government and philosophy from Hamilton and his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago.