Statement of Jamie McCourt
Nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to France and Monaco Submitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee September 27, 2017
Chairman Johnson, Ranking Member Murphy, and Members of the Committee,
It is my great honor to be here today as President Trump’s nominee to be the United States Ambassador to France and Monaco. I am extraordinarily grateful to the President for this opportunity to serve the American people as his envoy to our oldest and certainly one of our closest allies.
Knowing I have not made this journey alone, I would like to take a moment to express my gratitude to my parents, who are first-generation Americans, born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, as was I, and to my four best start-ups, my four boys, Drew, Travis, Casey, and Gavin.
As the first person in my family to attend college, I received a B.S. in French at Georgetown University, with a year at La Sorbonne in Paris, a J.D. from University of Maryland School of Law and ultimately a M.S. in Management from the MIT/Sloan School of Management and having been an adjunct professor teaching leadership at UCLA/Anderson School of Management, I obviously believe education is the great equalizer.
I believe in the opportunity to succeed through hard work, determination and initiative; in other words, I believe in the American Dream. Therefore, I am deeply honored to be here and incredibly touched to have the opportunity, if confirmed, to give back to and serve my country.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I. Beginning in 1917, American and French soldiers fought and died together in defense of a free and peaceful Europe.
President Trump’s visit to Paris in July as President Macron’s guest of honor during the National Day celebrations, commemorating the centennial anniversary of the U.S. entry into the war, was a vivid reminder of that sacrifice in defense of our common values.
A few decades later, in 1941, the United States went to war again, and Americans once more fought and died to defend and liberate European allies. One of those soldiers was my uncle, killed in action at the age of twenty-seven, leaving behind two young babies.
Having grown up listening to my mostly stoic father tearfully reminisce about his older brother, and having been extremely close to my grandmother, I have always felt a special l connection to Europe and to the purpose for which my uncle gave his life. The thought of serving as an Ambassador in Europe is, therefore, particularly personal for me and my family and it would be the greatest honor of my life if confirmed for this position.
Following World War I and World War II, America’s alliance with France has only grown stronger as we, together with France and our other allies, founded NATO to ensure a secure, free, and prosperous future for our descendants.
If confirmed, I pledge to do everything in my power to continue to nurture our crucial alliance with France, and together we will address challenges to our global security, including ensuring a strong and capable NATO alliance, combatting terrorism, hastening the defeat of ISIS, countering Russian malign influence, stepping up pressure on North Korea, and improving nuclear security.
In fact, France is our most capable and willing ally in support of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq through air strikes, aircraft carrier deployments, and training of operational forces on the ground; through Defeat-Isis efforts in Libya; and through its lead in Sub-Saharan Africa where it combats violent extremism and illicit trafficking through Operation Barkhane.
France is in support of countering Iran’s malign activities including development of nuclear weapons capabilities, and advocates for security policy reform at the EU level, leading efforts to tighten border security and promote better information sharing among member states to meet evolving terrorist threats. France, along with Germany, participates in the Normandy format to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
As well, France is a key partner in America’s prosperity, and if confirmed, I will work assiduously to promote American exports to France and French investment in the United States.
Today, France is the 5th largest investor in the U.S. and our 8th largest trading partner. French investment in the U.S. supports approximately 574,000 American jobs. Over $1 billion in commercial transactions take place every day between our two countries.
As someone who has long been involved in business ventures myself, including as the Co-Owner, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers, as well as through my investments in high-value real estate, biotechnology ventures, technology start-ups, and even art, I would like to further expand this relationship to provide new business opportunities.
Additionally, if confirmed, I look forward to nurturing our relationship with the Principality of Monaco, and working together with His Serene Highness Prince Albert and his government to further our joint objectives. Monaco has been a trusted partner for the United States in advancing our shared interest in a secure and prosperous world.
Moreover, the Department of State’s highest calling is to protect U.S. citizens overseas. The horrific terror attacks in France that claimed the lives of innocent people, and injured countless others, including Americans, are a stark reminder of our overarching duty to protect our citizens.
If confirmed, I will consider my primary responsibility to ensure the safety and security of the Embassy community, and of all U.S. citizens in France and Monaco. I assure you our Mission and its staff will have no higher priority.
If confirmed, I will lead the Mission to do everything possible to support French efforts to prevent another tragedy. To this end, I will seek to deepen U.S.-French counterterrorism cooperation and information sharing so that violent extremists in Europe will not be able to threaten the U.S. homeland.
In closing, the U.S. partnership and alliance with France is a cornerstone of our cooperation with Europe.
Drawing on the strength of the entire U.S. government, including the dedicated officers of our U.S. Foreign Service and the many talented individuals representing multiple agencies of our government in France, I would, if confirmed, work every day to advance our mutual interest in a secure and prosperous world.
Thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you today. I look forward to answering your questions and, if confirmed, I look forward to working with all of you to further enhance the relationships between the United States and France and Monaco.