DACH Eager to Welcome New U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 22 December 2021
Contact: Liz Voss, Vice Chair - [email protected]

Democrats Abroad Switzerland extends a hearty welcome to the new U.S. Ambassador Scott Miller, soon to occupy his seat in Bern overseeing diplomatic relations in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. 

Miller, a 42-year-old Colorado native, was previously a vice president for the UBS asset management office in Denver and a management consultant for Accenture, a fortune 500 company specializing in information technology. His husband Tim Gill is the founder of QuarkXpress. Together the two oversee the Gill Foundation, which has donated more than $500 million to LGBTQIA+ causes—making them two of the most influential activists in the U.S. in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersexual and asexual individuals and their allies.

This foundation was instrumental in improving the reputation and visibility of LGBTQIA+ people in Colorado during the 1990s and helped change its image as a "hate state” by funding campaigns to overturn legislations which outlawed civil rights protections for the gay, lesbian, and transgender community. This eventually led to the approval of same-sex marriage in the state. The couple are also politically allied with Colorado Governor Jared Polis, elected in 2018 as the country’s first openly gay man to head a U.S. state.

As a well-known figure in the Democratic Party leadership and among activists, Miller also caught the attention of several prominent politicians who have actively supported the LGBTQIA+ community, including President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and President Biden. He is one of the more than 200 LGBTQIA+ individuals appointed to the Biden administration, more than any other administration in history.

“Democrats Abroad Switzerland is thrilled to be able to welcome Scott Miller,” DACH Vice Chair Liz Voss said on Monday. “We share many values with Ambassador Miller and look forward to collaborating with him and his husband, Tim Gill, on strengthening the bond between the U.S. and Switzerland. We couldn't ask for better additions to our team as we advocate for DA’s priorities of protecting voting rights, taxation reform, diversity, and more.”

Miller’s nomination did not come without some inadvertent controversy in the preceding months. The post in Bern had been left vacant for the past 12 months when former Trump-appointed Ambassador Ed McMullen, a Republican campaign strategist, resigned in January. After the normal vetting process, President Joe Biden nominated Miller in August, not only due to his previous ties to Switzerland but also for his consummate activism for the LGBTQIA+ community. However, several nominations put forth by the U.S. Department of State and the Biden administration, including Miller’s, were forced into a stalemate after a blockade led by Republican Senator Ted Cruz. This obstructionist campaign led to the year-long vacancy of more than 50 high level foreign ministry positions around the world.

On Friday, Senators in the U.S. Capitol wanted to resolve many outstanding and unresolved decisions before returning home for the holidays, so a series of votes took place including a package with Miller’s nomination that passed undisputed. 

“I hope to build on the work of my predecessors to strengthen the already solid relationship we have with the Swiss and Liechtensteiners, including our dynamic trade, investment and defense partnerships,” Miller stated just after his nomination in August.

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More information about Democrats Abroad Switzerland available at our website, https://www.democratsabroad.org/ch. We can also be found on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) at @swissdemocrats.

INFORMATION SHEET
QUICKVIEW STATS and FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Over 19,000 U.S. citizens live in Switzerland; of those, about 15,000 are of voting age.
  • DA Switzerland membership has grown by 27.3% since February 2020. 
  • DA Switzerland has chapters in Zurich, Basel, and Geneva, which are hubs for expats.
  • Democrats Abroad is the state Democratic party for overseas Americans.
  • We represent the 6.5 million eligible voters overseas (out of 9 million total). That’s a larger population than all but 11 US states. 
  • We have members in over 190 countries around the world, and more than 45 active country committees.
  • We provide members with tools to help them stand up for democracy in America, through voter registration training, regularly published actions, events and marches, and a friendly community of like-minded American citizens living abroad. 

FAQs

How large is the organization Democrats Abroad? 
Democrats Abroad is the largest organization of civilian Americans outside the US. We are 100% volunteer-led, with active chapters across six continents and members who vote in every U.S. state and congressional district.

We represent the 6.5 million eligible voters overseas (out of 9 million abroad, total), with almost 200,000 activists and voters members in over 190 countries around the world. Our extensive reach goes far beyond our 45 country committees through engaged, active online communities of Americans around the world.

How is DA financially supported? Do you get donations from abroad? 
We are supported by generous donations from our US citizen members as well as Americans living in the US who value our work and see us as a natural, critical resource to tap into a huge number of potential voters. 

We also, from time to time, receive small grants from the DNC to help support specific projects. 

Special note: We never accept donations from corporations or foreign citizens.

How long has Democrats Abroad been active?
There have been patriotic Americans abroad virtually since the country’s inception! But as an organization, Democrats Abroad has been continuously active since chapters were first established in Paris and London in 1964.