The U.S. Senate on Thursday by a voice vote confirmed Randy Berry as the next U.S. ambassador to Nepal.Then-Secretary of State John Kerry in 2015 named Berry, a career Foreign Service officer who is openly gay, as the first special U.S. envoy to promote LGBTI rights abroad.
Berry was the consul general at the U.S. Consulate in Amsterdam before Kerry named him to the position. Berry was the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Nepal from 2007-2009.
Berry was most recently a deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
“Randy Berry is a career senior Foreign Service officer with 25 years of experience as a diplomat,” reads Berry’s biography on the State Department’s website.
Sunil Babu Pant is the founder of the Blue Diamond Society, a Nepalese LGBTI organization. He is also the first openly gay member of the Nepalese Parliament.
Pant told the Washington Blade in an email that Berry’s confirmation is “welcome news” because he “knows Nepal very well.”
“There are many important issues to look into as an ambassador but many have failed to pay any attention to LGBTI matters as many believe LGBTI matters are of less important,” said Pant. “I hope under Mr. Berry’s leadership, the U.S. mission in Nepal will give deserving attention to LGBTI causes including moral support, diplomatic support, political support.”
The U.S. Senate in April confirmed U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell’s nomination.