REPORT FOR THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
UNITED STATES SENATE
SUBJECT: Ambassadorial Nomination: Certificate of Demonstrated Competence — Foreign Service Act, Section 304(a)(4)
POST: People’s Republic of China
CANDIDATE: Terry Branstad
Terry Branstad has been serving as the 42nd Governor of Iowa since his inauguration in January 2011. He previously served as Governor of Iowa from 1983-1999 and is America’s longest serving governor. Governor Branstad’s leadership guided Iowa through a farming crisis in the 1980s, resulting in the state’s resurgence to a booming economy in the 1990s. Governor Branstad has championed economic development and job growth throughout his terms in office, and enacted historic government overhauls to accomplish greater efficiencies in state government. Consequently, Iowa’s unemployment rate currently sits at 3.8%, well below the national average, and he left office in 1999 with an unprecedented $900 million budget surplus. Over the course of two gubernatorial administrations and a 30-year friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Governor Branstad has developed a strong understanding of the complex relationship between China and the U.S., which will enable him to promote strong bilateral relations with China. His skills, knowledge of China, and extensive contacts in the region make him well qualified to serve as U.S. Ambassador to China.
Previously, Governor Branstad served as the president of Des Moines University, Des Moines, Iowa (2003-2009), a financial advisor with Robert W. Baird and Company, Des Moines, Iowa (2001-2003), a partner in Branstad and Associates, Des Moines, Iowa, and as a lecturer at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa (2000-2001). In his early career, he served as lieutenant governor of Iowa (1979-1983), a state representative in the Iowa House of Representatives, Des Moines, Iowa (1973-1979), an attorney in Branstad and Schwarm, Forest City, Iowa, and a as Sergeant in the U.S. Army, Fort Bragg, North Carolina (1969-1971).
Governor Branstad earned a B.A from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa in 1969 and a J.D. from Drake University Law School, in Des Moines, Iowa in 1974.