James (Wally) Brewster is an internationally recognized diplomat and business leader. He was appointed by President Barack Obama as the United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic on November 22, 2013 and served in that role until January 20, 2017. His appointment was historical as he was the first openly gay Ambassador to be appointed in the Western Hemisphere alongside his husband the Honorable Bob J. Satawake. Ambassador Brewster has been credited for advancing the rights of the marginalized around the globe, specifically the stateless population of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic, LGBTQ individuals, the human trafficking of women and young girls and increasing the awareness of gender based violence. His expertise in increasing trade, fighting corruption, drug interdiction and advancing public health has been recognized by numerous awards and honors.
Prior to his Ambassador appointment he served as Managing Partner of SB&K Global, an international political and brand strategy firm where he worked with Fortune 500 executives rebranding and repositioning their assets worldwide. He also served as a National Co-Chair of the LGBT Advisory Board of the DNC and as National LGBT Co-Chair of the Obama 2012 re-elect campaign, in addition as the National Co-Chair of the Obama Leadership Circles. Ambassador Brewster served as an officer and senior executive at General Growth Properties where he led all investor relations, marketing and branding efforts of the second largest shopping center REIT in the world. In his role he became recognized as one of the country's top experts in the areas of brand optimization, retail crisis management and increasing shareholder value.
Ambassador Brewster has received numerous recognitions and awards for his work including the highest honor given by the Dominican Republic, the Duarte Medal of Freedom. He was also recognized by Foreign Policy Magazine as one of the 100 Global Thinkers for his work with marginalized groups, Out Magazine’s Out 100 and was a finalist for the State Department’s Sue M. Cobb award recognizing America’s top diplomats for exemplary diplomatic service. He previously served as a national board member of the Human Rights Campaign and currently serves on boards advancing democracy.