President Joe Biden on Friday nominated Amy Gutmann, the president of the University of Pennsylvania and Biden’s erstwhile boss, to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Germany, the White House told Forbes.

NEW YORK, NY — SEPTEMBER 20: President of the University of Pennsylvania Amy Gutmann speaks at the … [+] TIME Summit On Higher Education Day 2 at Time Warner Center on September 20, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for TIME)


Gutmann, the daughter of a German-Jewish refugee who would be the first woman to hold the position, has written and edited 17 books on “defending constitutional democracy and human rights,” according to a White House bio.

As Penn president, a role she’s held since 2004, Gutmann hired Biden in 2017 as the university’s “Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor,” a role in which he did not teach classes.

A Penn spokesperson told Philadelphia Magazine in 2019 Biden’s job was to expand the college’s “global outreach” and share his “wisdom and insights with thousands of Penn students.”

$911,000. That’s how much Biden made as a Penn professor between 2017 and 2019, according to financial disclosures he filed during the presidential campaign.

Biden’s role at Penn became fodder for Republicans and right-wing media outlets during the 2020 presidential campaign. “The former VP’s financial disclosures reveal that his annual salary was nearly double that of the average Penn prof — and he didn’t even have to teach,” tweeted Trump campaign aide Jason Miller last October, quoting a Philadelphia Magazine report.

Biden has leaned more toward giving ambassadorships to career diplomats than his predecessor, with some notable exceptions. Last month he nominated former Obama Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as ambassador to Mexico and Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger as U.S. representative to the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

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