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David Huebner
2010 Icon

Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa

b. May 7, 1960

“I can imagine no higher honor and privilege than to serve my country.”

David Huebner is the United States ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. He is the third openly gay ambassador in United States history.

A native of Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, Huebner graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University, where he studied at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He earned a J.D. from Yale Law School. While at Yale, he served as a special assistant to the Hon. Koji Kakizawa, the former Japanese foreign minister.

Licensed to practice in three United States jurisdictions as well as England and Wales, Huebner was chairman of Coudert Brothers, an international law firm. He was later hired as a partner in the Shanghai office of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, where he led the firm’s Chinese operations and its International Disputes practice. He has taught courses on intellectual property and international arbitration at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.

President Obama nominated Huebner as an ambassador on October 8, 2009. With his partner by his side, Huebner was sworn in by Vice President Biden, who told the newly confirmed Huebner, “You’ve lived the American dream. I can think of nobody better to represent our nation to the people of New Zealand and Samoa than you.”

Huebner has a long record of public service. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger selected him to chair California's Law Review Commission. Huebner served as president of the Los Angeles Quality & Productivity Commission. He was a founding board member and chief counsel for GLAAD. 

When not on diplomatic assignment, Huebner and his partner of more than 20 years, psychiatrist Duane McWaine, live in Los Angeles.