The purview of an ambassador in a U.S. embassy extends beyond the geographical borders of their host nation and into the intricate global network shaped by the country’s history. In some countries, this may involve regional tensions and instabilities.In others, it may entail navigation of long-standing border disputes.
For others still, an ambassador takes on the relationship of a nation to its former colonies or current territories.
Ambassador Edward Elson arrived in Denmark in November of 1993 to embrace his long-standing interest in politics more fully—having already held roles in banking, civil rights, publishing, National Public Radio, retail, and education. However, this posting also meant embracing the relationship between the host country and its autonomous territory of Greenland. Greenland had formerly been a Danish colony, dating as far back as the 1700s. Greenland then became fully incorporated with the 1953 Danish constitution. Greenland now has limited autonomy and exists as part of the Kingdom of Denmark. As of June 2020, Greenland’s foreign relations largely operate out of Copenhagen, Denmark. However, on June 11, 2020, the U.S. announced plans to reopen its consulate in the Greenlandic capital of Nuuk, where it had not been present since 1953.