By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com December 10 2013 7:08 PM ET
James “Wally” Brewster, the gay businessman and activist appointed by President Obama as ambassador to the Dominican Republic, is now officially at work in the Caribbean nation, having presented his credentials to Dominican president Danilo Medina Monday.
Brewster spoke with Medina for about 10 minutes at the National Palace ceremony, in which diplomats from Colombia, the Bahamas, Portugal, and Belgium also offered their credentials, reports Dominican Today.
Brewster, previously an executive with a consulting firm in Chicago, is one of five openly LGBT U.S. ambassadors confirmed this year. Before this year, there had been only three such ambassadors. Obama received some criticism for appointing a gay man as ambassador to the Dominican Republic, a conservative and overwhelmingly Roman Catholic nation, but Brewster was confirmed unanimously by the Senate last month.
When Brewster arrived in the Dominican Republic with his husband, Bob Satawake, November 26, he pledged to strengthen the relationship between the U.S. and the Dominican.
Brewster has a history of political involvement. He was a major fundraiser for Obama’s reelection campaign last year. He also has been an LGBT cochair for the Democratic National Committee and served on the Human Rights Campaign’s board of directors.