Amb. Berry joined the American Australian Association as President in 2016. He came to the job well prepared after serving as the 25th US Ambassador and President Obama’s personal representative to Australia. Prior to that, John served in multiple senior government positions, earning three unanimous Senate confirmations, including: the head of “HR” for the Federal government as Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the “COO” of the Department of Interior as Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget; the head of 40% of Federal law enforcement as Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement at the Treasury Department; and Legislative Director for Rep. Steny Hoyer.
John has also been a leader in the non-profit sector, serving as the Director of the Smithsonian National Zoo; The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and Government Relations for the Smithsonian Institution. John has accomplished many firsts, most notably, the first openly LGBT US Ambassador to a G20 country and while at OPM, he was the highest ranking LGBT executive official in US history. He has stood atop both poles – north and south, visited all of the world’s continents, as well as all of the states of both the USA and Australia. His most favorite recognitions of the many received have been the Department of the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award, a lion named “John” in his honor and a mountain in Antarctica called the “Berry Bastion.” He is married to his partner of over 25 years, Curtis Yee.